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Gerald R. Ford was an accidental president, his tenure brief, his legacy limited. Yet he was the right man summoned at the right time to begin the necessary process of healing a country exhausted by war abroad and scandal at home.

And so it goes in just about every Ford tribute. But is there any proof that this nation couldn't have healed by sending a criminal to prison (even if just a country club millionaire's prison), where he belonged? In effect, Ford ended our "long national nightmare" by just waving his arms around and declaring everything okey-dokey. And most of Nixon's nasty little band of thugs went right on breaking laws and subverting the Constitution and generally just being assholes for decades more (hello, Cheney! Hello, Rumsfeld!) because, hey, who's gonna hold them accountable for anything?

Wouldn't punishing Nixon and forcing his political allies to resign in disgrace (and preferably get jobs at the mall selling shoes and hamburgers for the rest of their lives) have brought this country some "closure," as the kids say?

I only hope President Obama (yeah, I said it!) refuses to pardon George W. Bush for his war crimes in 2008.

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