Gerald Ford has passed away.
Gerald Ford is perhaps one's second-favorite Republican president. Not counting Lincoln as a Republican.
(One's first favorite Republican president is Dwight Eisenhower, for having warned us about the "military-industrial complex," a warning which we failed to heed to our detriment, like Carter's warning about the urgent need to get off the oil teat.)
Of course, Gerald Ford did promote Cheney and Rumsfeld, and leave the East Timorese to be crushed. And he allowed Dick Nixon to escape prison.
On September 8, 1974 President Ford issued Proclamation 4311:
It is believed that a trial of Richard Nixon, if it became necessary, could not fairly begin until a year or more has elapsed. In the meantime, the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States. The prospects of such trial will cause prolonged and divisive debate over the propriety of exposing to further punishment and degradation a man who has already paid the unprecedented penalty of relinquishing the highest elective office of the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-four, and of the Indepdendence of the United States the one hundred and ninety-ninth.
But there's another side, according to Rodney Anonymous:
When looking back on the Ford years (both of 'em), be sure to stress what he didn't do:
Gerald Ford never OKed illegal wiretapping
Gerald Ford never had to kill a rabbit with an oar
Gerald Ford never traded arms for hostages
Gerald Ford never said "Read my lips, no new taxes" . .
Gerald Ford never managed to run up the greatest national debt in our history
Plus, Gerald Ford never started a war based on non-existent WMDs that killed 600K people. Nor did he morally and fiscally bankrupt America, but rather inspired it to greater humor. And why not?
Condolences to Betty; one wishes Gerald well.