Barack Obama & Richard Nixon: Soulmates?

Obama's campaign and persona bear a striking resemblance to a recent Republican President: Richard Milhouse "Tricky Dick" Nixon.

There are a few minor differences among the remarkable similarities:  while Nixon spent months trying to overcome the issue of an 18 & ½ minute blank spot in the middle of a tape recording of his activities in the Oval Office, Barack Obama has shrugged off an 18 & ½ year blank spot in the middle of his resume.  Both were trained as lawyers and served as U.S. Senators. 

Both rising young politicians resorted to a bit of unsportsmanlike conduct in the campaigns that jump-started their careers, with Nixon dumping Helen Gahagan Douglas while Obama jobbed State Senator Alice Palmer to shoehorn himself into the Daley Machine.

Once elected, possible signs of Nixonian megalomania became apparent and he is now credited with greatly enhancing the Imperial Presidency.  At one point he proposed dressing White House guards in uniforms ridiculed as coming out of a comic opera, hastily dropping the plan. Nixon surrounded himself with a tight coterie of loyalists, whose allegiance was strictly to the President.  These sycophants hastened the dissolution of the Nixon presidency with their secretiveness and dissembling.  Tricky Dick even had elaborate "Palace Guard" uniforms designed for the White House Police that were eventually laughed off the scene.

Obama's regal sense of himself is redolent of Louis XVI, as he surrounds himself with Greek Columns and stages his speeches in front of huge suppliant crowds both here and in Europe.  His campaign plane has a seat reading "President" on it. Tricky Barry's presumptuous almost-Presidential seal was likewise laughed off the campaign trail. 

Both men have had their problems with plumbers.  While Nixon's plommiers were in his employ, Obama's experience was more of a plumber ex machina, with America finally provided with an honest answer from the Great Dissembler extracted by a humble plumber, with Joe never having to wield his trusty pipe wrench.

The media mavens of the day were shocked to discover Nixon's "Enemies List."  I suspect many of them were even more surprised to find their own names prominently displayed therein.  John Dean was the recipient of the list compiled by John Erlichman & Co. and described it thusly:

"This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly-how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies."

Barack Obama hasn't bothered to wait until he is elected to start screwing his enemies.  Joe the Plumber has been on the receiving end of a through examination of his marital, tax and employment history and who knows what else at the hands of Obama plumbers in the Ohio State Government.  The latest additions to the Obama Enemies List are the members of the press from The New York Post, The Washington Times and The Dallas Morning News who were unceremoniously dumped from Obama's campaign plane.  Fortunately, this was not done in mid-air, but it seems the fact of their parent papers endorsing John McCain for President may have had something to do with it.  This follows a week of tough interviews for Blatherskite Joe Biden, Obama's VP nominee.  Of course the stations who conducted the interview were cut off from future interviews and access to the Obama campaign.

Am I the only one who sees a pattern here?  Nixon's penchant for secrecy was well known.  Thus far, Obama has kept his medical records, his high school, college and post-graduate records, his job history, his publishing history, his birth certificate, the videos of his endorsements and praise for radicals, criminals and terrorists (Oh my!), his church attendance and just about every other facet of his life a secret from the American public. 

We really haven't seen this dangerous combination of paranoia and megalomania since the fall of the House of Nixon.  Can Tricky Barry's demise be far behind?

Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target.