Q:

Why was Richard Nixon considered a bad president?

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Quick Answer

When Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, he was widely disliked as a consequence of the Watergate scandal. Although some consider him to have a few redeeming qualities, Watergate is conceded to be evidence of his being unfit to lead, hence his resignation.

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Why was Richard Nixon considered a bad president?
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Full Answer

The Watergate scandal is Nixon's most egregious offense as president. The Watergate scandal is shorthand for a number of abuses of power that occurred during Nixon's presidency, including the Nixon administration's use of illegal audio surveillance to spy on political opponents. Additionally, Nixon ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, and Internal Revenue Service to harass activists and political figures.

The Washington Post's Michael Lind argues that Nixon is the "third-worst president... a criminal in the White House who is still the only commander in chief ever to resign." Lind cites a Nixon quotation, "Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal" to support his claim of Nixon's corruption and ineptitude.

Although the Watergate scandal is almost universally reviled, others defend Nixon based on his unrelated contributions. The Telegraph's Jonathan Aitken argues that Nixon made great achievements in foreign policy in regard to the United States' relationship with China. Aitken also notes that Nixon desegregated Southern schools and ended the compulsory draft.

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Related Questions

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    What is Richard M. Nixon famous for?

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    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States and also served as Vice President under Dwight D. Eisenhower. During his presidency, he opened relations with the People's Republic of China, and during his second term he negotiated an end to hostilities in the Vietnam War. Richard Nixon's presidency is notable for being the only one to end with the resignation of the president.

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    What was the impact of United States v. Nixon?

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    The case United States v. Nixon was a landmark court case because it firmly established that the president of the United States could not use executive privilege as an absolute defense against judicial inquiry. The case occurred during the Watergate scandal, and after several tapes were subpoenaed, Nixon claimed the dispute lay entirely within the executive branch. The Supreme Court disagreed, and Nixon resigned a few weeks later.

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    When was Nixon elected?

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    U.S. voters elected Richard M. Nixon as President of the United States in November, 1968. He also won a second presidential election in 1972. Nixon served as Dwight D. Eisenhower's vice-president from 1952-1960. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1946 and the U.S. Senate in 1950.

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  • Q:

    Was Nixon impeached?

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    President Richard Nixon was not impeached. On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommended the impeachment and removal from office of president for obstructing justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress. Before the required vote, Nixon resigned, effective Aug. 9, 1974.

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