Watergate revisited


Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?–Bob Dylan

If Nixon goes free, I don’t think anyone should be found guilty of anything.–Statement of a prospective juror circa 1974. The judge warned him about contempt of court, but let him go unpunished.

The current administration seems determined to rerun Watergate. Here is the cast:

  • Nixon/Trump
  • Agnew/Pence
  • Mitchell/Sessions
  • Dean/McGahn

(Trump is not Nixon in many ways; unlike Pence, Agnew was a criminal; Mitchell and Dean were conspirators in a way that Sessions and McGahn may not be.)

Here is the plot:

  • Crime
  • Lies
  • Exposure
  • Desperate action

President Trump, lying about his actions, ranting about those investigating his crimes, threatening to fire investigators, and suggesting pardons for cronies, echos the unfolding of Watergate.

I don’t remember scandal around the 1968 election. As I remember, Nixon gave two reasons for selecting Agnew as his running mate.

  • Agnew made Democrats see red
  • No one would wish him ill if Agnew would be his successor

Pence may have been selected for other reasons, but he does meet Nixon’s criteria. As it happened, Agnew was replaced with Gerald Ford before Nixon resigned.

By 1972 Nixon, paranoid and determined to be a two-term president, was up to his neck in crime.

Watergate didn’t reach its conclusion until Republicans saw Nixon as an insufferable liability. We must be near that point now with a criminal conspiracy unraveling, potential for self-serving pardons, another “Saturday Night Massacre” possible, and midterm elections looming.

What’s next for Trump? If the analogy with Watergate holds, we already know how the drama ends.

About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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3 Responses to Watergate revisited

  1. Anne says:

    One big difference between the then & the now is the way in which the modern Republican party has become so thoroughly corrupt. The big presidential scandals of recent years–this, Iran-Contra, Clinton, Watergate–have all seen yea or nay votes split across party lines BUT when Republicans have voted to impeach or investigate, the supporting votes always came from centrist members of the party. Over the past decade the GOP has successfully ousted the remaining ones of those from its ranks. If you believe the whole arc of the moral universe/bend towards justice trope, as some of them no doubt do, then they must know that their days are numbered. Meanwhile it’s a smash-and-grab while the thieving is good. How cheaply their moral selves came, after all. Sad!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. whungerford says:

    Reportedly, some Republican Senators have indicated a willingness to see Sessions replaced with someone who would aggressively act to protect President Trump. This is extraordinary if true. Senators have been very loyal to Senate colleagues past and present.


  3. Anne says:

    ….extraordinary, and…treasonous? Protecting party before Constitution?


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