Dick Nixon’s civics quiz

    The Nixon White House is our perpetually open sewer, forever disgorging its waste matter. Every few years, the National Archives releases new batches of Watergate-era conversations, as culled from President Nixon’s secret Oval Office recordings. We who care about political history (as opposed to those who think that history began when Obama was inaugurated) find great value in the Nixon oeuvre. It’s illuminating to hear a president speak so frankly in private moments about his fellow Americans. Especially about a certain two percent of fellow Americans.The latest Nixonian trove surfaced in the press over the weekend; once again, it did not disappoint. When I heard the president sagaciously serenade his aides with the observation that “the Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality,” I was reminded that he was a man of firm convictions. Indeed, he was quite adamant about one particular set of beliefs. Pick a random day between 1971 and 1973, and there they are again, fresh from the lips of the President of the United States.If you’d like to take Dick Nixon’s special civics course, there’s no reason why it can’t be fun as well as educational. Hence, this trivia contest. The correct answers appear at the bottom of today’s post. No fair trolling for the answers online!1. Identify the sole remark that Nixon did not utter on the White House tapes (as far as we know):(a) “The IRS is full of Jews.”(b) “The Jews are all through government.”(c) “The Bureau of Labor Statistics…were they all Jews?”(d) “The Supreme Court has had too many Jews.”2. Which remark did Nixon really utter?(a) “The media – you know, the Jews are ruining it.”(b) “The arts – they’re Jews, they’re left wing, in other words, stay away.”(c) “The State Department – we know it’s full of Jews.”(d)  “The Secret Service – you know, I wonder how many are Jews.”3. True or False: Nixon, referring to Jews, said that “of course, those people don’t have their heads screwed on tight.”4. Complete the following Nixon remark: “Jewish families are close, but there’s this strange ____ that seems to creep among them.”(a) malignancy(b) zealotry(c) sophistry(d) liberality(e) bellicosity5. Pick the accurate remark. Nixon told his aides:(a) “The Jews are born liars.”(b) “The Jews are born shoppers.”(c) “The Jews are born spies.”(d) “The Jews are born talkers.”(e) “The Jews are born conspirators.”6. True or false: At a meeting when Nixon complained that Jews were making too many inroads, Attorney General John Mitchell found a silver lining: “Well, at least the Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the Jews couldn’t get into a golf club.”7. Match the correct Nixon intimate with the correct remark that the intimate said to Nixon.(a) Billy Graham           (I) Jews have “a basic deviousness”(b) H. R. Haldeman      (II) Jews are “Satanic”(c) Chuck Colson         (III) Jews “are out to kill us.”8. When Nixon’s Labor Department statisticians cautioned in 1971 that a reported .6 percent drop in the jobless rate was due only to a statistical quirk, the president was displeased with them. He said to his aides…(a) “How many were Jews?…Would you get me that?”(b) “I want to look at any sensitive areas where Jews are involved.”(c) “We’ve got to get a man in charge who is not Jewish to control the Jewish.”(d) “Most Jews are disloyal.”(e) “There’s a Jewish cabal, you know.”(f) All of the above(g) All of the above, except (c)9. True or false: Nixon said that Jews will be physically and intellectually smart enough for the American mainstream “if you’re talking in terms of 500 years…What has to happen is, they have to be, frankly, inbred.”10. After a national security aide named Tony Lake protested Nixon’s Vietnam war policy by his quitting his job, the president offered this simple explanation:(a) “Well, Tony Lake always seemed Jewish.”(b) “Many Jews are in the communist conspiracy.”(c) “There’s a Jewish cabal, you know.”(d) “You can’t trust the bastards.”11. Nixon told his aides, “Most Jewish people are insecure. And that’s why they have to prove things.” What’s the best rejoinder to that?(a) Look who’s talking(b) Look in the mirror, pal(c) The pot and the kettle(d) All of the above——-In my Sunday newspaper column, I wrote about the death penalty, an issue which, as evidenced by some recent developments, pits the head against the heart.——-I did an online chat earlier today, sponsored by philly.com.——-Quiz answers: 1(b), 2(d), 3-False (he was actually referring to Italian-Americans), 4(a), 5(c), 6-True, 7(a-II, b-I, c-III), 8(f), 9-False (he was actually referring to black people), 10 (a) is correct, but at various times Nixon was also recorded as saying (b), (c) and (d), 11(d)

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