Well, it's been an interesting holiday week. James Brown (who will lie in state at the Apollo Theater in New York this coming Thursday) died on Christmas morning, while here in Michigan, our own former President, Gerald Ford, died yesterday in California. It's been on the teevee here for more than a few hours today, as I'm sure it's been on the teevee around the country. I don't think we're going to go Reagan-dead crazy, but I'm sure as a President has passed, it's going to be a long road, so to speak, until Ford comes back to Grand Rapids to be buried.
That's a snarky title, I will admit. I have no real feelings about former President Gerald Ford. I don't remember him from his days of representing Michigan, and I was a little too young when he was appointed President to have real feelings about Vietnam, Nixon, or Nixon's pardon. What little I do remember of this time was that a lot of people were dying on the teevee in the war, some gate with a lot of water was a bad thing, and the president was a liar. What he lied about I didn't necessarily know or understand, but I did know that he had done something very bad and had to go. It wasn't until I was a little older (I was ten in 1974) that I finally figured out what the hell had happened.
Ford refused to bail out bankrupt New York during his tenure, and I sorta remember fearing that my hometown, Detroit, was about to face a nightmare, too. Only in the last eight years when the words Rumsfeld and Cheney floated to my conscious brain did I realize that Ford begat both Rummy and Cheney, and let's not forget that he also ushered George H.W. Bush into the position of CIA chief. So, while a lot of people believe Ford to be an okay president (better than Nixon, at least), he hired a lot of people who I like to view as a bunch of pandering idiots. Smart and clever pandering idiots, but panderers and idiots nonetheless.
Sigh. Anyway, rest in peace, Mr. President. At least your long national nightmare is over, while we who are left struggle with those who you placed in positions of authority. Thanks, buddy.
Here's a Dana Carvey skit from years ago, as Tom Brokaw practices his "Ford death announcement."
Thanks, Gothamist for some of the above links.