THE HEARINGS: Counterattack and Counterpoint

The White House counterattack on the Watergate hearings was under way. At a state dinner honoring Japan's Premier Kakuei Tanaka, without directly mentioning the scandal, President Nixon declared: "Let others spend their time dealing with the murky, small, unimportant, vicious little things. We have spent our time and will spend our time in building a better world." Moments later, he deplored again "the petty little indecent things that seem to obsess us."

It was an extraordinary and almost unbelievable reflection of the President's state of mind and sense of values: dismissing as...

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