Circle 002: Henry Steele Commager, Nixon and Impeachment, June 3, 1974

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Circle 002: Henry Steele Commager, Nixon and Impeachment, June 3, 1974


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The phrase "crusty" seems to have been created to describe noted historian Dr. Henry Steel Commager, and on the evening of June 3, 1974 Dr. Commager was being crusty about Richard Nixon. New England Circle found the experience stimulating, even if all participants did not fully agree with the Amherst College professor's line of reasoning. That night, of course, the final acts of the Watergate drama were still to be played. The infamous June 23 tape which brought down the Nixon White House was still locked away. From Dr. Commager's viewpoint, that was just as well.

He was woried that Mr. Nixon was going to be impeached for the wrong reasons - because of his involvement in the Watergate skullduggery, rather than for his subversion of the Constitution. Dr. Commager was upset that so much attention was being paid to obstruction of justice charges and so little attention to Mr. Nixon's abuse of power, to such episodes as the secret bombing of Cambodia. The manner of Mr. Nixon's subsequent departure from office doubtless confirmed the historian's worst fears.

by Alan Gordon (Quincy Patriot Ledger)

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