Having loved every minute watching the Watergate hearings, I wanted Nixon to get what was coming to him. But I could see reasons for not going through with it. I haven’t thought about all this in a long time, so I’m not sure what I think about this essay.

Why pardoning Nixon was wrong

In the days since Gerald Ford’s death, so much praise has been heaped on the late president’s blanket pardon to his predecessor, Richard Nixon, that you’d think Tricky Dick was Jean Valjean. These magnanimous pronouncements are a preening exercise in cost-free generosity three decades after the fact. They reflect little or no consideration of the merits of the pardon itself.

No new information has emerged during the past 32 years that makes Ford’s pardon to Nixon look any more justifiable; indeed, what facts have dribbled forth make it seem less so. […] Nor can the pardon plausibly be considered an example of the bipartisan spirit for which Ford is justly, if too extravagantly, praised by Washington insiders. The pardon may have had the long-term effect of tamping down partisan warfare between Democrats and Republicans over a possible criminal trial (obstruction of justice would have been the likeliest charge), but when a Republican short-circuits prosecution of a fellow Republican, you can’t call that bipartisanship. These logical obstacles help explain why people who defend the pardon today do so with vague language about how, in retrospect, it was better for the country to set rancor aside and move on.

Why was Ford wrong to pardon Nixon? Mainly because it set a bad precedent. Nixon had not yet been indicted, let alone convicted, of any crime. It’s never a good idea to pardon somebody without at least finding out first what you’re pardoning him for. How can you possibly weigh the quality of mercy against considerations of justice?

  1. Haywood Jablome says:

    Sorry about the noise Geez. This mongoloid started this with a personal attack and it has had no where to go but down. I guess this is what we can expect when his parents are related.

  2. TJGeezer says:

    LOL Okay, Haywood, since you were willing to race a dog over the fence to get to the prize, I guess that makes you the Clinton. Hope that’s okay. 😀

  3. Haywood Jablome says:

    Have you seen Hillary? Would you blame him?? 🙂

  4. Mr. Fusion says:

    Let me get this straight. It is off topic, but maybe someone else needs a pardon. Jablone did it with Hills mother. Hill’s parents are related. Then Jablone is blood related to Hill’s mother, and I assume IS Hill’s father. I assumed that because Jablone doesn’t share his last name with Hill, unless they married after the birth. Now because Jablone still lives in his parents (I’m not sure if that was Jablone’s parents or Hill’s parents) basement, where does Hill live? If they are Jablone’s parents, would they also be Hill’s Uncle and Grandmother? Does Hill live upstairs? Does Hill have his only little room in the attic so other people don’t ask questions? Does Jablone just spend his time in the basement or does he have his own apartment? Is there a bathroom or just an old tomato can? Are Hill’s siblings identical to their first, second, and third cousins?

    Please pardon me for questioning this but I am very confused. I apologize to both gentlemen if I have this wrong, but geeze, this is a heck of a way to start off the year.

  5. Uncle Dave says:

    Enough with the childish, personal attacks on each other! I’ll delete any more that are posted.

  6. Marshall Wilcox says:

    I was around back then and Ford let his friend get off easy as they all do. They should have went through with the trial and Nixon should have gotten prison like all the rest had.

    Again justice is never served when you are rich and contacts with politicians.

  7. Mr. Fusion says:

    #37, True and I agree. I do not necessarily think prison would have been proper for a President though. Maybe strict house arrest and a substantial fine. That though is a different subject.

    But I still relate Reagan’s Iran Contra and Bush jr’s wire taps to the pardon. If Nixon had been held accountable then these illegalities might never have happened. Or at least happened quite differently. Instead, the Republican Presidents have taken an attitude that they are above the law.

  8. Childish Personal Attacker says:


  9. Clara P. says:

    Ford should have at least required Nixon to confess before the pardon so that he couldn’t claim he was innocent for the rest of his life.


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