Pierce, Thompson and the Manics on the life of Richard Nixon.


That’s right: One hundred years ago on Wednesday, Richard Nixon was born. The tributes are effusive and deadly accurate, as with Charlie Pierce’s take.

Happy Birthday And I’m Glad You’re Still Dead, by Charles P. Pierce (Esquire)

If he were still alive, and the existence of god thereby utterly disproved in a huge and public way, this would have been Richard Nixon’s 100th birthday …

… There will be a lot of chin-rubbing and beard-pulling, and discreet apologias on the theme of what a “quintessentially American” life was led by Richard Nixon. This a whole load of bollocks. I know hundreds of Americans who live their quintessentially American lives without doing a fraction of the damage that Richard Nixon did to his country and to the world simply by getting out of bed in the morning. His crimes are not excused by his neuroses. The subsequent dementia of the Republican party does not absolve him of the damage he did to our politics. Nixon was not “us.” Most of us don’t kill Asians to prove to someone else how tough we are. Most of us don’t cover our workplaces with shame and disgrace and then claim that somebody else, and there was always somebody else with him, was really to blame.

But there’s more!

Let’s not forget Hunter S. Thompson’s world-classic Nixon obituary from 1994, as originally published in Rolling Stone: He Was a Crook.

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

The last word goes to the Manic Street Preachers (from the album Lifeblood, 2004).