Gerald Ford did grave damage to America.
By failing to allow the system to work as it is intended, he forced a deep wound to stay open instead of healing.
Now that wound has festered and infected America at its core.
Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon set the disastrous precedent that any serious scandal involving the executive branch poses a threat to the stability of this nation.
That false frame was again invoked when George Bush Sr. would not allow any investigation into the Iran-Contra scandal.
Both times, it was obvious nonsense because it involved public figures who were already out of office.
That is why when they went after Bill Clinton it was ultimately for a frivolous cause, marital infidelity. It was not a serious high crime or breach of Constitutional Oath. They claimed it was because he "lied", but the topic he lied about was ultimately nothing more then marital infidelity. That frivolous cause was enough to target the President for, but it did not fit in their frame which created a threat to the "stability" of the nation.
I predict it is again going to be invoked by the right as part of the excuses that we will be hearing more of in the next two years, to try and protect the Bush Administration from investigation.
If a Republican President wins in 2008, the Republicans will most assuredly be invoking this frame again to support a pardon for the Bush Administration from anything that comes up in whatever investigations happen in the next two years.
We, as a people, need to reject that false frame.
When those in authority commit crimes or misdemeanors it wounds us. It damages us as a nation because it breaks the trust between the people and the government we give power to.
Holding our elected officials accountable for their actions is what HEALS our wounds.
Our system was setup to handle this eventuality. If the American justice system were allowed to work, there would have been closure and the nation could have healed. We could have continued on in the knowledge that ultimately our system does work.
Instead, we got confirmation of our fears that our system is indeed broken.
Instead, by pardoning Nixon out of purely partisan loyalty, Ford did not allow the system to work as designed.
By Pardoning Nixon, Gerald Ford prevented America from healing properly from that "long, national nightmare".
That national nightmare of escalating partisan venom has continued to this day, but now it has been institutionalized.
Then Reagan got rid of the Fairness doctrine, it allowed viruses like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Fox News to infect our society by infecting our public debate with partisan propaganda and misinformation.
We see it everyday on the rightwing media, especially with the primary culprit, Fox News.
For example, yesterday they were covering Nancy Pelosi's ascendance to Speaker with distain. The Fox News "Anchors" were openly mocking Pelosi and setting up the frame of her as a jealous, scornful woman. Their proof, a story about how a woman that Pelosi did not appoint to any position was angry about it. Their claim was essentially that Pelosi must be jealous and scornful, because she is, after all, a woman. Meanwhile, the Fox "News" banner that scrolled along at the bottom played into that frame with "Catfight in Congress".
None of that is News.
It isn't even remotely helpful.
It is only entertaining in the same shallow way as Professional Wrestling.
It is an open display of distain and scorn for any opposing political thought.
It is an example of the WOUND which inflicts America, possibly terminally.
A wound that Gerald Ford had a chance to heal but failed to do so.
He chose not to heal this country because he put his loyalty to his Political Party above his loyalty to his Country.
The rightwing is falsely trumpeting that he "healed the nation" and then flip-flopping around the next second and spewing the very venomous, intolerant dogma that is infecting this Country to its core.
We, the people, need to continue to fight to restore our Democracy by holding the Democrats accountable now that they are in power.
Do not join in the useless and nonsensical partisan rhetoric that will undoubtedly be spewing forth from the rightwing media from now on.
Stay true to Progressive Ideals like Compassion, Fairness and Truth. Stay on top of our newly elected officials so that they know our priority this time is to hold those in power accountable for what they have done by misleading us into this quagmire formerly known as Iraq.
Write to your Representatives. Write to the heads or members of any committees relevant to these issues.
Now is the time to be out in the streets of America protesting, because there is a chance the Democrats might actually listen.