Watergate: The Sequel
As calls for Trump's impeachment or criminal prosecution get louder and louder, some Republicans are defending Trump by distinguishing his case from that of the evil Nixon. Those who are old enough to remember Watergate understand it was a tempest in a teapot. As one liberal commentator at the time pointed out, Nixon made the mistake of challenging the power of the permanent federal bureaucracy and they lynched him. It was the low point of Sam Ervin's career, but he had justifiable concerns about the administration's abuse of power that had nothing to do with the break-in. The rest were childish, self-promoting scum.
I say this as one brought up to hate Nixon and initially happy to see him brought to bay. My father,when I was perhaps ten years old, told me that he had spent an evening drinking with Joe McCarthy. My father was a leftist but he found Joe "an amusing vulgarian." McCarthy disliked Nison and told my father that "if that man ever gets elected President, it will be time to leave this country." Decades later, Nixon told me that the conservatives never liked him but gave him a pass for going after Alger Hiss. So, I begin by celebrating the hearings as a welcome means of eliminating a cynical politician, but, as the proceedings went on and nothing of substance was revealed apart from political tricks his opponents had been pulling on Nixon throughout his career, I came to see him as a low-grade Charles I, a martyr to American constitutional liberty and an example to all who would defy the permanent government.
Now Trump is facing the same kind of jackals.