A pile of Osborne's ""Nixon Watch"" New Republic columns published between January 1971 and 1972, unaltered as they originally appeared except for minor updating addenda -- for instance at the end of the Powell-Rehnquist piece he adds ""I thought and still think that liberal critics of Rehnquist's conservatism made asses of themselves."" In retrospect, Osborne lacks that whipsaw quality, that cogent nervousness, you look for in the best frontal political analysis. Perhaps Osborne's sincere effort to be fair to the President accounts for this, but more likely it is that he has developed no genuine point of view about Nixon: read together the articles are strikingly themeless and feeble -- it's almost as if Osborne sees politics as some sort of game played by old people, like shuffleboard. The message here is that Osborne should stick with his original gig, the weekly column, and not turn it into a fascicled bore. Surely this spin-off only serves to make him look bad.