The Ford Fiasco

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I extend my condolences to you, dear reader, on the death of Gerald Ford.

Like me, you’re probably trying to pull yourself together after this monumental loss. How do we go on, knowing that one less leech has his hand in our pocket? April 15 will never be the same now that Jerry’s pension and Secret Service detail aren’t taking their cut from our paychecks. Comfort yourself, as I do, with the thought that Betty and the kids remain on the public dole, that we’re paying for the funeral extravaganza, too, and that Jerry’s library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids will continue sucking up our taxes unless the good Lord sends a tornado after them. In which case we’ll pay to rebuild.

My grief was somewhat assuaged when Our Rulers kindly supplied us with a National Day of Mourning earlier this week. That gave me a chance to reflect on the following points. I pass them along in the hope that they’ll dry your tears as effectively as they did mine.

1) Why was Aaron Copland’s "Fanfare for the Common Man" played at the funeral? Actually, we know why, so I’ll rephrase the question: when will politicians quit insulting us by implying that we and they are the same, despite their incompetence, thievery, murder, lies, and corruption?

2) Jerry was a “great man”: we have the current president’s word on that. Here’s a guy whose grasp on reality is so tenuous he thinks everyone placing an international call or buying a plane ticket is a terrorist, but we’re supposed to accept his assessment of Jerry. Bush alleges that this "great man" "assumed power in a period of great division and turmoil.” Ah, yes. Jerry "assumed" rather than pursued power. Nor did he repeatedly scheme and stump for the seat he held in the House of Representatives from January 3, 1949 until December 6, 1973. He didn’t claw his way up the political ranks, kissing butt and lying to voters. There he was, innocently minding his own business when Richard Nixon forced the vice-presidency on him.

3) Bush continued his drivel: “For a nation that needed healing and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we needed him most.” I don’t know about you, but it’s been a loooooong time since I "needed" a president.

Others of Our Rulers, as shortchanged as Bush in the morals department, echoed his nonsense: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) mused that though Jerry "never aspired to America’s highest office," — yeah, you know how it goes: you’re paying no attention and then, boom, all of a sudden one day you’re president — "once there he renewed our faith in our nation’s system of government. He also earned our affection and respect.” And here we silly ingrates voted him out of the White House the first chance we got.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) eulogized Jerry as “a devoted public servant who led our nation out of one of its darkest hours with grace and bipartisanship.” Leave it to a politician to consider Watergate "one of our nation’s darkest hours." For the rest of us, a "dark hour" comes when young, poor, desperate kids volunteer to kill and be killed in the wars Our Rulers gin up. More dark hours descended at Waco as the Feds incinerated whole families. Then there’s the carnage they wreaked on a mother, her baby, her son and his pet dog at Ruby Ridge. Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib with their torture and contempt for habeas corpus are as dark as it gets. But one set of thugs burgling another set? Heck, that’s Leviathan in all its beastly splendor. With Watergate, as with so much else, we serfs are far less delusional than Our Masters. We know they’re a herd of lying, thieving, scheming, dirty rascals. Nixon’s caper only confirmed that.

4) Our Rulers and their sidekicks in the media are a-twitter over Jerry’s "legacy." According to Sen. John Dingell (D-Mich), "he rose up and held the country together. It will certainly be his legacy." ABC’s former news director Hal Bruno agrees: “He took us out of Watergate, he brought us out of Watergate, and those were perilous times. The pardon itself was inevitable. It had to be that way and probably most people knew it and agreed with it." Oh, right. That’s why they booted him out of office.

I trust these observations have cheered you in the midst of your sorrow. If not, here’s further consolation from that master of common sense, Tom Paine: “Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.”

Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.

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