HATHOS CONTINUED

Jun 21 2001 @ 4:48pm

I hate to do this but there’s always Barbra. For John Derbyshire, there’s always the Nation. For Mike Kelly, there’s Roger Clinton. For myself, hard to beat the 700 Club or anything by gazillionare socialist Katrina vanden Heuvel. For lefties of a certain age, there’s also always Nixon. A reader sent in the following extract from a wonderful Village Voice column which appeared after Nixon’s death. It’s by Tom Carson, and it’s about as definitive a statement of hathos as any. Alas, it’s not on the web, but here’s an extract: “How wrong [Nixon] was and still is. We’ll never get tired of kicking him around. Oh, how we hated him. New Frontier parents and their New Left kids can agree; no one was ever hated with the zest we brought to hating Nixon. Joe McCarthy aroused too much fear for hate to gain ascendancy; Ronald Reagan mostly inspired an ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ dread that one day we’d relax our vigilance and end up liking him, as lulled as everybody else. But hating Nixon was lovely. You felt good about life when you hated him. There are still millions of people in their 40s and older whose political self-esteem is founded on their hatred of Nixon. (I hated him first. Well, I hated him more.)”