Gerald Ford and Reconciliation

Gerald Ford’s greatest challenge upon becoming President was to bring about reconciliation following the turmoil of Watergate. He had mixed results, with his granting of a pardon to Richard Nixon being the most controversial act of his Presidency. (I plan to write on that but didn’t find the period immediately after his death to be the appropriate time to second guess his decision.)

To a small degree Ford is also helping today to bridge the gap between the left and right blogosphere. On other days both Democrats, as well as current Republicans who find him too moderate and would have supported Ronald Reagan in the nomination fight, might discuss areas of disagreement with Ford. Today is not the day to dwell on disagreements, and this is reflected in the blogosphere. Many blogs are linking to numerous blog posts, left and right, and you often can not distinguish them from the comments on Ford.

While many blogs are listing the links without regards to whether the post is on the same side or the other of the ideological divide, I did see an amusing reminder of what the blogosphere is like on a typical day. Jules Crittenden, who also writes for the Boston Herald, included a link to my post on Ford along with posts from blogs he is more in agreement with (and separate from a couple liberal blogs which had some mildly negative comments.) However, the ideological divide of the blogosphere was evident when I glanced at his blogroll.

Not surprisingly, Crittenden lists a number of conservative blogs on top as friends. Lower down he has a section entitled “It Us Fun to Learn” and he recommends learning from conservative sources. In between the two is his enemy’s list of web sites. This includes news sources such as the BBC, his rival paper The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and CNN. He includes a few liberal sites such as Michael Moore, Daily Kos, and The Democratic Daily (as he enjoys tormenting Pamela with copies of his anti-Kerry writings.) He even includes the United Nations and Amnesty International. I hope his enemy’s list was intended to be at least partially tongue in cheek.

In an atmosphere such as this, it is mildly remarkable that this blog and other liberal blogs are receiving many links from sites such as Crittenden’s, Pajama’s Media, Blue Crab Boulevard, and Outside the Beltway without being separated as views from the other side.

Number 48 Dies At 93

Former University of Michigan Center Gerald Ford died last night at age 93. He played on the undefeated national championship teams in 1932 and 1933. Ford’s jersey, number 48 was later retired in a ceremony at half time of the Michigan-Michigan State game on October 8, 1994. Ford would sometimes have The Victors played at state functions in place of Hail to the Chief when he served later in his life as President of the United States.

As one example of how the world has changed since Ford’s college days, Ford turned down NFL offers in order to attend Yale Law School. As an example of how the world has changed since my college days, I recall once walking within a few feet of Ford when he was visiting the University of Michigan campus, with only one person on each side of him. Its hard to imagine a current President walking like that without having the entire area cordoned off.

Local television here in West Michigan has been covering this story all night, including shots of candles being set outside the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids by mourners. It has been announced that the lobby of the museum, which features a replica of the oval office, will be kept open until further notice. The rest of the museum will be closed. Reportedly Ford will be buried outside the museum after lying in state in Washington, D.C.

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Gerald Ford and Reconciliation
Gerald Ford Opposed Iraq War

Gerald Ford and the Pardon of Richard Nixon