Hunter S. Thompson's obit for Richard Nixon

"If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin." -- from Hunter S. Thompson's 1994 Rolling Stone obituary for Richard Nixon

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  1. I remember reading this fantastic obit at the time it was published. Sadly, Nixon looks like FDR compared to the two most recent occupants of the White House, who have committed crimes against the American people that Tricky Dick would not have dared dream he could get away with. Watergate was small potatoes compared to the NSA scandal.

    Too bad there will be no HST around to eulogize Bush Jr. and Obama.

  2. In this man's honest opinion, this spinning rock we all call home is truly a shittier place without him (Hunter S. Thompson - not Tricky Dick).

  3. Nixon was far from a saint, but at least he had the decency (if the term can even be applied in the context) to resign in the face of certain impeachment.

    I would love to see the obits that HST might have written for any of the surviving former (or sitting) presidents. In my honest opinion, there are some real stinkers in that group.

  4. I'm inclined to see those sorts of resignations as less decent than the alternative.

    I first ran into the phenomenon when my parents put me in a private school(NE United States). The pattern, at that school and the others in the area that I had any familiarity with, was that 'expulsion' was something that happened only to the people who screwed up most blatantly, or who the school really wanted to get rid of, while more desirable or less noxious students would be quietly advised, off the record, that it would be better for all involved if they were to(depending on the point in the school year) either 'withdraw' or not seek readmittance for the following year. School gets them out, they get no disciplinary record and are free to move on, largely unencumbered by whatever it is that there were up to.

    In institutional contexts, you see similar things. Peons get fired, real people get to resign when the situation looks untenable.

    In something as blatant as Nixon's case, obviously, resignation wasn't going to 'hush up' what would have led to impeachment, it was just too big; but the use of 'voluntary' resignations as a "Gentleman's expulsion" oozes noxious privilege in my mind.

  5. And a few years later, he wrote this, and appropriately so: "If Nixon were running for president today, he would be seen as a "liberal" candidate, and he would probably win. He was a crook and a bungler, but what the hell? Nixon was a barrel of laughs compared to this gang of thugs from the Halliburton petroleum organization who are running the White House today..."

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