Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Scandal of Scandals

A lot of political scandals have been dominating the news recently. I can't say that I'm following any of them very closely, other than to know that the IRS, in an attempt to determine which political groups should be tax-exempt or not, made a misguided decision to target tea-party groups, and that the DoJ intercepted a large number of call and other personal records to out a leaker. From that distance, neither incident inspires trust in the judgement of our governmental officials, but one of the few things I read about them was Digby's commentary on Elizabeth Drew's writing about these scandals in comparison to what happened in the Nixon Administration (simplified as "Watergate"). Holy crap - is it chilling. Money quote:
[Watergate] was also about, though this has still gone largely unrecognized, an attempt by a sitting president to determine the nomination of the opposition party’s presidential candidate. Potentially strong challengers were spied upon, their offices broken into and files disappeared, their campaign events disrupted by what were diminished by their categorization as laughable “dirty tricks.” It was about black bag jobs and paying criminals to carry out ideas that sprang from the fevered brain of a president who saw opponents, political and otherwise, as enemies, and then trying to hush the whole thing up.
No scandal should be tolerated, no matter how small, from our government - after all, they are working for us. I'm also no fan of how the Obama Administration has used it's "War on Terror" powers. But honestly Watergate is in another league altogether. I'm quite frankly surprised that I didn't realize the full scope of Nixon's criminality, and absent any further revelations about the current scandals any comparison seems misguided at best.

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