I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard that Richard Nixon resigned from the office of President of the United States rather than be impeached. It was one of those experiences where time seems to stand still. It was very similar to watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, John Kennedy’s assassination, attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, and 9/11. It seems as though my mind took “pictures” of the time to record it on my soul.
I was not very involved in politics at the time other than voting in all elections, but I knew something big was happening then. I am a bit more enlightened at this time, and I know something big is happening now with Obama.
Howard Kurtz of Fox News explained my feeling well. “Is Barack Obama acting like Richard Nixon? As someone who lived through the massive criminality and mendacity of Watergate, I take these comparisons seriously.
“The shorthand `Watergate’ stands for more than what the Nixon White House dismissed as a third-rate burglary at Democratic headquarters; it encompasses other break-ins, wiretaps, tax audits, hush money, cover-ups and perjury that sent many administration officials to jail and drove a president from office.
“So for some on the right to accuse the current president of Nixonian behavior is a heavy charge indeed.”
Victor Davis Hanson of National Review compared Richard Nixon and Barack Obama. The results are scary!
Richard Nixon tried to use the IRS to go after his political enemies but was rebuffed by IRS officials. Barack Obama’s IRS actually hounded members of the Tea Party.
Both Richard Nixon and Barack Obama ignored some laws and chose which others should be enforced. Mr. Nixon attacked networks and even argued with CBS’s Dan Rather while Mr. Obama regularly goes after Fox News.
Mr. Nixon wanted the FCC to hold up licensing of television stations with opposing political views. The FCC under Mr. Obama actually tried to gain greater control over stations and giving licensing authority only to stations with supportive political views.
Mr. Nixon actually ordered surveillance of people he suspected of being political enemies. Obama’s enemies: Remember the film maker that was blamed for causing the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya? He was put in prison even though his video had nothing to do with the attack. Remember film producer Dinesh D’Souza and his openly critical films of Mr. Obama? He has been charges by the federal government for violating campaign-finance laws. He faces up to seven years of prison if convicted.
Even though there are similarities between the transgressions of Mr. Nixon and Mr. Obama, there are also some differences. “The old watchdogs of civil liberties that took on Nixon – the American media of the Watergate era – are now silent. Obama is not right-wing, easily caricatured, unappealing, or an old anti-Communist agitator but an iconic liberal, charismatic, and, in the past, an experienced community organizer. A Democratic Senate majority now has little interest in auditing Obama, though it once zealously pounced on Nixon’s misdeeds.
“If you once suggested that Nixon’s team was violating constitutional principles, you were hailed as speaking truth to power. Try that with progressive Obama and you are likely to be caricatured as some sort of embittered tea-party zealot at best, a retrograde racist at worst. Nixon ended impeached and disgraced; Obama may well enjoy a lucrative and in-demand post presidency.
“Both presidents once had enormous potential and high poll ratings, but their treatment of the Constitution was as Orwellian as it was unnecessary. Before Nixon imploded, he was warned to stop it. Will Obama?”
One big difference between Mr. Nixon and Mr. Obama is accountability. There was proof that Mr. Nixon was involved in Watergate. Even though the Obama administration has been caught in scandal after scandal, there have been no ties directly to Mr. Obama. He appears to be responsible for none of the scandals even though they all happened on his watch. Does the buck stop at the President? Only time will tell.