Tag: Watergate

A Historian’s Perspective on Bad Times in American History

I don’t think there’s really any disagreement about how pessimistic the majority of Americans are about the future. Currently, all the polls reveal that pessimism.  As I survey the scene—the spiritual/moral, political, and cultural aspects [what does that leave?]—I have grave concerns as well. I’d like to offer a historian’s perspective. Since I teach American history, I have a more in-depth knowledge of what has transpired previously. I can imagine myself transported back into earlier eras and think about how… Read more »

Stonewalling Benghazi

The Benghazi terrorist attack of September 11, 2012, might get the award for the least covered political scandal of recent times. As I’ve noted before, the ramifications of this event are far greater than anything in Watergate, yet Watergate is a household name, while Benghazi remains clouded in obscurity. This White House pulled out all the stops from the beginning to mislead the public about the nature of the attack, sending UN ambassador Susan Rice to all the talk shows… Read more »

The IRS Scandal: Worse Than Watergate

Watergate was an egregious attempt by some Nixon staffers to steal strategy intel from Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign. If successful, it would have given the Nixon people insight into how to conduct their campaign to defeat George McGovern. It was an attempt to influence an election. For the record, it was spectacularly unsuccessful. Nothing was taken and no one who broke into the Democrat headquarters even resisted arrest. Moreover, it was entirely unnecessary; McGovern effectively defeated himself, losing… Read more »

Snyderian Truism #8

There is no particular order to my truisms. As I think of one, I write it down and it takes its place numerically. We are now up to #8, which is one I’ve had to learn from experience and also one I’ve seen in history; that’s one reason I share it in class. It goes like this: Bitterness may make you feel good temporarily, but it leads to personal destruction. One of the prime examples I use in American history… Read more »

Benghazi Is Not Watergate–It’s Worse

“That’s old news.” “What difference does it make now?” “It’s time to move on.” Those kinds of disdainful phrases worked for Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial. Will they work again? Subject: Benghazi. It’s not the new Watergate; it’s worse. As many commentators have reminded us, no one died in Watergate. Was the government’s response to the 9/11/12 attack on U.S. grounds in Libya a case of incompetence, false ideology, or political calculation? Perhaps all three? The official review board… Read more »

Worse Than Watergate

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,… Read more »

A Historian’s Perspective on Bad Times in American History

I don’t think there’s really any disagreement about how pessimistic the majority of Americans are about the future. Currently, all the polls reveal that pessimism.  As I survey the scene—the spiritual/moral, political, and cultural aspects [what does that leave?]—I have grave concerns as well. I plan to expound on those concerns in tomorrow’s post. But for now, I’d like to offer a historian’s perspective. Since I teach American history, I have a more in-depth knowledge of what has transpired previously…. Read more »