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Remembering President Ford

I’m glad Dr. Larry Martinez was able to call in to the show Wednesday night and discuss the legacy of Gerald Ford, our former president who is being labeled in the media as “the accidental president.” As I mentioned in the discussion last night, the only vote I’ve ever regretted with my 1976 vote for Carter over Ford. I wish I could have taken that back and I wish now that Ford had been given a second term.

Like many of you, I was upset initially at the pardon of Nixon, but time gives one perspective and I believe that most Americans believe Ford did the right thing. He helped heal the country and move us forward, sacrificing his own popularity in the process. As I suggested on the radio, he was the right man, in the right place, at the right time and I suspect, like Truman, Ford will be remembered fondly and graciously by historians. He was an ordinary man who maintained his commitment to the people. He loved his party, he loved his country and he loved his family.

As someone who is deeply opposed to the war in Iraq and our current president, I also take great satisfaction in the published interview by Bob Woodward where Ford says Iraq was a mistake and he wonders why Dick Cheney changed so much over the years.

As someone who came of age during the 60s and 70s, I miss this more moderate wing of the Republican party and I miss the bi-partisan spirit that used to exist in Congress. The extremes on both sides have taken over.

Om a personal note, I heard from Steve Ford last night. He’s with the rest of the family and they are preparing for along week of public goodbyes and many appearances. The family is doing well. They seem at peace and Steve thanked all his friends on the Central Coast for their kind words and thoughts.

Coming up on Thursday’s show: Annie Lorenzen and Dawn Legg. Tune in, call in!

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  1. JerryDinAZ
    December 28, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    WAY TO GO BOB WOODWARD…YOU CLOWN! INTERVIEW AN OLD GEEZER AND THEN TWIST HIS WORDS TILL HE SAYS EM BACK JUST THE WAY YOU WANT THEM.

    THE LIBERAL DRIVE BY MEDIA…HOW LOW WILL THEY GO?

    AS FOR ME…I WOULD NEVER ADMIT TO VOTING FOR CARTER! LOL SECOND WORST PRESIDENT TO SLICK WILLY CLINTON!

    CARTER ONLY LUSTED IN HIS HEART…CLINTON LUSTED ON HER BLUE DRESS!

    CARTER TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS SINS…CLINTON LIED UNDER OATH!

    GREAT PARTY YA GOT THEY GUYS!

  2. Alicia in Goldtree
    December 29, 2006 at 2:56 am

    i think Gerald Ford would pardon all the poor people without id’s.

  3. mikey ray
    December 29, 2006 at 5:02 am

    uh, jerry –
    GREAT PARTY YA GOT THEY GUYS! (sic)

    all I can say is:

    Tom Delay
    Mark Foley
    Richard Nixon
    Spiro Agnew
    Caspar Weinberger
    Philip Giordano
    Theodore Olson
    Mark A. Grethen
    Wendy Gramm
    John Negroponte
    Richard Armitage
    John Poindexter

    I could go on and on, but you get the point. I love it how you shithead repubes go on and on about a jizz-stained dress – is that the best you can do? So what, the man was virile and got himself some. Y’all should try it sometime, might relieve a little stress! I’d take Clinton after a stroke any day over that pathetic piece of crap we have in office now.
    oh, and jerry, do us all a favor and mix in some spell- and grammar- check – my 3rd grader writes more cohesive sentences than you.

  4. mikey ray
    December 29, 2006 at 5:07 am

    oh, and there I go again getting yanked off topic by dinglepuss in AZ

    Gerald Ford was the right man in the right place at the right time. He helped bring our nation back together at a time when we needed someone to do just that. He was a man of character and self deprecating wit and he understood what needed to be done. He never sought the Presidency but did the best job he could when his country asked him. Thank You Gerald Ford, we will miss you.

  5. Dave Congalton
    December 29, 2006 at 5:12 am

    Jerry,

    Take a breath, bro’. You’re way off this time. Woodward didn’t twist anything in terms of Ford and Iraq. Moderate Republican after moderate Republican from Brent Scowcroft to James Baker to Gerald Ford have now all come forward damning this war.

    This isn’t about liberal media or drive by media. We’re honoring and mourning a President who understood the limits of power. Gerald Ford is a giant compared to the idiot we have in the Oval Office today, truly the worst U.S. president in modern history.

  6. JerryDinAZ
    December 29, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    DAVE,
    WE ARE BOTH OLD ENOUGH TO SEE THIS TO FRUITION! GEORGE W BUSH WILL BE, IN THE EYES OF HISTORY, THE BEST PRESIDENT THE NATION EVER SAW. BUT IT WILL TAKE TIME. JUST LIKE THE NIXON PARDON.
    ONE MORE 9-11 AND ALL OF YOU BUSH HATERS WILL BE ON YOUR KNEES BEGGING FOR SOMEONE TO PROTECT YOU!
    AS FOR FORD…IT’S IRRESPONSIBLE TO INTERVIEW AN OLD AND FEEBLE PERSON AND THEN PUBLISH IT 2 DAYS AFTER HIS DEATH TO SMEAR THE CURRENT PRESIDENT! 100% IRRESPONSIBLE AND JUST PLAIN WRONG! ONCE AGAIN…TIME WILL PROVE ME RIGHT!

    REST IN PEACE MR. FORD. I AM SORRY THEY USED YOU AT THE TIME OF OUR MOURNING. WILL YOU PARDON THE FOOLS?

  7. Rich from Paso
    December 29, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    Dave,

    I am struck by how much weight you put on Ford’s opinion of the Iraq invasion. Yet another worthless opinion on whether or not we should have gone in there. I, for one, don’t really care whether you or Carter or the dearly departed Ford are in favor of what has already been done; it still remains the right decision from my point of view. It’s just more armchair quarterbacking from people that don’t have the burden of making a tough decision. I have the utmost respect for President Ford and I agree with your assessment that Ford was wrongly denied a second term. However, are you willing to say that voting for Carter was a mistake and are you willing to say that Carter was the disaster of a President that he was? Secondly, why did you cast that vote in the first place for you to regret it now? I imagine that you fell prey to the liberal/media spin that the pardon was wrong and that Ford was a moron (how much hay was made of his slips and gaffs? Chevy Chase built a career on making fun of Ford). Liberals are always quick to speak well of former Republican presidents… after they are dead. Nixon opened China to the West; Reagan ended the Cold War; Ford healed the nation so it could move on. I have to agree with Jerry that when George W. Bush, no matter how unpopular he may remain after leaving office, shuns his mortal coil and goes to meet his maker, all of you liberals will give Bush in death the respect you refuse to show him in life. It is the same thing going on now with Ford and it is your side’s most glaring hypocracy.

  8. Bob from San Luis
    December 30, 2006 at 7:38 am

    Rich: I am struck how you will defend against any criticism of President Bush, no matter who it is. President Ford presided over the very tough job of withdrawing the remaining troops from Vietnam, was party to being responsible for our military being in harms way. I believe that that gives the words of President Ford some graviatas concerning how President Bush is doing his job. I would also like to respond to your assertion that liberals are always quick to speak well of dead past Republican presidents; I personally can find something good to say about almost every past President, be they Republican or Democrat with two exceptions, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. I can also cite examples of bad decisions made by both Republicans and Democrats. Getting back to President Ford, one thing I will give him for sure is that he tried to the best job he could. I have already stated here before that Carter was a disaster as president; he did also try to do a good job. Your other assertion that George W. Bush will be viewed favorably in the future after he has passed on by even liberals is a stretch that I cannot let pass. This “war” on Iraq was a bad decision that was made progressively worse as consecutively bad decisions were made and led to the current mess that Iraq is now. Nixon was saddled with the Watergate mess and his having to resign; Carter is remembered for his incompetence even though he did broker the peace agreement that has not been violated between Egypt and Israel; Reagan is credited with the fall of the Soviet Union; George H.W. Bush pushed Saddam out of Kuwait but still lost his next election based on how bad his economic record was; Clinton accomplished some great stuff, co-opted some Republican ideas to push his economic agenda but will also be remembered for his impeachment; George W. Bush will always be remembered for his invasion of Iraq, the bungling of the management of the invasion, lack of planning, preparation (… you go with the army you have, not the army you wish you had….) and the indisputable fact that we have been mired in Iraq for a longer time then it took for us to win World War Two.

  9. Dave Congalton
    December 30, 2006 at 8:01 am

    Rich,

    I think I’ve made it very clear that I regret voting for Carter. He was a terrible President, though not quite as bad as the current pretender. I wish Ford had been re-elected. I don’t know how to make that any clearer.

    But how can you possibly dismiss what Ford says as “another worthless opinion”????? Any opinion you don’t like becomes dismissed, even if it’s from a former President of the United States, one who fully understands Cheney and Rumsfeld and Kissinger.

    So to tag on to Bob’s post, here’s the key question, Rich: What makes George W. Bush so much more of a foreign policy expert than Gerald Ford?????

    And shall we take bets as to which President will be ranked higher by historians??????

  10. JerryDinAZ
    December 30, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    DAVE?
    HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT A LEFTY LIBERAL REPORTER PUBLISHING THE WORDS OF AN ELDERLY AND QUITE POSSIBLY SENILE OLD MAN DAYS BEFORE HE WAS EVEN LAID TO REST?
    THAT IS SICK, DISGUSTING AND IRREVERENT!
    FORD WAS OLD! HIS HEALTH FAILING! WHO KNOWS HOW MANY MEDS HE WAS ON…AND THE CHEEP PUNK WOODWARD TAKES ADVANTAGE OF HIM AND LEAVES A LEGACY THAT NO ONE CAN BE PROUD OF BUT ALL YOU BUSH HATERS!
    SHOW SOME CLASS…SOME DIGNITY…SOME RESPECT!

    I HOPE SOMEBODY DOESN’T INTERVIEW YOU IN YOUR 90’S AND IN ILL HEALTH AND GET YOU TO SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT BUSH…AND THEN USE IT TO DESTROY WHAT YOU STOOD FOR IN YOUR COHERENT DAYS!

  11. Jay from Oceano
    December 30, 2006 at 7:48 pm

    I have only one comment on this blog and it is that there was never a real spirit of bipartisanship during the Dems hegemony. It was more of the relationship of a master and favored servant, than of equals. I will say that at least the Repubs had a seat at the table, unlike the small parties of the people.

  12. Rich from Paso
    December 30, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    Bob and Dave: I hope that the record of your blog, Dave, lasts until Bush 43 does pass away so that I can compare your words today against the words that you will say in the future. I don’t defend Bush against all, but I do have the forsight that most of you all seem to be lacking to see that this battle for Iraq and the War on Terrorism will eventually garner the respect that you all absolutely refuse to give Bush today. “The current pretender”? You cheapen yourself with your cheapshots at Bush, Dave. The only thing that makes Bush 43 the better “foreign policy” expert than Ford is that Bush is the man in the chair now and it is Bush, not you, not Bob “death bed confessional” Woodward, or dearly departed President Ford that has the burden of leadership and decision making. That’s what makes the Ford opinion so worthless; we all second guess everything when it isn’t our neck on the line. So, second guess away, Dave. Be my guest.

    For all of you second guessers out there, who said the following: “This will be a long, hard struggle. There will be setbacks along the way. But just as no enemy could drive us from the fight to meet our challenges and protect our values in World War II and the Cold War, we will not be driven from the tough fight against terrorism today. Terrorism is the enemy of our generation, and we will prevail… But I want to make clear to the American people that while we cna defeat terrorist, it will be a long time before we defeat terrorism. America will remain a target because we are uniquely present in the world, because we act to advance peace and democracy, because we have taken a tough stand against terrorism, and becasue we are the most open society on earth. But to change any of that, to pull our troops back from the world’s trouble spots, to turn our backs on those taking risks for peace, to weaken our opposition to terrerism, to curtail the freedom that is our birthright would be to give terrorism the victory it must not and will not have.”

  13. Dave Congalton
    December 31, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Rich,

    I respect your passion, but we all know (but only some of us will admit) that history will not be kind to George W. Bush. He is incompetent beyond belief, with no domestic agenda and a foreign policy wrapped completely around the failure of Iraq.

    Take your pick, my friend. The people have turned against Bush, the neo-cons have tossed him aside, the Republlican moderates want nothing to do with him. Now the majority of U.S. troops in Iraq think he’s botching the job.

    So all he has left is the far right-wing and that will not be enough to cement a positive legacy. I lack Bob’s passion and Michele’s dead-on analysis, but the last three years has been one failure after another. 3000 American soldiers are now dead. Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians are now dead. The world hates us. Bin Laden remains on the loose and our own country is more polarized than ever before.

    And you think this is the stuff of greatness? Of course, we all know that Truman left office with only 29% approval and it takes decades to render a final verdict on a president, but the only way this Bush can go up is through the smashing success of our policy in Iraq. And it must be SMASHING, like the first Persian Gulf war.

    That’s never going to happen. At best, we’ll fight to a draw.

    So I throw it back to you, Rich. How does Bush turn things around to have such a smashing success in the Middle East? Don’t hold your breath — too many people are turning against him. Ford was only the latest.

  14. Rich from Paso
    January 1, 2007 at 3:49 am

    It took exactly 30 years for you and the rest of the liberal left to give Ford his due respects and I fully expect it to take that long before you begrudgingly admit that it was, in the final analysis, the right thing to invade Iraq and you will probably live to regret it if we pull out of Iraq before that country is fully on their feet.

    I have offered many opinions on how the Iraq situation can be “seen” to improve so all you liberals will finally get behind the military in this fight and stop shitting on the work of our soldiers.

    I contend that it is YOU, Dave, that has further polarized this nation with your incessant carping on Bush as a “disaster” “incompetent” and “pretender”. Yes, 3,000 of my fellow servicemen have died, but we lost that many in the first 10 minutes of D-Day invasion, invasion of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Gettysberg, Antitam, the Tet Offensive, the Pusan Perimeter. But those facts are lost on you because you are in total disagreement that this war is justified. Fine, whatever. But things would be less polarizing if you would just stop flapping your gums and help find a way to win the war, not for Bush, but for the Iraqi people so they can live in peace and security. Otherwise, YOU and people like you, Dave, not me or Bush or any other Iraq War supporter, are the ones that are throwing the Iraqi people under the Bush just so you can pound your chest at how right you are and how wrong Bush was to go into Iraq. I would say “shame on you” if I thought there was any chance that shame was something you could feel. I know from our talks that you will never feel any shame for the hatred you spew at Bush and the Iraq War on a daily basis, which is sad.

    Happy New Year.

  15. Rich from Paso
    January 2, 2007 at 3:26 am

    Here’s an intereseting set of facts: no America cast one vote for Ford to be either the president or the vice-president, and when he had his lone shot at the 76 election, he lost. However, more Americans voted for Bush in 2004 than have ever voted for a candidate in American history. Understand that I think Ford was a good and honorable man, but were it not for him being chosen to be Senate Majority Leader and then chosen to be the Veep when Agnew resigned, Ford might never have been in a position to be president. Conversely, Bush wins two election and he is considered an “illegitamate” president. So Ford ascends to the presidency by way of the 25th Amendment and in death he is lauded for saying he would not have invaded Iraq, but Bush is scorned even though over 100 million Americans actually voted for him. (by the way, in reality Bush won the 2000 election by 447 votes in Florida, according to the Clinton-Gore controlled FEC. Go ahead Bob, get mad. I can see your veins bulging out from here)

    So, let us remember fondly the selected president, Gerald R. Ford: the right man in the right place at the right time to succeed Nixon according to the 25th Amendment.

  16. Dave Congalton
    January 2, 2007 at 5:07 am

    Rich,

    You and I can argue about the 2000 election for the next year, for the next ten years, and we’ll never convince the other.

    2004 went for Bush for two reasons (1) Americans rally around an incumbent during times of war and (2) Bush succeeded in scaring the shit out of us. All those terror alerts and weapons of mass destruction, etc. Plus, Kerry was a terrible candidate.

    But here’s your problem, Rich. You keep focused on the early years of the war, 2003, 2004, etc. You refuse to acknowledge what is taking place today. As I said in an earlier post, everyone is turning against this president, from the neo-cons to the moderate Republicans. Gerald Ford can’t even embrace the guy.

    So the fact that Bush was elected twice means little at the moment, because look at what he’s done. His second term has been a frigging disaster — everything from Harriet Meiers to social security. This guy can’t get a break. Now the Democrats control Congress and things aren’t going to get any easier for him.

    Which means the best argument you can give me is that history will redeem Bush. Don’t bet on it.

    Meanwhile, this weekend we crossed the 3000 mark,
    Whatever happened to “Mission Accomplished”??????

  17. Rich from Paso
    January 2, 2007 at 6:47 am

    You bring up Social Security? Bush wanted guys like me to be able to put 2 pennies from every dollar I “contribute” to FICA to go into a private account and THAT was reason for AARP and every liberal Democrat to scare the shit out of every old person in the country to come out against it.

    Let’s compare Clinton’s second term with Bush’s: Clinton is seen as “getting things done” because Newt and the boys actually had an agenda. What do the Democrats have as an agenda: Ensure Iraq fails; raise taxes; oppose Bush. So, yeah, nothing by either party will get legislatively for the next two years. On the bright side, both party’s cndidates will be able to campaign on all of the shit they didn’t fix by claiming they will be able to fix it if they are president.

    You still refuse to accept that 30 YEARS from now Bush wil get credit for the good that has happened on his watch? Where did you get your crystal ball and how can I get one? Even Clinton will be seen for his successes and the Vince Foster/Ron Brown/Whitewater/Wiley/Brodderick/Flowers/Jones/Lewinsky scandals will be just a footnote.

  18. JerryDinAZ
    January 2, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    WE HAVE WON THE WAR IN IRAQ!

    WE HAVE LIBERATED MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND SAVED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS MORE! WE HAVE LIBERATED WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND HELPED INSTALL A FLEDGLING DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, VOTED IN BY A VAST MAJORITY OF IRAQIS! CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT BUSH! YOU STOOD YOUR GROUND AND WON THE WAR FOR THE SAFETY OF AMERICA AND THE LIBERATION OF MILLIONS OF IRAQI CITIZENS!

    NOW WE ENTER PHASE 2 OF THIS GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR! WE WILL NOW FIGHT THE ISLAMOFACISTS IN SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAN ON IRAQ SOIL! AND WE WILL WIN THIS WAR AS WELL.

    IF YOU CAN’T SEE WHAT THE TERRORISTS ARE DOING IN AMERICA, WITH THE HELP OF THE LIBERAL MEDIA, THEN YOU ARE PROOF THAT THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED IN DUPING THE LIBERAL SECULAR PROGRESSIVES. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE…WE THE FAITHFUL LOYAL PATRIOTS WILL SUPPORT OUR AWESOME AND COURAGEOUS MEN & WOMEN OF THE MILITARY AND OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF SO THAT WE CAN AND WILL FIGHT ON IN THE GLOBAL BATTLE OF TERRORISM.

    ONE OF TWO THINGS WILL HAPPEN.
    1) GUTLESS AMERICANS WILL ELECT A DEFEATOCRAT IN 2008, AND WE WILL WATCH OUT CLOCKS AS WE END OUR GLOBAL FIGHT ON TERROR, LET THEM REGROUP AND TRAIN AND THEN ATTACK US AGAIN! THEN WE WILL ELECT A FAITHFUL COURAGEOUS CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENT TO CLEAN THE MESS UP AGAIN…
    OR
    2) AMERICA WILL SEE THE LIGHT…SEE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN DUPED BY THE TERRORISTS AND THEIR FRIENDS IN THE LIBERAL MEDIA, AND THEY WILL TURN FROM THEIR SINS AND ELECT A MAN OF CHARACTER AND STRENGTH AND CONVICTION WHO WILL KEEP AMERICAN SOIL SAFE AND DEFEAT THESE RELIGIOUS NAZIS FOR GOOD AND FOR THE WORLD’S GOOD.
    AS RICH HOPES SO DO I THAT YOUR BLOG WILL LIVE ON LONG ENOUGH FOR YOU ALL TO EAT YOUR LIBERAL DRIBBLE AND PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE TO THOSE OF WHO NEVER LOST FAITH AND NEVER LOST HOPE, AND NEVER LOST OUR GUTS!

    GOD BLESS OUR PRESIDENT!
    GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY
    AND MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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