Get ready for a lot of Watergate this week
If you are a Boomer, then you remember Watergate, the last summer before disco, as a funny school friend used to say. Nixon left, and Travolta came in!
If you are a liberal Baby-Boomer, you spend all of your time reliving the glory days of Watergate.
It happened 50 years ago, and get ready for everyone in the media to tell you how Woodward and Bernstein saved our democracy. I guess it's only a matter of time before some university decides to replace the Jefferson statue with one of Woodward.
Watergate plus 50 means that we will hear a lot about it. Most of it is just reruns from back then and nothing new. The latest "Watergate" article is from Glenn Garvin, who wrote this:
Five decades later, despite 30,000 pages of declassified FBI investigative reports, 16,091 pages of Senate hearing transcripts, 740 pages of White House tape transcriptions, and scores of histories of the scandal and memoirs by its participants, we still know more about the cover-up than we do about the break-in.
We do know, thanks to the revelations that followed, a litany of what Mitchell would himself call "White House horrors" — not just the Watergate burglary and wiretapping, but blackmail, arson, forgery, kidnappings, hush money, and internal security measures that can, without the slightest hyperbole, be called fascist. The swirl of scandals also included events unconnected to the burglary and cover-up, from a coup in Chile to secret bombings in Cambodia.
Too many government-respecting liberals, in overrating both the uniqueness and the finality of these scandals, seemed to believe that by ousting Nixon and his minions, The Washington Post and Judge John Sirica and the Senate Watergate committee not only saved democracy but obliterated an entire epoch of war and corruption. But then how do we explain the Iran-Contra scandal that would follow 15 years later? Or the sexual and financial hijinx of the Clintons? Or, if we ever get it sorted out, whatever the hell was going on with the Russians and the Trump campaign or the Democrats and the FBI or maybe both during the past six years?
White House abuses of power didn't start with Watergate either, as Martin Luther King Jr. (targeted for blackmail by President Lyndon B. Johnson's FBI) or the Japanese citizens locked up by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt could tell you.
"It didn't start with Watergate," as Victor Lasky wrote in 1977. I wonder if I still have that paperback somewhere in my garage.
My recollection of Watergate is that President Nixon did not react quickly enough. The break-in was stupid. The president should have come out and fired everybody immediately. Of course, he didn't, and now the liberals have another anniversary to celebrate.
Nevertheless, Watergate sure looks like a G-rated movie compared to the Clinton campaign pushing a story, with a huge assist from friendly reporters, about the Trump campaign and collusion with the Russians. Or the Obama IRS selectively going after tax returns. Or the Biden DoJ throwing the book at parents showing up at school board meetings or investigating Border Patrol agents "whipping" people.
I'm not defending President Nixon, but it's time to move on and stop using "Nixonian" for everything you don't like.
One more thing. Watergate gave us Carter in '76 and Reagan in '80. So maybe it was not so bad after all looking at the big picture.
Image: US Gov.