December 27, 2006, - 9:47 am
By Debbie Schlussel
In the rush to exalt former President Gerald R. Ford on the occasion of his death, let’s keep it real. He was an okay President. An average President, at best.
Here’s the DebbieSchlussel.com scorecard for President Ford:
* Pardoning President Nixon: Yes, there was never any proof that Nixon knew about the burglary at Watergate. Even liberal former ABC News White House correspondent Sam Donaldson says that. He said he never saw any evidence that Nixon committed a crime. And it’s well known that the Watergate scandal was cooked up by those in Congress–especially the Senate (Senator Sam Ervin, Jr.)–who were upset that President Nixon actually sequester and hold funds meant for a wasteful boondoggle project. The nerve of him. Did we really need to show the world that we wanted to hang our own while we were already hanging ourselves in Vietnam after giving up without a full-fledged fight? Contrary to popular belief, this pardon is NOT what cost Ford the Presidency.
* Staying Alive: Survived two assassination attempts.
* Never Actually Winning Election to the White House: And losing to a peanut farmer from Georgia because Ford denied that there was “Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.” Hello . . . ?
* Squeezing Israel throughout his Presidency, at a time when Israel was the only non-Soviet Allied nation in the Mid-East:
As detailed by our friend, Michael Freund, in the Jerusalem Post, Ford’s policy on Israel was so pan-Islamist that even Jimmy Carter scolded him in the Presidential debate (my, how times have changed):
America stepped in and sought to impose a solution, bringing heavy pressure to bear on Israel to make concessions to the Egyptian aggressors who had launched the previous conflict.
In 1975, U.S. president Gerald Ford threatened a “reassessment” of U.S.-Israel relations, and there was even talk of possible sanctions against the Jewish state.
In the October 6, 1976, U.S. presidential debate Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter blasted the heavy-handed tactics Ford and Kissinger had used, saying, “We almost brought Israel to its knees after the Yom Kippur War by the so-called reassessment of our relationship to Israel. We in effect tried to make Israel the scapegoat for the problems in the Middle East.
“And this weakened our relationship with Israel a great deal and put a cloud on the total commitment that our people feel toward the Israelis.”
* Using his position as a former Republican (RINO) President to push continued affirmative action/reverse racism:
In an August 1999 New York Times op-ed (I wrote this column on it), President Ford wrote a ridiculous defense of affirmative action admissions at both his and my alma mater, the University of Michigan. He said that because, when he played football at Michigan (in the 1930s!!!!), other schools wouldn’t play Michigan (because it had Black players on the team), that we now, in the 21st Century need to continue affirmative action. Huh?
First of all, there isn’t affirmative action in football–especially today, when talent is king and more than 75% of all college football players are Black. Secondly, what does football have to do with college admissions. And last, but not least, how does a President–who never got to the White House on the merits of his own candidacy–tell us that we shan’t be judged on merit, because of something that happened in the 1930s?
This was his last major act in public life–to stand for continued reverse racism in America. Not something to be proud of.
For all of these reasons, President Ford will always be remembered as an average President. He did not do anything outstanding. He did not do anything great. And he paved the way for one of the worst Presidents ever, Jimmy Carter.
But, at least, he served his country well, both in the military and as an elected public servant. And for that, he will always be appreciated.
Gerald R. Ford, Rest in Peace.
Tags: America, average President, Eastern Europe, football, Georgia, Gerald Ford, Gerald R. Ford, Israel, Jerusalem Post, Jimmy Carter, King, Michael Freund, Michigan, Middle East, New York Times, peanut farmer, President, presidential debate Democratic candidate, The Jerusalem Post, The University of Michigan, United States, White House