Friday, December 31, 2010

Scene III. San Clemente, in California.

[Enter Ziegler and Rosemary Woods.]
Ziegler. Just cast your eye upon this, Rosemary.
Rosemary. An article calling for the President
to resign. Malicious propaganda.
What of it?
Ziegler. ‘Tis the editorial position 5
of the Omaha World-Herald. Since the
very beginning, one of the finest
Republican papers, it has supported
dear Richard. But now, I cannot bear it.
Offensive reading. Resign for lack of 10
moral indignation, lack of any
ability to handle the situation.
Resign, not because of anything he
did, but because of the way other things
happened. What malicious rot! Oh, why has 15
this long and faithful paper so suddenly
been subverted?
Rosemary. ‘Tis only a minor circular, Ronald,
with hardly a jot of influence. Why worry?
Ziegler. But the stronghold of all conservative 20
Politics rests its weary head on the
bosom of the American heartland.
The heartland turns on the man, and says he
should quit. Not just tiny Omaha, but
Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Boston. 25
All the centers of the President’s great
popular appeal. Their papers, long
Republican bastions, now defect.
Send them a note, Rosemary. Tell them they’re wrong.
The President will never resign. 30
These reasons are too wishy-washy. And
Richard is no wishy-washy man.
Rosemary. But if all these supporters have defected
to join the enemy’s bandwagon,
what are we to do? 35
Ziegler. Oh, an excellent question. And we’ve
an excellent answer. The President
shall go forth with an Operation
of Candor and give numerous speeches
at carefully selected occasions 40
and sites. He will face his critics and his
popularity will soon rise. We are
in but a brief valley, where, as sure as
the sun shall set each day, we will rise
above this valley and once more set atop 45
the great avalanche of public confidence.
Rosemary. I hope so!
[Exit Rosemary Woods.]
[Enter Richard and Secret Service Agents.]
Richard. Feels good, this California sun.
Much relief from our winter of snowy discontent,
which plagues Washington. ‘Tis a stuffy place. 50
I never did like it much. ‘Tis too full of
nasty people who do nasty things.
Ah, California’s the place. A place to think
and dream and believe. If only Washington
were not so dreary and dismal. 55
There’s a mood there, a sarcastic feeling,
disbelief, almost, that anything is good.
‘Tis too morbid. A rotting, stinking sickness
that strangles incentive and creativeness.
A bog, a sucking mire that slows the functions 60
of man and government. A disease of
nausea and irregularity, destroying
a quality of life that ought to call
each other “Brother,” and bring many
smiles to grim and somber faces. Such is 65
the mood that plagues my Capital, and
plagues the soul of my Government.
Hello, Ron, what news do you bring?
Ziegler. Oh, nothing important, just some Congressional action.
Richard. You look depressed, what’s the matter? 70
Ziegler. Oh, nothing.
Richard. Come on, Ron, what is it?
Ziegler. Oh, it seems all so hopeless.
Richard. It seemed hopeless in ’62, remember?
Ziegler. But that was just for Governor. And we 75
lost fair and square. But this is different.
Richard. Ah, cheer up. We’re back on the track.
Operation Candor. The best defense is a good offense.
Ziegler. Oh, don’t be so trite. You know we’re in trouble.
They voted 400 some to 5 to have the 80
Judiciary Committee look into
your impeachment. It was a mistake.
Richard. Definitely. They’ve no grounds for impeachment.
Ziegler. No, I mean the releasing of the tapes.
‘Twas a mistake. It back-lashed on us. Instead 85
of support, the powerful and influential
decry a lack of moral leadership.
Fools. They don’t see facts. They see intangibles,
which can’t be assessed in a court of law.
Richard. But impeachment is a judicial process, Ron. 90
Fair minded men will look at all the evidence
and say, “No way.” And we’ll be vindicated.
Have faith!
Ziegler. I suppose so.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scene IV. Washington, D.C. the Capitol.

[Enter Carl Albert and divers Senators and Representatives.]
Albert. My Democratic friends, hearken. Listen
carefully to what I shall say.
Things, my friends, have gotten out of hand.
This scandal, called Watergate, has brought forth
fifty criminal indictments, a dozen 5
pleas of guilty, an entire Cabinet
swept away, and a Vice President
fallen from office, forgotten and alone.
1st Senator. ‘Tis as if we should celebrate.
2nd Senator. Aye, ‘tis a joyous news for we Democrats. 10
The Party Republican is damaged
beyond all recall and repair.
1st Represent But, methinks, sometimes, this carnage has been too harsh.
Albert. Though, we at first encouraged the undoing
of this scandal, for sometime it has gone 15
forward without our help.
3rd Senator. As if some monster, created and
controlled by mad science’s hand,
nursed and weaned , now has grown to such a weight
it rolls on, uncontrolled by helpless science 20
unable to stop its course or change its destiny.
2nd Represent Aye, these matters have wound into even
some corrupt practices of a few Democrats.
Albert. These are all but mere minor incidents
on the grand scale of Watergate. What have 25
we done, but set in motion a machine
of destruction, given momentum to the machine,
until now it crashes down the hill
faster than we can even watch?
Into whom it will crash, only God knows. 30
3rd Senator. Let us, then, withdraw to the sidelines and
watch the momentum of Watergate.
If we step in now, we shall be charged with
guiding the investigations. Let us
withdraw, and quietly, to watch the path 35
this monster machine sweeps out.
[Exeunt all save Albert.]
Albert. I shan’t wish to be a Republican right now.
[Enter Gerald Ford, as Vice President.]
Hello, there, Jerry.
Ford. Hello, Carl. Why do you wander these
empty halls, so sad and melancholy? 40
Albert. I suppose I shouldn’t be. By all the great
prognosticators, we should have a great
landslide for my party in the elections
this coming dull November.
Ford. I don’t think many Republicans stand a chance. 45
Albert. Aye, not only this Watergate, but
inflation. It looks bad for you, indeed.
Ford. ‘Tis true, especially on the inflation.
Tough times are tough on incumbents
of the party in power. 50
Albert. There are many men of high learning
within this Congress, Republicans by trade,
who say if the President should resign
then the Republican Party would
do much better this Fall. 55
Ford. I don’t want to be President. I don’t
need to be Vice President. I think the
case of Richard M. Nixon is near its close.
The facts will come out and for better or worse
the facts will be known. I pray the 60
President will be vindicated.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scene V. Washington, D.C. a prison.

[Enter Two Jailers.]
1st Jailer. Whoa, whoa, I say. We passed the exit, Sevie.
2nd Jailer. You smell of Scotch, Wesley. Most sickening.
1st Jailer. No, my dear friend, Sevie. ‘Tis not sickening.
‘Tis an his-, a his-, an historic day.
2nd Jailer. Now, Wesley, that you’ve finally got that out, 5
why is this an historic day?
1st Jailer. Because, my friend, I suspect company.
Important company, for a good long time, my friend.
2nd Jailer. How long.
1st Jailer. Three to seven. On con-, conspir-, plotting. 10
And some more on purg-, pur-, pu-, pu-, lying!
2nd Jailer. A Mafia Man? They’re hard to catch.
1st Jailer. No, no, no, nope. ‘Tisn’t the Cussy Nosetra.
Somethin’ even biggerer.
2nd Jailer. Bigger than Organized Crime? There’s no such 15
animal, except the Government.
1st Jailer. There, Severeno, is your rub.
2nd Jailer. Huh?
1st Jailer. Milton, or Shakespeare. Maybe it was Wilder.
2nd Jailer. Gad, you’re drunk. 20
1st Jailer. And why not? ‘Tis the biggest movement in my life.
2nd Jailer. Why, for heaven’s sake? Why?
1st Jailer. Because, Sevie, my dear friend, today
I incarce-, incarcer-, in-, lock up
three of the Watergate defendants. 25
Men who worked right over there for the President.
2nd Jailer. Yes, Wesley, ‘tis important. But nothing
to get stinking drunk over.
1st Jailer. Got to celebrate, you know. I’ll be on national veletision.
2nd Jailer. In your condition you’ll never get the key in the lock. 30
1st Jailer. Hah! Steady as a rock, you understand. I… I…
[He faints.]
2nd Jailer. Utterly deplorable. What nonsense through
yonder pie hole pukes.
[Exit with body of 1st Jailer.]
[Enter Howard K. Smith, Eric Severied, and John Chancellor.]
Smith. And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the
very place where Magruder, Colson, and 35
Kalmbach will be put behind bars,
an end to one segment of this Watergate ordeal.
Chancellor. Yes, Howard, other defendants are
already serving time, some are sentenced
and still more await their trial. 40
‘Tis the biggest scandal in American
History, uncovered by the diligent Press.
Severied. Just think, ladies and gentlemen, ‘tis
a scandalous matter twice as big as
Grant’s Credit Mobilier or Harding’s 45
Tea Pot Dome. Already a dozen
underlings have been convicted,
two Secretaries have been fired,
three more have resigned. The entire campaign
committee has been exterminated, 50
including that most venerable John Mitchell,
former Attorney General and good guy.
Even the Vice President has been swept away.
And ladies and gentlemen, it’s all been
brought to you by the American Press. 55

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scene VI. Washington, D.C. the Capitol.

[Enter Peter Rodino, the House Judiciary Committee and James St. Clair.]
Rodino. An impeachment inquiry must be impartial
and factual and just. We must take all
the evidence and look at it most wise.
1st Represent Throw the bum out, I say.
2nd Represent You have no grounds, I say. 5
1st Represent Oh, yeah?
2nd Represent Yeah!
Rodino. See hear, brother Democrat, and you
Republican. Hold your tongues ‘til
debate time rolls around. ‘Tis what this 10
Committee is for. And what do you want,
Mr. St. Clair?
St. Clair. To represent my client.
3rd Represent This is a Committee hearing, not
a trial. We’re impeaching the Man. 15
Why must you get in the way?
St. Clair. To ensure that President Nixon gets
a fair defense before the eyes of
the nation. Besides, Andrew Johnson had
a lawyer at his House hearings. 20
Rodino. Very well. You may be present, you may
ask questions, but you will not be allowed
to help write the minority report
or make any procedural suggestions.
St. Clair. That is what I had in mind. 25
[Exit St. Clair.]
3rd Represent A Committee of Impeachment. An awesome thing.
2nd Represent Aye, used but once before in most of
two hundred years. And then ‘twas a political
circus of ideological hatred
against a helpless Andrew Johnson. 30
I see a parallel. Poor Johnson was
acquitted by one brave vote. Methinks Nixon’s
margin of safety is much larger.
1st Represent I disagree on all points of your speech.
For this impeachment is criminal and 35
we’ve a good chance of conviction.
2nd Represent We shall see. We shall see.
Rodino. Impeachment, brothers, is a grave and
constitutional thing. No meager task.
We, the House Committee on the 40
Judiciary, have been authorized
to investigate and bring forth a report
concerning the President’s participation
in “treason, bribery, and other high
crimes and misdemeanors.” 45
Our report, brothers, will be definitive.
It will either tell the Congress that
Richard M. Nixon has committed
an impeachable offense, or he has not.
The full House will then debate and vote. 50
And if, a mighty if, it’s for impeachment
he will be tried in the Senate. Come, brothers,
we’ve a lot to do, much evidence
to consider. And the first thing we’ll do
is vote to subpoena all the 55
Presidential tapes, for that, my brothers,
is where the truth lies, on those tapes.
All in favor, say “Aye.”
Representatives “Aye!”
Rodino. Opposed? Measure carried. We’ll have the truth 60
shortly enough.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Scene VII. San Clemente, in California.

[Enter Pat, Tricia, and Julie.]
Julie. How dare they!
Tricia. The cads! The fiends!
Pat. Calm, girls, calm. ‘Tis not the first time.
Julie. No, but it has been a hundred and seven
years since a House Committee has looked 5
into impeachment. It’s disgraceful!
Pat. Do not fear. What can they do? They’ve all the facts.
They can’t help but decide in Richard’s favor.
Tricia. But they’re partisan Democrats. They’ll not
heed the evidence. 10
Pat. No, maybe not. But the American
public will. And they’ll see through
these Democratic tricks.
Tricia. I’ll have no fear.
Julie. Nor I. 15
Pat. Good girls. We’ve nothing to worry about.
[Enter Ziegler.]
You look happy, Ronald.
Ziegler. Your husband has hired a lawyer,
the finest in the country.
Together. Who? 20
Ziegler. Why, James St. Clair, that’s who.
Pat. A fine man.
Ziegler. Indeed! He’ll argue the President’s case,
high, low, or in the middle of the ocean.
Right now he goes to the court to plead that 25
the subpoenas issued by Jaworski
shan’t be complied with.
[Exit Ziegler.]
Pat. A noble cause.
[Enter Richard and Secret Service Agents.]
Hello, dear.
Julie/Tricia. Hi, father. 30
Richard. Hello, my family.
Pat. Thou seem pre-occupied and melancholy.

Richard. ‘Tis a melancholy time in our lives.
Pat. Come, daughters, methinks your father needs time alone.
[Exeunt Pat, Tricia, and Julie.]
Richard. You heard her. 35
[Exeunt Secret Service Agents.]
Where am I? What is my life? Such questions
are common nowadays. ‘Tis time I took
a reflective look at what means this world.
How fast it turns! With or without me, it
turns. And always faster. But the Captain 40
of a great Ship of State must calmly
steer a slow and deliberate course through
every swirling storm that buffets our world.
Always have I thought myself an honorable,
Captain. I’ve tried, I think, I really have, 45
to do what’s best for this land, this noisy
nation, this union of the free and brave.
But, by some accounts, the nation sees at the
helm a Captain I do not recognize.
I must be a terrible person! But, no, 50
that’s just the papers peddling garbage.
I’ve made many decisions as President.
And, yes, perhaps I’ve erred, and more than once.
But each move of the wheel, each course correction,
has been made for the good of the country. 55
And if what is best for the USA
is also good for me, I’ll not complain.
I am no fool. I can see when there is
advantage in mutually compatible
and beneficial deeds. If I appear 60
to have put my own desires before
the interest of the nation, that’s a mistake.
This present turmoil is just one more share
of the plague of ups and downs in any
public life. After all, there are many 65
millions still who support their President.
If the Committee votes for impeachment,
which I doubt, I’ve enough support in the
House to defeat the attempt. But if worse
does come, a Senate trial should be full fair. 70
I trust them. Good men elected by the self-
same citizens who elected me. It will
not get that far, in my practical view.
And now I think of long time friends who say
I must resign. What hogwash! I am 75
no quitter. I’ll ride it out. A stone wall.
I will survive. Breathe deep, each breath of mine,
resolved to say, “I will not resign.”

Monday, December 20, 2010

Scene I. Washington, D.C. The Mall.

[Enter Chorus.]
Chorus. Shakespeare misquoted, for your consideration:
“To be or not to be, is that a question?”
Taken here, the problem is not so clear.
Brave Hamlet talked of only death and life.
The deeds of Richard are of greater strife. 5
Under the scrutiny of this History
comes the Chief Executive of this Country.
Indeed, Affairs of State are Acts of Men,
as governed by the Constitution.
Yet how is this judged or who’s to choose 10
why which view prevails or which party fails?
Issues face us. Two sides, emotional,
believe there is no one truly impartial
left on this earth who can judge wrong from right.
In any ideological fight, 15
the flares and flames of passion burn the mind
into thinking that all must take a side.
“If ye be not for me, ye must be agin’ me!”
has forever been the partisans’ cry.
And no settlement will ever be found 20
to satisfy both sides. They won’t be bound
by any decent Logic known to man.
For Logic, you see, only tends to fan
outlandish bursts of emotional tension,
which fills a land with apprehension . 25
Each feuding side does hide the Truth full well
within the veil of Hyperbole’s saddle.
Even you, out there in audience land,
already have formed an opinion of this man.
And nothing we present in these final acts 30
could ever cloud your judgment of the facts
about this man, Richard Nixon by name,
of how he fared or what ever became
of him. For even now the Nation is
divided in two camps. As half the folks 35
laugh, “Alas, poor Richard, I knew ye well,”
the other half cries, “You Nixon haters,
you filthy Press, upon our President
you’ve unleashed the Hounds of Hell.”
Not ‘til all the principals are dead and cold 40
will wise and brave historians be bold
and say for certain who was wrong, and why.
So this History of Richard M. Nixon
Finds a turning point. Either a triumph
for those that want to fix him, or a 45
vindication for his loyal support.
So sit back in your comfortable chair
and watch the tale the players again prepare.
If you find them good in what they do,
give them a hand, 50
for they present a tale most significant
in the history of our land.
[Enter Leon Jaworski, a Prosecutor.]
Jaworski. Thanks to my predecessor, I’ve been able
to do my job. Here in my right hand are
seven indictments against seven 55
administration men. I go to hand
them up to His Honor, to begin the
prosecution of these indicted men.
And all the evidence I have will go
to the House Committee that studies his 60
Impeachment. I find it a shame that the
President will not give up his many
tapes. And now I’m forced to go before the
District Court to enforce my subpoenas
and the subpoenas of the House Committee. 65
I see just over there a bookstore with
a big blue book. A compromise is no
compromise if only one side agrees
to it. But ne’er-the-less, we have thirteen
hundred pages of edited transcripts. 70
The President says that is all we need
to decide that he’s innocent. But I’ll
be expletive deleted if I’ll for
one moment be unwise enough to think
that edited transcripts are the whole truth! 75
Thus, I need tapes, not transcripts! Or
do the President and his lawyer take
me and the House Committee for abject
fools? There exists two possibilities.
If Nixon is not guilty, then I can 80
take these blue bound transcripts at face value
The President asks me and the country
to trust him now, for he is the best judge.
There is another possibility,
horrid to think on. If Mr. Nixon 85
is guilty of doing wrong once, is it
not so impossible that he would have
the tapes transcribed to cover up his guilt?
I will not trust a man because he pleads
me to. I must discern the truth myself. 90
[Enter Martha Mitchell.]
Hello, Mrs. Mitchell.
Martha. Hello, Mr. Jaworski. You contemplate deeply.
Jaworski. The ambiguities of our day trouble me.
Martha. They trouble us all. Just look around you.
Over there the TV shouts for the 95
thousandth time a picture of our President
declaring he’ll not resign. And the
radio tells of the Court cases against
his former aides. And the papers at the
newsstand inform the reader that the 100
President should either resign or be
impeached! Sometimes I pity the
President. I can feel sorry for such
a man who’s long time friends are either
indicted or leave his side. Oh, so 105
many papers, loyal to him for many years,
turn their backs and editorially
say he should not be President.
It is sad to see a man attacked by former friends.
Jaworski. They say, madam, that rats desert a sinking ship. 110

[Enter two Citizens.]
1st Person. Well, delete my expletives, if it ain’t ol’ Hal.
2nd Person. That’s not funny, Roger. You know that I’m
a Nixon man. Nixon’s the greatest
President we’ve ever been fortunate to have.
1st Person. Come now, dear friend, surely you joke? Have you 115
not read the voluminous blue editions
of the edited transcripts?
2nd Person. That I’ve done.
1st Person. And isn’t it now clear to you that your
President is a shameful disgrace? 120
Have you no vision to see a man
who let his friends do dirty work while your
President stood by and watched? I find
the immorality of these transcripts
appalling. Why was there no cry 125
of moral indignation sent out?
2nd Person. Why friend, do you mean the same transcripts as
I? I’ve read fully and thoroughly all
the blue bound volumes and I can find
nothing at all that incriminates my mind. 130
You must read things that are not there!
1st Person. Exactly, all those portions marked,
“Not related to Watergate matters.”
Hah! The most important parts are not included.
2nd Person. You lie, fiend. Have you no trust? 135
1st Person. Not in Richard M. Nixon.
[Exit 1st Citizen.]
2nd Person. Well, I do!
[Exit 2nd Citizen.]

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Scene II. Washington, D.C. a Courtroom.

[Enter Judge Sirrica, a Jury, John Dean, H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Leon Jaworski, divers lawyers, clerks, Bailiffs, and officers of the Court, Spectators, and Members of the Press.]
1st Bailiff. Order in the Court! The Honorable Judge Sirrica, presiding!
Sirrica. And what case is now before us?
2nd Bailiff. The Watergate defendants, your honor.
Sirrica. You three, Dean, Haldeman, and Ehrlichman,
charged you’ve been, with conspiracy to a 5
felony, the obstruction of justice,
misuse of campaign funds, violations
of civil codes and personal liberties.
Tried you’ve been both fair and square before this
Jury of your peers. How find you these men? 10
1st Juror. Guilty, as charged.
Sirrica. You have been found guilty and sentenced you
shall be in three weeks time, though the lowly
sentence of the law shall be naught compared
with the sentence decreed in heaven against 15
those who have no moral or ethical
values. This jury is dismissed.
[Exeunt Jury, Dean, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, lawyers, and Spectators.]
1st Reporter.‘Twas not very dramatic.
2nd Reporter.Aye, a bit of an anticlimax.
3rd Reporter.But one well deserved, for they were guilty, no doubt. 20
2nd Reporter.How can our critics say that we were wrong
in digging deep into our government
secrets? For has it not now been proven
that we were right? If we hadn’t probed and
investigated, God alone knows what 25
those three would have done.
[Enter James St. Clair, lawyer to Richard.]
Sirrica. Let’s have some order here. What case is next?
Jaworski. A civil suit, your honor.
Sirrica. Namely?
Jaworski. The United States versus Richard M. Nixon. 30
Sirrica. And what’s the problem?
Jaworski. Mr. Nixon, a citizen, has in
his possession a number of short tape
recordings which contain evidence for
the trials of the three just convicted, 35
but on different counts, and many others
that await prosecution.
Sirrica. And what do you want?
Jaworski. As Special Prosecutor I was given
the Powers of Subpoena. My subpoenas 40
to the President, and those of my
predecessor, have only been partially
fulfilled, and only with insignificant
documents and tapes, while a vast number
of tapes of great importance are withheld. 45
I wish for you to set a final date
for the delivery of these tapes to my office.
St. Clair. I object!
Sirrica. And who are you?
St. Clair. St. Clair, lawyer for the President. 50
I object. The President, through long
tradition, has the right to keep his
personal effects from being examined.
It is called the “executive privilege,”
first used by Thomas Jefferson. My client 55
pleads that Mr. Jaworski has no right
to claim these tapes for use at trial.
Sirrica. And what are your clients reasons?
St. Clair. They are four fold. A., the long standing
executive privilege, for one. B., 60
the tapes contain much irrelevant
material, which, if released, would name
not only individuals, but their
privet confidences with the President.
This would hinder the policies of top 65
secret national security. C.,
if Mr. Jaworski is looking for
something on those tapes with which to prosecute
the President, he won’t find anything,
so his quest is fruitless. And D., which is 70
most likely of greatest importance,
should the President be forced to hand over
these tapes, he would submit to the Judicial
Branch a Power which rightly belongs to
the Executive. If this should happen 75
the balance of power, so finely
adjusted in our Constitution, will be
invariably and irreconcilably
altered, to the harm of us all.
Sirrica. And why do you need the tapes? 80
Jaworski. For the administration of Justice,
under the Constitution. ‘Tis that simple.
Sirrica. Could you strike a compromise?
St. Clair. It’s already been done. Transcripts of all
the tapes have been published. A fifth reason 85
for ignoring the subpoenas. It’s all
been made public, all the conversations
desired by Mr. Jaworski, with all
irrelevant security matters
deleted. All that you ask for is in print. 90
Jaworski. Oh, bull!
Sirrica. Order in the Court!
Jaworski. I mean, I object! Who edited these
transcripts? The President’s own staff I’m told.
Am I a fool? No, sir, I’m not naïve! 95
That is no compromise. That’s his defense!
How do I know those transcripts are correct?
By trusting you? Never! Turn them over,
St. Clair. Let Judge Sirrica delete
irrelevant data, not the President’s 100
secretary. Let the Courts decide!
Sirrica. A fair compromise. In one week deliver
me the tapes.
St. Clair. No! Who are you, a mere District Court Judge!
My client will appeal! He’ll take this to 105
the Supreme Court. Those wise, fair Justices
must now decide this case in our favor.
Sirrica. So be it. ‘Tis no more in my hands.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Scene III. Washington, D.C. The White House.

[Enter Pat, Julie, and Tricia.]
Pat. Happy news this morning, daughters!
Tricia. Oh, indeed. The polls have shifted upward.
Daddy’s popularity is on the wax, again.
Julie. Looks most promising, Mother, for we are
on our way out of this conflict. 5
Pat. Yes, your Father hath faced many a crises
afore, this is but one more. And each time
he comes out a stronger man.
Tricia. Now all the evidence is out. The transcripts
show the public for certain that Daddy 10
knew nothing of these horrid matters. The
people believe he is innocent.
That’s what counts.
Pat. It has been a long and lonely night, my
children, to be compared to the Arctic 15
winters, so long has it been since the
sun has shown on our house. But hope, like the
morning dawn, will always come again.
Let’s rejoice for what we’ve got and what will
be and what is bound to pass. 20
[Exeunt Julie and Tricia.]
[Enter Richard and Secret Service Agents.]
Richard. It’s all set. I’ve talked to Golda and Leonid.
The change will do me so much good.
This American atmosphere does no good.
Ah, for the sunny sands of those ancient lands
of Canaan. The cold invigorating 25
clime of Mother Russia.
All packed?
Pat. Aye, the blue valise and matching
travel luggage.
Richard. It will look nice against the parching sands 30
and nomadic peoples.
Pat. And fit snug against the snowy Ural peaks.

Richard. An excellent decision, sweet Pat.
You are a wonderful wife. Let’s to the
helicopter quickly attend, to begin 35
another of our far flung adventures.
Pat. Thou, good husband, hast traveled farther
than any predecessor. A man
of the world, thou art Richard.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scene IV. Washington, D.C. before the Capitol.

[Enter Howard K. Smith.]
Smith. ‘Tis I, Howard K. Smith, your reporter
roving about before our nation’s
Capitol to bring to you the views
of our elected Congressmen on
the question of the Impeachment of 5
President Nixon.
[Enter a Senator.]
Ah, and here’s one. Senator? A word, please.
1st Senator. The President has flown. He vacates
this City at every chance and runs from
his problems. Where is he headed? To that foul 10
city of Moscow, conspiring, in the
name of détente, to subvert the will
of the people.
[Enter another Senator.]
He will not survive the summer.
Smith. You believe he’ll be impeached? 15
1st Senator. Tarred and feathered, more likely.
Smith. And you, your honor, a short word on the
2nd Senator. Whew, it’s hot! The President is so smart.
He travels to cool Russia where 20
the temperature is more to a man’s suiting.
Smith. He’s not running from responsibility?
2nd Senator. Foreign affairs are a grave responsibility.
[Enter a Representative.]
Ah, excuse me, please.
Smith. Your views, sir. 25
Represent. Ah, yes. I am a Republican
by name. My colleagues in the House will
approach the President when he returns.
For the good of the Party, we will ask
him to retire. As of now we can look 30
forward to none but a debacle
[Enter a third Senator.]
this November.
Smith. As you can see, my viewers, opinions
are diverse here up on the Capitol’s hill.
3rd Senator. May I say a word. 35
Smith. Please, be my guest.
3rd Senator. Countrymen, inflation sores. Corporations
face bankruptcy. The innovative
programs of federal health and welfare
lie stagnant. Our position as a world 40
power falters. And why is all of this?
Because the nation holds its breath while
Richard M. Nixon plays out his final scenes.
No muscles move. No motion’s made in
any direction because we stand, 45
with bodies rigid and mouths agape,
to watch the fateful conclusion of one
man’s reign. Enough! This grows so so weary.
I predict that our nation will crumble
if we stand so affixed for much longer. 50
Someone must make a move to prevent a
total standstill of our Government.
The suspense will kill us all. The man must
go or be vindicated. At the rate we
now proceed, we shall die from holding our 55
breath and grow morbid from our inactivity.
Smith. This is Howard K. Smith, signing off.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Scene V. Nebraska a Main Street.

[Enter divers Townspeople and Farmers.]
1st Farmer. Spring wears on to Summer and still no rain.
1st Townp. This must be hard on you farm folk, no doubt.
2nd Farmer. Aye, without some rain we’ll have no corn crop
this fall, and no soybeans at harvest time.
3rd Farmer. At least the wheat is good. 5
1st Farmer. At least. But corn’s the money crop. All that
nutritious protein for those feeding cows.
2nd Townsp.I suppose this means food prices will rise, again.
2nd Farmer. I don’t know. I’m not the one who controls
the price you pay. They pay me what they want, 10
then charge you what they want.
3rd Townp. ‘Tis always the middle man what causes
all the trouble.
3rd Farmer. Him and the Government!
1st Townp. Hah! The Government. They can’t do anything 15
right. Wage and Price Controls, humbug!
1st Farmer. They’ll never pay us for our corn loses,
which they should, for it is a natural disaster.
2nd Townp. Bureaucrats! They sit and make petty laws
in that granite city of Washington 20
with no thought or knowledge of what life is
like out here in the heartland.
2nd Farmer. Now, hold on there. Why do you desert our
Government? We are America, the
greatest country on Earth. Do you declare 25
against this Nation? Do you say evil
against the Government? Traitors!
3rd Townp. Look, I’ve been a Republican all my
entirety. And our President is
the greatest that’s ever been. I only 30
[Enter Carl Curtis, Senator from Nebraska, Bathe, a farmer, and Walker Cronkite.]
wish he would do something about this, our
lousy economic state.
1st Farmer. And bring a little rain, maybe?
Curtis. Look, eastern liberal pressman. This is
a true American. Look at his suffering. 35
His agony, the martyred corn. Gone, all gone!
Mark my words, eastern liberal pressman,
food prices will sore. All the corn is gone.
Cronkite. I have come to see first hand, but do not
comprehend. What is wrong with the crop I have 40
filmed this morning?
Curtis. Fool! ‘Tis burnt and lost of all water content!
The worst drought since the Great Depression!
This will not produce ne’ry an ear!
Bathe. ‘Tis true, Mr. Cronkite, we’ll have to cut 45
it, whole, to feed our cattle at much less
than a quarter of its nutritional value
than if it were fully grown ears of corn.
Cronkite. I see now. A sensible statement.
Say, Mr. Bathe, what do you see wrong 50
with the government?
Bathe. Well, it isn’t exactly Mr. Nixon’s fault,
just too much of a bureaucracy.
I think that is what causes inflation,
too much government to move before 55
any thing gets done. Or petty little
fools who sit in Washington and think they
can dictate the quality of life in
America. No, this is where it’s at.
Here in the Midwest, in Central Michigan, 60
Southern Tennessee, Eastern Vermont,
Northern Oregon. This is what America
is about. Not the little patch of Potomac
landfill where tiny people tell
America what’s good for America. 65
Just look about you, Mr. Cronkite.
This very state had Signs. Good Signs
of Tourist Intent, posted along the
Great Highway, to inform the vacationing
family of many fine attractions, 70
both pleasing to the visitors and to
the State, for it did bring in much needed
revenue. But, lo, Wise Men in Washington
decreed that our Signs belied the Law of
the Land. They were, ‘twas accused, an eyesore 75
along our Public Highway. And if the
State would not take them down, then Federal
funds to build our roads would stop.
This monetary blackmail cut deep and
our Governor removed the informative 80
Signs to save our moneys. And that’s not all,
Mr. Cronkite, the County Lancaster, where
Indian defendants, lawyers, and families
awaited Federal trial, distributed
to these poor, uprooted by no choice save 85
compellation by the Federal
Government, certain stamps by which they could
obtain food. Now the County Lancaster
overlooked a few minor details to
ensure the Indian families wouldn’t starve. 90
But, no! The Federal Bureaucracy
declared that no violation could be
violated and stopped the disbursement
of the food stamps. You say, Mr. Cronkite
and Senator Curtis, we wallow in 95
Watergate, but I tell you, sirs
wallowing in Bureaucracy is a
far worse wasting of America.
Curtis. Must have had chores to do. Let’s not hinder further.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scene VI. Israel an Airport.

[Enter Richard, Pat, Golda Meir Secret Service Agents, divers dignitaries, crowds, supporters, and Protesters.]
Richard. So this be Israel. A charming little country.
Meir. Why, I thank you. It would hardly be our
country if it weren’t for Henry Kissinger.
Richard. Ah, you mean my instrument of foreign
affairs who has brought Peace to your little 5
corner of the world.
[Enter Henry Kissinger.]
And here’s the man himself.
Meir. Hail, kinsman, friend who has saved our land
from Arab onslaught. How does it go.
Kissinger. I disengage many things these days, but 10
I shan’t wish to disengage the friendship
of so charming a lady.
Meir. I blush. I bet you haven’t had any real
home-made chicken soup since you were but a
tiny child in Central Europe. 15
Kissinger. Why, no, kind woman that’s one delight I’ve
not tasted in any of my far-flung missions.
Meir. Well, dear boy, come on up to my apartment
and I’ll heat some up for you. Huh?
Kissinger. I’d be delighted most gracious Golda. 20
[Exeunt Meir and Kissinger.]
Pat. She’s resigning. They blame the war’s
inadequate defense on her lonely little body.
Richard. I know. ‘Tis a shame to resign.
1st Demons. Why don’t you?
Richard. I’ll not resign, anonymous liberal 25
heckler. The crowds, Pat, are not so large as
in Egypt. My, that was something. A sight
to see and cherishingly remember
all my life. Seven million, cheering,
waving Egyptians came forth to greet me. 30
Here, but a few thousand.

Pat. Security is much tighter, my dear sweet
husband. There are oh so many loose and
unpredictable Arab Terrorists
about. Thy safety is in much peril. 35
Richard. We’ll, ‘tis a long enough visit. Henry
does well. It’s off to Mother Russia to
visit that cold clime and frigid
government we’ve tried to warm.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Scene VII. Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court.

[Enter Warren Burger, Chief Justice, divers Supreme Court Justices, crowds, lawyers, members of the press, Leon Jaworski, and James St. Clair.]
Burger. The arguments. Mr. Jaworski.
Jaworski. Your honors, before you stands a humble
man called upon by Destiny to argue
against a man whom he has no quarrel with.
I’ve not met this man whom I prosecute. 5
Yet, your honors, in truth I believe
in what I shall herein present.
And I believe it with all my heart and
all my soul. In brief, these are my claims.
I have been called upon by the Congress, 10
nay, commanded, to investigate and
bring to trial all those persons who have
done illegal acts in these matters which
we have called Watergate. And now, your honors,
we’ve got that trial. And for that trial 15
we need evidence. Now, most eminent
men of learning, it has come to my
attention that Richard M. Nixon,
a citizen of this country, has in
his possession certain documents and 20
recordings that have, by a lawful
magistrate of this land, been declared as
evidence for that trial. Thereby an order
was issued dually authorized
and lawfully executed, subpoenaing 25
these recordings and documents. But, see,
your honors, Mr. Nixon has refused
this lawful order and now the case is
before this High Tribunal of our land.
Burger. Mr. St. Clair. 30
St. Clair. Your eminence, honors, justices, men
of learning, for these you certainly are,
listen, and in your wisdom, please listen.
I represent Richard Nixon.
He, your graces, is not, as my venerable 35
Mr. Prosecutor would have you believe,
an ordinary citizen. He has
been elected, by the mandate of the
people of this land, to serve as President.
Your honors, to be effective, faithful 40
in administrating the laws of this land,
he must, by the very nature of his
office, have over him a certain
Privilege that immunes him from poking
and prying from every petty tribunal 45
that has a quarrel with his actions. I
am not defending the man. I defend
the Office. For if you, in your collective
wisdom see fit to force the acceptance
of this order, then every President 50
throughout eternity will be forced to
spend such fruitless hours fighting in court
each irate citizen bent on his destruction.
Your honors, what desecration of faith
will you command if you decide against 55
the President! For surely no Chief
Executive’s secrets will e’er be safe,
especially when such secrets, as they
do, affect our nation, our world, and our
very history. How can you let prying 60
minds infilter the innermost strategies
of National Security? Then, men
of wisdom, what shall be wrought when every
factor that makes this democracy strong
is exposed to false, malicious minds that 65
have neither respect nor compassion for
democratic ways. Think, your honors, and think twice.
[Exeunt St. Clair and Jaworski.]
Burger. And these are the arguments. We shall go
behind closed doors to deliberate this case
and issue forth with the answer, when it 70
shall come to us.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Scene VIII. Moscow the Kremlin.

[Enter Richard, Pat, Leonid Brezhnev, and Secret Service Agents.]
Brezhnev. I wish to thank you, good friend, for your gift
of this Ford Continental Mark IV
automobile, which you have so
graciously presented to me.
Pat. It has the plush interior, carpet, 5
power brakes, air conditioning and
bullet proof windows.
Richard. ‘Tis a handsome addition to the Cadillac
I gave to you upon my last visit.
Brezhnev. You are too generous, my friend. 10
Pat. ‘Tis nothing. We gave our friend, Sadat, the
man of Egypt, a Helicopter!
Brezhnev. Really?
Richard. Yes. I will miss it, though. ‘Twas a happy
green in color. Carried Pat and me 15
many times to and fro the airport.
Brezhnev. Must you rush off so soon? You’ve only been
here three days. Stay awhile longer and
I will show the very best that poor Moscow offers.
Pat. We must return, dear Leonid. 20
The nasty press keeps us up with such
asinine questions of the like,
“When will you return to your Capitol?
Why do you stay away from Washington?”
Well, I’ll tell you, I don’t like that City. 25
I like to travel. But the liberal press,
those nasty men, cannot leave me and poor
Richard alone. Well, you newsmen, we return
tomorrow. Will they be satisfied?
We return on Wednesday. 30
Richard. Aye, Wednesday. Oh, fateful day. The Court will
rule upon my appeal of the subpoena.
Brezhnev. In your favor, I trust. In my country,
dear Richard, I have no trouble with
the newsmen. I feel that they worry you 35
constantly. You should do something about
the media annoyance, as we have
done in Mother Russia.
Richard. Maybe I should.
[Exeunt Richard, Pat, and Secret Service Agents.]
Brezhnev. Twenty years ago that man gained our 40
attention by hating communists.
He rose through the ranks of America
by fighting the enemies of freedom.
Poor Nikita. If he hadn’t been Premier
and Richard Vice-President, they might have 45
punched each other’s lights out. He hated us so.
But now Richard is on top. He can no
longer hate his adversaries, for that
would trigger events unstoppable.
So, mutually assured, we must be friends. 50
Now twenty years ago tempers flared
and ideologies may have clashed.
But Richard has learned a lesson. You can
only get so far on your ideologies.
From there to the crest of high history 55
one can only compromise and subvert
one’s ideologies for détente.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Scene IX. Washington, D.C. a newsroom.

[Enter Walter Cronkite.]
Cronkite. Good evening. The Supreme Court today ruled
unanimously against President
Richard Nixon when it returned
a nine to zero decision that forced
the White House to turn over subpoenaed 5
documents and tapes to the Special
Prosecutor. The historic decision
was climaxed in the courtroom by the reading
of Chief Justice Burger. A hushed silence fell
upon the court as he ruled that the 10
President must comply with the subpoena
and that no man is above the law.
This comes as a severe blow to the
President’s defense. The Special Prosecutor
will have all the tapes that the President 15
has here-to-fore denied him. It is expected
that the House Judiciary Committee
will now get the material it wants and
will begin open debate on the Impeachment
of the President next Wednesday. 20
CBS News will be there to cover it, live.
President Nixon returned from his
foreign travels today. He was met at
the airport by several thousand supporters.
The Midwestern drought is now in its tenth 25
week, destroying crops and ruining cattle,
plunging the breadbasket of this land
into natural disaster. Prices are
expected to rise. Speaking of inflation,
last month it went up one point two percent, 30
the largest monthly rise since statistics
have been kept. A grocery basket that cost
twenty dollars three years ago now costs
twenty-four dollars and fifteen cents.
And now here’s Eric Severied 35
with some thoughts on today’s historic
Supreme Court decision.
[Enter Eric Severied.]
Severied. Thank you, Walter. Today’s historic
Supreme Court decision is something
Richard M. Nixon will not look 40
lovingly to. It is his disaster.
The drought that plagues our West is nothing
compared to the blow which the Judges of
our land have decreed. Mr. Nixon must
now give up all those tapes he cherishes. 45
An what’s on those tapes will undoubtedly
be damaging to him. But for democracy,
for freedom, for human decency
we will finally know, once and for all,
the true extent of the President’s 50
involvement in Watergate.
Cronkite. And that’s the way it is, Wednesday,
July Twenty-fourth, Nineteen Seventy-four.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Scene I. Washington, D.C. The Capitol.

[Enter Peter Rodino, Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Wiggins, Sandman, and Other Members of the House Committee on the Judiciary, a Clerk, Members of the Press, and divers Spectators.]
Rodino. Again we renew this debate, namely
that the President of the United States
shall be impeached by the House of Representatives
upon these three bills. One, he has obstructed
the administration of justice. Two, 5
he has used the powers of the Presidency
in a manner which is abusive and
has repeatedly engaged in conduct
violating the rights of free men. Three,
the President, in contempt of Congress, 10
has repeatedly failed to comply with
the will of the House of Representatives.
Mr. Wiggins.
Wiggins. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been, for
all my life a faithful and regular 15
Republican, a long and loyal
supporter of Richard M. Nixon.
For five months, now, I’ve not slept, nor have
any of my colleagues upon this
Committee. These long and frightful months lay 20
heavy upon us, for we have learned in
full and hideous detail, the ways and
means by which the American public
has been subverted by their elected
leader. I hold that Richard M. Nixon 25
is responsible for the action of his
aides. No man should be so reckless, so naïve
as to let the likes of Haldeman and
Ehrlichman bungle their jobs unknowing
or uncaring of the consequence. We have 30
heard the testimony of how the
President tried to ignore this thing called
Watergate and then how he tried to control
its destructive impetus. But we were
denied the full story. Denied the most 35
important tapes and documents.
This Wednesday last, the President was
ordered to hand over the tapes. But, lo,
he and his staff dilly-dally and claim
that they must be cross referenced. This 40
Committee is yet denied. But the House
will not be denied! America will
not be denied the truth. In Contempt of
Congress, in Obstruction of Justice, the
President should be impeached. 45
The agony of this decision cannot
be measured in time nor money. I have
deserted my Party, a grave result,
but I sincerely feel that I have made
the right decision and my soul will not 50
trouble me. I place my support, and my
confidence, in the American People.
Rodino. Mr. Sandman.
Sandman. The Gentleman from California speaks true.
None of us have slept these past months. 55
The sick agony of a sleepless soul,
searching through the midst of twelve volumes of
testimony, come now I to defend
the President. Perhaps this is more
a question of proportionalities. 60
If a man should hire two servants and these
men should prove to be loyal and faithful
servants, who to protect the interests
of their master, perform mischief and
other things of illegal intent, 65
how can you condemn the master for
protecting, in turn, his loyal servants?
This is what I find here in these
Watergate scandals. The wrongs committed,
in the name of loyalty, are fairly 70
flown out of all decent proportion.
I cannot condemn this man! I find, in
my soul, in my heart, in my prayers, that
this man cannot be impeached for
the trivial acts of his subordinates. 75
Rodino. The Committee will now take a vote.
There shall be a short recess.
[Exeunt all save Two Members of the Press.]
1st Reporter.Why the unscheduled pause?
2nd Reporter.Methinks the rumor of a bomb.
1st Reporter.A bomb! While all of history hangs 80
in the balance?
2nd Reporter.‘Tis a maxim. Terrorists will always
strike those in the public eye.
1st Reporter.Shall we not flee, e’er we be blown sky high?
And never learn if the President be 85
impeached or not!
2nd Reporter.Security will check the rumor and
clear us from all harm. The Committee will
vote shortly. I think they return even as I speak.
[Re-enter the Committee, Members of the Press, and Spectators.]
Rodino. And now that the coast is clear, we shall proceed 90
to the vote. In favor of recommending
that the full House impeach Richard M. Nixon,
raise your right hand. Opposed, the same.
Clerk, the results, if you please.
Clerk. Mr. Chairman, twenty-four in favor, 95
fifteen opposed.
Rodino. The Committee on the Judiciary
concludes its business. A full bill
of Impeachment will be delivered
unto the House of Representatives. 100
What has passed herein has been done. May it
be deemed just. Committee adjourned.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Scene II. Washington, D.C. The White House.

[Enter Richard, Ron Ziegler, Gerald Ford, and Secret Service Agents.]
Richard. You, Ron and Gerald, are the only
two friends I have left. All others have
deserted me, or languish somewhere
behind iron bars. Even the farmers
and truck drivers call me names! 5
Ziegler. You have a great following, Mr.
President. Why, forty percent of this
nation’s population consider you
innocent, the greatest man ever
to sit within the Oval Office. 10
Richard. While over fifty consider me
an exile already. The secretaries
across the street have drawn amongst themselves
a pool to guess by what majority
the House will impeach me. I have never 15
seen things so dark. Perhaps I should come full
clean abreast with the problem. I will go
and give the public the truth.
Ziegler. I hearken to the phone, Mr. President,
but I do not think such a scheme would play 20
in Peoria.
[Exit Ziegler.]
Richard. “Play it in Peoria.” A phrase that
Haldeman used to use. Vile contempt,
how wretched your target! For Bob was
a fair and decent man who could turn 25
the English language on its ear.
It’s sad, and reprehensible that
evil conceptions emerge in
America’s mind when it hears “played
in Peoria.” A phrase which has magic 30
descriptive qualities.
Ford. [Aside.]
Descriptive of nothing more fetid than
the fooling of America’s common folk.
Richard. You know, Jerry, he coined “plumbers”. To fix
the leaks. Very clever. I think so much 35
more clever than what you have on television.
“At this point in time.” “To the best of my
recollection, I can’t recall.” What
perfidious assaults on the art of
human communication! The fault with 40
the world today, Jerry, is that we are
all embogged by the dialect of the bureaucrat.
O, for men with Haldeman’s command
of the English language.
Ford. ‘Tis something for me to agree on. 45
Richard. I’m going to tell you something, Jerry.
Something I haven’t even told Pat.
The tapes, which Jaworski now has, contain
a certain segment that may be
misinterpreted by the general public. 50
Ford. I do not so doubt the public’s
wisdom, Mr. President.
Richard. It will appear that I learned of these matters
Watergate four days before I have
previously said that I did. It will 55
also appear that I agreed to
dispatch these matters before they could do
my administration harm. I hope
the public will not misjudge my motives,
for they were not evil, were not bred 60
of any massive abuse.
Ford. And what were your motives?
Richard. To save my skin, Jerry. To emerge with
my hide intact. What more could a man in
my position do? What I told Ron is 65
a good idea. I will go before
this nation and tell them the truth.
Ford. ‘Twill be the fifth time you’ve told them the truth.
Richard. Perhaps they will believe me this time.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Scene III. Nebraska a Main Street.

[Enter divers Townspeople and Farmers.]
1st Townp. He finally admitted it. The man’s
a crook. I always said he was.
1st Farmer. I admit that certain illegal things
were committed, but all of them by his
aides. The President had no hand in the 5
execution of these treacheries.
1st Townp. But, by my hand, he knew about it, and
by my hand, that is even worse!
2nd Townp. Two’ll get you five, Gerald Ford’ll be
President by Friday. 10
1st Townp. You’re on, boy! Tricky Dicky will worm his
way from behind this rotten apple.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Scene IV. Washington, D.C. The White House.

[Enter Richard, Gerald Ford, Carl Albert, Secret Service Agents, and divers Senators and Representatives.]
Richard. Thank you, gentlemen, for coming to me
this morning to present your views.
Albert. I hope you take our words to heart and
abide by the things we have said.
For it is in the name of the nation 5
that we ask you these things.
[Exeunt Albert, Senators, and Representatives.]
Richard. I ask you, Jerry, how many backstabbers
are there in the world. Monday I announce
the extent of my entire guilt and on
Tuesday morn the assorted kingpins 10
of Capitol Hill come to call for my
resignation. Will you make a good
President, Jerry?
Ford. I pray I may never be given the chance.
Richard. But if worse comes to worst, could you 15
handle the job?
Ford. I imagine I could.
[Enter Henry Kissinger.]
Hello, Henry.
Kissinger. Mr. Ford, it is time for your briefing
on foreign affairs in the week upcoming. 20
Richard. Ah, Henry, when is my briefing?
Kissinger. I don’t think one will be necessary, sir.
[Exeunt Ford, Kissinger, and Secret Service Agents.]
Richard. Diogenes searched for an honest man.
In truth he quested for a fool.
[Enter Carl Albert, Carl Curtis, and Howard K. Smith.]
Smith. Mr. Speaker, what did you’re group tell the 25
Albert. We explained that his administration
has done disaster to the foundations
of government and we asked him
to resign before the damage becomes 30
Smith. Is that true, Senator Curtis?
Curtis. Young reporter, it is the duty
of every Citizen to stand by his
President, right or wrong, he is our 35
Government. The action proposed today
by my colleagues is repulsive.
The United States of America
cannot operate in such a manner.
Shall we become nothing but a Banana 40
Republic, whereby the election of
a leader lasts only as long as the vested
minority concurs? Are we to face
the ordeal of our President succumbing
to the capricious fate of the opinion 45
poll? Will America someday be placed
at the level where foreign dispatches
shall read that a bloodless coup has resulted
in the ouster of another president?
We can not allow this Republic to 50
become allied with the forces of sad
instability and arrogant whim.
We shall not have a government who’s sole
objective is to maintain the balance
of factional power long enough to 55
control the Radio Station in the
Capitol. All this, young reporter I
foresee, if Richard M. Nixon is forced
to resign.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Scene V. Washington, D.C. before the White House.

[Enter Walter Cronkite.]
Cronkite. That Everyman of Stage, our Chorus, who’s
role, it seems, is naught but bane to ‘mused
endurance, asks that you please hold onto
your patience. For the Chorus, it is true,
has been unavoidably and really 5
quite unfortunately detained. You see,
my sources tell me that as he relaxed
‘tween acts, as was his want, he was attacked
by muggers mean, who down the darkened halls
did flee. Franticly the Producer calls 10
to ask, a veteran media man,
to come forward at her clever command,
to entertain you, patrons of the arts.
And if the actors have played well their parts
You might now guess how this fine Play turns out. 15
In your minds, have we left you any doubt?
So, please, attend with quickened reaction
the final scenes of Richard M. Nixon.
[Enter John Chancellor.]
Chancellor. This is John Chancellor, good evening.
The death watch has begun. Although 20
the White House denied rumors today that
Mr. Nixon was about to resign,
we have just learned the President has asked
for network television time for
an address this evening. I, personally, 25
believe it is almost over. And that
is the belief of almost everyone
here in Washington. About mid-afternoon
they started gathering across from
the White House. People, just people, coming 30
from their homes, drawn by some unnamed urge,
sensing with an inner sense that the time
of Richard Nixon had drawn near.
It is dark and stormy. The street lights have
already come on. The crowd divides 35
itself between two groups. One is
in the park, clustered around the statue
of Andrew Jackson, singing hymns and
praying for guidance. The other is out
on the sidewalk, chanting, “it’s all over.” 40
Then there are those of us, drawn here, compelled
to be without these premises, where
history is about to take place.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Scene VI. Washington, D.C. The White House.

[Enter Richard.]
Richard. My fellow Americans, it is
difficult for me to face you tonight.
I…I…how can I say I’m sorry?
Through me this nation has been plunged to
the greatest depths of division since 5
the War of the Rebellion. I can only
say that I tried to stop it, to save
our country from the years of turmoil past.
But, in my misjudgment, the actions
I took only happened to inflame 10
the situation. I have had a meeting
with the leaders of our Legislative Branch.
They inform me that my base of support
in the Congress has eroded to the point
where I am no longer an effective 15
Chief Executive. It is my conclusion
that a ruler who cannot rule, should not rule.
Because I can no longer execute
the Powers of this Office, my
resignation will be upon the 20
desk of the Secretary of State at
tomorrow noon. I do this to heal the
nation’s wounds, to somehow bind up and start
again. For the Government these past few
months has slowed to a stop, spectators all, 25
to this ghastly affair which I conclude tonight.
[Enter Pat, Julie, and Tricia.]
‘Tis over, family. It’s all over.
Julie. Father, do no weep. Do not weep. Your
sorrow showed. It was clear to every eye
and ear that tonight the most noble man 30
on earth has done his duty.
Tricia. We are with you, father. No matter
what happens, we are a family,
used to accepting the troubles as they come.
We have weathered many storms, and tonight 35
we are at your side.
Pat. Come on to bed, Richard. There is nothing
left to do. All has been done, all has been
accomplished. There are no more heights, because
heaven is all around us. As it crumbles, 40
we, and the world, will remember forever
the righteous things you have accomplished.
Richard. I feel nothing. The jelly here within
my soul has been drained. No emotion sparks
my inner self. I am empty. There is 45
no contempt. No sorrow. No anger. No joy.
No regret. No relief. There is nothing.
[Exeunt Pat, Julie, and Tricia.]
Except a hatred that paints my black soul
and boils within me from my very toes.
A hatred of those evil men who plotted 50
my downfall and those that spread their vile words
across the face of America.
For the Press, I will not even delete
my expletives.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Scene VII. Washington, D.C. a newsroom.

[Enter Eric Severied.]
Severied. Ladies and Gentlemen, you have seen history.
President Richard M. Nixon, with
the anguish of his guilt upon his face,
resigned tonight. Tomorrow at noon,
Gerald R. Ford will be sworn in as 5
the thirty-eighth president. We have
a report from Chicago that the streets
are quiet and there is no trouble.
Other parts of the country are
reported calm. It was learned moments ago 10
that military leaders at the
Pentagon had formulated a course
of action if Richard Nixon had tried
to seize control of the military.
The final chapter in Watergate 15
is all but over with the resignation
of Mr. Nixon. It all started one
innocuous night in June and leaves behind
it the charred corpses of almost
every politician who tried to 20
contain it. Watergate has destroyed
the most powerful man in America,
the most powerful man in the world. It is
proof that our democracy exists, not
only on paper, but in the minds of 25
our citizens and in one essential
element, the Press. For without the
medium of mass communication,
this whole thing might never have come about.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Scene VIII. Washington, D.C. The White House.

[Fanfare; Enter Gerald R. Ford, as President of the United States.]
Ford. I wept for him. I prayed for him.
I watched him say good-bye to the only
people who were still faithful to him,
those five hundred White House servants. They loved
him and stood with him. It almost broke 5
my heart to see him smile, to shake hands and
wave, like it was downtown Cairo. Behind that
plastic mask must have been the saddest man
since Christ. I almost choked as he boarded
the helicopter and flashed his 10
victory sign, arms upheld, his family
smiling from behind. I can imagine
only what he must have felt inside. I pray
for Richard M. Nixon and his family.
May he, who brought peace to millions, 15
find it for himself. And as
his plane carried him westward, to the sands
of San Clemente, I said, “I do” to
the oath of office, pledged to guard
the Constitution with all the powers 20
within me. Our Constitution works;
our great Republic is a government
of laws and not of men. Here the people rule.
But there is a higher power, by
whatever name we honor Him, 25
who ordains not only righteousness,
but love; not only justice, but mercy.
As we bind up the internal wounds
of Watergate, more painful
and poisonous than foreign wars, let us 30
restore the Golden Rule to our political
process. How is it we can learn to hurl
ourselves down a crowded highway at speeds
not even matched by the sparrows above,
but cannot teach each other brotherly love? 35