Richard M. Nixon
Richard "Badger my ass, it's probably..." Milhous "Tricky Dick" Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was an American criminal and president of the United States from 1969-1974. Nixon's vice-president was Spiro Agnew, until he resigned due to breakin' laws. Agnew was succeeded by Nixon's nominee, then-Representative Gerald Ford. Ford then succeeded Nixon as president when he resigned for breakin' laws. It's all very straightforward constitutional logic, really.
Several years prior to his tenure as president, he served as Dwight D. Eisenhower's vice-president for eight years.
Nixon was a typical mid-20th century American conservative, which is to say that he made appeals to conservative sentiments while using tools like enactment of wage and price controls to try to reduce inflation. He was also a rabid anti-communist. Oddly, given some of the achievements below, he would probably be considered a card-carrying pinko by the standards of the present-day Republican party.
He formulated and perfected his so-called "Southern strategy", which used a barely coded racism as a wedge issue to persuade naturally Democratic blue-collar voters in the Bible Belt to vote for him, a Republican. This strategy has continued to be a major force in US presidential elections, with a heavy dose of religious fundamentalist issues gradually added to the racism. Thanks, asshole.
Nixon's secret plan to end the war was first outlined in a 1967 Foreign Affairs magazine piece entitled, Asia After Vietnam. Nixon proposed welcoming "China back into the world community" by seeking to make changes through dialogue and stated that U.S. involvement in Vietnam was "proof that communism is not necessarily the wave of Asia's future."
Nixon is also responsible for the massive aerial bombardment of Cambodia that drove its peasantry into the waiting arms of the Khmer Rouge, launched the War on Drugs, cancelled the last Apollo Program missions and scaled back the American space program.
Under Nixon, many groundbreaking steps were taken in the US:
- He signed OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) into law.
- The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) was also created.
- He went to China, where Mao Zedong was impressed by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's sexual exploits.
- Eventually ended the Vietnam War, but only after prolonging it unnecessarily (see below).
- Called hippies "jobless bums."
- Referred to the Peace Corp and State Dept. Foreign Service as "cookie pushers and faggots in striped pants."
- Developed a hilarious speaking style. Arooo!
Nixon also made a lasting impact on the study of international relations by creating and perfecting the "madman theory" of diplomacy. The basic idea was to make the rest of the world think you are absolutely bonkers, so that they will always let you get your way (the idea being that a madman would be liable to do anything if his anger is aroused, including maybe nuking somebody). This drew quite heavily on existing literature (particularly the deterrence literature produced by Thomas Schelling), and in his case, it seemed to work really well.
Nixon is also famous for getting a few things horribly wrong:
- Escalating Johnson's disastrous war in Vietnam to the point of carpet-bombing neighboring countries. (What's this doing on the Underachievements? It would have worked if only the goshdurned libruhls had been willing to fund it and maybe let him use a few nukes.)
- In cancelling the last Apollo Program lunar missions, Nixon confined humans to the Earth and its orbital space. Aliens could not have imposed a quarantine on our species more effectively.
- Creating his infamous "enemies list."
- Hiring and protecting too many not-too-bright thugs to work for his administration.
Personal affectations and grooming
Nixon was a sweaty, smelly, hard-drinking, foulmouthed anti-Semite who suffered from heavy beard growth and raging inferiority complexes.
- "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more".
- "I am not a crook".
- "[Expletive deleted]"
- "When the President does it, it's not illegal".
- "Fucking Jew-bastards everywhere!"
- "Sock it to me?"
Nixon's merry band of shysters
The headless body ofSpiro Agnew, Vice President, tax cheat
- Chuck Colson, White House Counsel, Watergate operative
- Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, destroyer of third world nations
- G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate operative
- ↑ Asia After Viet Nam, Foreign Affairs, Richard M. Nixon, October 1967.
- ↑ Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, Raymond L. Garthoff, Brookings Institution Press, January 1994, pp. 242-243. Oddly, Watergate plumber G. Gordon Liddy had once proposed blowing up the Brookings Institution.
- ↑ Death by Irrelevance, John R. Coyne Jr., The National Interest, January 1, 2012; Review of Geoffrey Kabaservice, Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). 
- ↑ List of White House 'Enemies', Facts on File