By John Ruberry

Little Marathon Pundit and I were on vacation earlier this month and our travels brought us to Wisconsin and Michigan. On our final day of that trip we visited the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, just six days prior to the 105th anniversary of the birth of the 38th president.

Of the presidents of my lifetime, Gerald Ford is the obvious choice for the “Most Likely to be Forgotten Award.” That’s partly understandable. His 29 months in office was the shortest term of any president who didn’t die in office. And Ford was the closest thing to a “regular guy” to live in the White House. The media loved Ford for that–delighting on him toasting his own English muffins in the White House kitchen. They loved Ford–yes, he was a Republican–until he pardoned his predecessor, Richard M. Nixon, one month after being sworn in to office.

Immediately Ford became a buffoon and a dope. He now was the media’s enemy and ordinary instances were blown out of proportion. He stumbled and fell from the steps of Air Force One. Have you ever had a misstep on a set of stairs? He sliced a few golf balls into crowds–those onlookers would not have been there if he was still House Minority Leader. Ford was an accomplished skier, but do you know what? Skiers fall. And so did he. Chevy Chase’s impersonations of him on Saturday Night Live portrayed him as dimwitted and yes, a man who could barely remain on his feet.

But Ford was arguably the greatest presidential athlete. He was an All-American football center for the University of Michigan. He was offered contracts by the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. Until very late into his long life Ford regularly swam laps, Ford had an outdoor pool built on the White House grounds to replace the indoor one that Nixon converted into a press room so he could remain in shape.

Ford “the dummy” graduated in the top third of his class at Yale law school.

In short, because of the Nixon pardon, Ford was bombarded by, not fake news, but a fake perception from the media.

The museum of course looks back at Ford’s improbable rise from being abandoned by his father two weeks after his birth to becoming an Eagle Scout and a star athlete. After college and law school Ford returned to his hometown of Grand Rapids to practice law. After Pearl Harbor Ford joined the Navy. Shortly after marrying Betty Bloomer in 1948, Ford won his first election as congressman of Michigan’s 5th district. By the mid-1960s Ford was the House minority leader.

The film about Ford’s life, “A Time To Heal,” plays there.

As the Watergate scandal raged. Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, pleaded no contest to tax evasion and resigned. Nixon, under the provisions of the recently enacted 25th Amendment to the Constitution, nominated Ford as Agnew’s replacement, which Congress approved. Thus Ford became the first vice president–and the only president–not elected by the American people.

“I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots,” Ford said in his brief inaugural address, “and so I ask you to confirm me as your president with your prayers.” And alluding to Watergate, he added, “Our long national nightmare is over.”

But Ford was president during an unusually eventful 29 months, which the museum documents. What transpired included: His controversial choice of liberal Republican Nelson Rockefeller as his vice president, rampant inflation and the brutal l974-75 recession, the Mayaguez incident, the fall of South Vietnam, a summit meeting with Leonid Brezhnev, his signing of the Helsinki Accords, two assassination attempts–within a month, a general gloom of the American psyche, and his defeat by Jimmy Carter in the 1976 presidential election after a hard-fought primary battle with Ronald Reagan.

Quite a bit of bad stuff, to be sure. But the American Bicentennial was celebrated in 1976.

Oh yeah, Ford pardoned Nixon.

Blogger with Ford

The current special exhibit at the museum is centered on his wife, Betty Ford, the centennial of her birth was in April. Her life was a momentous one too. Unlike her recent predecessors as First Lady, Betty was outspoken. Six weeks after moving into the White House she underwent a mastectomy–which brought much needed attention to breast cancer. Two years after her husband’s electoral defeat she was treated for alcoholism and an addiction to painkillers. Rather than hiding in shame, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center, America’s best-known substance abuse treatment center.

Yesterday during the Gerald Ford birthday celebration at the museum a statute of Betty was unveiled.

Jerry and Betty Ford–two Americans who had two remarkable lives.

If you are anywhere near Grand Rapids, a visit to the Ford museum is worth your time.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

When I reflect on how the MSM has covered for this administration for a full year I challenge my readers to consider this question:

Are we seeing today, what Watergate would have been if the president had been a Democrat beloved by the MSM?

I say yes!

DaTechguy The deliberate ignorance of the MSM vs Katie Pavlich et/al  6-21-12

I remember being at an event in Manchester when George Stephanopolous asked his infamous “contraception” question at the GOP debate that threw Mitt Romney for the biggest loop of his life.  The whole, “Can Trump Pardon himself” meme (he can btw) is basically the same thing.  Since no actual wrongdoing has been found, the media’s idea is to suggest wrongdoing via the whole pardon thing.  After all you don’t need to be pardoned for something you didn’t do, do you?

Nevertheless, in my opinion that President Trump should exercise his power to pardon the President,  or more properly stated on the FORMER President and chief executive Barack Hussein Obama.

Don’t be so surprised, back in February I was already tweeting this out:

A lot more has come out since then. As the investigation into the spying on the Trump campaign which started out with the media meme of “Trump is crazy for saying we were wiretapping him” and has currently progressed to “It wasn’t ‘spying spying'” continues to bear fruit it’s becoming increasingly clear that the last administration actively used the power of the federal government to attempt to illegally fix the 2016 election .

That Obama was the 2nd coming of Nixon was of course known to those of us who actually covered the Obama years with a critical eye even as the media was doing all they could to shield him

But the media understands what the developments in the IRS scandal means, and they can’t investigate, because if they do then the results of their investigations might reveal what many on the right suspect, that Barack Obama & his administration is involved in this up to his ears.

But it is not the illusion of Barack Obama as an honest & capable President that worries them the most, it is their own illusion that they want to preserve.  The illusion of their own self-righteousness.

If these journalists discover that the first black president of the United States is a cheap crook in the tradition of Nixon then a choice has to be made. Do they report that information,  or do they withhold it?

This tweet perfectly encapsulated the media’s tactics at the time:

which is why back in 2013 I was already tweeting:

Well those days of protection for Obama are in the past and the crisis that is likely going to occur once more of the spygate details come out makes Donald Trump pardoning Barack Obama both the right and the smart thing to do.

It’s the right thing to do because unlike the current phony media mantra of “a constitutional crisis” if it reaches the point where enough evidence comes out implicating the former White House in spygate the AG will be put in a position where he has to decide if he is going to subpoena and/or indict the former president for crimes committed while he was in office, that is using the power of the federal government and federal law enforcement to illegally intervene in a presidential election .

The potential for an explosion will be incredible. Even though I don’t think he deserves one and it might anger Trump base I suspect it would be far better for the country if President Obama was preemptively pardoned.  Not only would it solve a constitutional crisis before it begins but it would make it more likely that the truth will come out.  After all if only a reputation, vs one’s freedom is at risk then there is a greater likelihood that the uncovering of relevant facts will not be hindered as vigorously.  The only question would be does he limit the pardon to Obama or extend it to the Obama administration.

It’s the smart thing to do because it instantly changes the conversation. Instead of the media playing the “will Trump pardon himself” game to hide the lack of evidence of crimes the conversation will instantly turn to:  Is there evidence of crimes by the Obama administration and were said crimes done with the prior consent or later approval of Barack Obama?

Even more importantly while the media and the left will howl with indignation at this very suggestion of this the administration would not be leading public opinion on this matter but following it…

A majority of 51 percent of voters now believe “senior law enforcement officials are likely to have broken the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the presidency,” according to a poll from Rasmussen Reports.
Only 42 percent of voters believe it is “unlikely that these officials illegally attempted to stop a Trump presidency.”

In other words, we now live in a country where only 42 percent of voters believe it is “unlikely” federal law enforcement officials tried to illegally meddle in a presidential election.

Only 26 percent believe it is “not at all likely.”

That being the case a Pardon of Obama by Trump becomes the act of the bigger man as well because unlike Ford’s pardoning Nixon the man who made him President, and getting grief for it, Donald Trump would be pardoning the man and administration who wronged him to try to keep him out of the White House.  Talk about claiming the high ground.

And of course the priceless media reaction of them insisting loudly that the man who regularly invited Harvey Weinstein to the White House did absolutely nothing wrong would pale next to the potential Obama reaction. Would he accept the pardon while insisting there was no wrongdoing or that it’s a cynical ploy? Would he angrily refuse the pardon? Would he be smart enough to completely ignore it and more importantly how would this play with former Obama era officials who know what they did and might still be subject to charges.  I suspect they might decide they wouldn’t mind a pre-preemptive pardon to save their necks.  The conflict there would be priceless.

I think this would not only be the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do, but it would also be the fun and hilarious thing to do.

If it was up to me I’d go for it the day after the midterms


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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.