| Guide to:|
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.
|—Hunter S. Thompson|
Richard 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
the headless body of 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. Then Ford simply pardoned Nixon for any and all crimes he may or may not have committed, to prevent Nixon from being punished for his criminal acts he may or may not have committed. It's all very straightforward constitutional logic, really. He is the only man to be twice elected to both the Vice Presidency and the Presidency, and the only President to resign the office.
Several years prior to his tenure as president, he served as Dwight D. Eisenhower's vice-president for eight years. Nixon ran three times for President: he lost to JFK largely because he refused to wear makeup ("For fags") and looked like roadkill on national television, though the results were tight enough that ballot stuffing in Illinois played a role. He ran a second time against
LBJ RFK McCarthy McGovern a last-minute replacement named Humphrey, and won, with the help of "moderate" Democrats who refused to call it quits in 'Nam. He trounced poor George McGovern in 1972 because the American people took leave of their senses; of blatant MSM propgandising ; the devil you know is worse than the devil you don't scholars differ.
Despite (or because of) being re-elected in one of the biggest landslides in American history, he did not disband his "Committee to Re-Elect the President" (CREEP), using them to carry out various skullduggeries against real and imagined enemies. Many of these so-called "ratfuckers" were crazies themselves: burnouts like Howard Hunt and Egil Krogh spoke of controlled agents and seeing Soviets behind every tree. Ironically, it wasn't until Nixon buried the hatchet with Red China and the Soviets that people started to see his paranoia for what it really was.
|—James D. St. Clair, Tricky Dick's own attorney, in United States v. Nixon. (Yes, this is how bad it was.)|
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.
Nixon won in 1968 by
cheating & sabotaging others threading the needle between the Rockefellers, Fords, and Reagans. That was the beginning of a streak for the GOP that resulted in 7/10 Presidential victories,[note 1] and the GOP finally taking over Congress for the first time in the 1990s since before FDR. So, in a weird way, Douthat is right: the GOP really could use a unifying figure like Nixon. And physical similarities don't count.
RMN 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 the GOP. 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." Later Nixon saw to it that plans to end the Vietnam war failed because he thought that improved his chances of becoming president. During the 1968 Paris Peace talks, Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger assumed the roles of good-cop-bad-cop. Kissinger played the "reasonable" front man in the negotiations, trying to restrain Nixon back in Washington. One night in a drunken stupor when Kissinger called to report a lack of progress, Nixon is reported to have said "we gotta nuke 'em, Henry."
Nixon is 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 lunar missions and scaled back the American space program. In the Russian Wheat Deal of 1972 he traded wheat for Jewish immigrants held hostage in the Soviet Union.
Under Nixon, many groundbreaking steps were taken in the US:
- A legendary card sharp. Tricky Dick made a fortune playing poker during the war, which he used to buy a seat in the House of Representatives.
- Signed OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) into law, and was the first to argue for what is now known as the Affordable Care Act.
- The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) was also created.
- Went to China — because only Nixon could go to China — where Mao Zedong was impressed by Kissinger's sexual exploits.
- Eventually ended the Vietnam War, but only after prolonging it unnecessarily (see below).
- Ended the last vestiges of the gold standard.
- Called hippies "jobless bums."
- Referred to the Peace Corps and State Dept. Foreign Service as "cookie pushers and faggots in striped pants."
- Spent his spare time writing piano concertos.
- Developed a hilarious speaking style. Arooo!
- Got drunk in office a few times, and mentally scarred a few staffers in the process.
- Ended the last vestiges of Apartheid in the South.
- Created Amtrak, though his intention was to shut it down as soon as possible because it was "inefficient". Oops.
“”In the fall of 1972 President Nixon announced that the rate of increase of inflation was decreasing. This was the first time a sitting president used the third derivative to advance his case for reelection.
Nixon is also famous for getting 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.)
- Let's just mention Vietnam one more time: in 2013, it was revealed that LBJ knew Nixon deliberately sabotaged the Paris Peace talks, but abstained from telling anyone because a) he thought Hubert Humphrey (the Democratic nominee and his own VP) would be too "soft" on the war, and b) it would suggest to the public that the FBI and NSA were bugging ambassadors' phones. Thanks to both of their efforts, Southeast Asia has a headcount millions less than what it should be today, and is still not free of communist influence. White House aide H.R. Haldeman's notes confirm the extent of Nixon's activities in undermining the peace process in Vietnam.
- Invading both Cambodia and Laos, despite both public disapproval and the strong resistance of military and diplomatic officials. These actions resulted in tens of thousands of immediate deaths, massive protests at home, and set the stage for future atrocities in Southeast Asia.
- The "madman theory" (quoted below) which led Nixon, in October 1969, to mobilize the Air Force and threaten to nuke the Soviet Union unless they helped America end the Vietnam War. It didn't work.
- In cancelling the Apollo program, 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.
- Twice tried appointing segregationist judges to the Supreme Court, Clement Haysworth and G. Harrold Carswell, both of whom were smacked down by the Senate. Both men were so racist and incompetent that even Republicans refused to vote for them.
On a side note, in 1969, he wanted to cut the funding for PBS in half, which would have resulted in several beloved TV shows not getting the funding they needed to continue. He was stopped by none other than Mr. Rogers himself, possibly the nicest man to ever live, when he attended the Senate hearing about it, talked about his show, and even sang lyrics from one of his songs. Two years later, Congress increased PBS funding to $22 million.
“”In your own mind you have nothing to lose, so you take plenty of chances. It is then you understand, for the first time, that you have the advantage—because your competitors can’t risk what they have already. It’s a piece of cake until you get to the top. You find you can’t stop playing the game the way you’ve always played it, because it is a part of you and you need it as much as an arm and a leg. … So you are lean and mean and resourceful and you continue to walk on the edge of the precipice, because over the years you have become fascinated by how close to the edge you can walk without losing your balance.
|—Nixon speaking to former aide Kenneth Clawson after his presidency|
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). 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.
Personal affectations and grooming
“”I have come to believe that our natures are so predetermined that Nixon could do no other than be his uneasy self, committed to mischief, acting and talking like a sleepwalker in a surreal dream: "American troops have just entered Cambodia. This is not an invasion." More to the point, the fact that so few Americans ever noted the chasm between his words and deeds was always proof to me that he was, in a curious way, the quintessential American, indifferent to — when aware of — cause and effect, acting only to further his own career, which meant that he was sometimes capable of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.
|—Gore Vidal eulogizes Nixon, Point to Point Navigation|
Nixon was a sweaty, smelly, hard-drinking, vindictive, bitter, paranoid, foulmouthed anti-Semite who suffered from heavy beard growth and a raging inferiority complex. At the very time that overt antisemitism was beginning to vanish from mainstream American culture, Richard Nixon was the most profoundly antisemitic president in U.S. history. In the Nixon tapes, he repeatedly accuses American Jews of placing "Jewish interests" before American ones, an almost verbatim reuse of one of 19th-century Europe's most pernicious anti-Semitic canards.
Nixon's obsession with the Evil Jew was just part of a profoundly paranoid personality that saw vast, byzantine conspiracies lurking everywhere. It is ironic (but predictable) that such a committed conspiracy theorist was responsible for some of the most outrageous conspiracies ever perpetrated in American politics. He combined his conspiracism with a rash, callous attitude towards war: At one point, Henry Kissinger had to talk him out of nuking North Vietnam.
That such a subtle monster was elected to the world's highest office speaks volumes about the self-image of Americans.
A little sampling that tells you just how insane Nixon was. Ladies and gentlemen, the former steward of the world's second-largest nuclear arsenal!
- "I still think we ought to take the North Vietnamese dikes out now. Will that drown people? … No, no, no, I'd rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that, Henry? … The nuclear bomb, does that bother you? I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christsakes. The only place where you and I disagree is with regard to the bombing. You're so goddamned concerned about civilians, and I don't give a drat. I don't care."
- "I call it the Madman Theory, Bob [Haldeman]. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I've reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We'll just slip the word to them that, "for God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can't restrain him when he's angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button" and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace."
- "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."
- "When the American people look at you they see what they want to be; when they look at me they see what they are."
- "Sock it to me?"
- "Fucking Jew-bastards everywhere!"
- "The Jewish cabal is out to get me."
- "You know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana are Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists."
- "Many Jews in the Communist conspiracy. Chambers and Hiss were the only non-Jews. Many thought that Hiss was. He could have been a half. Every other one was a Jew—and it raised hell for us. But in this case, I hope to God he's not a Jew."
- "The Jews are irreligious, atheistic, immoral bunch of bastards."
- "But, Bob, generally speaking, you can't trust the bastards. They turn on you. Am I wrong or right?
- "As long as I'm sitting in the chair, there's not going to be any Jew appointed to that court."
- "Anybody who is Jewish cannot handle [the Middle East]. Even though Henry’s, I know, as fair as he can possibly be, he can't help but be affected by it. You know, put yourself in his position. Good God! You know, his people were crucified over there. Jesus Christ! And five million of them, popped into bake ovens! What the hell does he feel about all this?"
- "They put the Jewish interest above America's interest and it's about goddamn time that the Jew in America realizes he's an American first and a Jew second."
- "Goddamn his Jewish soul!".
- "[Jews want] peace at any price except where support for Israel is concerned. The best Jews are actually the Israeli Jews."
- "There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white. Or a rape.
- "I have the greatest affection for them [Negroes] but I know they're not going to make it for 500 years. They aren't. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they're dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like."
- "Screw [the Department of] State! State's always on the side of the blacks. The hell with them!
- "Blacks can't run Jamaica. Nowhere, and they won't be able to for a hundred years, and maybe not for a thousand.
- "The Bohemian Grove, which I attend from time to time — it is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine."
- "I don't mind the homosexuality. I understand it. Nevertheless, goddamn, I don't think you glorify it on public television, homosexuality, even more than you glorify whores. We all know we have weaknesses. But, goddammit, what do you think that does to kids? You know what happened to the Greeks! Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo. We all know that. So was Socrates."
- "You know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags. Neither in a public way. You know what happened to the popes? They were layin' the nuns; that's been goin' on for years, centuries. But the Catholic Church went to hell three or four centuries ago. It was homosexual, and it had to be cleaned out. That's what's happened to Britain. It happened earlier to France. Let's look at the strong societies. The Russians. Goddamn, they root 'em out. They don't let 'em around at all […] Homosexuality, dope, immorality, are the enemies of strong societies."
- "Let me say something before we get off the gay thing. I don’t want my views misunderstood. I am the most tolerant person on that of anybody in this shop. They have a problem. They’re born that way. You know that. That’s all. I think they are. Anyway, my point is, though, when I say they’re born that way, the tendency is there. [But] my point is that Boy Scout leaders, YMCA leaders, and others bring them in that direction, and teachers. And if you look over the history of societies, you will find, of course, that some of the highly intelligent people … Oscar Wilde, Aristotle, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, were all homosexuals. Nero, of course, was, in a public way, in with a boy in Rome."
Quotes about him
- "The illegal we do at once; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." —Henry Kissinger, parodying the Army Corps of Engineers motto
- "Nixon is the weirdest man to have ever lived in the White House." —White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.
- "My God, if I had done everything Richard Nixon told me to do, I'd probably be in Leavenworth today!" —Gen. Alexander Haig
- "Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in." —Harry Truman
- "He's like a Spanish horse who runs faster than anyone for the first nine lengths and then turns around and runs backwards. You'll see; he'll do something wrong in the end. He always does." —Lyndon Johnson, 1969
- "He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears but by diligent hard work, he overcame them." —James Reston
- Reaganism - Which he pioneered.
- Donald Trump - Darker and edgier Nixon. Narcissistic, fervently authoritarian megalomaniac who ran on "law and order" against The Other; Nixon preferred the dog whistle to Trump's blow horn.
- Cloth coat Republican
Nixon's merry band of shysters
If you want to know why America became an international laughingstock in the past forty years, here's a pretty good place to start.
- Roger Ailes, who later managed Ronnie Raygun's campaign. He ran Fox News under Murdoch before resigning for alleged sexual harassment.
- Robert Bork, Solicitor General. Known for his role in the Saturday Night Massacre. The Bork nomination was like if Obama had nominated Rachel Maddow; no one really thought it'd go through. It was also a quid pro quo with Nixon for being his toady during Watergate, and Reagan was following through with what Nixon promised him.
- Pat Buchanan, uncloseted neo-Fascist. Liberal elites toppled Nixon! His fall was not a triumph of democracy!
- George H. W. Bush, to be President himself—Ambassador to the UN, Chairman of the RNC
- The headless body of Agnew, tax cheat
- Dick Cheney, spinmaster. Yep, Vader got his start here, too.
- Chuck Colson, White House Counsel, Watergate operative.
- John W. Dean, White House counsel who turned against Nixon during Watergate. Repentant over his role in Nixon's crimes, he's become an historian and principled critic of modern conservatism.
- Gerald Ford, his second VP and successor, who pardoned him over Watergate.
- Lucianne Goldberg, mother of Jonah "Liberal Fascism!" Goldberg. Lucianne also founded the anti-feminist "Pussycat League".
- Henry Kissinger, destroyer of Third World nations. Kissinger was only really involved in the war in Southeast Asia; and even then, he was coordinated closely with Nixon. The only reason Kissinger became such a household name is because he spent a lot of time partying with celebrities and putting himself in the public eye, and credited himself for ending the war.
- Alexander Haig, Kissinger's aide and protégé, Nixon's Chief of Staff during his last year in office; later Ronald Reagan's nutcase Secretary of State.
- E. Howard Hunt, failed spy novelist, once disguised himself in a nurse's gown and wig (but no clown makeup, that we know of.) Hunt was the real-life inspiration for the Cigarette Smoking Man in the X-Files.
- Koch Industries. There was a Harper's article a few years ago that traced how Nixon sabotaged public broadcasting, ending up with a Koch brother sitting on the corporate board of WGBH today.
- G. Gordon Liddy, a square-jawed murderous dickhead who would probably choke a toddler to death if you convinced him the toddler was a communist. He once roasted and ate a rat in order to overcome his fear of them. (Good thing he didn't have a fear of children.) He later became a shock jock who was "convinced" Obama is a secret Muslim.
Peter LorreJohn Ehrlichman Esq., unsuccessful ice cream pitchman.
- Paul "Agent to the Tsars" Manafort. He set up a lobbying firm whose goal was to prop up dictators all over the world: Mobutu, Marcos, Savimbi, Yanukovych, and the Pakistani ISI. His MO was to "promote democracy" through PR that demonized opponents Republican-style. They used the prototype to the Super PAC to funnel money for this propaganda drive. You've seen their work in America, too. Nixon was their test run for future Republican presidents and the world over. Fortunately, he's going to come down with a case of polonium poisoning fairly soon.
- John N. Mitchell, Attorney General, went to prison for his role in Watergate.
- Sun Myung Moon, prophet of the right wing, who first came to prominence in America as a die-hard Nixon defender during Watergate. It's no accident that the Christian Right flourished under Nixon.
- Rupert Murdoch, whose propaganda was given a wider audience under this man. Yes, even Murdoch owes his existence to Nixon.
- Lewis F. Powell Jr., some guy who wrote a memo saying Wall Street should first control the courts to control the laws, basically admitting businesses need to buy off lawmakers because it wasn't working otherwise. Nixon put him on the Supreme Court, and Powell was the deciding vote in two rulings, Buckley v. Valeo, and National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, the two rulings that said money equals speech. This was how Nixon codified Stone and Manafort's chicanery into law.
- Karl Rove. Okay, now it's just getting spooky.)
- Donald Rumsfeld, put in charge of
scrappingre-organizing the Big Society. Not even the Nixon White House could stand him.
- Ben Stein, shit-for-brains bootlicker who worked as a Nixon speechwriter. Likes to "mentor" young pregnant women.
- Roger Stone, who did some small-time dirty tricks for Nixon's reelection campaign as a dress rehearsal for a lifetime of poisoning American politics. In addition to being a grade-A grifter (notice the only campaign he ever ran was Arlen Specter's) who's been trying to rip off Internet Nazi numbskulls since before they came into being, is the only man in politics who can be called a "cuck" in the literal sense. He had to quit the Dole campaign in '96 when it came out that he and his wife had placed ads in a swingers magazines and websites, including nude pictures of himself and his wife, looking for "well-hung in-shape men" to share his wife with. Dude also has a tattoo of Nixon on his back, which is even creepier.
- Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, then Reagan's Secretary of Defense. He was indicted for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal.
- And the other three were hardly huge FDR or Johnson-style mandates for liberalism: Clinton won by pulling an Eisenhower in reverse and Carter got in, just barely, thanks to Watergate and the pardon.
- He Was a Crook, The Atlantic, 1 May 1994
- Matthews, Christopher, "JFK outfoxed Nixon", Washington Examiner (10/6/96 4pm).
- Mehren, Elizabeth, "'Insanity' in Nixon's White House", L.A. Times 2.18.03. Howard Dean: "I had not been trained as a criminal lawyer, to become counsel to the president. I realized later it was essential."
- TIME, 8.27.63. Hunt told Time that his break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's office was an attempt to find out whether Ellsberg "might be a controlled agent for the Sovs."
- Hersh, Seymour, "Kissinger and Nixon in the White House", The Atlantic (1982). Krogh: "We were going after an espionage ring, not just Daniel Ellsberg… We didn't know if there were spies all over this country at that point…"
- Douthat, [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/opinion/sunday/searching-for-richard-nixon.html "Searching for Richard Nixon", New York Times 11.22.15
- Asia After Viet Nam, Foreign Affairs, Richard M. Nixon, October 1967.
- Raymond L. Garthoff. Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan. Brookings Institution Press, January 1994, pp. 242-243. (Oddly, G. Gordon Liddy had once proposed blowing up the Brookings Institution.)
- Nixon lied. Nixon killed Americans and Vietnamese needlessly.
- Schwartz, William A., and Charles Derber, et al. The Nuclear Seduction: Why the Arms Race Doesn't Matter -- And What Does. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. Pg. 107. Quoted from H. R. Haldeman.
- Kissinger and Nixon in the White House, The Atlantic
- "…Jackson-Vanik amendment to the 1972 International Grain Agreement (IGA), or 'Russian Wheat Deal' negotiated by Richard Nixon and the Soviet Union which made for the first time by law a trade agreement contingent upon the fundamental human right of Soviet Jews to emigrate." 
- This is not a joke.
- Nixon and the Fifteen Democrats, everyone!
- The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon's 'treason', BBC
- "Nixon’s Vietnam Treachery", New York Times, December 2016.
- Wikipedia entry on Operation Giant Lance
- List of White House 'Enemies', Facts on File
- Richard Nixon: Rhetorical Strategist by Hal W. Bochin (1990) Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313261083.
- He's Making a List: Trump is more paranoid and dangerous than Nixon by Rick Perlstein (January 2, 2017) New Republic.
- Richard Nixon, The Real War, subchapter The "Hole Card", 1980.
- In Tapes, Nixon Rails About Jews and Blacks, The New York Times
- Nixon wandering the halls of the White House shitface drunk talking to the portraits of dead presidents the night before resignation. (Woodward and Bernstein, Final Days, p. 303)
- And so much more!
- Nixon, Haldeman, and Ronald Ziegler, 2:42-3:33 P.M. Oval Office Conversation #524-7; cassette #775 (17 June 1971)
- Transcript of secret meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mehli Esenbel, 3.10.75.
- Doyle, William, Inside the Oval Office: The White House Tapes From FDR to Clinton (2002)
- Attributed by Joe Sharkey, The New York Times 3.12.2000
- Dean, John W., "Son of Nixon", Daily Beast 1.7.09.
- Sullivan, Patricia, Obituary for Howard Hunt, WaPo 1.24.07.
- Ilya Marritz and Andrea Bernstein, "Paul Manafort's Puzzling New York Real Estate Purchases", WNYC (28 Mar 2017). A real hustler move, gotta respect it.
- Gorenfeld, John, Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right, and Built an American Kingdom, Polipoint Press, 2008. Exerpt.
- Stolberg, Sheryl Gray, "Rove Strategy Paper Found in Nixon Archive", NYT 7.14.07.
- Transcripts from White House tapes, 4.7.71. Nixon: I think maybe Rumsfeld is not too long for this world. He's ready to jump ship. Haldeman: No, I don't think he's ready to jump ship. And I doubt if he ever would, just because it serves his interests more not to. But I sure don't think he's ever going to be a solid member of this ship. Unless it's floating high.
|Presidents of the United States|
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*Ran for VP on the "National Union" ticket together with Lincoln but was otherwise a lifelong Democrat