Thursday, June 02, 2005

Watergate, Nixon and Mark Felt

(I have been going back and forth with Mark English over at Political Capital about Mark Felt and Richard Nixon and their respective roles in the President's downfall, as well as the similarity between Linda Trip and Ken Starr, and much of the below comment is the result of this back and forth.)

In the past few days many of the Nixon apologists (Buchanan, Ben Stein, Novak, Peggy Noonan, and I would assume Liddy, as well) have been trying to tar and feather Mark Felt for being Deep Throat. They blame him for Nixon's downfall, and for every other bad thing that happened in this country (or the world) after his resignation.

Felt may not have been a hero (although Linda Tripp has certainly been portrayed that way by the same people who are decrying Mark Felt) but he was certainly not a villain. He had no good options when he came aware of the crimes (yes, crimes) that were being committed by the White House. And importantly, the information that he gave Woodward and Bernstein turned out to be true, he wasn't making things up in a revenge plot.

Noonan goes so far as to blame Felt for the rise of Pol Pot and the deaths of children, blithely ignoring any role that Nixon himself played, or for that matter, those around him that should have stood up and argued against his paranoid delusions played. In her words, Felt may not have known exactly what would become "[b]ut oh the implications".

Isn't that exactly what could be said of people like Ms. Noonan, who facilitated Nixon and his crimes?