In search of an honest liberal

George Will began his career in journalism as the Washington editor of National Review, a perch from which he served as a relentless expositor and critic of the lies of Watergate perpetrated by the Nixon administration. In his history of National Review, former NR senior editor Jeffrey Hart recalls:

National Review responded to the developing scandal with condemnation for the violation of constitutional norms mixed with a great deal of disgust; it came close to lacking even residual loyalty to Nixon. NR viewed the “President’s men,” the aides closest to him, as technicians of no discernible principle, all products of their relationship with Nixon and otherwise ciphers with no personal identity. It regarded Nixon himself as the shifty politician the magazine had always known….

What strikes anyone going back over that period, and what certainly struck National Review at the time, is the conspicuous presence of an absence–or the deafening noise of a silence. Why did those closest to the president in the administrative structure–namely Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and Mitchell–not once, ever, say to themselves or to each other, “President Nixon would never approve of this”?

The IRS scandals and the Obamacare decrees raise a similar question, and “the deafening noise of a silence” extends to liberal columnists and magazines as well as the ciphers surrounding Obama inside the administration.


Books to read from Power Line