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In Memoriam Gerald R. Ford

It is with great saness that I learned just a few moments ago of the passing of our nation’s 38th president, Gerald R. Ford. While this good man will, alas, merit little more than a footnote in American history, the only president never elected to nationwide office, he provided steady leadership at a time of national unease and, through his most controversial action, pardoning Richard Nixon, helped the nation move past Watergate.

This steady leader also inspired a young boy in Cincinnati who, after being disappointed with Ford’s predecessor, thought that the former Michigan Congressman helped restore honor to the presidency and helped make us all proud once again to be Americans. That boy took a bus downtown after school to volunteer for his campaign. At age 13, working for Jerry Ford, I got my start in American politics.

I met that good man when he came to Cincinnati in June 1976. I recall he was wearing a gray suit. He signed a paper in my notepad and was delighted that someone so young would volunteer for his campaign. I’ll always remember how his face lit up when he thanked me for my efforts on his behalf. It seemed he was almost laughing.

Yet, as president he was not always laughing. Called by some “an accidental president,” he only became Vice President when Nixon appointed him to the office after Spiro Agnew, the elected Vice President, had to resign for his role in a bribery scandal. Shortly after assuming the presidency himself, Ford found the media more interested in criminal proceedings against his predecessor than in his own plans to move America forward.

He reluctantly agreed to the pardon, telling then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “we’ve got to put this behind us, and go on with all the other things we have to do.” At the time, many people thought there had been a quid pro quo, that Nixon only tapped Ford to be Vice President so that when he resigned and Ford became President himself, he would pardon the corrupt former Chief Executive. But, there was no quid pro quo. While the decision hurt Ford politically — and probably cost him reelection in 1976 — most historians today agree that Ford made the right decision.

Such concern for the national interest would mark Ford’s short term in office. He stood up to the Democratic Congress, vetoing 66 bills, 12 of which were overturned. He was a level-headed leader at an awkward time in our history.

In the 1976 campaign, he recovered from a nearly 30-point deficit in the polls, to come within a whisker of defeating Jimmy Carter; he ran just 11,000 votes behind Carter in Ohio. After a tough Republican primary battle against Ronald Reagan, he surprised everyone with the energy and intensity of his fall campaign.

While he did not win that election, he conceded gracefully and retired a statesman. Barry Goldwater observed:

Ford was a good President, not a great President but a good President. He restored honor to the White House, and the country could not ask him to do more, or expect more. History should treat him kindly for that.

Historian Edmund Morris said, “Gerald Ford was our most underrated modern President.”

I will always recall my first political campaign — and my first loss. I had worked so hard to reelect the president that I was sure he would prevail. I went to bed on Election Night 1976 not knowing its outcome. When I woke to learn the sad news, I was so upset that I could not go to school.

Today, while sad at the passing of this good man, I am proud that I worked so hard to keep him office. Now that thirty years have passed since his loss, the American people have become better able to recognize Gerald Ford’s accomplishments, his leadership and his courage. He may have served only for a short time, but he did serve us well and gave his very best for the country we all love.

Thank you, Jerry Ford. When you took charge, there really was a feeling come over America that was wonderful to see. You did help make it better than it used to be. Thank you.

B. Daniel Blatt (



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    Pingback by Gun Toting Liberal â„¢ » Blog Archive » President Gerald Ford, RIP - 1913-2006 — December 27, 2006 @ 2:59 am - December 27, 2006

  2. Former President Gerald Ford Dies At 93…

    Former President Gerald Ford, an appointed Vice President and non-elected President who became President……

    Trackback by The Moderate Voice — December 27, 2006 @ 3:34 am - December 27, 2006

  3. I feel such sadness for him and for his family. The one consolation that they have is that from what I can remember, he was lucid and in good mental health for all his life, and in good physical health for most of his life. I’ve had loved ones who did not even know their own names for the last years of their lives.

    I remember how much SNL enjoyed making fun of him in 1975 and 1976. His son was a big fan of the show, and due to that, his chief of staff was a guest host. The writers went out of their way to have very nasty, juvenile material in that episode to embarrass his chief of staff. Then before Election Day 1976, they played the clip of his speech pardoning Nixon. They were very proud that this may have helped defeat him. I always thought that was tacky and shows Al Franken’s lack of character.

    President Ford, in his later years, was a member of the Republican Unity Coalition, and he believed that gays deserved the right to marry. He said everyone deserves the same rights. He didn’t go around bragging or anything, he just viewed this as common sense. I wish more would follow his route, but I know that’s not likely. I still thank him.

    Comment by Carl — December 27, 2006 @ 5:16 am - December 27, 2006

  4. Former President Gerald Ford dead at 93…

    Alex at SOTP reminds us this excellent Ford quote.

    “I ask that we stop refighting the battles and the recriminations of the past. I ask that we look now at what is right with America, at our possibilities and our potentialities for change and ….

    Trackback by The Florida Masochist — December 27, 2006 @ 7:58 am - December 27, 2006

  5. Gerald Ford, RIP…

    Gerald R. Ford, 38th president of the United States, passed away Tuesday at the age of 93.
    Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon’s scandal-shattered White House as the 38th and only unelected president in America’s histo…

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  6. […] While Joe’s post (linked above) has a great round-up, lots of folks are blogging this morning. Some posts that I particularly enjoyed came from Right Wing Nut House, Gun Toting Liberal, TBogg, and Outside the Beltway (with another good round-up) and Gay Patriot. […]

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  8. President Gerald R. Ford Dead at 93…

    We’ve lost our longest-lived President:
    Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon’s scandal-shattered White House as the 38th and only unelected president in America’s history, has died, his wife, Betty, said Tuesda…

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  10. Simply … one heck of a guy!

    Julie the Jarhead

    Comment by Julie the Jarhead — December 27, 2006 @ 11:59 am - December 27, 2006

  11. I had the privilege of performing for Pres. Ford back in the mid seventies in the East Wing of the White House.

    Later, we were honored with a party at the White House (I won’t go into details). I even danced with Betty Ford to the Harry James Orchestra’s music.

    I gotta say: They were wonderful people to us. Their aides said that they rarely stayed up past 10 pm for most parties…..but they were having such a great time they stayed til past midnight.

    It’s a night I’ll never forget!

    Sleep well, Mr. President.


    Comment by monty — December 27, 2006 @ 12:43 pm - December 27, 2006

  12. I was heartbroken when I heard the news of President Ford’s passing. His brand of politics would have no place in today’s GOP. Calming & reassuring when we needed that the most, he was the most non-threatening president in my lifetime. Why he, of all people was the target of 2 assassins (by women no less) was a mystery to me. Of course he supported gays; a gay man (Oliver Sipple) saved his life from the 2nd assassination attempt. May he rest in peace.

    Comment by Jimbo — December 27, 2006 @ 12:43 pm - December 27, 2006

  13. Oliver Sipple’s story is quite heartbreaking. I read about it on Wikipedia.

    Comment by Carl — December 27, 2006 @ 1:03 pm - December 27, 2006

  14. Sorry you felt the need to delete my post on my wonderful personal experience with the Fords.

    Rest in Peace, Mr. President.


    Comment by monty — December 27, 2006 @ 1:55 pm - December 27, 2006

  15. Well…
    Thanks for now putting it back, I guess.



    Comment by monty — December 27, 2006 @ 2:04 pm - December 27, 2006

  16. Former President Gerald Ford Remembered…

    Even though I was just a little kid when Gerald Ford was president, I liked him. To me, he was a good, kind man, and Chevy Chase’s “impression” of him, which was comprised of nothing more than Chevy stumbling, ticked……

    Trackback by Wizbang — December 27, 2006 @ 3:04 pm - December 27, 2006

  17. A decent man….G-d rest his soul…and thanks, Mr. President for having the courage to set aside politics and heal this great nation. You did what you had to do and history shall record that courageous deed and your great personal sacrifice forever.

    Comment by benj — December 27, 2006 @ 3:21 pm - December 27, 2006

  18. Amen to what benj said above. He was a decent man. Easy to understand why he and President Carter (another decent man) became such close friends for the past 20 years.

    Comment by Rheadher — December 27, 2006 @ 5:23 pm - December 27, 2006

  19. Gerald Ford was a decent man, and there was much to admire about him. But he was, at best, a mediocre, caretaker president. He did not have the vision to lead the United States out of economic decline, nor the vision to confront and defeat the Soviet Union. Those tasks would fall to a Great Man, Ronald Reagan. And in between would be Jimmy Carter, a man who lacked both decency and vision.

    The Ford years were a time when the top tax rate was a crushing 70% and enacted on what would now be considered middle-class levels of income. The USA was in retreat and Soviet Communism advancing. There were less than 40 Republicans in the Senate, and the GOP was a permanent minority in the House. For the Supreme Court, Ford inflicted upon us the uber-liberal John Paul Stevens. Little wonder so many liberals wish the GOP were led by such a breed of Republican today.

    We can remember Gerald Ford as a man of decency, and a man who put his principles above politics, and we can respect him on that basis. Looking at the careerist mediocrities being offered up for 2008: Rodham, Obama, McCain, Giuliani… definitely makes Ford look a little bit better in passing, since decency, principles, vision, and greatness are completely absent in any of them.

    Comment by V the K — December 27, 2006 @ 6:37 pm - December 27, 2006

  20. Don’t forget Whip Inflation Now!, “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe”, and Coal as America’s energy future. What Ford got right was the Nixon pardon, standing up to the commies in the Mayaguez incident, and abandoning Nixon’s wage and price controls; not a whole lot else.

    Comment by comment0r — December 27, 2006 @ 7:05 pm - December 27, 2006

  21. 18 & 19, very well put. Ford is what I consider a “transitional” president in the sense that he picked up the pieces of what used to be the Nixon Administration and tried to do his best with what he had to work with. His defeat to Jimmy Carter was to usher in probably the worst period of economic and foreign policies that I could remember…

    However, his conduct after leaving office was superb. He was a former president who never criticized the US while abroad, never made his successor look like an idiot (Carter did that all by himself) and never tried to remake history to give himself a “legacy.”

    Thank you, Mr. President.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — December 27, 2006 @ 8:19 pm - December 27, 2006

  22. However, his conduct after leaving office was superb. He was a former president who never criticized the US while abroad, … and never tried to remake history to give himself a “legacy.”

    Good point. Compared to the behavior of some other ex-presidents, Ford is a study in class.

    George H.W. Bush is similar: An exceedingly mediocre president, but a very classy ex-president.

    Comment by V the K — December 27, 2006 @ 8:31 pm - December 27, 2006

  23. Now if we can just bury Carter and Clinton

    Comment by ShermanStreet — December 27, 2006 @ 9:18 pm - December 27, 2006

  24. #22: Oh, let’s try and show a bit more class than the DU.

    Comment by V the K — December 27, 2006 @ 9:27 pm - December 27, 2006

  25. OK.

    Let’s all take VtheK’s lead and post links to unrelated negative self-serving posts on a partisan quest to sling mud at a time like this.

    Great class!!


    Comment by monty — December 27, 2006 @ 10:33 pm - December 27, 2006

  26. Dan, GPW, thank you very much for a simple but elegant tribute to President Ford. I, too, worked in his 1976 campaign although it was not my first campaign nor my first election disappointment.

    In 1980, former Congressman John Y. McCollister (R-Neb) and I (who were both Nixon delegates in 1968) tried to organize an effort to encourage President Ford to seek the Republican nomination. But he was not interested. I still have and still cherish a very kind note of appreciation he sent me.

    Some of those on TV have called Ford the last of the GOP presidents from the Dwight Eisenhower “wing” of the party. Possibly. But I prefer to look in another direction to categorize Ford. He was a fiscal conservative but moderate to liberal on social issues. In other words, he was the only “Goldwater Republican” to serve as president.

    Finally, Dan, I do disagree with your observation that President Ford will probably be a footnote in history. I thought that, too, until the Kennedy family gave Ford its annual “profiles in courage” award (for his political courage to pardon President Nixon). I’m now convinced that historians will treat Ford kindly, especially if he’s compared to his succesor’s term.

    Comment by Jack L. Allen — December 27, 2006 @ 11:45 pm - December 27, 2006

  27. Oh, please. Ford did his best and was a very classy ex-Pres, but was no Goldwater Republican. He made Nelson Rockefeller his VP. He was a medium-to-big-government guy who, in contrast to both Goldwater and Reagan, offered America “an echo not a choice.”

    Comment by comment0r — December 27, 2006 @ 11:52 pm - December 27, 2006

  28. ps. He was a patriot. So were Nixon and Rockefeller, also medium-to-big-government guys. Nixon was more of a sheer opportunist but the 3 were aligned in the late 60s and 70s. Rumsfeld and Cheney (social liberal bucking the MPA) are also that wing of the party, btw. They were top Ford guys in fact.

    Comment by comment0r — December 28, 2006 @ 12:03 am - December 28, 2006

  29. A man of class, a politician of distinction, a life well lived. Those are words to describe the 38th President of the United States. He was a true patriot and an admirable President in a difficult time.

    RIP Gerald R. Ford

    Comment by Chase — December 28, 2006 @ 1:40 am - December 28, 2006

  30. GPW and I have similar memories of President Ford.

    I was 13 in 1976 too, just beginning to take note of politics (I was from Michigan, so Ford’s ascension to the presidency catalyzed it), and also volunteered to work on Ford’s campaign.

    On the Monday afternoon before election day, my grandmother drove me out to Wonderland shopping center in Livonia to catch Ford’s last campaign appearance in the Detroit area before returning to his home in Grand Rapids to vote.

    It was cold, and President Ford was a bit late, but I staked out a place on the rope line leading from the speaker’s platform and waited patiently. When the President Ford did finally arrive, he was full of energy and very upbeat (the polls were moving in his direction at the last minute, of course), but the poor guy’s voice was so far gone that he could hardly deliver his stump speech, but the crowd was still very fired up. As he left after the speech and went down the rope-line, I held out my hand, and as he briefly shook it in the way that polticians do at campaign events (under the watchful eyes of the accompanying Secret Service bodyguards), I yelled out “Give ’em hell, Jerry!”

    And, of course, election night was a big disappointment. It is often forgotten in this day when a 125,000 vote margin in a state is viewed by some litigable that President Ford lost by an electoral whisker (change fewer than 6000 votes in Ohio, and fewer than 4000 in Hawaii, and he would have won) but there was never any suggestion of contesting the results.

    I still remember being fired up by his State of Union speech just before Inauguration Day, when he said it would be his last … “maybe”. But as we now know, it would not be Ford but the man he defeated in 1976 that would carry us to victory four years later. Someone else noted that Ford was the only politician who ever defeated Ronald Reagan in a campaign.

    He was a good man, and a great American who did his best for the country under very difficult circumstances.

    Comment by LagunaDave — December 28, 2006 @ 1:47 am - December 28, 2006

  31. Ford didn’t shake the world as President- but don’t forget that, as the only President never to have faced an election to his office and as the heir to all of the bad feelings and hostility of the immediate post-Watergate era, he had very little moral authority to shake the world with. He walked into a bad job, did the best a man could’ve done with it, and walked out with his head high. He may have not been a Lincoln or a Reagan- but he was Gerald Ford, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. God rest you , Mister President.

    Comment by David P. — December 28, 2006 @ 6:36 am - December 28, 2006

  32. I didn´t begin to appreciate this fine gentleman until years after his presidency. In fact I didn´t even vote for him. I and a fellow Republican at my then place of employment wrote in ourselves on the two top spots of the ballot and voted for the rest of our candidates below. Of course, we couldn´t vote for Carter, who saw everything like peanut butter; smooth or chunky We felt Ford had no business being the candidate. We felt that he had reneged on his promise before his confirmation not to seek election when his term expired.
    We felt that Ronald Reagan should´ve been the candidate. In hindsight I saw he did deserve the nomination and regretted not having supported him. It was as if destiny was preparing for the Reagan Revolution by allowing Carter, by his victory, to really screw up the country and the world. Here, in El Salvador, Carter is a dirty word among at least 65% of the population. President Ford became the statesman that Carter could never hope to be. May he rest peace.

    Comment by Roberto — December 28, 2006 @ 11:25 am - December 28, 2006

  33. It looks like Repubs are now calling Ford indecent and cowardly because he dared to have an opinion:
    From Bill Bennett:
    “You’re a former President Mr. Ford, show a little more decency to the incumbent who is in a very, very tough place and trying to do the right thing….”
    “Read the whole thing!”

    Comment by keogh — December 28, 2006 @ 11:57 am - December 28, 2006

  34. Found this this morning, and thought it was very nice:

    There is an account that once while Ford was eating dinner, his dog had an accident. A White House steward started to clean up the mess, but Ford got up and insisted on doing it himself. He said, “No man should have to clean up after another man’s dog.”

    It’s especially nice in light that Bill and Hillary were notorious for treating the White House staff like… well, like what Ford was cleaning up.

    Comment by V the K — December 28, 2006 @ 12:16 pm - December 28, 2006

  35. Your faux outrage is amusing, keogh, but falls completely flat when one notes you have said not word one about the statements that V the K cited above.

    Why? Because you don’t care about people trashing President Ford; you only care about bashing Republicans.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 28, 2006 @ 12:28 pm - December 28, 2006

  36. Speaking of Ford’s successor, now that it’s come to light that the State Department knew all along that Arafat personally ordered the execution of US diplomats in Khartoum in 1973. Fans of Jimmy Carter should probably want to throw up in their mouths a little. Jimmy openly embraced Arafat on many occasions, and served as his PR advisor while securing his role as worst ex-president in American history.

    Arafat was also an honored guest at the Clinton White House more than any other world leader. And, of course, Hillary could barely keep her hands off Arafat’s wife. All the while, Jimmy Carter and BJ Clinton both knew full well that Arafat’s hands were stained with American blood.

    Comment by V the K — December 28, 2006 @ 12:40 pm - December 28, 2006

  37. Ha! Comparing the anonymous and perhaps false rants on a message board, with Bill Bennett…classic!
    But hey you are right; I have no outrage that a leading conservative thinker calls the recently deceased President Ford an indecent coward. Its his right to hate and disparage Pres. Ford. Instead I find the zany hypocrisy of the conservative mind continually amusing.

    Comment by keogh — December 28, 2006 @ 12:49 pm - December 28, 2006

  38. NDT-
    By comparing the anonymous and perhaps false rants on a message board, with Bill Bennett…classic!
    But hey you are right; I have no outrage that a leading conservative thinker calls the recently deceased President Ford an indecent coward. Its his right to hate and disparage Pres. Ford. Instead I find the zany hypocrisy of the conservative mind continually amusing.

    Comment by keogh — December 28, 2006 @ 12:52 pm - December 28, 2006

  39. #31 – V da K, you are spot on as always. If you read some of the bios of the Clintons, you would see that Shrillary treated her servants the same way the Leona Helmsley treated her help. In a word, BADLY.

    In fact, according to Dick Morris (who should know, since he was Bill’s right-hand man), the White House staff was told to NEVER look the first lady in the eye, no matter what the circumstances.

    Personally, my theory is that if the staff tried to look her in the face, they’d be turned to stone. But I digress.

    It seems to me that champagne socialists (Kennedys, Clintons, Franks et al) who are all for “equality” seem to have the most servants surrounding them. Think it’s not true? Okay – name one book about a GOP family that was written by a member of their household staff.

    (Crickets chirping.)

    I rest my case.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — December 28, 2006 @ 1:31 pm - December 28, 2006


    President Gerald Ford, the only former Republican president to reach out to gay men and lesbians and to call for their inclusion in the GOP, died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Tuesday night. He was 93.

    I’m glad the article is pretty favorable to Ford, who deserves it. Still, it demonstrates some ignorance because Reagan was really progressive on gay issues, especially for the time, and gay liberals remain largely ignorant of that fact. This article simply reinforces that ignorance.

    Comment by Dalebert — December 28, 2006 @ 1:51 pm - December 28, 2006

  41. Obviously, its his right to hate and disparage Pres. Ford, but comparing the anonymous and perhaps false rants on a message board, with Bill Bennett…classic!

    However, you are right; I have no outrage that a leading conservative thinker calls the recently deceased President Ford an indecent coward. . Instead I find the zany hypocrisy of the conservative mind continually amusing.

    Comment by keogh — December 28, 2006 @ 1:58 pm - December 28, 2006

  42. sdfsd

    Comment by keogh — December 28, 2006 @ 1:59 pm - December 28, 2006

  43. Are you comparing the anonymous and perhaps false rants on a message board, with Bill Bennett’s blurb on the corner?…classic! Bennett has a right to hate and disparage Pres. Ford, but
    However, you are right; I have no outrage that a leading conservative thinker calls the recently deceased President Ford an indecent coward. Instead I find the zany hypocrisy of the conservative mind continually amusing.

    Comment by keogh — December 28, 2006 @ 2:00 pm - December 28, 2006

  44. Just a reminder, Jimmy Carter was handpicked by Gerald Ford to give the eulogy at his funeral. They were good friends.

    I don’t think you honor a man by tearing down his friends. Why can’t the comments here stay focused on President Ford?

    GPW, monty and LagunaDave’s recollections of Ford were fascinating, but all the partisan snipping here is inappropriate.

    Comment by Chase — December 28, 2006 @ 2:15 pm - December 28, 2006

  45. Be nice to Jimmy. He had to show favor to Arafat or else he might come across as sympathetic to the Jews.

    Comment by Dalebert — December 28, 2006 @ 3:19 pm - December 28, 2006

  46. Testing… 1… 2… 3. OK, my posts aren’t showing up for some reason. Just thought I’d try once more and see if I’m getting any useful message when I try to post that I may have missed before.

    Comment by Dalebert — December 28, 2006 @ 3:28 pm - December 28, 2006

  47. However, you are right; I have no outrage that a leading conservative thinker calls the recently deceased President Ford an indecent coward.

    Then it seems foolish and strange for you to have made this post.

    Moreover, I notice that you never actually said that what the DU’ers were saying was wrong; you just tried to cast doubt on whether or not it was actually Democrats saying it (which, given the fact that DU tracks posts and that several of the commentors saying these things have literally hundreds of posts to their name, seems a bit silly).

    And now to Chase:

    GPW, monty and LagunaDave’s recollections of Ford were fascinating, but all the partisan snipping here is inappropriate.

    If it’s “partisan sniping” and dishonoring the memory of the deceased that bothers you, Chase, your crusade to eliminate it would be much better spent persuading those of your own ideology.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 28, 2006 @ 5:33 pm - December 28, 2006

  48. #43: Oh, I disagree. There is never a bad time to bash History’s Greatest Monster. And unlike the lefties, we can bash Carter simply by honestly restating his presidential and post-presidential record, without resorting to obscene rants, name-calling, or demented conspiracy theories.

    However, I am willing to make this agreement. On the day the mainstream media ceases to act as Jimmy Carter’s uncritical PR firm and cheerleading squad, and the day the mainstream media ceases to behave toward the Clintons like schoolgirls with crushes, on that day I will forswear never to say another unkind word about the Clintons or the Carters.

    Comment by V the K — December 28, 2006 @ 5:45 pm - December 28, 2006

  49. I also understand Harry Reid is blowing off the funeral so he can take a vacation to Machu Picchu. Another Democrat class act.

    Comment by V the K — December 28, 2006 @ 5:53 pm - December 28, 2006

  50. given the fact that DU tracks posts and that several of the commentors saying these things have literally hundreds of posts to their name, seems a bit silly


    Comment by V the K — December 28, 2006 @ 5:54 pm - December 28, 2006

  51. Glad to see the 2 usual suspects here are using this as a forum to attack every democrat they can think of.

    Ford truly was a genial, intelligent man, but he didn’t have a shot at getting elected on his, with or without pardoning Nixon (the single biggest mistake of his presidency; if we’re a nation of laws, then Nixon should have been judged by those laws instead of getting a free pass)

    23: Are you advocating the killing of 2 former US presidents because they don’t agree with your ideals? that’s certainly classy and patriotic.

    Comment by Kevin — December 28, 2006 @ 7:11 pm - December 28, 2006

  52. #46 – I’m not on a crusade. I just thought I’d mention it. And yes, there are people who have no manners on either side of the political spectrum. Granted, it’s not like the internet has ever been a place of great decorum.

    Comment by Chase — December 29, 2006 @ 12:54 am - December 29, 2006

  53. As usual, the board lefties would rather attack the messenger than rebuke the cretins and boors on their own side. Which suggests to me they don’t find what their cohorts were saying all that objectionable.

    Most of us who disagree with Mr. Ford politically have formulated our statements as some variation on “While we respect President Ford for the way he conducted himself both in and out of office, we don’t want to whitewash the fact that his presidency was mediocre and failed to address the serious problems of his times.”

    On the left, however, the concept of respecting those with whom you disagree is quite alien. The left learned some time ago it could not defeat the right intellectually, and the failures of leftism to produce economic prosperity or protect human rights in the real world are plain for all to see. All that’s left for the left is to vilify the right, a vilification which has of late reached absurd depths of dementia, with some on the left claiming that Republicans are out to exterminate them.

    In such an atmosphere, it is quite impossible for a dim leftist drone to imagine that it is possible to disagree with someone and not hate them, much less respect them. Hence, the confusion of many of the drones on this board.

    Comment by V the K — December 29, 2006 @ 11:13 am - December 29, 2006

  54. …if we’re a nation of laws, then Nixon should have been judged by those laws instead of getting a free pass)

    And yet, when a Democrat President committed an actual, legal crime (courtroom perjury), giving Democrats a chance to show their commitment to judging people under law, they were nowhere to be found.

    In fact, they (or I should say ‘we’, since I was one at the time) were outraged that anyone would expect it.

    Leaving aside the fact that Nixon never got a free pass; he was compelled to RESIGN as Clinton equally should have done (but, with typical Leftie “entitlement” to do as he pleased, did not).

    Comment by Calarato — December 29, 2006 @ 12:45 pm - December 29, 2006

  55. Another irony for the lefties:

    If Clinton had honored Nixon’s precedent and resigned, not only would Democrat sneering about Nixon make more sense today, but also Gore would have run in 2000 as a sitting President. That could have put Gore in campaign driver’s seat and given him the edge he lacked.

    Just goes to show: Doing the right thing can have a lot of good consequences for your side, if you dare to do it. And not doing the right thing, a lot of bad consequences.

    But now I’m way off-topic. Apologies.

    Comment by Calarato — December 29, 2006 @ 2:02 pm - December 29, 2006

  56. Back to topic – I found this worth reading:

    For once, PlanetOut manages to keep their “gay left” viewpoint to a minimum and just give some facts about Ford and gays. I found the bits about Sipple (man who saved Ford’s life) interesting.

    Comment by Calarato — December 29, 2006 @ 4:09 pm - December 29, 2006

  57. 54: And, in typical fashion, you deflect from the topic by not answering the question. Last I checked, Clinton was impeached by congress for lying about an extramarital affair and absolutely nothing happened to Nixon after he resigned, even though he attempted to bring down the government.

    Comment by Kevin — December 29, 2006 @ 5:47 pm - December 29, 2006

  58. And did you and your fellow Democrats support the Clinton impeachment, Kevster?

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2006 @ 9:57 am - December 30, 2006

  59. Ford was truly a good man who did the difficult and correct thing at a time that he knew it would cost him. It is sad that someone of such integrity and foresight receives such marginal treatment. This man’s ethics and morals stand in stark contrast to the current leaders. Bush & Rummy are still all butt hurt about a few comments by Ford and now can’t bring themselves to act better than four year olds, and will not be attending the funeral. Surely the funeral of a president of our great nation can be seen as good reason to interrupt a vacation. Shame, Shame. Care to hazard a guess who will look better through the focus of time. Bush has continually acted badly for very poor personal reasons when anyone disagrees with him. Truly one of his worst personality flaws laid bear to the public yet again.

    Comment by captian slappy — December 31, 2006 @ 2:39 am - December 31, 2006

  60. Bush is not attending the State funeral for Ford? Seems doubtful. Kindly confirm.

    Also, kindly look into “Rummy’s” earlier career and recall that he, Cheney and Bush 41 were all FORD guys.

    Life is never as simple as you’d like to believe, is it?

    Comment by Calarato — December 31, 2006 @ 7:03 pm - December 31, 2006

  61. This says Bush gives the eulogy at Ford’s cathedral service Monday:
    State funeral yesterday, Cheney paid Ford this tribute:

    Comment by comment0r — January 1, 2007 @ 12:20 am - January 1, 2007

  62. We have truly lost a great man in the death of President Ford. A truly humble man, who never aspired to be President, but was cast into the position through the whole Watergate disaster.
    It was nice to see so many dignitaries in presence at his funeral, giving such comforting words, and then, for a great president, we had the WORST president in history, George W Bush giving a eulogy. I was amazed he didn’t mispronounce anything. Guess there must be intelligence out there somewhere, he showed it today. Just guess he phoned home. President Ford he’s not. He could learn a lot from the speeches, the life, the legacy of President Ford. A man who truly led America from its darkest moments in the shadows of Nixon and Watergate, back into feeling good about ourselves.
    President Ford was a man who truly understood America, and knew what we needed at the moment. I know, I lived through it, having President Ford making my 16tth birthday one I would never forget, for on that day, at noon, in the Rose Garden of the White House, he took the oath of office, and I will never forget his first speech, telling us our long national nightmare was over.
    He led the way out of the valley of the shadow of darkness, by example. He was one of us. He was not presidential material, just an American doing his job. He was as common as you and me, and that is what his legacy is, and what makes him one of our truly great presidents.
    But, tonight, it is comforting to know, that his suffering is over, and he is safely in the arms of His Lord. May we always remember Gerald R Ford for the average Americans President, not one to put on appearances. He showed us that the average American can still rise to the White House, The American dream is not dead, and the humble can still rise to greatness. President Ford, May you truly be remebered as the great president you were, we will miss you.

    Comment by dags — January 3, 2007 @ 12:29 am - January 3, 2007

  63. Very underrated President. Too bad today’s conservatives aren’t more like him. The neo-cons have forgotten what true conservatism is. Ford is a role model. Shrub is simply the worst President ever. Time to take back the party.

    Comment by Paul — January 3, 2007 @ 9:44 pm - January 3, 2007

  64. A decent, kind man. If the current administration had 10% of his decency and 5% of his brain we wouldn’t be in the mess we are. Oh for the good old days….r.i.p. Jerry.

    Comment by stb_egr — January 6, 2007 @ 6:34 pm - January 6, 2007

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