Friday, June 03, 2005

Buchanan Goes Apes*** on Mark Felt

Pat Buchanan lets the invective fly against Mark Felt in his syndicated column today, sneering:
And so the great mystery, "Who was Deep Throat?" reaches its anticlimax. He turns out to be a toady who oversaw black bag jobs for J. Edgar, violated his oath and, out of malice and spite, leaked the fruits of an honest FBI investigation to the nest of Nixon-haters over on 15th Street, then lied about it for 30 years.
As if Buchanan would have been happier had it been Al Haig or Len Garment.

The Nixon loyalists have hated "Deep Throat" for 30-plus years, mainly because they're justifiably angry at how Nixon's presidency ended and see Woodward's source as being partially responsible for it. But until now they lacked a flesh and blood person toward whom to direct the animosity. One gets the sense they would have grabbed a rock to hurl at whomever it turned out to be, even if it was Bob Haldeman himself.

Buchanan's evidently been nursing a long, long grudge, and takes the opportunity to air it out:
...[B]y [Nixon's] failure to act decisively and ruthlessly to clean his campaign and White House of loyalists who had blundered and, yes, committed crimes, he became ensnared in a cover-up that would destroy his presidency. He gave them a sword, and they ran it right through him. And when he went down, Southeast Asia and everything 58,000 Americans had bled and died for went down with him.

And that is upon the conscience of us all.
No, Pat, it's on the conscience of all of you in the administration who actively covered up crimes.

Felt is no hero. But this is over the top. The mythology of Nixon-as-aggrieved-good-guy simply won't cut it--we've all heard the tapes. We know who he was. This was not a good man.

He wasn't taken down by "Deep Throat," the Washington Post, or anyone else. Nixon is responsible for whatever happened in Vietnam after he peed his administration away. He was taken down by his own inherent smallness. He was a tortured man obsessed with his perceived enemies, and no detail was too small in the effort to destroy them. That's the unmistakable picture painted even by Nixon's friends.

It's unquestionable that the media is disgustingly basking in its own perceived past glory. And Felt is, at best, basically weasely. But to place every negative consequence that occured as a result of Nixon's resignation at the feet of Mark Felt is simply ridiculous. Nixon could have held his presidency at almost any point along the way by simply coming clean--something he was pathologically, constitutionally unable to do.

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