woody zimmerman 118 2007More than any president in living memory – and probably more than most presidents in non-living memory – Barack Hussein Obama has repeatedly blamed his predecessor for every ill and untoward event that has beset or befallen his own tenure. “Bush is responsible…” has become Democrats’ theme song and the virtual mantra of Mr. Obama’s presidency. Indeed, it has now achieved rarified, late-night TV status, with comedians regularly getting laughs over this hackneyed theme. (“This just in – President Obama blames former President George Bush for causing the recent earthquake in Bolivia…”)

 But “Bush did it” may have been overused. Desperate to find cover for President Obama’s collapsing presidency, and seeing that the story is no longer working, the administration’s apologists have now dusted off a reliable old chestnut: “Nixon was even worse” – first mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, I believe. It ranks right up there with other classic slams, including: “Your car is uglier than I am…”

During the past week, The Washington Post has run at least four articles reprising the Sins of Nixon. One of them – “Nixon’s Lasting Damage” (Richard Cohen, Washington Post, 8/6/14) – is truly a classic of its kind. Its reliably liberal author went to great lengths to denounce Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy” for producing an all-white (i.e., “racist”) Republican Party. Naturally, Mr. Cohen said nary a word about Democrats’ own racialist strategy that threw their historic (mostly white) southern supporters under the bus in order to recast the party of Thomas Jefferson as a vehicle for promoting the expanding social and economic demands of ethnic minorities, aggrieved women, and advocates of perverse lifestyles. In addition to damning Richard Nixon for making racists “welcome” in the GOP, Mr. Cohen could not resist taking a swing at the Watergate scandal that ultimately cost Mr. Nixon his office. The closing paragraph is a masterpiece of crass invective:

Nixon was virtually a cinematic creation, a man of such character flaws, resentments, hatreds and insecurities that it’s hard to keep your eyes off him. Watergate and the cover-up were his downfall and they were, no doubt about it, breathtaking abuses of power, as obscene as the language he often used. But what was once drama is now history. Not so the Southern strategy. It fouls our politics to this very day.

Certainly, Nixon was no saint, but I wondered how Mr. Cohen had such certitude about Nixon’s “hatreds and insecurities.” (Also, did he ever hear of a guy named Lyndon Johnson?) As is true of most presidents, the mistakes Mr. Nixon made were lulus – not least of which was his futile attempt to stonewall and conceal the burglary of Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate. But not everything in his presidency was a blunder. He ended our involvement in the Vietnam war with honor, and he opened diplomatic relations with Communist China in 1972. As for the salty language in the Nixon White House… please! Could I get a break here? Mr. Cohen has reached the bottom of the barrel.

But I’m not writing a critique of Mr. Cohen’s article. Instead, I ask: Who cares about all that stuff now? If he wants to discover what “fouled our politics,” there’s plenty of blame to go around. Mr. Cohen isn’t really trying to do that, however. He’s trying to blow enough smoke to obscure the disastrous incompetence of his own Dear Leader. “Resentments, hatreds and insecurities?” Ye gods and little fishes! Have we ever had such a lawless president – such a mare’s nest of racism, suspicion, divisiveness, and ill will? Even Mr. Obama’s loyal political allies are running for cover to evade his poisonous touch before the November elections. Hillary Clinton, desperately trying to throw off her association with Mr. Obama – like discarding a lice-ridden overcoat – is trying to recast herself as Xena the Warrior Princess for her White House run in 2016. She hopes that by then no one will remember her disastrous tenure at State.

Iraq is so close to being taken over by Islamic forces marching out of Syria that Mr. Obama has finally ordered air-strikes to stop the rebels. Vladimir Putin has an army on the Ukrainian border, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. Palestinian thugs pour rocket-fire into Israel, while storing their own munitions in schools and apartment complexes. Iran is almost certainly going to get the Bomb, with no serious opposition raised by us. A smirking Lois Lerner brazenly defies congressional attempts to uncover White House involvement in the IRS’s corrupt political suppression of conservatives. (This was Mr. Nixon’s pipe-dream, but never did it.) Powerful federal security agencies are spying on American citizens and foreign leaders. Secretary of State Kerry runs from pillar to post, like Alice in Wonderland’s White Rabbit. (“I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!”) No one pays attention to anything Mr. Obama says, anymore, but he has played over 100 rounds of golf and appeared at 400 Democrat fundraisers during his terms. (That averages to one fundraiser every five days.)

Mr. Obama’s government is in complete freefall. Yet, in the midst of all this, the Washington Post’s editors evidently thought it very important to print several articles about the Nixon administration of 40 years ago, while avoiding any meaningful critique of the Obama calumny. (“Presidency” seems too grandiloquent a term, under the circumstances.) I believe it will be a long time – if ever – before the Post regains its reputation as a serious broker of news and political analysis. They are so deep in the tank for Barack Obama that they might never climb out. Years from now they’ll still be writing about how bad Richard Nixon was. The same fate may also befall several mainstream broadcast networks. We’re living in an amazing time. Historians will study it for decades to come.

It is also a “teachable moment,” as educators and activists like to say. I urge my readers to recognize that all this uproar is simply a gigantic diversion – the Mother of all Smokescreens – meant to distract our attention away from the corruption and core incompetence of the most calamitous administration in our history. The smokescreen’s other purpose is to discourage you from exercising the one significant power you actually possess to set things right: your vote. The people creating this huge diversion want you to sit home in November, saying, “It’s no use. Nothing can be done. They’re all crooks…”

Just remember that the real crooks always use that famous line. But it’s a lie. It’s a damned lie! Politicians are not “all crooks.” A few may be, but thousands of decent, honest people across the country really want to solve problems and bring the country back under control. I urge you to seek them out and vote for them. They won’t be perfect, but who is? Look for the best. Expect good things. We can do this.

The people of this great nation are a powerful force for good. With God’s help we’ll turn things around. And pay no attention to that huge, turgid cloud of smoke emanating from the District of Columbia. The winds of change will soon blow it away.