satire’s death rattle

Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.”
— Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, live on national television last night

Snark fails. Hell, snark curled up into a ball and started sobbing just from attempting to contemplate it.

Past the cut, courtesy of the indispensible Brad DeLong, a few foul gusts of what Ahnold found to be fresh air…

Nixon:…This is what I want. I have a project that I want somebody to take it just like I took the Hiss case, the Bentley case, and the rest…. And I’ll tell you what. This takes—this takes 18 hours a day. It takes devotion and dedication and loyalty and diligence such as you’ve never seen Bob….

Nixon:… Now do you see what we need?… I really need a son of a bitch like Huston who will work his butt off and do it dishonorably. Do you see what I mean? Who will know what he’s doing and I want to know too. And I’ll direct him myself. I know how to play the game and we’re going to start playing it.

Nixon: When you get to Ehrlichman now, will you please get—I want you to find me a man by noon. I won’t be ready until 12:30—a recommendation of the man to work directly with me on this whole situation. Do you know what I mean? I’ve got to have—I’ve got to have one—I mean, I can’t have a high-minded lawyer like John Ehrlichman or, you know, Dean, or somebody like that. I want somebody just as tough as I am for a change…. These Goddamn lawyers, you know, all fighting around about, you know—I’ll never forget….

Nixon: These kids don’t understand. They have no understanding of politics. They have no understanding of public relations. John Mitchell is that way. John is always worried about: “Is it technically correct?” Do you think, for Christ’s sake, that the New York Times is worried about all the legal niceties? Those sons of bitches are killing me. I mean, thank God, I leaked to the press ?during the Hiss case??]. This is what we’ve got to get—I want you to shake these [unintelligible] up around here. Now you do it. Shake them up. Get them off their Goddamn dead asses and say, now, “That isn’t what you should be talking about.” We’re up against an enemy, a conspiracy. They’re using any means. We are going to use any means. Is that clear?

Nixon: Did they get the Brookings Institute raided last night? No? Get it done. I want it done. I want the Brookings Institute’s safe cleaned out and have it cleaned out in a way that it makes somebody else responsible….

All from Stanley L. Kutler, ed. (1997), Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (New York: Free Press: 0684841274), pp. 7-8.

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