Barack Obama was 11 years old in 1972, and had just returned to Hawaii from living in Jakarta when five burglars were arrested at the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in what Richard Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, called a “third rate burglary”.
Had little Barack been paying attention, he would have seen an Attorney General who was also controlling campaign funds, a President who had an enemies list and who wanted to use the IRS to screw his enemies, a string of scandals related to campaign money, and a bunch of government employees who lied their asses off to Congress.
Actually, it’s not too late for President Obama to see this sort of thing.
All he needs to do is look at his own administration today.
While it is jarring that the sitting President of the United States is too young to remember Watergate, his current situation also shows exactly what a lousy student of history this supposed academic is.
Suppose you are over, say, 55 and pay attention to the news.
Would it be unreasonable to call Eric Holder the John Mitchell of the current set of scandals facing Obama? Assuming you are over 55 and have just forgotten that Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, was convicted in 1975 of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. He served 19 months. Holder may well have done all that stuff and more. If you, like our current President, are not a student of history and are under 55, the Washington Post and CBS News both have very accurate sections on Watergate on their respective web sites.
And, in many respects, it was those two news organizations that brought down President Nixon.
It is something the current President ought to consider.
While CBS and the Washington Post have been lapdogs to date, the fact is that Obama’s apparent willingness to criminalize newsgathering could cause that to turn on a dime. You see, liberal Presidents are plentiful. Presidents who want to put reporters in prison are replaceable.
I’m pretty sure that had Fox News existed during Watergate, they would have been in league with CBS in going after Nixon. And while it takes a bit of poking to annoy the mainstream liberal bear, eventually, the Obama Administration will irritate the mainstream media enough to override the politics.
Of all the scandals engulfing the White House, going after the media is the dumbest thing the Obamaites could have allowed Eric Holder to engage in.
Consider this: It was Richard Nixon’s attempt to stop leaks that created his vaunted “plumber squad”. He told his aide, Charles Colson (seven months in federal prison): “We’ve got a countergovernment here and we’ve got to fight it. I don’t give a damn how it’s done. Do whatever has to be done to stop those leaks. I don’t want to be told why it can’t be done.”
That was in 1971. It entailed a break-in at the office of one Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. After that, the Watergate burglaries didn’t seem like such a stretch. And so it went until CBS and the Washington Post started looking into the matter.
Do you really think that using the Department of Justice to go after reporters is any different?
The fact is that leaking information is the stock in trade of any politician in power.
We’re not talking about leaks that put Americans in harm’s way. In general, we’re talking about information that one side or another of the political spectrum would rather you not hear.
That the Obamaites are attempting to emulate Richard Nixon only goes to show a) how thin-skinned they are and b) how lacking in common sense they are.
Richard Nixon was, at least, mostly competent.
Barack Obama may well be thinking that he is immune from Nixon’s fate because he is, well, Obama.
He’ll probably have a chance to test that theory unless he gets control of the morons who work for him (and they all read some history.)
Because, he who ignores history is condemned to repeat it.