Philosopher George Santayana observed, "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.". History has always proven to be a great teacher and it has imparted a great many lessons over the years. One of the lessons came to us from the Watergate scandal. The initial break-in took place on the night of June 17, 1972. At the time it was called a third-rate burglary and it can hardly be called the crime of the century. And if that had been as far as things went, Richard Nixon would have served as our 37th President until January 20, 1977. But, of course, it didn't. And what tripped up Mr. Nixon was his ham handed attempt at covering up the initial crime in the first place.
Flash forward some forty years. We have another Republican President in the White House. Not so coincidentally, HIS campaign has been accused of engaging in illegal activities. Similarly, investigation of these crimes has been put in the hands of someone outside the Department of Justice. And, wouldn't you just know it, defenders of THIS Republican President have downplayed the seriousness of these crimes too! And in both instances, the objectivity and professionalism of the FBI has been called into question. In the case of Watergate, President Nixon fired the Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. In the case of Russiagate, President Trump has been urged to similarly dump Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Unlike Watergate, however, Republicans this time around have devised a much more aggressive and vitriolic strategy to defang the Special Counsel. They have taken up a direct assault on the probity and professionalism of Robert S. Mueller III, the entire FBI, and, by extension, the entire Department of Justice. Their objective is simple, straight-forward and to the point. Stop any and all investigations into the alleged illegal activities of the Trump Administration. Have they denied that there is at least the appearance of impropriety in some of the actions of members of Team Trump? No, not really. Their contention is that those doing the investigating are too partisan, too prejudiced, or too dishonest to conduct a fair and unbiased investigation.
In the early days of Watergate, that was the Republican Party's mantra as well. And there was real justification for it. There were a whole lot of people in the political world who simply loathed Richard Nixon. He hadn't earned the nickname "Tricky Dick" for nothing. Now with Watergate, Republicans didn't call the professionalism of the FBI into question, the ghost of J. Edgar Hoover wouldn't allow that. No, in Watergate, the President attempted to involve the FBI in the cover-up itself. In Russiagate, Republican Trump defenders have called into question the basic professionalism of the Bureau itself.
Clearly, the goal of the Trump defenders is to put an end to the Russiagate investigation. What they don't seem to realize, however, is that their actions are only prolonging the investigation and the longer it goes on, the more dirt is bound to be discovered. That's what happened in Watergate. The key moment in the history of THAT investigation was the revelation by a low-ranking White House staffer that all conversations in the Oval Office were being taped, and this took place nearly a full year AFTER the initial break-in.
The history of political scandals tells us one thing. If it's a real scandal, it won't go away. With Russiagate, we've been told there was NO contact with Russian officials, only to discover that there were numerous meetings between Trump operatives and representatives of the Russian government. We were told such meetings discussed mundane things like the adoption of Russian children by Americans, only to find out that there were deeper, darker subjects on the agenda. The longer the investigation goes on, the more damaging information has been unearthed.
The point is, my Republican brethren, as with Watergate, the deeper Robert Mueller digs, the more incriminating evidence he finds. As with Watergate, too many facts have been unearthed to simply sweep them under a conveniently placed carpet. More to the point, while the investigators may have held a personal animus against President Trump, none of your inflammatory questions or politically pointed remarks have succeeded in doing the most important thing and that is to disprove any of the facts that have been revealed to this time.
In 1973 and 1974, a great many Republicans remained steadfastly loyal to Richard Nixon, probably more out of PARTY loyalty than personal. But by lashing themselves to the Good Ship Nixon, these Republicans found themselves caught in the undertow that swept him out of office. So, Republicans everywhere, take heed. Learn from history. If nothing else, ask yourselves this simple question, "Would Donald Trump do the same thing for ME?". If your answer is no, or if it's simply ambiguous, then if I were you, I'd drop President Trump before he, in effect, drops all over YOU!!
Filed under: Politics