Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012

I wrote a column the other day about Watergate, which messed up the
country pretty badly for a while before the bad guy, Richard Nixon,
became the first US president ever to resign.  Do we now need another
one called "Here We Go Again-gate?"

I ask because of a story in the Washington Post today about how the
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (the House is
Republican, remember, and this was a party-line vote) voted that
Attorney General Eric Holder be held in contempt after the Obama
administration, citing executive privilege for the first time, refused
to turn over documents inked to a failed gun-running operation.

My first thought when I saw the story was "Good grief,  not again!"
Reading the story, I thought yes, legal quibbles, ambiguities, grey
areas, just like the old model.  This time we do lack burglars caught
in an office but who knows what lies ahead?

Then I thought:  we survived Watergate.  Life went on then.  It will
probably go on this time too, no matter how many invesigatons and
hearings and grand juries it takes. I seem to remember a cartoon from
back when Watergate ended--could it have been the late Herblock of the
Post.  A couple of Americans were looking at a copy of the
Constitution, one saying to the other, "It works!"  Indeed, it did.

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