Bernstein and Woodward have a very good retrospective of Nixon and Watergate in the Washington Post. For most here – those much younger than I – the whole era is but a small chapter in history. However I believe it is good to reflect on how close the country came to not only a constitutional crisis but a total break down in our democratic form of government.
The piece outlines quite well the atrocities committed by and proposed by Nixon himself in order to remain in power. We have not had anyone with the pure insanity and megalomania in the Whitehouse before and thank heaven since. Not even Reagan or Bush could compare and certainly no republican – despite the hubris spewed by some – can come close.
Totally bent on destroying all and any who apposed him and his actions by what ever means available, legal or not.
From kidnapping of protestors to break ins and burglary to even targeted killings. Some so insane that they were rejected not only by his own justice department but by his own supreme court appointed justices as well.
Wishing to destroy the Democratic party and even the media. Enraged by the pentagon papers and Daniel Ellsberg. Furious when Dick Cavett had John Kerry on debating Vietnam with John O’Neill. And Kerry completely ripping the war to pieces. Conspiring with Ohio Governor Rhodes to put down the Kent State protests which eventually ended with the shooting deaths four of students and the wounding of nine others.
Finally rejected by a large part of his own party in the Senate and The House.
So when we focus on the abuses of power by Bush and Obama and Romney lets us bar in mind that they are not the aberration of the system but rather the very epitome of it. They are what our social/economic/political system produce.