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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:17 AM

Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/woodward-and-bernstein-40-years-after-watergate-nixon-was-far-worse-than-we-thought/2012/06/08/gJQAlsi0NV_story.html

“What was Watergate?”

Countless answers have been offered in the 40 years since June 17, 1972, when a team of burglars wearing business suits and rubber gloves was arrested at 2:30 a.m. at the headquarters of the Democratic Party in the Watergate office building in Washington. Four days afterward, the Nixon White House offered its answer: “Certain elements may try to stretch this beyond what it was,” press secretary Ronald Ziegler scoffed, dismissing the incident as a “third-rate burglary.”

History proved that it was anything but. Two years later, Richard Nixon would become the first and only U.S. president to resign, his role in the criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice — the Watergate coverup — definitively established. Another answer has since persisted, often unchallenged: the notion that the coverup was worse than the crime. This idea minimizes the scale and reach of Nixon’s criminal actions.

Ervin’s answer to his own question hints at the magnitude of Watergate: “To destroy, insofar as the presidential election of 1972 was concerned, the integrity of the process by which the President of the United States is nominated and elected.” Yet Watergate was far more than that. At its most virulent, Watergate was a brazen and daring assault, led by Nixon himself, against the heart of American democracy: the Constitution, our system of free elections, the rule of law. ...In the course of his five-and-a-half-year presidency, beginning in 1969, Nixon launched and managed five successive and overlapping wars — against the anti-Vietnam War movement, the news media, the Democrats, the justice system and, finally, against history itself. All reflected a mind-set and a pattern of behavior that were uniquely and pervasively Nixon’s: a willingness to disregard the law for political advantage, and a quest for dirt and secrets about his opponents as an organizing principle of his presidency... What was Watergate? It was Nixon’s five wars.

1. The war against the antiwar movement

2. The war on the news media

3. The war against the Democrats

4. The war on justice

5. The war on history

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Reply Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought (Original post)
Demeter Jun 2012 OP
Gman Jun 2012 #1
RevStPatrick Jun 2012 #2
catnhatnh Jun 2012 #3
grasswire Jun 2012 #4
Demeter Jun 2012 #6
grasswire Jun 2012 #5
JHB Jun 2012 #10
PlanetBev Jun 2012 #7
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #8
Demeter Jun 2012 #9

Response to Demeter (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:32 AM

1. And I would take Nixon over Bush or Romney

any day. 40 years ago I couldn't imagine ever saying that.

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Response to Gman (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:04 AM

2. It's weird, isn't it?

 

Nixon at least tried to have some dignity, even though he really couldn't pull it off.
He seemed honestly concerned about his legacy, even though he totally screwed it up.
He seemed to be genuinely intelligent, although that was tempered by his class competitiveness, which led to his paranoia.

And at least Nixon wasn't all fluffy-fake. You knew what he was all about just by looking at his face. Unlike Bush and his fake populism, and everything about that phony Rmoney.

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:49 AM

3. A Thug and a Thief

Stealing the very basis of democracy. Totally indecent.

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 01:49 PM

4. if watergate was this, what was selection 2000?

They say: "daring assault, led by Nixon himself, against the heart of American democracy: the Constitution, our system of free elections, the rule of law."

If that is so, then how do they characterize selection 2000?

It can only be called a coup. A successful coup.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 01:58 PM

6. They finished the job Nixon started

and this time, there was no opposition from anyone who counted (and as the coup proved, "people" don't count. Machines DO!).

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 01:53 PM

5. "third rate burglary" was outstanding *framing*

Luntz and Rove weren't even on the scene to assist in that framing. It's akin to many of their triumphs during the Bush years, but coined before we all knew the art of seizing the conversation stragically.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 06:19 AM

10. Who do you think Luntz and Rove learned their trade from? n/t

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 02:44 PM

7. He'd look liberal compared to today's GOP

At least he wasn't religiously insane.

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Response to Demeter (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 05:31 PM

8. Nixon had no faith, that was his biggest problem, he didn't have faith in the Constitution,

the American People, justice or the democratic process.

Had the gravity of Nixon's crimes and resignation sobered up the Republican Party; there may have been some redeeming value, but that entity chose instead to go "in for a penny in for a pound" in pursuit of power for power's sake.

Howard Baker was cast to the wayside for an empty, haughty, smiling suit with nationalistic pride being a fig leaf to cover a fundamental lack of integrity, a dog eat dog mentality and hypocritical, traitorous, drug dealing support for death squads.

Subsequent Republican Presidents didn't have to be worse than him but Nixon's actions both during his Presidency and aftermath helped to foster an environment in which worse was to be expected and cheered on by that political party.

Nixon broke the toxic ice, and served power martinis to those that would come after him, the Republican Party has been on a Fascist loving drunk ever since.

Meanwhile the corporate media and Democratic Party have been too co-dependent, either meekly hoping the Republican Party sobers up or not actually giving a rat's ass if they don't.

Thanks for the thread, Demeter.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #8)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 05:41 PM

9. Thanks, Uncle Joe

I had hopes when the GOP forced Nixon out that they had learned a lesson.

Unfortunately, it was the wrong lesson....for both the GOP and the donkeys.

Will we ever expunge this from our national record? Or will imperial Presidency win out, and (linked with the legacy of imperialistic wars that started with Vietnam) be the end of a nation of promise?

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