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H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 01:52 PM Nov 2021

Get Back

"Are you watching the Beatles special on the Disney channel?" I asked the two teenaged daughters of my son's girlfriend as we waited for the Thanksgiving meal to be prepared. The older one looked at me like I was an escapee from a boring museum. The younger one said, "I think I've heard a couple of their songs."

Sensing an awkward moment that he could add confusion to, my son said, "You'd have never had the Bay City Rollers without the Beatles. Some people actually think the Beatles were more influential than the Bay City Rollers. Think about that." A nice tip of the hat to the notes on the cover of the first LP release of their Shea Stadium concert, that all of my kids recognize.

Had the girls and their Mom stayed, they could have joined us while Chloe played a couple of dozen of her favorite Beatles songs on piano, as we all sang along. I told my son that his lady risked being reported for neglect and abuse, for not teaching her daughters about the Beatles. He said that not everyone grew up in our house, and thus do not understand how that era influenced the area they now inhabit.

My son mentioned the conversation we had a few days ago. He stops by to work out in the gym here after work, and found me watching film of the 1973 Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, also known as the Senate Watergate Committee. I had said that so much of the information that came out then forms the basic model of the republican threat to democracy today. I've been thinking a lot about this, especially after Rep. Gosar's open threat aimed at AOC.

Nixon was a paranoid man, who could not resist the temptation to "punish" those he identified as enemies. Thus, he had Tom Huston put together a plan to coordinate intelligence agencies breaking the law -- opening mail, breaking in, etc -- while going after the administration's enemies. Though Nixon okayed the plan, J. Edgar Hoover rejected it. In time, there were claims Nixon changed his mind, and stopped the effort a few days later. As John Dean has noted, there is no record of Nixon ended the Huston Plan.

Indeed, Nixon thought back to his days as vice president, and a CIA agent who had headed the 1954 Guatemalan coup. As VP, Nixon had taken increasing control of Central American policy and operations, including the planning for the Bay of Pigs, of which Hunt had played a central role. Thus, after retiring from the CIA, Hunt took a position in the Nixon White House's Special Investigations Unit.

The SIU was engaged in numerous criminal activities. Hence, it was moved away from the White House, into the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) for "cover." Though most famous for the Watergate break-in(s), and also the break-in of a psychiatrist, there were many other illegal activities, many never fully documented -- for example, in one of his early books, Dan Rather describes a unsettling break-in to his home at a time he was deemed an "enemy."

Luckily, a very disturbed, twisted man named G. Gordon Liddy had been moved between a couple White House positions to head the "plumbers," to stop leaks. He thus worked out of CREEP. His ego led to the uncovering of the Watergate scandal, and the eventual end of the Nixon era. Or did it?

During the Reagan-Bush years, we had the Iran-Contra scandal. It was headed by vice president George Bush, who had connections to Nixon. The White House was violating the Boland Amendment, by way of a secret group within the National Security Council. Using the NSC was an attempt to prevent congressional oversight. The NSC secret group coordinated their efforts with several international entities. The scandal was partially uncovered and many people connected to the administration were convicted and incarcerated. So much for criminal activities in the White House, right?

During the Bush-Cheney administration, there was the Plame scandal. This was a secret operation run out of the Office of the Vice President. His top aide, Scooter Libby, fancied himself a secret agent, and called his activities "black ops." Poor Scooter proved that those who fantasize about being a secret agent should not attempt to punish their "enemies" in real life. Surely the White House would remain as "clean as a hound's tooth," to borrow a phrase from what Frank Serpico was told.

Donald Trump demanded to be the Big Guy in the criminal activities that his misadministration was involved in. Over the years, this included his administration's connections with the Russian mafia and more. But let's focus on one important White House operation that we know as January 6th. While there was never really any question, the evidence the House Committee has uncovered traces the attempted insurrection and overthrow of our government right back to Donald Trump & Co.

That cancer on the presidency has matastasized, and spread thoughout the republican party from DC to state houses to local elections. It illustrates how a disease only partially treated is not cured .... it comes back, and eventually becomes strong enough to destroy its host. And while it is being put in check, we need to stomp the life out of it so that it no longer poses a current or future threat.

To do that, we need to focus on preparing at the grassroot's level for the mid-term elections. Often, the mid-terms favor the out-of-power party. But we can change that. And, in my opinion, that's much more important than arguing about what small -- or large -- differences there are between some Democrats. Just my opinion.

H2O Man
20 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Get Back (Original Post) H2O Man Nov 2021 OP
70's GOP operatives long history Pantagruel Nov 2021 #1
Right. H2O Man Nov 2021 #8
outstanding post.... bahboo Nov 2021 #2
Midterms H2O Man Nov 2021 #9
Amen Joinfortmill Nov 2021 #3
Thank you! H2O Man Nov 2021 #10
Great post. Elessar Zappa Nov 2021 #4
Thanks! H2O Man Nov 2021 #11
But we can change that malaise Nov 2021 #5
We will change that. H2O Man Nov 2021 #12
Pulling together a lot of the evil that the repuglicons wallow in erronis Nov 2021 #6
Definitely! H2O Man Nov 2021 #14
Exceptional post, thank you. Best thing I've read in quite a while. chia Nov 2021 #7
Thank you! H2O Man Nov 2021 #15
...K&R... spanone Nov 2021 #13
Thanks! H2O Man Nov 2021 #16
I loved Get Back Saoirse9 Nov 2021 #17
Thank you! H2O Man Nov 2021 #18
Red Meanies Saoirse9 Nov 2021 #19
Right. H2O Man Nov 2021 #20


(2,580 posts)
1. 70's GOP operatives long history
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 02:52 PM
Nov 2021

Together with the godfather of the GOP's 'southern strategy", "Manafort and Stone’s ties indeed run deep. In the early 1970s, Manafort and Stone both frequented the same circles of young GOP operatives working on national political campaigns. In 1977, when Stone was 24, he was elected president of the Young Republicans. Paul Manafort was his campaign manager."

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
8. Right.
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 05:45 PM
Nov 2021

They are an infection in the political community. They need to be isolated by way of incarceration. If they do not face consequences for past crimes, they will surely continue to commit more in the future.

Good call on Manafort and Stone. Watching the films of the Senate's Watergate hearings -- after being viciously attacked by another deer tick, thus laid up with time on my hands -- I noted someone mentioning Roger Stone's name. I went back to more "Get Back," but Stone's name remained in my mind ..... hence this OP. I think we of the Elder generation have the opportunity to help younger folks make these connections. They should consider those things we did half a century ago, evaluate what worked and what didn't, then help us innoculate the nation for 2022.

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
9. Midterms
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 05:48 PM
Nov 2021

are pretty much all that I'm interested in now. I view the House Committee investigating January 6 to be a most valuable resource for that.

If we were to lose control of the House in 2022, it will not be Yoko's fault. No, we will own that.

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
11. Thanks!
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 05:52 PM
Nov 2021

Our side has a lot of strength, a lot of ability. We can use that to crush the republican party threat.

It will definitely be the most important year of my long lifetime. (I never thought any year could compete with 1968, but here we are.)

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
12. We will change that.
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 05:58 PM
Nov 2021

My children grew up watching "Yellow Submarine." They know the dangers Blue Meanies pose to nice people, especially those dond of music and singing. These meanies are "no choice" and "anti-life." I'm not saying we must only limit ourselves to song when confronted by them, but it is an option for many situations.

And thank you very much!


(15,851 posts)
6. Pulling together a lot of the evil that the repuglicons wallow in
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 04:06 PM
Nov 2021

Thank you H2O Man. I remember all of those episodes back to Watergate, Nixon (used my electric razor!), Reagan, the Bushes, and now unfortunately the current manifestations of evil - trump and his party.

I agree we should be building a strong defense and offense for the mid-terms. We should also be looking strategically at what we need to change to make sure that these types can't seize control again.

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
14. Definitely!
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 06:03 PM
Nov 2021

I agree 100% about building a strong offense and defense for the fight ahead.

When I boxed way back when, Rubin told me the best defense is a hell of an offense. (I suspect that's why he was the Hurricane.) I think that offense and defense are best viewed as related aspects of the campaign. I'd suggest that one good starting point would be to consciously engage in conversations, and even debates -- but not arguments.


(3,708 posts)
17. I loved Get Back
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 08:06 PM
Nov 2021

Some of the footage was a revelation. Some of it was sweet, parts were nostalgic. The concert at the end of the 3rd episode was epic. I'm glad you got to enjoy it.

It's helpful for us to remember that the GOP has been playing dirty for years. It can sometimes feel like we're in end times, but we have been here before with them. We bested them then. And will again. We can never stop fighting. That's the part I fucking hate.

Great essay as usual.

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
18. Thank you!
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 08:33 PM
Nov 2021

John's song "Don't Let Me Down" has always been one of my very favorites. I've been lucky to collect a few versions of it over the years, and there were such great scenes of the song taking shape in "Get Back." I remember one intoxicated night singing that to my sweetheart, when I was younger (so much younger than today).

True democracy involves constant struggle. We even see some minor verbal struggles on this forum every now and then, when it comes to finalizing the lyrics to policies etc. But right now, we need to unite against the Blue Meanies.

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
20. Right.
Tue Nov 30, 2021, 09:50 PM
Nov 2021

Since almost everything the current republicans say is backwards and the opposite of true. Thus, red is blue.

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