Ford

Pros:
Helsinki Accords.
John Paul Stevens, though what makes Stevens a great justice is what made Ford regret appointing him.
He kind of seemed like a nice guy.
Cons:
Basically everything else. You know – pardoning Nixon, giving the green light to Suharto’s rape of East Timor, botching the response to the Mayaguez Incident, mismanaging the “swine flu” thingamajigger, etc. But especially the first two. Nixon deserved to be raked over the coals, not just for Watergate, but for COINTELPRO, for killing Allende, for siding with the Pakistani government as it butchered the Bangladeshi people, for everything the Church Committee and the Roosevelt Commission found, for running a White House where aides were planning the killings of journalists and the firebombings of think tanks, hell, for having psychopaths like Chuck Colson and G. Gordon Liddy within an 100-mile radius of the White House. And Ford let him off scot-free. That’s not even remotely forgivable. But at least it didn’t lead directly to the massacre of a quarter million people. Ford’s actions in Indonesia did. I can’t even start to imagine how he could sleep at night after that.
P.S. Still doubt that Ford’s pardon of Nixon was a mistake of monumental proportions? Read Brad Plumer on the subject. He makes the case for “maximum vengeance” quite well. Oh, and this SNL skit is so much funnier today than it was when it aired.

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