... I usually agree with Rich on most things. He wrote this article with the intention of reminding us that the "clarity of the light of history" judges past Presidents differently than we remembered at the time. Unfortunately, he also states very clearly that America cannot handle scandal and the legal prosecution of the President. I think he's wrong. His belief seems to be that if you're President, you can get away with most anything. In part, Lowry says:
"With time, everything we thought we once knew about Gerry Ford has come untrue. He wasn’t a corrupt tool of Richard Nixon pardoning away his predecessor’s crimes in exchange for the presidency. He wasn’t a failure. And he wasn’t clumsy or stupid. All of these judgments were once part of the conventional wisdom about Ford, a conventional wisdom that dissolved as his presidency became more distant, and thus easier to see clearly. "
"Ford’s pardon of Nixon demonstrates the long-term advantage of doing the right thing, and what is often its short-term cost. The pardon put Ford’s public-approval rating in a downward spiral from the 70s to the 30s. That is the very definition of a political disaster, and Ford had to take the unprecedented step of testifying before Congress as a sitting president to try to beat back accusations of a corrupt deal."
"The pardon certainly cost Ford the 1976 election, but it was certainly the right thing, saving the country from the Third World-like spectacle of a former president fighting criminal charges."
... this attitude smacks highly of ancient Rome. Their leaders were above the law also - and we know what happened to them!