We are living in what I hope are the latter days of the Watergate Era.
I’m old enough to remember Watergate. The un-making of President Nixon, before our very eyes, informed Americans in a deep and profound way. It led, in part, to the election of Jimmy Carter, often referred to as one of the least effectual presidents. And the Carter presidency led to Ronald Reagan.
While living under Watergate’s dark shadow, not all of us took away the same lesson.
We outsiders learned, once again, that power corrupts.
Insiders, on the other hand, learned something different: never willingly play a part in your side’s unmasking and un-making.
We tend to forget, what with the economic rebound and end of the Cold War, that the Reagan Administration had significant scandals. At the time, Reagan was dubbed the “Teflon President,” because Reagan & Co. figured out how to react: shrug; stall; deny, deny, deny. For this reason, scandal flowed off him, not sticking, as water off a well-oiled duck’s back.
Reagan and the Republicans did not allow what Republicans had allowed in Nixon’s day: there was no turning on one’s own, no (or few) breaking of ranks.
Then, President Bill Clinton took the effrontery of denial and stonewalling to new heights. With great help from fellow Democrats.
And so it goes, even to the present day, with Hillary Clinton carrying on her husband’s tradition. She, the first candidate to run for the presidency while under official investigation by the FBI, just received the current president’s endorsement.
The back-room deal has been made, perhaps? Obama will not allow Hillary to be prosecuted. It would tarnish his legacy.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.