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Richard Nixon’s Last Epithet
Posted By Bill Hogan On August 23, 2013 @ 2:45 pm In Bulletin Today,Politics | Comments Disabled
As the Senate Watergate Committee was turning up the heat on President Richard M. Nixon and his closest associates in 1973, chairman Sam Ervin, a North Carolina Democrat, became something of a national folk hero. At his death in 1985, one newspaper remembered him  as “a latter-day Diogenes bent on finding the truth in an era of Watergate lies.”
But to Nixon, the courtly, 76-year-old Ervin was something else altogether.
“The president of the United States can’t be kicked around by a goddamned senile senator,” Nixon raged to White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig on July 12.
The epithet can be heard in the final installment of the Nixon recordings  – 2,905 conversations totaling approximately 340 hours – released on Aug. 21 by the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum  in Yorba Linda, Calif.
A few months before Nixon’s railed against Ervin, the secret White House recording system captured the president making disparaging remarks about Jews, blacks, Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans. The slurs came just moments after Nixon assured Charles W. Colson, one of his senior advisers, that he was not prejudiced.
We learned from the late Robert N. Butler — scholar, psychiatrist, Pulitzer Prize-winning author — that ageism  is a form of bigotry . But the lesson was lost on Nixon, who called Dwight D. Eisenhower, his political benefactor and savior, a “damned old fool” and, by other accounts, referred to him from time to time as “that senile old bastard.”
Here’s a video from NBC News featuring Nixon’s rant about Ervin, with the “g” word edited out:
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URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/23/richard-nixons-last-epithet/
URLs in this post:
 one newspaper remembered him: http://articles.latimes.com/1985-04-24/news/mn-7139_1_sam-ervin
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ervin.png
 final installment of the Nixon recordings: http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/forresearchers/find/tapes/tape949/tape949.php
 Nixon Presidential Library and Museum: http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/newsandevents/press/2013/Aug_opening.php
 ageism: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/22/did-stronger-age-bias-laws-aid-older-workers/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 bigotry: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/03/15/facebook-a-gathering-place-for-granny-bashers/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 Miami Dolphins Get White House Ceremony — 40 Years Later: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/21/miami-dolphins-get-white-house-ceremony-40-years-later/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL
 Obama Touts Insurance Rebates and Lower Premiums in 2014: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/18/obama-touts-insurance-rebates-and-lower-premiums-in-2014/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS
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