Thursday, December 28, 2006


I'd like to say something about the death of Gerry Ford, but, really, what is there to say about the man? Shall I mention his cameo on the Simpsons, on the SNL hosting stint that ended with him destroying the White House Christmas Tree? That hardly seems fair.

What's also unfair is that our memory of the man has been shaped by men like Chevy Chase. That's the Ford I know.. The bumbler. The clown. But het isn't the real man.

Instead, let's remember the accidental president for something he actually did. Like pardoning Richard Nixon. For those younger readers of DovBear who may not remember, Nixon was a very bad man. After hand-selecting Ford to serve as vice-President, Nixon's resigned making Ford an unelected president. Ford repaid the favor by giving Nixon a full and unconditional pardon.

This, says I, was an outrage, and also an abuse of presidential power not seen again until our own time. Though to be perfectly fair to Mr. Ford, his own manipulations fall well short of the Machiavellian maneuvers of President Bush. Ford, after all, only let a crook off the hook. He never rewarded a professional foul-up with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, never proclaimed himself infallible, and also had the good sense to keep the US out of hopeless, impossible to win, foreign entanglement. So godspeed for that, Mr. Ford.

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