New on Reading Watergate:

On my other blog: a look at David Priess’s history of checking and removing bad presidents.

“… More recently, Richard Nixon’s aides and Cabinet officials limited his acting out his worst impulses. Priess does not mention the oft-repeated story about how, in the dying days of the Nixon Administration, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger ordered the men responsible for launching nuclear weapons to verify any launch order that Nixon issued with either him or Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, out of fear that Nixon, who was depressed and drunk much of the time, might do something rash. He does, however, discuss how Nixon advisors, notably Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, worked to limit the real-world impact of decisions that the president made in anger; when Nixon ordered the bombing of Damascus with no justification, Haldeman simply did not pass the order along the chain of command. The parallels to the situation in the current administration are obvious: cabinet officials removing documents from Trump’s desk before he could sign them; an anonymous Trump official writing an op-ed claiming that “senior officials in [Trump’s] own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations”; former Chief of Staff John Kelly measuring his success in terms of what he had prevented the president from doing….”

Read it here.

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