Nice link to the NYT review. I would have missed it otherwise.One of the author's describes Nixon as a "calculating practitioner of realpolitik" concerning his Southern Strategy.The liberal and moderate Republicans basically pandered the wingnuts into prominence.
Yes, I think that's definitely a part of the story. Nixon himself was in certain ways an odd mix: began his career as a McCarthyite, basically, was Eisenhower's attack dog, so to speak, in many respects, once elected in '68 (thanks partly to the southern strategy) he turned out to be rather 'moderate' in some respects in domestic policy (EPA, etc.) before his paranoia about the anti-war movement led to Watergate and brought him down. Nixon's convictions I think were flexible; he did what he thought would advance his career, to the exclusion of almost all principled considerations. (A bit of a sweeping statement, to be sure, but I never liked Nixon.) I am about to take a break from blogging (starting tomorrow in fact) and one thing I hope to do is catch up on some reading - I mention this b/c I have not read Pearlstein's 'Nixonland' which got a lot of attention a while back. Not sure whether I will get to it, though.
I hope you get to Perlstein's tome. It is a lightning fast read. High points will bubble to the surface, much will come into focus. No fair googling Anna Chennault if you're not already up with it.
Ok, Perlstein has been moved up several notches on my list. Thks.
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