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Richard Nixon Hub



04/19/2007


New Audio From Nixon Administration Reveals Extent Of Tricky Dick's Homophobia: VIDEO

Nixon

Richard Nixon's presidency was not a high point of twentieth-century politics. Nor did his congressional participation in the House Un-American Activities Committee indicate an emphasis on human understanding or interaction. But new audio unveiling a conversation between Nixon, Domestic Affairs Advisor John Ehrlichman, and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman reveals a quite vocally homophobic Dick and two men unwilling to disagree. A previous recording indicated a certain "understanding" of homosexuality, on the most basic terms; this one complicates the matter and paints Nixon in a different light.  

John Aravosis at Americablog writes:

This is brilliant. They’ve found new audio of then-President Richard Nixon complaining about a TV show he stumbled upon that was glorifying homosexuality: “All in the Family.”

It’s hard to imagine Nixon wasn’t familiar with All in the Family.  The show was centered around the father of the family, Archie, who was a lovable bigot, and the show basically lampooned Archie’s biases in order to show how absurd they really were.

The conversation (transcript by Aravosis) went something like this:

Nixon: CBS came on with a movie. They had two magnificent handsome guys, and a stupid old fellow in it. They were glorifying homosexuality!

Ehrlichman: Was that a panel, sir?

Nixon: Hell no, it was a movie!

Haldeman: No, that’s a regular show, it’s on every week. And usually it’s just set in the guy’s home. It’s usually just that guy, who’s a hardhat.

...

Nixon: Archie is the guy’s name.

Ehrlichman: Now that’s real family entertainment, isn’t it?

Nixon: The point that I make is that goddamit, I do not think that you glorify, on public television, homosexuality!  You ever see what happened, you know what happened to the Greeks? Homosexuality destroyed them. Aristotle was a homo, we all know that. So was Socrates.

Ehrlichman: But he never had the influence that television has.

Nixon: The last six Roman emperors were fags. You see, homosexuality, immorality in general, these are the enemies of strong societies. That’s why the communists and the left-wingers are pushing it. They’re trying to destroy us.

Nixon's lack of historical integrity, the period phrases (like "hard hat"), and an inability to tell the difference between a television movie and a regular series are mildly humorous in retrospect. More important, however, is that Nixon's emphatic anti-gay stance is eerily disturbing, and his words show that President and bigot were not mutually exclusive.

Watch a video with subtitles, AFTER THE JUMP... 

Continue reading "New Audio From Nixon Administration Reveals Extent Of Tricky Dick's Homophobia: VIDEO" »


George McGovern, Senator And Liberal Stalwart, Dead At 90

Mcgovern

In 1972, Senator George McGovern waged a largely grassroots campaign to unseat Republican President Richard Nixon. After winning his party's nomination, McGovern and his anti-war progressivism gave the Democrats a reason to hope. The Vietnam War still raged; tricky Dick was ruffling feathers and the good old days seemed like a thing of the past. But those hopes were dashed when Nixon routed McGovern's campaign.

For the next decades, even while he was still a sitting senator, McGovern's name became synonymous with quixotic, ultimately doomed campaigns campaigns. His political vision, however, lived on, and the problems he hoped to solve still remain relevant today.

Bloomberg elaborates:

The standard analysis was that it was a liability to be described as “another McGovern,” which meant “unelectable.” In August, the Republican magazine the Weekly Standard licked its chops in a story titled “Barack Hussein McGovern: The specter of 1972 is haunting the Obama campaign.”

Among the horrors of that convention 40 years ago? Support for Title IX, which banned discrimination against women in federal education funding, and the Equal Rights Amendment. Other delegates spoke out in favor of gay rights, legal contraception for unmarried couples (still a touchy issue in 1972), and abortion rights.

With regard to his commitment to equality and fairness, McGovern earlier this year came out for marriage equality, saying, quite bawdily, "I'm a 'conservative' when it comes to marriage. I think if two people love each other, are living together and having sex, they ought to get married."

Sadly, that fiery spirit is no more: McGovern's family confirmed this morning that the former senator died at the age of 90. Even in his later years, McGovern remained a champion of left-leaning causes. From the New York Times:

To the liberal Democratic faithful, Mr. McGovern remained a standard-bearer well into his old age, writing and lecturing even as his name was routinely invoked by conservatives as synonymous with what they considered the failures of liberal politics.

He never retreated from those ideals, however, insisting on a strong, “progressive” federal government to protect the vulnerable and expand economic opportunity while asserting that history would prove him correct in his opposing not only what he called “the tragically mistaken American war in Vietnam” but also the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

He believed George W. Bush should have been impeached for those invasions.

In addition to his liberal politics, McGovern will also always be known for his work with the McGovern-Fraser Commission: The Democratic Party group that hoped to prevent the turmoil they saw during their 1968 nominating convention by creating rules that still govern both parties' selecting process and let the primary replace the caucus as the dominant selection method. That contribution deserves more attention, I think, than the derisive "another McGovern" smear. It changed American politics forever.

For those of you interested in campaigns and campaign commercials, check out McGovern's infamous ad hitting President Nixon on his dishonesty, corruption, secrecy, bugging and, yes, even wheat deals AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "George McGovern, Senator And Liberal Stalwart, Dead At 90" »


Anti-Gay Evangelist and Watergate Figure Chuck Colson in Critical Condition After Brain Hemorrhage

Anti-gay activist Chuck Colson, who served as special counsel to President Richard Nixon and served in prison for the Watergate scandal, later focusing his efforts on Evangelical Christianity and forming the Prison Fellowship, which bills itself as “the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families", is in critical condition, CNN reports:

Colson“Colson is listed in critical condition at this point but has shown some early signs of potential for recovery,” said a statement Tuesday from the DeMoss Group. A spokeswoman for the PR firm said Wednesday morning that she had no update on Colson's condition.

Colson, 80, fell ill while speaking Friday at a conference outside Washington and “underwent surgery on Saturday morning to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain,” the statement said.

An example of Colson's anti-gay evangelism, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Evangelist and Watergate Figure Chuck Colson in Critical Condition After Brain Hemorrhage" »


New Book Alleges Richard Nixon Had Longterm Gay Relationship

UK tabloid Daily Mail is reporting on a new biography of Richard Nixon by journalist Don Fulsom which suggests former President Richard Nixon had a drinking problem, beat his wife, and had deep ties to the Mafia and a long-term affair with Cuban-American businessman Bebe Rebozo:

NixonYet the most extraordinary claim is that the homophobic Nixon may have been gay himself. If true, it would provide a fascinating insight into the motivation and behaviour of a notoriously secretive politician.

Fulsom argues that Nixon may have had an affair with his best friend and confidant, a Mafia‑connected Florida wheeler-dealer named Charles 'Bebe' Rebozo who was even more crooked than Nixon.

The book, Nixon's Darkest Secrets, is out next month — by coincidence at the same time as the UK release of a new film directed by Clint Eastwood about another supposed closet gay among Washington's 20th-century hard men.

Did Nixon have a gay affair with a Mafia fixer? [daily mail]


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New batch of Nixon tapes reveal more homophobia: "Discussing Nixon's political opposition, Colson says it included 'the blacks and the poor.' Nixon adds: 'And the intellectuals.' Colson goes on to say that it also included 'the lavender shirt mob . . . the homos and the queers.'" Previously: Nixon understood homosexuality but didn't want it on TV.


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