I’ve seen this movie before. As one who wasn’t born in time to have witnessed the trials and tribulations of Nixon’s presidency, I grew to consume the facts of the story voraciously later in life. There is no sufficient sole source account of Nixon’s odessey. You must commit yourself to a deep and comprehensive exploration of all available accounts and form a consensus from the collective works. If you undertake such an academic journey, you will see a pattern; a pattern of subversive and insidious attacks waged by the establishment on the presidency. I don’t mean to imply merely attacks on the president, Nixon himself, but the entire executive branch. The war plan was executed with brilliant and reckless abandon, creating a pressured environment designed to force Nixon into falling prey to his own fears and insecurities. His battle may have been lost almost exactly 43 years ago today, but his testimony is alive and speaking soft words of caution to this day.
Ellsberg, Rosenberg, Rodino, etc. The names are different, but the games are the same. Congressman Drinan was every bit the crackpot moron in 1973 that Maxine Waters is today. The semblance is only shattered by the persistence of a single James Brown-esque wig. Like Trump, Nixon was also riddled with issues within his own administration. Henry Kissinger routinely violated Nixon’s trust by running to the NY Times, leaking information to undermine Nixon and raise his own profile. Ever wonder how Kissinger has maintained his beloved media status, despite being entrenched in clandestine planning to bomb Cambodia and dispatch false narratives about ending the Vietnam War for political purposes? Well, I’ll tell you: He earned his keep by leaking to the media. A practice to this day he espouses. My word of caution to President Trump, don’t trust that your conversations with the aging and manipulative Kissinger are confidential. And the cantankerous news reporter Dan Schorr, remember him? He swore before Congress that Nixon was deliberately undermining the press and challenging the credibility of the media. He bemoaned this was dangerous to the 1st Amendment. Phooey. Where have I heard that line recently? What is old is new again.
Trump and Nixon share a great deal in common, sure. Both are American idealists. They think in terms of big achievements, and abhor the resistance of bureaucracy. However, they are drastically different people who come from starkly different backgrounds. Nixon was a dirt poor Quaker from agricultural California, his modest upbringing stayed with him until the end. It was a nagging voice of uncertainty in the dead of night, it made him mean and cynical. It also drove him to always, always, take stock of his enemies and their motivations against him. Contempt of the press and the establishment aside, Donald Trump is a different story. We know his story, and we know his motivations in life were not to assume the highest political office in the land. Yet here he is, and here he shall stay.
There is no comparison to the series of bad decisions, conspiracy to obstruct, and other things that led to Nixon’s resignation. Frankly, were I to list them, it would only serve to further impugn Nixon’s character. Suffices to say, they, in summation, bear no resemblance to anything in our current news cycle regarding President Trump. The game plan deployed by the opposition is the only common thread. This time, however, they are missing even the appearance of criminality. It simply isn’t there. There will be no John Dean testimony or explosive Butterfield revelations. In fact, if anything, Democrat voters may be incensed by the deliberate hyper-billing of wrongdoing by Trump that doesn’t exist.
Bobby Mueller is no Archibald Cox, but he’s pretty darn close. Just like Rod Rosenstein is no Elliot Richardson, or is he? This, you see, is the real symmetry to be found in the curious cases of the establishment v Nixon/Trump. Remarkably, Nixon’s acting Attorney General, Richardson, solicited the insanely liberal Solicitor General for Kennedy, Archibald Cox, to be the special prosecutor. It was an incredible development, one largely ignored by history. The hypocrisy was stunning, and the agreed to order was even more so, stating the scope would cover “all offenses arising out of the 1972 election … involving the president…” Like Trump, Nixon was publicly forced to coldly embrace Cox. Behind the scenes, was a different story. Nixon was beside himself. He was quoted as saying, “If Richardson searched specifically for the man whom I least trusted, he could hardly have done better.” History, meet your new Richardson: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.
It’s painfully obvious now, to myself and the president, that a series of miscalculations from seemingly loyal cabinet members can lead to uncomfortably hot water. How did we get here? We are here because Attorney General Jeff Sessions put us here. There is no debate, no rational excuses to cover this brazen fact. It may not have been purposeful, but if it wasn’t, then it was ineptitude. Like Hillary might say, “what difference does it make?” It doesn’t. We are here. We are stuck with the ultimate establishment swamp warrior in Bobby Mueller. If a man will lie before Congress to justify a war resulting in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of American military, he will lie about this investigation. If he insists on violating the scope of the executive order by investigating things that have nothing to do with the past election, and everything to do with financial dealings and tax returns from a long time ago, then must be fired. Come what may, letting Mueller play Dick Tracy for a year into the dealings of the president, his entire campaign team and family, is not an option. Mueller is breaking the law. Comey has broken the law. Obama’s entire White House staff has broken laws. And Jeff Sessions, he merely broke our hearts.
Historians love to flippantly refer to Nixon’s demise as “it wasn’t the crime, it was the cover up.” Not so. A cursory perusal through the transcripts of the WH tapes reveal a litany of criminal conspiracies. There is no need for a cover up without a crime. Ultimately, my advice to President Trump would be to give no safe harbor to enemies who would break laws to ensnare you in establishment traps. You have committed no crimes in connection with this election and Russia, sir. In that vein, you are free to govern the investigations accordingly. Should they steer outside of the fold, fire them. It is the lesson of history that tells us: the power of the executive is in the application of its authority. Excise this cancer, sir, before it becomes a metastatic monster that consumes your agenda.
Nixon is speaking to us from beyond the grave. He’s telling us it’s not personal, it’s business. He messed up, and he knew it. You haven’t, and we all know it. In the absence of a crime, only supposition reigns. In such confusion, our enemy thrives; in such shadows, they multiply. History is our roadmap, and our enemies are counting on us to ignore that and forge ahead into the unknown. But we know better, don’t we? We know the longer this drags on, the worse it will get. Fiction becomes fact without the benefit of scrutiny. Who among our media, or among congress, will be so discerning? None.
Mark Felt was Deep Throat. He was a crooked FBI executive who sought only to bring down the president. He made literary heroes out of two lazy journalists, whose only apparent job was to solicit illegal leaks from Felt in parking garages. Felt would later be convicted on multiple charges of violating the civil rights of Americans in the course of his FBI duties. He was a hack, a derelict and a leaker. He was Deep State personified. Has this story been told? No. Is FBI counsel James Baker our current Mark Felt? Is he peddling lies, instead of facts? Is Comey, or McCabe? The Deep State is alive and well, lo after these many years. As we approach the anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, we vow not be victimized by the swamp again.
Impeachment is not imminent. That being the case, it changes little in the way this “investigation” should be handled… Move swiftly, move purposefully and move strategically. Use history as a guide, use it wisely. Most importantly, remember Nixon’s final words to his staff 43 years ago, “always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”