Obama White House learned wrong lessons from Nixon: FBI, IRS to spy on and attack opponents, Failure to respond to congressional inquiries
Media tones down annual Watergate rejoicing as Obama personifies charges against Nixon
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It seems like a break in tradition that the mainstream media will not be whooping it up to celebrate the anniversary of the final days of Watergate and the House Judiciary Committee’s approved and sent to the whole House three articles of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon.
It is one of the most dramatic political reversals in American history, 29 years ago this summer Watergate drove Nixon from the White House he was reelected to less than two years before, winning 49 of 50 states.
The president resigned Aug. 9, 1974, after he no longer had the support in the Senate to fend off an impeachment, which was the indictment with the actual trial conducted in the upper chamber.
The reason the mainstream media is dialing back an episode that confirmed its place as the fourth estate and an organic player in governing is that the charges the Democrats lodged against Nixon are too damn close to how President Barack Obama and his White House does business.
The first article of impeachment dealt with how Nixon responded the June 17, 1972 break-in to the offices of the Democratic National Committee housed at the Watergate Hotel complex.
There was no evidence ever presented that Nixon knew anything about the burglary, so the Democrats charged the president with using his office to personally—and through his staff- delay, impede and obstruct the investigation into the break-in.
In subsections of Article 1, Nixon and his staff were accused of giving false or misleading statements in congressional and judicial testimony and to investigators, leaking information from Justice Department investigations to help others adjust their stories or cover their tracks and rewarding witnesses for false or silent testimony.
The first article was approved by the committee July 27, 1974, with six Republicans joining all 21 Democrats for a 27 to 11 tally. Procedurally, the Democrats only needed one article to move forward and when he learned it passed, Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr., (D-Mass.) predicted the House would impeach Nixon by 50 votes.
Two days later, the Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jack B. Brooks (D.-Texas) passed two more articles.
In Article 2, the Democrats accused Nixon of accessing private tax records from the IRS and directing the IRS to audit, investigate and otherwise harass political opponents.
The second article also accused Nixon of using the electronic surveillance and the resources of the FBI to spy on Americans without national security or law enforcement justification.
The third article dealt with Nixon’s claims of executive privilege. On four occasions, the Nixon White House failed to comply with subpoenas from the Judiciary Committee.
This quote from Article 3 could have been written this morning:
“In refusing to produce these papers and things Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.”
President Barack Obama’s press secretary James “Jay” Carney insists the White House has complied with all legitimate inquires included in subpoenas issued by the House. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., has made the exact same case in his testimony before House committees.
But, this is really the same thing as Nixon deciding what information he gave up and what he did not.
It has been two months since Obama’s promise to fully investigate the IRS’s predatory handling of Tea Party groups, 10 months from the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on Benghazi and two-and-half years since Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry was cut down by an AK-47 waived through to a straw purchaser for a Mexican crime gang by the ATF’s Fast and Furious team.
Does anyone believe the White House is forthright in coming clean?
The Republican leadership on Capitol Hill was brainwashed in a bunker somewhere in West Virginia to believe any confrontation with a Democratic president, let alone an impeachment, would be unpopular with the American people.
Unfortunately, that paradigm will never be tested.
But, what we do see is that the liberals running the mainstream media recognize enough similarities between the behavior of the Obama White House and what Democrats claimed in 1974 was so egregious that Nixon had to be removed from office.