Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 8, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

NIXON LIBRARY UPDATE....When I blogged the other day about Matt Yglesias's talk at the Nixon Library on Wednesday, several commenters wanted to know what that was all about. The Nixon Library? Matt? Well, just for the record, it turns out that last year the library was transferred into the federal system and a new director, Tim Naftali of the University of Virginia, was hired. The old private foundation still controls a couple of buildings, but basically it's now a nonpartisan institution under federal control, just like all the other presidential libraries. Naftali told me that they're busily updating the displays and that Nixon's presidential papers, kept in Washington until now, will be shipped to California as soon as a new archive building is constructed. It is, one might say, the New Nixon Library.

So that's that. As for the talk itself, it went fine aside from a couple of odd harangues from the St. John's Wort dude. But even that, it turned out, just provided a bit of comic relief, so it wasn't all bad. Nickel summary: a militaristic foreign policy is bad and everyone should buy Matt's book. Or, at a minimum anyway, everyone should buy Matt's book.

Kevin Drum 11:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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The old private foundation still controls a couple of buildings, but basically it's now a nonpartisan institution under federal control.

Since the federal government and the media have now basically been subsumed into the Republican party, they probably figured, "What's the difference if the library is no longer privately controlled?"

Posted by: Swan on May 8, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

A Democratic victory in November will probably be pretty awkward for the establishment.

Note to fellow Democrats: Let's re-name the Nixon Library the Nelson Mandela Library, or something like that, some day.

Posted by: Swan on May 8, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the Nixon Library has come a long way since the time Hugh Hewitt ran it, and would not allow anyone not deemed ideologically correct to do research there.

Posted by: crossdotcurve on May 8, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I thought McCain had that cancerous wort on his face removed.

Posted by: Brojo on May 8, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

"but basically it's now a nonpartisan institution under federal control"

Now that's an oxymoron if I ever saw one.

What the eff happened yesterday afternoon? I go away for a few hours vacation, there is a war between Thersites and Norman, and now this morning Norman's blog has vaporized. I'm crushed, I've been using Normie's blog to put me in good spirits.

Posted by: optical weenie on May 8, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

a couple of odd harangues from the St. John's Wort dude.

Let me guess. It made him all better, right?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on May 8, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

It is, one might say, the New Nixon Library.

droll indeed, kevin.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on May 8, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

everyone should buy Matt's book.
Long as we don't have to read it. Hate all them big words and stuff.

Weenie, Read the last few comments in the "Election Thread" from yesterday. I have nothing more to say.

Posted by: thersites on May 8, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Good to see you there. You didn't mention that the Nixon library logo is grooooovy as all get out. Green with flowers and very 70s.

Posted by: dday on May 8, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

See ms. weenie, that's what happens and you take a vacation. How unAmerican.

And while I have your attention fer a bit, since you are a HRC supporter what do you think about this:

Here is how the Obama/Clinton contest can end.

1. The rest of the primary votes will be contested; but with more emphasis on positive messages.

2. Michigan will be seated 50-50 to 60-40 for Hillary

3. Florida will be seated 55-45 to 70-30 for Hillary

4. Super delegates will put Obama over the top as needed.

5. Every one kisses and makes up.

Oh, Normies' blog was very entertaining, yet weird, very weird.

Posted by: Keith G. on May 8, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Matt deserves thanks from all Southern Californians for his pronouncement on the unfriendliness of the place, so at least his followers will not flock to the region to crowd it up.

Posted by: gregor on May 8, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

The key question is whether the Nixon Library will still do the Elvis/Nixon birthday celebration every January.

Posted by: Don on May 8, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kev, thanks for the update. Any word on WHY the library finally got some smarts?

And, now that I know that, next time I'm on a desert Southwest vacation and flying in and out of Ontario, I'll stop by there again.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on May 8, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, any chance we can keep the BushCo library shrine here at SMU OUT of the National Archives system?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on May 8, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

the New Nixon Library

It's scanned, digested, and ready.

Posted by: Tim Morris on May 8, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

And today's Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Mot Juste Award goes to Kevin Drum for "New Nixon Library."

Posted by: Petronius on May 8, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

What a shame I got there too late to really participate. Yorba Linda is allot farther from the westside than I thought and it took me 2 hours to get there. I felt like a total dork coming in late. I loved the St. John's Wort guy - welcome to LA Matt!

The good of the evening, for me at least, is I got a good look at an vastly overlooked arterial road here in SoCal - the Imperial Highway. From it's roots (from my perspective) at the sea and LAX, it trudges into the one of the poorest and violent places in LA - while traveling through Lynwood I counted no less than seven sheriffs cars - the neighborhoods then get progressively nicer again until the road ends in Anaheim. It must be one of the most diverse 40 miles in the world, and a path I plan to return to with my cameras very soon. Like today.

Posted by: Chasm on May 8, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't been there in 15 years. Please tell me that the Nixon Library still has the room full of statues of world leaders: Mao and Chou looked like statesmen, while Khruschev and Brezhnev looked like Bolshevik gangsters.

Posted by: dr.giraud on May 8, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't see those, but I did like the wall of Time covers. The forty faces of Dick

Posted by: Chasm on May 8, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

The key question is whether the Nixon Library will still do the Elvis/Nixon birthday celebration every January.

No thankyouverymuch

Posted by: Randy Paul on May 8, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Does that mean that when W's lieberry comes under Federal Control, we can burn it down and save taxpayer dollars?

Posted by: Mazurka on May 8, 2008 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

we can burn it down and save taxpayer dollars?

Are there any energy experts left in the building here? What's the BTU yield on a copy of My Pet Goat?

Posted by: thersites on May 8, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK
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