Here’s a sampling of comments made by political pundits in recent days:
Factions should compete, but also recognize the legitimacy of other factions and, indeed, their necessity for a vigorous self-regulating democracy. Seeking to deliberately undermine, delegitimize, and destroy is not Madisonian. It is Nixonian.
It’s a cringe-inducing moment, both for those who oppose the White House on policy grounds and those who cheer its every move. As surely as Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton allowed their personal flaws to erode the office of the presidency, Obama seems bent on allowing his own flaws (thin-skinnedness, hubris) to do potentially grave damage to the office as well. And over what? Not some grand policy matter or some key personnel matter, but over the desire to exclude a news network that has criticized him. For those who suggested that Obama’s main selling point was his “superior temperament,” we anxiously await an admission of grave error. It seems they were terribly mistaken.
First the comparisons were to The Great Emancipator and his team of rivals. Then it was The Great Communicator. I think JFK references were liberally sprinkled about for a short time, too.
But less than a year into his first term, Obama’s become … the Second Coming of Richard Millhouse Nixon??? Normally I’d say The Won had hit rock bottom. Could there possibly be anyone more heinous in the eyes of the media?
Is Barack Obama channeling his “inner Nixon” these days?
Pres. Richard Nixon was notorious for trying to play favorites and exclude those people in the press whom he considered “enemies.” He even created a lengthy, paranoid “Enemies List” that included Joe Namath, John Lennon, and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The term “Nixonian” is no compliment by any stretch.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., took to the Senate floor to urge President Obama and his aides to dial back their attacks on White House critics. Alexander, who later was joined by Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., cited a litany of instances where he said Obama was inappropriately targeting groups — from the Chamber of Commerce to Fox News — just as President Nixon did four decades ago.
“I have an uneasy feeling only 10 months into this new administration that we’re beginning to see the symptoms of this same kind of animus developing in the Obama administration,” Alexander said.
Gregg also expressed concerns and suggested Obama was “Nixifying” the White House.
“The White House has basically said that they don’t believe in the marketplace of ideas, they’re not willing to engage in debate, and they are going to be associated with John Adams and the Sedition Act and Richard Nixon and his ‘enemies’ list – is that the company they want to be in?” says Mike Farrell, director of the First Amendment Center at the University of Kentucky.
Is President Obama doing the same thing with Fox News, as President Nixon did with the Washington Post? hmmmm look what happened to President Nixon.
(As reported by Newsbusters):
How do you know that the White House’s anti-Fox News campaign has gone seriously wrong? When CNN, let alone Anderson Cooper, begins to compare the Obama and Nixon administrations (video embedded below the fold, h/t Mediaite’s Colby Hall).
On last night’s “360,” Cooper stated that “this White House is starting to look like another White House and the comparison is not flattering.”
Former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove has compared President Barack Obama to former President Richard Nixon, saying the Obama administration’s feud with Fox News is proof the White House is creating a Nixonian “enemies list” that “demeans” the office of the president.
How do you think Obama likes being compared to Nixon…and not only by people on the right? Do you think he’s losing any sleep over it?