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  1. #1 Should Clinton have resigned? 
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    Looking back at Monicagate, should Clinton have resigned in 1998? I seem to recall reading some GOP senators were calling on him to resign.

    Likewise, on the other hand, should Nixon have stayed on and fought it out in 1974--even if it did land in a conviction by the Senate?

    Personally my opinion is no, Clinton shouldn't have resigned, and I'm glad he fought it out...and Nixon should've fought it out as well.
    Last edited by CaughtintheMiddle1990; 03-29-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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  2. #2  
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    Given that he went through the Senate trial and was not removed, I'm going to have to say no, he should not have resigned. Granted, the vote in the Senate was pretty much just political brinksmanship, but nonetheless, I don't think he needed to resign if he wasn't going to get fired anyway.

    Of course, we don't have the benefit of looking back to see whether or not Nixon survived a Senate trial, so that makes it a little different. But, we can look back at the Senate in 1974 and see that it was 56 Democrats and 42 Republicans, and public support for Nixon was absolutely in the dumper, so the chances were pretty damn good that he would not have survived a vote to remove him from office. As such, it probably was best for Nixon to bow out. Doing so saved the country a lot of pain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Wood View Post
    Given that he went through the Senate trial and was not removed, I'm going to have to say no, he should not have resigned. Granted, the vote in the Senate was pretty much just political brinksmanship, but nonetheless, I don't think he needed to resign if he wasn't going to get fired anyway.

    Of course, we don't have the benefit of looking back to see whether or not Nixon survived a Senate trial, so that makes it a little different. But, we can look back at the Senate in 1974 and see that it was 56 Democrats and 42 Republicans, and public support for Nixon was absolutely in the dumper, so the chances were pretty damn good that he would not have survived a vote to remove him from office. As such, it probably was best for Nixon to bow out. Doing so saved the country a lot of pain.
    Actually I think had he stayed on (Nixon) he could've done a lot better with the economic woes than Ford did, and he might've prevented South Vietnam from falling the next year--He had made a commitment to restart bombing if the North made any major offensive, which they did when he left office.

    In September 1974, just a month after leaving office, Nixon suffered a massive and life threatening pulmonary embolism. Had he been in office when this occurred, it might have garnered public sympathy to him, and softened the general opinion toward him (the senate might've realized they were indeed in danger of literally killing him with the trial) and might've delayed the impeachment. In the meantime the business of government could continue.

    Also, had he not left office--even if he was convicted--his reputation would've been better. Even if convicted, he still wouldn't have quit. Ford could've pardoned him in any case, sparing him from prison.

    I think if he was anywhere near as honest during the trial in Senate as he was in the interview with David Frost, he would've survived impeachment.
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    Politically tired. Lanie's Avatar
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    I'm not so concerned about Clinton's lack of self-control as much as I'm concerned about the fact that he cost tax payers a lot of money with his lie. Some want to blame it all on the DA, but that's just wrong. That's saying Clinton had no responsibility.

    In the moral sense, yes I think he should have resigned. In reality, that might have been disastrous for the country. People feared what would happen to the economy and in other situations if the President suddenly resigned. I have to say no matter who the President is, resignation might be disastrous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanie View Post
    I'm not so concerned about Clinton's lack of self-control as much as I'm concerned about the fact that he cost tax payers a lot of money with his lie. Some want to blame it all on the DA, but that's just wrong. That's saying Clinton had no responsibility.

    In the moral sense, yes I think he should have resigned. In reality, that might have been disastrous for the country. People feared what would happen to the economy and in other situations if the President suddenly resigned. I have to say no matter who the President is, resignation might be disastrous.
    When Nixon resigned, what seemed like a mild recession became much worse, with unemployment hitting the highest levels since the Great Depression in the summer of 1975 (9.5% in July 1975, which was surpassed by 10.8% unemployment in December 1982). Maybe this would've happened even if Nixon hadn't resigned, or maybe it was due to Ford's level of ability or perhaps the team had on board; I don't know. I do know that Ford was later able to calm the recession down and unemployment levels dropped quite a bit...And then Jimmy Carter came into office.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaughtintheMiddle1990 View Post
    Actually I think had he stayed on (Nixon) he could've done a lot better with the economic woes than Ford did, and he might've prevented South Vietnam from falling the next year--He had made a commitment to restart bombing if the North made any major offensive, which they did when he left office.

    In September 1974, just a month after leaving office, Nixon suffered a massive and life threatening pulmonary embolism. Had he been in office when this occurred, it might have garnered public sympathy to him, and softened the general opinion toward him (the senate might've realized they were indeed in danger of literally killing him with the trial) and might've delayed the impeachment. In the meantime the business of government could continue.

    Also, had he not left office--even if he was convicted--his reputation would've been better. Even if convicted, he still wouldn't have quit. Ford could've pardoned him in any case, sparing him from prison.

    I think if he was anywhere near as honest during the trial in Senate as he was in the interview with David Frost, he would've survived impeachment.
    Interesting angle with the sympathy factor. I hadn't really considered that before. I have to wonder whether there would be enough sympathy for him to have spared him. The country was soooooo angry at the time. Just about everyone in the country was furious with Nixon. There was just so much malaise at the time: gas prices were climbing, there was gas rationing that gave us long gas lines and generally just inconvenienced people, interest rates were sky-high, American cars were a complete joke, it seems like everyone who actually had a job was on strike, we were still at war in Vietnam and it was on the TV every night, and this was all coming right after the '60s, which was still a sore spot for a whole lot of people in this country, including a lot of sore wounds from the lingering racial tension in the country. I'm sure there would have been some sympathy for Nixon, but there were a whole lot of people out there who would have been glad to see Nixon just die and go away.

    I don't know if just un-checked, brutal honesty would have been a salvation for Nixon. The country was just traumatized by this. You have to remember that this was still a relatively "innocent" time for Americans. Absent 24-hour news channels and such, Beltway scandals just didn't really leak out like they do nowadays. Americans simply had never felt so betrayed before. Sure, much of the same lies, deception, scandal, and corruption existed in DC long before, but nothing like this had ever really blown up before. People in the country just weren't aware of much of it before Nixon. I think that more unvarnished telling of everything that had transpired in the Oval Office would have just angered people even more.
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  7. #7  
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    Nixon was correct in resigning. He had broken the law and been caught, and he had the decency to see that any attempt to cling to power would have done irreparable damage to the nation. Clinton, faced with a far more petty scandal (Nixon was genuinely concerned that McGovern was colluding with criminal elements within the antiwar movement to undermine the election, while Clinton was caught committing and suborning perjury in pursuit of an attempt to fix a lawsuit. His conduct with Lewinsky violated several laws, including sexual harassment laws that he had signed. Clinton should have resigned, as he was guilty on all counts. As George Will correctly noted at the time, "Any decent man would resign, which is why Clinton won't." The Senate's failure to convict him on the evidence is one of the most shameful events in our history.

    BTW, when JFK beat Nixon in 1960, there was more than enough evidence of fraud in Illinois and Texas to challenge the election, but Nixon refused. He would not allow the presidency of the United States to be tainted by questions of the legitimacy of the holder of the office. Al Gore, who had no evidence of fraud, sought to steal the 2000 election because he thought that he could get away with it. The damage that this would do to subsequent administrations was obvious, but Gore didn't care.
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  8. #8  
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    Clinton shouldn't have resigned. He shouldn't have lied, but he wasn't going to be removed by a bunch of guys who were guilty of the same thing-Larry Flynt made sure of that.


    Nixon is more difficult. I personally think he was a brilliant man and that he had a strong foreign policy. He gets blamed for Vietnam unfairly-he inherited a bad war and got us out of it, after first putting all effort forward to win it (it was too late by 1968). He opened relations with China and started the process that led to the end of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. Kissenger is one of the best diplomats ever, and Ford was smart enough to keep him around. Nixon supported civil rights, was of a humble backround, and he had a really nice family.


    By today's political standards, what Nixon did is standard campaign practice. At the time, though, spying on one's opponents using electronic devices implanted during a burglary was considered to be a horrible thing. I don't know how much Nixon knew about it beforehand, but he did help cover it up once people started investigating it.

    All I know is this-G. Gordon Liddy was convicted of federal crimes in the Watergate matter, and served time. There is no way in hell I'm going to buy gold from any company that uses him as a spokesperson.
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    Only reason it was "too late" by 1968 was because the dumbasses in Congress and people like Cronkite basicly making it look like we couldn't win, when in fact we WERE winning the War under Nixon.
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    Nixon had to dissuaded from using tactical nukes against Vietnam.
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