Tomorrow is the fortieth anniversary of the Nixon administration’s attempt to slam-dunk America, the democracy. 1972 was an election year, and some people were planning to vote against Republicans. So there were chores to do. Somebody had to break into the Democratic Party headquarters and steal the November election.
It’s amazing how few wingnuts will mention the crime. The Nixon pals meant to thwart democracy by breaking into the opposition’s HQ and killing their chances to choose our political executive. And though I don’t know you, I’ll risk insult by saying if you believe Republicans are any different today you’re dumb.
Which is why tomorrow I expect plenty of interesting opinions on the scandal that brought down a shitty American. This one, for contrast, is a real snoozer. As Fred Thompson is mostly turtle though, it’s OK:
The press will be praised as having stood between us and Armageddon. Someone will say, in effect, that we were on the verge of losing our civil liberties — spying on peaceful anti-war demonstrators and such. There are certainly elements of truth to all of this.
Fred’s trying to pretend the scandal’s been overplayed. Like it’s Waterworld. The break-in alone rates a jaw-dropper. As Watergate played out and the revelations piled up, everybody’s jaws hit the floor. The paranoiac Nixon had used the government for his personal bludgeon, breaking the law over and over again. Dozens, if not hundreds, of people had been happy to help him. It was evil.
. . the soldiers in the Watergate wars overstate their case, happy to add layer upon layer of Shakespearean pathos and drama to the events, while failing to add any critical thinking or historical context, pushing instead the same, tired conventional wisdom.
38 people pleaded guilty or were indicted for the crimes of Watergate. This is not a convention, it’s a fact. I think it’s funny Fred is trying to spin history some other way, it’s no easy job. You have to be pretty clever to manage that. Nixon himself called the Tennessee senator “dumb as hell,” so he’s running uphill.
Watergate was in large part about the arrogance of power. It demonstrated, once again, that Lord Acton was right. Power corrupts. Older men, full of themselves, and their youthful, ambitious subordinates thought that the ends justified the means and that they could get away with illegal wiretappings, break-ins, and the targeting of their political enemies because they controlled the levers of power.
Well, that’s simple enough. There’s really nothing for anyone to learn, good evening. People gain access to “the levers of power,” then crimes get committed. Sunrise, sunset. Here’s an irrelevance: Authoritarians know what’s best for the world, to the point of blowing up the freaking Brookings Institution. There’s a lever for that I think. What does a U.S. president do by the way? Swab the floors, yes.