June 28, 2009 in Opinion

Nixon marks progress

By The Spokesman-Review

Another release of President Richard Nixon tapes, another glimpse into his dark soul. Here he is reacting to Roe v. Wade in 1973: “There are times when abortions are necessary – I know that. … Suppose you have a black and a white.” Then he adds, “Or rape.”

Some people have explained that he was a product of his generation and that mixed marriages were frowned upon back then. I think of things like this when people pine for “the good old days.” You know, before the Big Moral Decline. It wasn’t so good for a lot of people, and that generation’s claim to moral superiority is questionable.

Fortunately, enough people back then were able to surmount the generational mindset to adopt the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act almost a decade before Roe. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Virginia’s mixed marriage ban in 1967 despite its popular appeal. By 1973, even Nixon had the sense to utter this bigoted view in private – or so he thought.

Now we have a popularly elected president from a mixed-race marriage. In some respects, these are the good old days.

Name game. My Hoopfest predictions for imaginary teams:

The Taser’s Edge – Can’t score on the men in blue.

One and Done – Police ombudsman Timothy Burns plays alone and finds he can’t guard everyone.

Brief Encounter – City attorney’s office discovers that defensive specialist Carl Oreskovich can’t be on two teams at once.

Road Worriers – As a reward for failing to get a gas-tax increase passed, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s team is forced to play on a pothole-filled court.

Basic Health Rejects – Careful to avoid injuries, this underdog team wins its division. Helps to be uncovered.

Sanctity of Marriage – Coed team quits when they can agree on nothing.

Infringed – Fearing today is the day President Barack Obama grabs all the guns, this team stops off at the General Store and misses its start time.

Sanford and Sons – Philandering South Carolina governor whisks his boys away to a remote corner of the country. Luckily, they brought their high tops.

Esteemrolled – In the kids division, a new age coach forfeits all games when the court monitor insists on keeping score.

Big Boxed Out – South Hill neighborhood preservationists meet their match in Little League ballpark foes.

Vertical Hold – No longer able to watch TV, these digital holdouts elevate their game.

Orange Cones – Road workers block all paths to the hoop.

Phosphate Worse Than Death – Unable to harness its anger over dirty dishes, this team keeps driving out of bounds.

Smart Bombs is written by Associate Editor Gary Crooks and appears Wednesdays and Sundays on the Opinion page. Crooks can be reached at garyc@spokesman.com or at (509) 459-5026.

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