Wednesday marked the 43rd anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon - a singular presidential milestone, these days, devoutly to be wished. Announcing his decision on August 8, 1974, with the resignation to take effect the next day on the 9th, Nixon said he'd never been "a quitter" but conceded he faced an uphill battle against impeachment and conviction for crimes - obstruction of justice, a mountain of lies - that feel familiar today. "To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention" of a government with far more vital issues to consider, he said, adding that by taking this action he was putting "the interests of America first." Eerie parallels then and now abound. The president was a bully, a bigot, a liar, a self-pitying crook; Nixon's reign, once wrote Jimmy Breslin, was "as graceless at the end as it was at the start." Still, revisiting the historic moment, most shocking is what feels like Nixon's gravitas. Yes, we just put those two words - gravitas and the hateful, lying, warmongering scumbag who was Nixon - together. Talk about your relative universe: This is how low we've sunk. Watch.
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