The (One) Time The Good Guys Won

Kent Anderson
4 min readAug 8, 2019

“I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.” Richard M. Nixon, August 8, 1974.

“He was the real thing — a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. He lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his family.” Hunter S. Thompson, in his scathing obituary of Nixon, 20 years later.

We should be so lucky. Nixon might be the last great progressive president — hell, he almost got universal health care through before Watergate threw him overboard — but he was a crook, “an evil man,” Thompson observed, “evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency.”

Sound familiar, class? Thought so. Please don’t give me the ‘Nixon understood the office’ crap, either. He was prepared to fight and drag it out into 1976 if he could have. It was only Barry Goldwater’s reality check, “How many votes do I have, 35, right?” a clearly delusional Nixon asked, hoping for an answer that would salvage the remaining twenty-nine-and-a-half months of his Presidency.

“Mr. President,” Goldwater replied, as he wrote in his dairy, “Dick, you might get four votes for acquittal.”

His first Vice President, Spiro T. Agnew, had resigned in disgrace nearly a year earlier. Agnew was taking bribes as far back as when he was Governor of Maryland and continued to do so as Nixon’s VP. As the Summer of 1973 turned into Fall, there was chatter of a double impeachment, which would have left House Speaker Carl Albert, a Democrat from Oklahoma (unheard of today) President.

Jack Anderson, Woodward and Bernstein, Jimmy Breslin (whose book, “How The Good Guys Finally Won,” is the inspiration for this headline) along with Thompson, nailed Old Tanned, Rested & Ready every chance they got. Anderson was even targeted for assassination by the Trickster.

Now, we have a president* who seemingly is headed down the same path that Nixon went. With one catch. Nixon was never impeached. He resigned after Peter Rodino’s Judiciary Committee passed three articles of impeachment against Poor Richard.

Nixon was done in by his own oversized ambition (sound familiar?) and the belief, even after he left office, that “if the…

Kent Anderson

Purveyor of Truth and Facts. Lifelong Detroiter. Journalist. Loves good TV, sports, friends and family. Mostly. Also: