The Fast and Furious scandal has many commentators comparing it with Watergate. Might I point out some major differences between the two? First, Watergate was not policy-oriented; it was a political scandal entirely. It was basically a botched burglary at the Democrat National Headquarters in Washington, DC. Some of President Nixon’s supporters, without his knowledge or approval, decided to break into the HQ to steal documents. As I’ve often told students, it was wrong to do so, but in addition, it was one of the dumbest moves any campaign ever made. The Democrat nominee that year, George McGovern, had no better chance of defeating Nixon than I would have trying to dunk a basketball over Lebron James.
When the aspiring burglars were caught in the act, they had achieved nothing—there were no stolen documents. That’s all this event would have been had Nixon not made matters worse by attempting to shield his offending supporters from the consequences of their foolishness. This turned into a coverup of the illegal activities carried out by others. For this, he was brought down, and deservedly so.
One caveat to the aura of Nixonian corruption: prior to Watergate, Nixon had never done anything remotely illegal. In fact, as a first-term congressman back in 1948, his doggedness in pursuing the truth in the Chambers-Hiss case was essential to the eventual prison sentence for Hiss as an underground communist agent seeking to influence American government policies. Then, in 1960, when he “lost” the presidential election to Kennedy, he had every reason to believe the result was fraudulent. Dead people in Texas and Chicago apparently found their way to the polls that year. If Nixon had won those states—and he lost both by extremely slim margins—he, not Kennedy, would have been elected. Yet he chose not to press the case; he was concerned for what a long, drawn-out recount would do to the country. Watergate was an unfortunate ending to a career that previously had some high points.
Now let’s switch to Fast and Furious, which, at least at its inception, was not political, but a policy. The supposed goal was to track where guns went, but those in charge allowed these guns to land in the hands of drug dealers and other criminals who, in turn, used them to kill many of their Mexican countrymen and at least one U.S. border guard, Brian Terry. This was miscalculation and stupidity on a grand scale. It was far more than a botched burglary; this time lives were lost. Any comparison of Watergate with Fast and Furious must begin with that essential difference, a difference that makes the latter a greater scandal than the former.
Add to that the lying and stonewalling by the attorney general, Eric Holder, and the invoking of executive privilege by his boss, the president, to avoid releasing documents that would shed light on who was responsible for this warped idea, and you have something that makes Watergate pale in comparison. If only the mainstream media were honest, they would be digging deep into this and not rest until the truth came out. They will not do so, however, preferring to call it a Republican political ploy in an election year.
Did anyone in the media and the Democrat party ever stop to consider that perhaps the Republicans on the Oversight Committee are pursuing this investigation because they believe wrongs were done and they need to be rectified? No. Everything is political. What’s this outworn concept of right and wrong?
At least some cartoonists are on the job. Here are some prime examples:
In a country that had a greater desire for truth and honesty, this would be a front-page and top-of-the-broadcast news item. The networks, though, have been slow to cover it, and are doing so now reluctantly, while offering their own partisan interpretation. Where is Deep Throat when he is really needed?