It’s starting to look more and more as if the inauguration of President-elect Obama may augur an Era of Good Feelings not seen in the United States since James Monroe left the White House in 1825. Last week, a speaker at a public library not far from Richard Nixon’s hometown of Whittier, California had some complimentary things to say about the 37th President, and these were reported in the Whittier Daily News. In that part of our nation, this may not sound especially surprising, but some TNN readers might want to brace themselves nonetheless:

Listeners and readers of journalist Robert Scheer, known for his liberal views, may find it hard to believe that he liked Richard Nixon.

But that’s what he told his audience Thursday at the Santa Fe Springs City Library during his talk about the 2008 presidential election and his latest book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

“Despite personal failings … Nixon was a man of the center,” Scheer said. “He was an adult.”

Yes, those words were spoken by former Los Angeles Times reporter and current San Francisco Chronicle columnist and editor Robert Scheer, as in the “left” of KCRW’s long-running panel show “Left, Right and Center.” (So long-running, in fact, that when it started Arianna Huffington was its “right,” a position now held by former Washington Times editor Tony Blankley.) As in the editor of the premier New Left journal Ramparts at the beginning of the Nixon Administration. As in the journalist who brought the diary of Che Guevara (the guy Benicio del Toro plays in that really long movie) to the United States from Havana and published it in Ramparts. As in a member of the editorial board of the Progressive Book Club.

Scheer’s remarks lead me to think that before Obama’s term is up, the New York Observer might actually say something good about Nixon.