“Nixon was pardoned, and the gut punch to our body politic turned into a festering cynicism about our leaders, which has only grown in the years since. Nixon should have been held accountable. And so should Donald Trump. Another gut punch may prove fatal.”
—-Esteemed actress Glenn Close, who was raised in a cult, whose only jobs have involved performing before and after college (where she majored in theater), and who has no more expertise or authority on these issues than anyone else, including my favorite Harris Teeter check-out clerk, in a letter to the editor that was given op-ed opinion status by the New York Times….because, you see, she’s a great actress, so of course her opinion is special.
Boy, am I sick of writing versions of this post.
Hollywood “resistance” culture and cant notwithstanding, there are no parallels between President Richard Nixon and President Donald Trump, other than the fact that most journalists hated both of them. Even in that respect, there are material differences: the journalists who hated Nixon at least made a pass at objective reporting, though they were thrilled when he provided them with an opportunity to attack. As has been documented here so often that even I’m bored with it, the tactics of the resistance/Democratic Party/ mainstream media regarding Trump was to assume he had committed heinous acts, and to see their task as removing him from office (or making sure he never again runs for office) by searching for some justification. This was the strategy that led to the two weak and unconstitutional impeachments and that produced the list of Big Lies fed to the public throughout Trump’s term in office (and after). It is an unethical and sinister strategy, and the approach of various prosecutors—“Let’s search for something we can get this guy on!” is a breach of legal and prosecutorial ethics as well.
I will entertain the argument that President Ford’s decision to pardon Richard Nixon was a mistake, but I am unlikely to be convinced, based on what Ford knew at the time. Prosecuting a President for alleged crimes committed in office is a dangerous slope to polish, as we have seen in the last several years, legitimizing the criminalization of politics. Ford was right to prevent it. He did not know then, however, and would have had no reason to suspect that Nixon had worked behind the scenes to sabotage President Johnson’s efforts to reach a peace agreement with North Vietnam, treasonous conduct that did not come to light until after Nixon’s death. Nixon should have been prosecuted for that, slippery slope or not. But regarding what Close is referring to, Watergate, Ford’s pardon allowed the nation to move on while Nixon was punished by the shame of being the only President forced to resign.
The question Close’s statement naturally raises is “hold Trump accountable” for what?
Well, something—he’s a bad guy, “everybody” knows that, he only became President to enrich himself, and he had to cheat to beat Hillary. That’s where Close is coming from—you know, Hollywood—and it has been the beating black heart of Trump Derangement from the beginning.
The Times article Close was responding to was Garrett M. Graff’s “What Ford’s Pardon of Nixon Means (and Doesn’t Mean) for Trump” from last week. Graff has written a book on Watergate and so now calls himself a historian. He’s not. He’s an extreme Left Democrat operative journalist (Graff was the national press secretary for Howard Dean’s presidential run, which is the modern US equivalent of working for Mad Ludwig of Bavaria) and his op-ed reeks of it:
At least three teams of prosecutors — two state, one federal — are considering charges against him. In Georgia, the Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, is reviewing the grand jury report and said recently that a decision on whether to bring charges was “imminent.”
At the Justice Department, the special counsel Jack Smith is examining Mr. Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection and attempts to overturn the 2020 election, as well as his handling and retention of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. And in New York, Manhattan’s district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is reported to be presenting evidence to a grand jury about Mr. Trump’s role in paying hush money to the pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Wow! Trump must be guilty of something! Prosecutors, all Democrats, are considering charges! They really are going back to the Stormy Daniels tale, which has already fizzled once. And there it is, the Trump Derangement tell: “insurrection.” Anyone who uses that description of disorganized, gun-free riot of middle-aged goofs has surrendered any credibility as a fair and objective analyst, except to marinated true believers like Close. Does anyone seriously think there is any chance of Trump being found guilty of mishandling classified documents after Biden’s embarrassment? Why yes–blinded, biased partisans like Graff and Close.
In “The Good Fight,” the legal ethics dilemma-stuffed sequel to “The Good Wife,” in its second season (in 2018), the democratic National Committee secretly contacts the show’s central law firm to help it develop some justification for impeaching Trump. “The Good Fight” was an anti-Trump show, of course, but it was gutsy to suggest what I think was almost certainly going on in real life. The historically illiterate Trump-Deranged like Close see nothing wrong or dangerous about the “Get him!” strategy, they can’t comprehend that it makes democracy impossible. Donald trump is accountable…for being Donald Trump. For beating Hillary. For being a bad guy. He must have committed crimes, somewhere, so he must be held “accountable.”
That’s what passes for trenchant commentary in the New York Times without any persuasive evidence that Donald Trump committed crimes he must be held accountable for. But it must be there! Glenn Close is certain of it.
10 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Actress Glenn Close”
When did anyone begin even asking actors and actresses what they thought about anything? Was it the Vietnam War and Jane Fonda? Ridiculous.
And why is there a photo a Rachel Levine at the top of this post?
That there gotta chuckle, OB!
You’re not gonna ignore her, are you?
I never really “got” Glenn Close. Re-watched “The Big Chill” a few months ago on a plane flight. What a fatuous movie about a really unappealing group of people indulging themselves. Not a good look for the generation.
Usually the “Ethics Quote Of The Week” is something positive, uplifting, and admirable; this one is issued in fluent dumb@$$ from a dumb @$$ .
Prosecuting a President for alleged crimes committed in office is a dangerous slope to polish, as we have seen in the last several years, legitimizing the criminalization of politics.
Exactly. How is it that we understood this in 1974, but are determined to forget it 49 years later?
Would the Democrats have liked it if we continued investigating Clinton after his two terms? I have no doubt something still within the statute of limitations could’ve been dredged up.
It’s funny how the left-leaning people only remember the last decade or so of history, and have no use for the rest. One of these days, this purblind beast they are riding is going to turn and rend them.
The question Close’s statement naturally raises is “hold Trump accountable” for what?
Well, of course she’s talking about enabling Russian interference and “collusion” (the Left has never accepted one bit of the Mueller report’s conclusion that none existed), the fake impeachments by the Democrats, and the absurd charge that Trump orchestrated the January 6th riot.
But the more important question is, how does she purport to “hold him accountable,” and why just him? Why not Democratic presidents who have broken our laws. What about Democratic-leaning bureaucrats (Lois Learner, anyone?) who have broken our laws?
They don’t matter, I guess. Wrong party, wrong ideology for a vacation in Club Fed.
And there it is, the Trump Derangement tell: “insurrection.”
The Left had better hope that they never find out what a real insurrection looks like. If they think they don’t like that January 6th riot, well, they are in for a shock if they ever get to see the real thing up close.
Of course, they could get a close approximation by going back to the YouTube videos of the Kenosha riot, the Minneapolis riot, the New York City riot(s), the Rochester NY riot, the entirety of 2020 in Portland, Oregon, etc. etc.
A more one-sided, bigoted, and blinkered view of justice than that of the modern Left would be hard to imagine.
Off topic — Some good news does exist: University of North Carolina Board of Regents bans DEI statements in hiring and promotion
Remember when they said Trump colluded with the Russians, then impeached him for wanting an investigation into Hunter’s activities in the Ukraine and everybody said, “Well, Ukraine, Russia…potayto. potahto…” and a few brave people and not a few Ukrainians tried to point out, “Uh, no…not really.”?
I think Glenn believes that Trump really did collude with Russia and that the Ukrainians were still Russians in the way they were all Soviets at one time.
Dems/Lefties’ TDS is truly fascinating; it’s amazing to see how they convinced themselves that he pose(d) existential threat to “democracy” and have been acting accordingly for 6+ yrs while completely ignoring all that they have done in that same time frame, and before. Truly fascinating
I afford the commentary of actors and artists very little value since, as you point out, most of them do not have the knowledge base or intellectual tools needed to comment intelligently on politics or related issues.
However, GC’s comment comparing Trump to Nixon and in turn describing Nixon as America’s greatest enemy who should have been held accountable is not limited to ignorant celebrities. Since Nixon’s death the assertion that he should have been thrown into jail has surfaced from time to time, but lately has picked up again as the left advocates for the jailing of Trump as though he were the greatest enemy from within that this country has ever had.
However, the history of this nation discloses many more and worse traitors and abusers of power than a loudmouth outsider president in whose name 300 idiots rioted at the Capitol and achieved very little. Even if we look among the ranks of the 46 men to occupy the White House, I can think of at least a half dozen more than Nixon and Trump who legitimately could be and maybe should have been held accountable for criminal acts while in office or near to office.
Looking from the present backwards, the first candidate among the 46 is Bill Clinton, a provable adulterer and perjurer who was disbarred from the practice of law for a time. Arguably he should have been jailed for lying under oath and bringing shame on the office of President. How is the US supposed to trust a president who lies to save his own skin when he knows he’s been caught dead to rights?
I’m not sure whether Carter was guilty of anything but incompetence while in office, which is a firing offense, but not a criminal offense. However, his attempt at running a shadow foreign policy probably should have landed him in jail.
Nixon we’ve already talked about, and if it had come out that he was in fact working his own shadow foreign policy trying to undermine the sitting president, he likewise would probably have merited jail time.
Arguably Harding’s shady “kitchen cabinet” and multiple affairs would have been a firing offense also, but not really a criminal act.
Wilson could arguably have been called a dangerous president due to his missionary approach to foreign policy and his brooking of no opposition. However, his worst at was concealing his medical state from the public and not allowing his vice president, the unknown Thomas Marshall, to step in as he probably should have. Criminal, though? Not sure I see it.
I really can’t see the American government as ever truly having been in danger from the actions of any president, although Nixon came close and if Lincoln had botched it, we’d have been in trouble. I’m having a tough time thinking of many cabinet level officials or governors who were held criminally responsible for anything that might have actually endangered the government. Spiro Agnew was pushed out of office for taking kickbacks from construction companies and pled no contest to one count of tax evasion. Albert Fall did go to jail for his obvious corrupt behavior in the Teapot Dome scandal. About 11 governors have been dinged for criminal acts, the last one being Rod Blagojevich of Illinois for trying to cash in on Obama’s vacated Senate seat. Apart from Watergate and a handful of assistant secretaries and other officials, plus CIA Director David Petraeus (who leaked classified information) Federal executive officials don’t usually get hit criminally. Interestingly, most of the ones who did get hit (mostly for minor stuff) were in fact from the GOP. However, most of them were also targets in Democratic congressional probes, or DOJ investigations from Democratic administrations, making me wonder if the GOP is more corrupt, or the Democratic Party simply prioritizes assaults on the other side more and weaponizes the government apparatus more.
As for specifically targeting a politician for personal destruction, I’m having a hard time finding many high-profile figures targeted like that except Trump, Nixon, and Senator Joseph McCarthy. It’s a rare occurrence for political figures, the media, and other allies to all gang up on one specific person with the intent of not just running him out of politics, but putting him in jail. I don’t even think they wanted McCarthy in jail, they just wanted him depowered, which they got, although he remained a Senator until his excessive alcohol use and poor health caught up to him. Nixon might have belonged in jail for his behind the scenes dirty dealings to sabotage a peace agreement for LBJ, but that’s a dangerous path to go down, since then the argument could be made that Carter could be prosecuted for his attempts to sink Bush the Elder’s campaign against Iraq at the UN.
I really can’t compare the targeting of Trump to anything else except maybe the targeting of Al Capone. No one could link him to any of the killings he personally committed or ordered, so they got him on the one thing they could get him on: tax evasion. By the way, Al Capone wasn’t just one gangster among many in the 20s and 30s who happened to catch the eye of the Federal government. Just like many don’t know where Ulysses S. Grant came from in the Civil War (in most history books he just sort of pops up at the Battle of Shiloh), most don’t know how the Feds got involved in the fight against Capone. Walter Strong, publisher of the Chicago Daily News (later absorbed into the Chicago Sun-Times) and a personal friend of President Herbert Hoover, went with two other reform politicians to the White House 2 weeks after the inauguration and personally made the case that the only way to pull Chicago back from the brink was Federal intervention, since too many local authorities were either on the take or too eager to look the other way. As a result of that meeting, Hoover personally launched a multi-agency attack to bring Capone down. It was simply a larger version of RFK’s war on Jimmy Hoffa or Thomas Dewey’s assault on organized crime in New York (including Eunice Carter, one of the first female African- American DAs, whose story needs to be told).
The difference is that Al Capone was a flagrant criminal enforcing his will on a city by open violence and flouting the law and public welfare, and guys like Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, and later Jimmy Hoffa were fountains of violence, fraud and corruption, likewise menaces. Donald Trump is many things, including a womanizer, a user, a chaos manager, and a bully, but an organized crime boss, the antithesis of the public good, having others enforce his will with machine gun and grenade, he is not. His only two crimes were defeating Hillary Clinton and disagreeing with the Washington Democratic establishment. It’s saying something about where the left’s thinking is at now when they refuse Federal help to cities in flames, but gladly launch something like the war on Al Capone against their primary political adversary.