Thursday, May 27, 2004

When we say "Worst President Ever".... 

we are not putzing around with Zachary Taylor (passed the Fugitive Slave Act), James Buchanan (turned down an offer of free elephants from the King of Siam, how boneheaded was that?) or even Rutherford B. Hayes (Dumbest Name Ever maybe, but Meant Well.)

No, we're talking about worse than THIS guy:

(via WaPoodle):

President Richard M. Nixon jokingly threatened to drop a nuclear bomb on Capitol Hill in March 1974 as Congress was moving to impeach him over the Watergate scandal, according to transcripts of telephone conversations among his closest aides that were released yesterday.

"I was told to get the football," White House Chief of Staff Alexander M. Haig Jr. told Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger less than five months before the president's forced resignation, during a conversation in which the two men exchanged stories about Nixon's increasingly erratic behavior.

"What do you mean?" asked Kissinger, who had called Haig to express concern that the president might unwittingly unleash a Middle East war with his new, get-tough policy against Israel.

"His black nuclear bag," replied Haig. "He is going to drop it on the Hill."

The March 20, 1974, exchange is among 20,000 pages of transcripts of telephone conversations that Kissinger deposited in the Library of Congress in 1976 with the stipulation that they remain secret until at least five years after his death. [Oopsie. There was a lawsuit. They got released early.]

...In the March 20 transcript, neither Kissinger nor Haig seems alarmed by threats to bomb Congress or "to go after the Israelis" after "he is through with the Europeans."

"He is just unwinding," Haig told Kissinger. "Don't take him too seriously."

...The transcripts include several episodes that appear at odds with Kissinger's version of events, such as his claim that Washington had nothing to do with the September 1973 military coup in Chile that toppled the democratically elected, leftist government of Salvador Allende.

...As the Watergate crisis deepened, Kissinger began to worry about Nixon's mental state. On October 11, 1973, according to the transcripts, he rejected a British request for a telephone conversation between the president and Prime Minister Edward Heath on the grounds that Nixon was in no condition to take the call.

"Can we tell them no?" Kissinger said to his deputy, Brent Scowcroft. "When I talked to the president, he was loaded."

You really gotta work at it to be worse than Tricky Dicky.

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