Think of this as Volume 16, Number 7 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
That's what was famously said of O.J. Simpson after his acquittal (he eventually became violent again and is now in jail in Nevada). It meant they went so far in trying to convict a man they knew was guilty that they gave his friends a way to claim he wasn't.
The same may have been true of Richard Nixon.
Nixon was guilty. Yes, he became an enemy of democracy. Yes, he set up the plumbers and all the rest of it. Yes, he tried to cover up Watergate.
But in their zeal to convict him, humiliate him, throw him in jail, Americans also went too far. They mistakenly conflated what he believed with who he was. When Nixon came down, liberals thought his politics came down with him. They didn't. And, after Carter, liberals spent a generation in the desert paying for that mistaken assumption.