No Watergate

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Craigo, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    A Third-Rate Burglary: No Watergate

    POD: Security guard Frank Wills never sees the tape on the doors of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex.

    President Richard Nixon, 1969-1977

    [​IMG]

    Richard Nixon is, and may always be, the most controversial of American presidents. He is the Cold Warrior who went to China, the staunch conservative who instituted price controls, established the EPA, and pressed for universal health care. He came into office at a time of great racial strife in America, and could say that he left the country better than he found it. (What the civil-rights movement would say of Nixon’s record is another matter.)

    His record is not spotless, especially in his troubled second term. Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973 and was replaced by Gerald Ford, after being tainted by allegations of corruption in his previous office as Governor of Maryland. (Corruption charges would dog many of Nixon’s staffers after he left office, as well.) He had entered the White House promising to end the Vietnam War, to bring America “peace with honor.” The grim footage of the fall of Saigon in 1975, a few short years after American withdrawal, gave the lie to that promise. His Comprehensive Health Insurance bill floundered in the Senate, where Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts killed it for being too timid for his tastes. And he confounded many of his conservative friends by lending support to New York City, that bastion of godless liberalism, during its bankruptcy crisis in 1975.

    Beginning in 1974, inflation began to run rampant, defying the economists’ maxim that recessions were necessarily deflationary in nature. And it is of course during his term that America’s conflict with OPEC began, following the US’s strong support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Luckily for Nixon he would be out of the White House by the time this “war” reached its climax.

    Few American Presidents have reached such heights and such lows, and have so curiously straddled the liberal-conservative divide. Historians will debate his legacy into the 21st century, and it is unlikely that they will find a consensus any time soon. As American’s bicentennial year of 1976 began to draw to a close, all anybody could say for sure was that they finally didn’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
    TimTurner likes this.
  2. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    United States presidential election, 1976: The Candidates

    Gerald Ford was nobody’s idea of a heavyweight. Amiable and cooperative, a reconciler, not a crusader, Ford did not author a single piece of major legislation in 25 years in the House. He was a champion of the postwar consensus - an internationalist, a budget-balancer, a civil rights supporter who would never be seen at a march or a rally. As the Republican minority leader, he became greatly skilled at using his moderation and geniality to assemble legislative coalitions, becoming the tactical opposite of President Lyndon Johnson, a former Senate leader known for intimidating friend and foe alike (Johnson, incidentally, was known to voice mild disgust with the supposedly stupid Ford).

    Nixon and Agnew had well-established reputations for combativeness, and when the VP was forced to resign, Nixon (who had grown to dislike Agnew) regarded the inoffensive Ford, highly recommended by Congressional leaders, as an acceptable choice. In his heart of hearts he preferred Democrat-turned-Republican John Connally, a former Governor of Texas who had been wounded at John Kennedy’s side in 1963. Connally, a founder of Democrats for Nixon, had been Secretary of the Treasury from 1971-1972, but Democratic leaders in Congress made it clear that they would not confirm the turncoat under the 25th Amendment.

    [​IMG]

    If Gerald Ford had no flash, it sometimes seemed that Ronald Reagan had nothing but flash. An actor with a long career in Hollywood, a New Dealer who had served as head of the Screen Actors’ Guild, Reagan’s dismay at the Democratic Party’s alleged soft-on-Communism approach led him to join the GOP in the 1960s and support Barry Goldwater’s disastrous presidential campaign in 1964. Goldwater was buried that year, but Reagan used his fame and newfound legitimacy among conservative activists to win the California gubernatorial election in the Republican wave of 1966. He hammered “welfare bums” and student peaceniks at Berkeley relentlessly, and won the affection of California’s silent majority. But once in office, he blazed the trail that would later be trod by Nixon by supporting a host of liberal measures, such as a permissive abortion law, the first no-default divorce law in the country, and expanded the state’s Medicaid system. But his charisma and status as a Goldwater foot soldier shielded him from a conservative backlash. Reagan decided against a third term in 1974, leaving the state house to Democrat Jerry Brown the young son of the man he had defeated in 1966.

    [​IMG]

    Brown was only 36 at the time of his election, the youngest governor of the largest state in the Union. He was unapologetically liberal and nakedly ambitious, and already looking ahead to 1976, when Nixon would be off the ballot and Brown could dangle the prospect of California’s 45 electoral votes in front of the Democratic party.

    [​IMG]

    The frontrunner was Washington senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, an erstwhile liberal who broke with most of his party over his strong support of the Vietnam War and his Nixonian “law and order” domestic platform. Jackson’s rival, Frank Church of Idaho, of the eponymous Senate committee that had investigated abuses of power by the Central Intelligence Agency, was considered a strong possibility to enter the race to provide a counterweight to Jackson’s hawkishness.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    A host of Southern Democrats threw their hats into the ring. Segregationist hero George Wallace was making a third run for the Presidency, but an assassination attempt a few years earlier had left him a cripple, and voters questioned whether his health would stand the strain of the White House. Lloyd Bentsen, a freshman Senator with an astonishing ability to raise money in heaps, ran as well, but he entered few primaries and seems to have been campaigning more for the bottom of the ticket than the top. Another little-known candidate was Governor James Carter of Georgia, as amiable as Gerald Ford but with an added dash of earnestness and boyish charm. Carter, with a short record and sharing a geographic and ideological base with several other candidates, would have difficulty distinguishing himself from the pack.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Besides Brown and Church, a trio of liberal icons also ran. Senator Birch Bayh, of Indiana, had sponsored the failed Equal Rights Amendment and the attempted abolition of the Electoral College. Sargent Shriver, former head of the Peace Corps and a member of the Kennedy clan, attempted to lead a return to the days of Avalon after his brother-in-law Ted declined to carry the standard. And the Mormon Representative Morris Udall of Arizona, the purported “funniest man in Congress,” and Washington’s foremost environmentalist, also ran. By the fall of 1975, liberal leaders in the Democratic party were privately fretting that their enormous field would split the vote; as the only conservative in the race who was not from the South, Jackson could consolidate his base and squeak out a string of primary victories, capturing the nomination.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  3. troosvelt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Interesting so far.

    I will be interested to see if you adopt the 'Carter only won because of Watergate' theory. Personally I don't buy into it but then I'm not writing the thread.
     
  4. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    United States presidential election, 1976: The Primaries

    One of the favorite “what-if” moments of amateur historians is this: What if Scoop Jackson had decided to compete in Iowa and New Hampshire? In retrospect, the importance of the new delegate system put in place by the Democratic party is obvious – no longer would party bosses award the nomination, but it would be decided in dozens of contests across the country by the voters, who chose a large majority of the delegates. Jackson excelled at retail politics and would have gone over in the grip-and-grin capitals of American politics. But he had a long career as a party statesman and a good relationship with bosses across the country, and accordingly chose to concentrate his early efforts in machine states.

    The Iowa caucuses provided few answer for either side. On the Democratic side, “Uncomitted” drew 35%, easily besting Jimmy Carter and and Birch Bayh, who dominated the conservative and liberal vote and essentially tied at 20% and 18%, respectively. Udall, another liberal, was fourth with 6%. Carter’s strategy at the time was daring – he planned to compete in every single primary and caucus, alone among all the candidates. But this strategy was expensive and all-consuming, and depended on drawing early momentum to generate media attention for the big states that would come later. At the time the Iowa caucuses were a poor relation to the New Hampshire primary, and Carter’s “victory” went little-noticed.

    On the Republican side, Ronald Reagan squeezed out a narrow victory over Vice-President Ford, the liberal Senator Nelson Rockefeller of New York, and John Connally, 30-28-25-17. Perennial candidate Harold Stassen of Minnesota won no delegates. Rockefeller had the dwindling liberal Republican base all to himself, but was essentially doomed even before he began, leaving Reagan, Ford, and Connally to fight it out. Despite his victory, Reagan’s hopes were bleak – Ford had the party machinery on his side, and most of the early states were in the east, far from Reagan’s California base.

    New Hampshire attracted far more attention. Congressman Udall squeaked out a surprise victory, with Carter once again in second. Bayh was a distant third, and already considering dropping out. The GOP side featured a shocker as well, as Rockefeller topped Reagan and Ford by a healthy margin, as the conservatives split the vote. Conally came in last again, and began to see Florida a few weeks away as his last stand.

    March 2 hosted a pair of New England contests, as voters in Massachusetts and Vermont went to the polls. Jackson’s support from the Boston machine paid off, as he won in MA easily. But Sargent Shriver managed to prop up his tottering campaign by besting Carter in Vermont. Ford came roaring back and won both states handily, with Reagan once again placing third. A two-week stretch which featured delegate-rich Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina loomed, and four different candidates could now boast of having won four different contests on the Democratic side, while Reagan and Ford were evenly split. Jimmy Carter was justifiably tearing his hair out. He had come in second in every contest, and had won more votes and more delegates than any other candidate. But he was always a bridesmaid and never a bride, and the money and media attention continued to flow elsewhere.

    His frustration would mount: George Wallace narrowly won Florida, the first state in which he would compete, which Carter – once again – in second. Scoop Jackson came in third and turned his attention to New York and Pennsylvania, two and four weeks away. Bayh won 1% and dropped out of the race, boosting Udall and Shriver. Ford scored a healthy victory over a divided conservative field, and third-place finisher Connally ended his campaign. The pendulum swung back to Ford in Illinois, where Reagan placed third, but Rockefeller’s fundraising was dwindling and needed a big victory in his home state of New York on April 6. Illinois only confused the Democratic field further – Carter finally won a state, but by a margin of only 1% over George Wallace, with Shriver close behind. (Jackson, curiously, had chosen not to compete in Illinois, perhaps guessing that too many conservative candidates would split the vote of white Democrats.) Carter’s elation was short-lived, as Wallace took North Carolina by an identical margin a week later. Reagan, with Connally out of the way, triumphed in that state, where Rockefeller’s decision to get on the ballot probably drew votes from Ford.

    April 6 dawned, the most important day yet, as Wisconsin and New York voters would go to the ballot box. The GOP side offered no surprises, as Rockefeller took his home state easily and was blown out of the water in Wisconsin, where Ford bested Reagan narrowly. Jackson, as expected, used his familiarity with NYC bosses to win the state (Carter had unwisely spoken against “special favors” for the Big Apple, which sounded suspiciously like he would have refused to bail the city out the year before.) Carter placed second yet again in Wisconsin, finishing behind a resurgent Udall.

    Despite his failure to break through, Carter still led in delegates, while Jackson led in the polls. The liberal wing of the Democratic party was faced with two conservative front-runners. Jerry Brown in California had grown concerned at the race's direction, and had jumped in himself in March. but to filing deadlines, he would not appear on a ballot until May 4, in Georgia, where he hoped that Carter and Wallace and would split the vote. In the meantime, Jackson's inside baseball politics won him Pennsylvania, with Udall and Carter a few thousand votes behind. Ford bested Reagan in the state easily. In Texas, favorite son Lloyd Bentsen ran away with the Democratic primary, beating Carter by over ten points. Reagan, who had appeared on the ropes after three straight losses, revived his campaign with a strong victory there.

    Reagan now went on a run, winning both Georgia and Indiana on May 4, and Nebraska a week later (he nearly beat Ford in West Virginia the same day). Rockefeller dropped out of the race in early May, which was expected to give a bit of breathing room to the moderate Ford. In practice, Rockefeller Republicans generally sat on their hands for the rest of the primary season. Carter finally scored another victory in his home state of Georgia, where only Wallace and Brown had chosen to compete. That same day, he had to watch Jackson take Indiana, however, while Mo Udall took the liberal stronghold of Washington DC. Favorite son Robert Byrd took West Virginia, Frank Church won in Nebraska, Sargent Shriver dropped out, and the race became even more muddled.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  5. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    United States presidential election, 1976: The Conventions

    The Republican side, by contrast, was finally settling on a victor. Ford won his home state of Michigan and Maryland in mid-May, but the primaries shifted into more conservative regions of the country, and Reagan ran the table on May 25, taking Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, and Tennessee. Ford continued on to the end, but he did not win another state. Ronald Reagan would be a first ballot nominee for President of the United States of America.

    The liberal Democrats struck back on May 18, with Udall taking Michigan and Brown taking Maryland. May 25 was a mess, with Carter, Jackson, Church, and Brown all winning victories. Brown won overwhelmingly in California on June 6, while Udall took Ohio and Carter won a narrow victory in New Jersey. By the end of June, Carter led with a third of the delegates, followed by Wallace, Brown, Jackson, and Udall, with Church, Bentsen, Byrd, and Shriver still holding onto their delegates far behind.

    The Democrats seemed destined for their third contentious convention in a row. Any of the top five could have stampeded the convention and put another over the top, but none were willing to do so. Carter had the most delegates, and Jackson was still claiming frontrunner status despite the beating he'd taken over the spring and summer. Udall's religion was expected to prove controversial in the general election, which prevented other liberals from coming over to his side. Wallace, of course, was anathema.

    Brown was the best positioned. He had cannily avoided antagonizing potential allies, so Udall, Church, Bentsen, and Shriver were still well-disposed towards him. The majority liberal wing of the party was desperate to avoid having Carter or Jackson at the head of the ticket, and only Brown could make the argument that he could compete with Reagan for California.

    After three ballots, there was no appreciable movement aside from Shriver releasing his delegates, most of whom flocked to Udall and Brown. Before the fifth ballot, LLoyd Bensten released his delegates and endorsed Brown, who saw an appreciable bump and passed Wallace for second. Church's delegates were next, as well as a smattering from Carter and Jackson. But they staunched the bleeding with delegates who steadily defected from Wallace. On the sixth ballot, Udall collapsed and his delegates shifted to Brown. Bentsen, working behind the scenes, lobbied conservative and southern delegates relentlessly, and on the seventh ballot both Carter and Jackson slipped, with Brown taking the lead. He won a majority on the eight ballot, and was nominated by acclimation at the motion of the Georgia delegation. He promptly chose Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate, repaying the favor and uniting the two wings of the party. Ted Kennedy gave the keynote speech, rousing the delegates.

    The next month, Ronald Reagan was nominated at the GOP convention. Reagan had planned to similarly unite his party by choosing moderate Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, but he was told on the first night that he would face a floor revolt if he did so, with the possibility that they would stampede towards Ford. Reagan quickly backtracked and selected John Connally, setting up an unusual situation where the nominees each hailed from the state as their rival. Reagan invited Vice-President Ford to speak on the last day, who strongly endorsed the man who'd upset him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  6. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    subscribing!

    and not just because I'm a big Nixon fan, though that's a fair slab of it...
     
  7. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    My next few months are busy, to say the least, so I'm not sure how much work I'll be getting done on either this or the TL-191 project. I have it outlined, just not written.
     
  8. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I like it!

    cue "California Uber Alles" :D
     
    AltHistoryNerd likes this.
  9. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey

    I'm definitely used to waiting for updates on my other subscriptions.

    I look forward to updates as they happen.
     
  10. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    United States presidential election, 1976: The Campaign, Part 1

    [​IMG]

    Ronald Reagan opened the campaign with a 10-pt lead over Brown in the Gallup poll. Despite a lingering recession and rising inflation, voters did not seem to connect the California governor with the dwindling popularity of President Nixon. Jerry Brown was dogged from the start by allegations that he was far too young and inexperienced for the job. Only 38 years old in 1976, he would be the youngest President in history if elected. He had risen to prominence only in 1974, after succeeding Reagan, a coincidence that the older man would impishly harp upon throughout the campaign. At 65, the 27-year gap in their ages was the largest between two competing nominees in American history.

    Brown also took fire for his choice of Bentsen. Nearly twenty years older than his running mate, Bentsen had the "look" of a statesman that the youthful Brown could not emulate. William F. Buckley opined in the pages of the National Review that the Democratic Party, backwards as always, had managed to mistakenly reverse their ticket.

    Liberals also took exception to the ticket. While Brown was unquestionably a mainstream liberal, Bentsen tacked to the right on economic policy. A mischievous reporter also managed to get Bentsen on the record supporting prayer in public schools, which immediately sent Brown's team into damage control. Bentsen, under pressure from the campaign, would later clarify that he supported allowing students, not teachers, to pray in school at their own discretion and initiative. This was too late to stop him from being denounced by The Nation, the New York Times, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

    Almost as soon as the convention had adjourned, transparency advocates within the Democratic party grumbled that Brown, a late entry to the race, had won the nomination through backroom dealing. Editorial ages and TV news studios reacquainted America with the phrase "smoke-filled room." It was also alleged that Brown had only picked Bentsen, a successful businessman and prodigious fundraiser whom he had never met before that summer, for his money. George McGovern, who had more than any other man to reform the insider-dominated convention process (and who had subsequently been annihilated by Richard Nixon in 1972) injudiciously remarked that if the Democratic National Convention had contained any real democrats, it would have chosen James Carter.

    As September opened, Reagan’s lead grew to 15 points. The press began to refer him to as the President-in-waiting; with the game seemingly in hand, his advisors, led by his campaign manager John Sears, recommended that he pursue a virtual Rose Garden strategy. He was Nixon’s guest of honor during the Bicentennial celebration just before the Democrats’ convention opened, allowing him to play the statesmen while his opponents were still divided. He rarely mentioned Brown by name in the first few months, and talked mostly about what his administration would do for America. Speaking in Boston, he decried forced busing to desegregate schools; in Seattle, he spoke of the powerful role American workers played in defending their country. He burnished his Cold Warrior credentials at a dinner for the Polish National Alliance when he praised the anti-Soviet strikes which had erupted in the home country over the summer, and promised to support the cause of freedom in Eastern Europe.

    The disarray in Brown’s camp increased. Reports surfaced in the Washington Post that Mickey Kantor, his campaign manager, was on the chopping block, causing an ugly scene when Kantor confronted the hapless reporter who penned the article on the Brown campaign plane. Some of Brown’s allies began to openly talk about the upcoming 1978 gubernatorial election in California, and the campaign’s funraising flagged. Jerry Brown appeared to be doomed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  11. troosvelt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Wonder how President Brown will pull it off.
     
  12. Lyly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Subscribbled. Cool POD, open to a lot of interesting alternate history.
     
  13. FDW Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Interesting…
     
  14. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    United States presidential election, 1976: The Campaign, part 2

    [​IMG]

    But it was not Brown’s camp that erupted in dissent, but Reagan’s. His campaign manager, John Sears, was only 36 years old, and brilliant, driven, and ambitious. The old guard surrounding the Governor appreciated his resourcefulness and energy, but distrusted him nonetheless. John Connally, Reagan’s running mate, was outspoken, sometimes profanely so, in his dislike for Sears, who responded by trying to freeze Connally’s team out of campaign planning. It was only by personally appealing to Reagan that the running mate was put back in the loop.

    With order restored, Reagan appeared to have a clear path to the White House. But Brown would not go down without a fight. Convinced by polling that showed him leading heavily among liberals and minorities, but trailing badly among white Democrats, Brown determined to strike at the center. He attaced Reagan's fiscal priorities, pointing out that Reagan as Governor of California had raised taxes several times and increased spending every year. He predicted that a Reagan Administration would "blow a hole in the budget the size of California," and pointed to the budget surplus he had accumulated as governor of the same state. And most famously, Brown pledged to end forced school busing, earning the scorn of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. By the end of September, with the first (of two) debates approaching, he had clawed his way back to singe-digits, trailing by only 9% in the Gallup poll.

    That debate proved to be a disaster for the GOP ticket. Reagan, still sticking to his “Rose Garden” strategy, answered questions with platitudes and generalities, and avoided specifics. While his folksy charm was on full display, voters got the impression of a candidate who was disengaged and disinterested in issues. Brown, if anything, ran the risk of running too far in the opposite direction – one focus group participant likened him to a “junkyard dog.” Brown unhesitatingly declared himself in favor of pro-choice policies, balanced budgets, environmentalism, and further détente with the Soviet Union and China. His positions, a pragmatic mix of left and right, recalled the best of the Nixon Administration, and his relentless attacks on Reagan’s social conservatism, extravagant spending, and confrontational foreign policy painted a picture of a strong, decisive, if somewhat overly aggressive leader. Opinion polling released days later showed that likely voters believed that Brown had won the debate, by 54 to 40, and that the “experience gap” between Brown and Reagan had shrunk sharply.

    Shortly after the Democratic convention that summer, Sears had contacted the White House regarding lifting the price controls on oil; Reagan’s economic advisors believed that they had caused artificial scarcity and driven up the price. Falling gasoline prices in the autumn would provide a huge boost to the campaign. Sears was rebuffed continually by the Nixon inner circle; the Secretaries of the Treasury and Transportation were receptive to the idea, along with Alan Greenspan of the Council of Economic Advisors, but Nixon aides John Ehrlichman (Domestic Affairs counselor) and Bob Haldeman (chief of staff) refused to discuss the idea and blocked Sears’ access to Nixon. Sears had been a Nixon operative and deputy White House counsel eight years before, and unbeknownst to him at the time, had been blacklisted from the inner circle by Nixon’s overly protective guardians.

    Rumors of a heated telephone confrontation between John Connally and John Sears began to circle the week after the debate. Sears had revived the idea of lifting the price controls, and had asked Connally, a close friend of Nixon’s to intercede personally with the President. Conally had refused point-blank, saying that he would only do it for Reagan. Sears reportedly shouted an obscenity at the running mate and said “When I’m in the White House, you and your boys are gonna be out on your asses.”

    Presumably, Sears had been referring to the assumption, created in no small part by his own boasting, that he would be Reagan’s chief of staff. But Reagan had made no such promise, and Sears’ wording gave the impression that he, not Reagan, would be running the show. And of course, no such disrespect to the man he had chosen to be Vice President of the United States could be tolerated. Although Reagan showed no displeasure towards Sears personally, he asked Edwin Meese, another counselor, to have Sears apologize to Connally. This time it was Sears who refused, and Reagan was forced to personally order the apology, which was now forthcoming.

    The matter was ended, but the wound would not heal. The campaign was in a tailspin, and the unpopular Sears was destined to take the fall. President Nixon called Reagan and advised that he drop Reagan on Oct. 2, the day after the apology story appeared in the New York Times. Reagan fired his campaign manager on Oct. 3. To replace him he brought in James Baker, who had run Vice-President Ford’s unsuccessful primary campaign. Professionalism replaced the infighting that had characterized Sears’ tenure, but the damage to Reagan’s reputation as a Nixonian statesman had already been done.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  15. Jape Seacombe Mod

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Paradise 5
    Interesting stuff - really enjoying it.

    I can see Carter having some strength in 84, maybe even 80, depending on how Brown fares.
     
  16. Wendell Wendell

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Location:
    Lost in what might have been
    This is off to a promising start, although I do expect Carter to fade off into irrelevance before long.
     
  17. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    I'm glad to see we've reached a consensus. :)
     
  18. General_Finley Liberty Prime

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    My main problem with this TL is the OTL fall of South Viet Nam [1]. In a world without Watergate this wouldn't have happened. Without the political backlash brought by Watergate the Congress would never have had the majority needed to have banned the use of US aircraft to help South Viet Nam [2] and essentially cut off 80% of all promised US money to South Viet Nam. With the money still flowing and with Nixon willing to send the bombers against North Viet Nam again they never would have restarted the war after the withdrawal of US combat troops, because the ARVN would have been well funded and well enough trained to prevent the blitzkrieg like tactics the North Viet Namese used to after the US left. The combination of a well funded ARVN and the ever present threat of US air power would mean that North Viet Nam would never invade the South and unify the nation and Viet Nam would look less like a defeat an more like Korea 2.0. Combine a surviving South Viet Nam with the Third Indochina War between North Vietnam and China in 1979 and you might see Vietnam united the South and the PRC.

    --

    [1]: The language commonly known as Vietnamese is a monosyllabic language and Vietnam should be two seperate words Viet Nam.

    [2]: The Peace of Paris stipulated, and the North Viet Namese accepted, that any aggression by North Viet Nam would be responded to by the use of American bombers against Viet Nam.
     
  19. Craigo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    State of Westsylvania

    Case-Church was passed in June 1973, well before Nixon was weakened by Watergate.There's no reason that the funding restrictions would not have occurred, as the process began before Watergate broke and any non-ASB 1974 election is going to result in an increased Democratic majority.
     
  20. General_Finley Liberty Prime

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    sorry about that i got my years mixed up a bit with the bombing, but I'm fairly certain my point still stands about defunding the ARVN.