George Bush, and his sidekicks Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, are doubtlessly the political descendants and heir apparents of Richard Nixon. Bush is not a pretender...he's the real Nixonian deal taken to heights never fantasized by President Nixon.
From an article, "Nixon's Empire Strikes Back" by Sidney Blumenthal, senior advisor to President Bill Clinton. Read the entire article here at Common Dreams.
"...George Bush is building a leviathan beyond Nixon's imagining. The Bush presidency is the highest stage of Nixonism. The commander-in-chief has declared himself by executive order above international law, the CIA is being purged, the justice department deploying its resources to break down the wall of separation between church and state, the Environmental Protection Agency being ordered to suppress scientific studies and the Pentagon subsuming intelligence and diplomacy, leaving the US with blunt military force as its chief foreign policy.
The three main architects of Bush's imperial presidency gained their formative experience amid Nixon's downfall. Donald Rumsfeld, Nixon's counselor, and his deputy, Dick Cheney, one after the other, served as chief of staff to Nixon's successor, Gerald Ford, both opposing congressional efforts for more transparency in the executive.
With perfect Nixonian pitch, Cheney remarked in 1976: "Principle is OK up to a certain point, but principle doesn't do any good if you lose." During the Iran-Contra scandal Cheney, a republican leader in the House of Representatives, argued that the congressional report denouncing "secrecy, deception and disdain for the law" was an encroachment on executive authority.
The other architect, Karl Rove, Bush's senior political aide, began his career as an agent of Nixon's dirty trickster Donald Segretti - 'ratfuckers' as Segretti called his boys. At the height of the Watergate scandal, Rove operated through a phony front group to denounce the lynch-mob atmosphere created in this city by the Washington Post and other parts of the Nixon-hating media".
Under Bush, the Republican Congress has abdicated its responsibilities of executive oversight and investigation. When Republican senator John Warner, chairman of the armed services committee, held hearings on Bush's torture policy in the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib revelations, the White House set rabid House Republicans to attack him. There have been no more such hearings. Meanwhile, Bush insists that the Senate votes to confirm John Bolton as US ambassador to the UN while refusing to release essential information requested by the Senate foreign relations committee.
One of the chief lessons learned from Nixon's demise was the necessity of muzzling the press. The Bush White House has neutralized the press corps and even turned some reporters into its own assets. The disinformation WMD in the rush to war in Iraq, funneled into the news pages of the New York Times, is the most dramatic case in point. By manipulation and intimidation, encouraging atmosphere of self-censorship, the Bush White House has distanced the press from dissenting professionals inside the government....
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