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View Diary: Peggy Noonan takes a turn in the conspiracy theory funhouse (108 comments)

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  •  Improper application of the Watergate template (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CharlesInCharge, Minnesota Deb

    I believe that the GOP has never really gotten over, or understood, what happened to Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal.  

    They see the drip, drip, drip, death-by-a-thousand-cuts way in which Nixon was forced to resign, and they see how instrumental the press was in keeping the scandal alive.  

    What they don't see is how serious the underlying crimes were and how the seriousness of those crimes kept the press interested until the very end.  

    This is part of the reason that, despite ownership of nearly all of our mass media organs, conservatives still bitterly complain about the liberal media, because they believe the liberal media orchestrated Watergate to the point Nixon had to resign.  

    They see nothing spontaneous or organic about the situation or the process -- and have spent decades trying to use scandals to drive out Democratic presidents, in the way they believe liberals consciously and deliberately used the press to drive out Nixon.  

    Of course the only way to drive a president out of office is to depress support among his or her own partisan supporters to a point where resignation is the only logical option.  Nixon, the law and order president, was caught in criminal actions.  The rule-based Republican rank and file couldn't support that (at least in 1972 - today it seems anything is justified to defeat the evil libruls).  But Republicans, then and now, are incapable of figuring out what sort of scandal would depress Democratic support for a Democratic president.  Otherwise we'd be hearling a lot more about the scandal of Guantanamo and the scandal of warrantless wiretapping.  

    Even if unsuccessful, though, the scandal mongering does effectively take the initiative away from the president - so it serves a powerful blocking function.  

    •  The real irony for us Watergate afficionadoes is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb, IreGyre, a2nite

      that Tricky Dick actually ordered the IRS to audit his political enemies. Even Nixon's erstwhle Republican allies in the Congress eventually came around to seeing how vile he was. (I still remember the summer of '74 as if it were a dream, a pleasant reverie of the way democracy is supposed to work.)

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