Worse than Watergate - Trump and Nixon

Worse than Watergate - Trump and Nixon

On the 45th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, it might be instructive to compare that constitutional crisis to the one through which we're living today.

The old saw is that Watergate wasn't about the crime, but about the coverup, which became a greater crime, as it dragged Richard Nixon into obstructing justice.

With Russiagate, we have a case where the crime and the coverup are feeding each other. The allegations behind collusion with Russia are far more serious than the botched break-in to the Democratic Party headquarters. Nixon was many things, but he wasn't a Soviet stooge. In Donald Trump, we have a man who claimed the presidency basically with the aid of a hostile foreign power—the exact thing which having an Electoral College was supposed to prevent.

Such a serious allegation engenders an even more desperate cover-up. Add to that Trump's own inability to maintain any equanimity, and we have a situation where Russiagate has already dwarfed Watergate, as the attempted coverup relates to matters of national security and sovereignty.

And, let's remember: Nixon was a popular president until Watergate broke. Trump entered the Oval Office as a minority president, and underwater in polling. He also entered the Oval Office already under a cloud of investigation. As always, him averring that Hillary Clinton couldn't win as she'd be under a cloud from day 1 was mere projection.

This doesn't even include the investigations being carried out by the New York Attorney General on Trump's businesses, or the attorneys general of Maryland and DC suing Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause, or House Democrats doing the same.

We should be thankful that all this legal trouble is keeping him and his party from doing too much damage. But the mere fact that he's in office does damage to our democratic institutions at home and our standing abroad. May he and his entire cabal be removed before the damage is terminal.



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All hands on deck

All hands on deck

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