And when [Liddy] considered the 1972 Presidential election… he realized that for Nixon to fight according to the normal procedures of democratic politics would have been just such a surrender. It was like one of the agents in a novel by Howard Hunt said: “We become lawless in a struggle for the rule of law — semi-outlaws who risk their lives to put down the savagery of others.”
Brave words from a desk jockey wanna-be-007, determined to glamorize his petty criminality against honest political opponents. Nixon’s ‘Plumbers’ were every bit as silly as their Yippie / Weathermen “enemies”, but the hippie kids with the big mouths didn’t have anywhere near the weapons at the WH’s disposal.
And this is where I tried & failed to find a usable YouTube version of Tom Paxton’s “The Hostage”, which he wrote right after the Attica uprising:
“I’m a guard in the grey iron prison, or at least I was till now;
It was never a picnic social, never a day;
The cons didn’t come in laughing, and you know we never taught them how,
It was damned hard work and you wouldn’t believe the pay…
[…] Let ’em take the governor [Rockefeller], hold him for a couple of days,
See who comes in shooting to set him free —
Hell, they’d open every cell in the country, and send them on their way!
They’d never do to him what the governor did to me…
One more reminder that the compact had been broken. The Top Ten Percenters, having lost interest in running the country rather than ruling their personal fiefdoms, were about to helicopter away from the wreckage and leave their former servants and bodyguards behind. The ‘servant class’, aka ‘Silent Majority’, had nobody to retaliate against except each other and the miserable outcasts even lower on the social scale.
Meanwhile there were the broadcast networks to flay… OTP general counsel Antonin Scalia had drafted a series of memos on how the Corporation for Public Broadcasting might be made a more pliant vassal of the White House.
Another familar name in the War Against American Democracy emerges from the cesspit! If any right-wing criminal of the past 40 years didn’t play a part in Nixon’s White House, it was only because they hadn’t been born soon enough…
Finally, for the capper:
Nixon arranged for Hoover’s half-ton, lead-lined coffin to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda as if he’d been a president and said at his funeral: “The good J. Edgar Hoover has done will not die. The profound principles associated with his name will not fade away. Rather, I would predict that in the time ahead those principles of respect for law, order, and justice will come to govern our nation more completely than ever before. Because the trend of permissiveness in this country, a trend which Edgar Hoover fought against all his life, a trend which was dangerously eroding our national heritage as a law-abiding people, is now being reversed.”