Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Eaten by wolves...

It's hard to summon very strong feelings about the death, or for that matter the life, of Gerald Ford. But since Bush proclaimed this to be a federal holiday for him, I feel that something, at least, ought to be said.

Ford was lackluster in just about every respect, and his presidency could charitably be described as phoned in, but he was at least recognizable as a minimally sane human being. He did some bad things, like pardoning Nixon--surely the worst use of the power of pardon in American history. He also did some good things, like instituting vehicle fuel economy standards. Woefully low standards, of course, but at least he tried to do something. He also established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which was probably a good idea. (I just happened to read about this today in an old New Yorker that I glanced at in the bathroom, just as I was trying to think of something to say about Ford. Odd coincidence.)

Ford was something of a joke, but he was at least a funny joke, unlike our current national leadership. He wasn't an evil man. I hope that he will be remembered with the total lack of affect that is his due.

1 comment:

M.J. O'Brien said...

In the avalanche of publicity about Ford's career, I've seen little mention of his effort to initiate impeachment proceedings against liberal Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas back in 1970. Unfortunately for this effort, Douglas had committed no "high crimes or misdemeanors" to justify impeachment under the Constitution. That didn't matter to Jerry Ford, who famously stated on the floor of the House: "An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers (it) to be at a given moment in history." Kinda like Nixon's statement a few years later: "Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal." This view on the rule of law seems to have long since entered the mainstream of a certain political party.