Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, which prevented a full criminal investigation and trial. He felt it would help to heal the country, which had been through assassinations, riots and the divisive Vietnam war. But the pardon had the unintended consequence of creating an impression that those in the highest office really aren't accountable to the public if their actions violate the law.Tim Dickinson of the Rolling Stone National Affairs Daily:
And so here we are. Bush2 can do anything with impunity - and says so with a smirk. His cronies loot, lie and steal. The public and especially the Washington insider class are conditioned to accept that this is the way things are done. All partly tracable back to Ford's subversion of accountability. A mistake. A big one.
Let's learn from Ford's mistake. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE! Demand that the actions of those in power in the last six years are investigated and any crimes discovered are punished to the fullest extent of the law. Let's set the country and democracy back on course.
Gerald Ford was a good man, who probably didn’t deserve the ruthless parodies he suffered at the hands of Chevy Chase, but his meaningless half term in office merits little of the post-mortem cud chewing we’re now suffering in this pre-new-year’s news lull.
His placekeeper presidency was followed by a quiet, private, irrelevant retirement.
The fact that “Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq,” would have been totally un-newsworthy if the man were still alive. But now that he’s dead his Monday-morning quarterbacking is front-page news.
Perhaps if he had used his ex-presidential platform to speak out prior to the invasion of Iraq, this might have been interesting, even important. But Ford’s from-the-grave “I wouldnta done that” is just about as uninteresting as the fact that he almost fired Henry Kissenger:
“I often thought, maybe I should say: ‘Okay, Henry. Goodbye,’ ” Ford said, laughing. “But I never got around to that.”
Perhaps in another life president Ford could have built a legacy beyond the controversial pardon of his predecesor. But, well, he never got around to that.