Nixon Didn’t Get it Either

One of the more bizarre aspects of watching Richard Nixon was that you could tell that he just didn’t quite get it. He didn’t understand what went wrong with his presidency in the second term. After all he won re-election by a landslide! How could there be war protesters and unfriendly media? What was wrong with those folks? And why was Watergate such a big deal?

Nixon retained that state of befuddlement well after he left office. He showed it when he spoke with David Frost on TV. Here he is in a key moment




Wow! Sure I let people down! But what about those great projects that only I could have achieved if I had not been tossed out of the White House like yesterday’s trash? That stuff is more important! I am more important!

Using hindsight, we see more clearly that Nixon believed in nothing more than Nixon himself. At the end of the day, nothing else was more important than his own self-image. And so it is now with Donald Trump. Trump is blind to anything other than his own self-approving gaze. Everything is viewed from that perspective And this will not change, even if and when Trump is driven from the White House. BTW,  as I have written before (see below), the disjoint between less than perfect reality and the need for supreme self-image could lead to a prince regent style break down.

Meanwhile, a melodrama is unfolding in Washington. Flynn is gone — but not for violating the law by undermining Obama’s sanctions, even as Obama was imposing them! He is gone because he supposedly lied to Pence. Hmmm … which of course, does not explain why he was not ejected 18 days ago when Trump found out that Flynn lied to Pence.

Let’s face it. Flynn is gone because keeping him on any longer would have meant a full scale congressional investigation of Flynn’s Russian contacts. That may happen anyway, but there is at least a chance now that the furor may die down. BTW, Nixon hoped that Watergate would die down too. And it might have if there had not been a steady dribble of news leaking out about how deep the corruption in the White House actually was.

Hmmm … helmets on? Into the morass! I wonder what is next?

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