The crooked podium

That guy Dick. President Nixon insisted that he was not a crook. Positively, unequivocally, indisputably, NOT a crook. He made this declaration on November 17, 1973, down in Orlando, Florida. At Walt Disney World of all places. I have no idea why Richard Nixon was visiting Mickey, and Minnie, and Donald — during the midst of the Watergate scandal. Oh, that Watergate scandal. That thing eventually ended his presidency.

But there he stood. He told an entire group of newspaper editors that he was “not a crook.” He said it to all the American people. It was during a televised question-and-answer deal with a bunch of Associated Press editors. He was being questioned by the group about his role in Watergate. The whole burglary scandal. What he knew, what he didn’t know. And they questioned him about the fact that members of his re-election committee had funded the break-in.

I’m sure Tricky Dick stood there, shaking his head, holding up his hands, palms outward, staving off the accusations. And then, Nixon replied “people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.”

I wonder, if Micky, and Minnie, and Donald, were in the background, nodding and bobbing and grinning. Waving. Or perhaps, they were off waiting in the Wicked Queen’s Castle with baskets of poisoned Apples to pass out after.

He was worried. At one point during the Q&A, someone asked about his back up travels and Air Force One. Nixon responded, “if this one plane goes down,” he said, “they don’t have to impeach me.”

The Dickster was trying to be funny, but the truth of things was, the scandal was taking a toll on his physical and mental health. He was secretive and distrustful of those around him. Often times, he was irrational and combative. All this during a lengthy investigation.

During the entire investigation, and talk of impeachment, Nixon’s approval rating was around 32%. About 59% disapproved. The others were non-committal. I don’t remember much about all of this. I was too busy playing Pickle, and Steal the Bacon, out in the back alleys of Dayton, Ohio, until the street lights came on. But I do remember that my parent’s did not approve. Neither did my Grandpa Wehrman. He would clamp his teeth down on his cigar, and read the riot act to Mr. Nixon. And Micky. And Minnie. And, uhmmmm, Donald.

It was a dark, dark time in our country’s history, that corruption. That scandal. Those 32% of the American Public turning their heads away from the facts.

He lied.
He was full of crooked ways.
And then. Richard Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974.


“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain


“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
― George Washington


“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
― Adolf Hitler