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June 02, 2005

Comments

"With this latest piece, Ms. Noonan officially attains the rank of "hack supreme.""

No that occurred long ago.

here's Ben Stein, on Nixon's legacy:

    That is his legacy. He was a peacemaker. He was a lying, conniving, covering up peacemaker. He was not a lying, conniving drug addict like JFK, a lying, conniving war starter like LBJ, a lying, conniving seducer like Clinton -- a lying, conniving peacemaker. That is Nixon's kharma.

with Clinton, it wasn't about the sex, it was about the lying. at least it was until today.

now, it's back to being about the sex, because lying is apparently AOK if you're a Republican.

I find myself agreeing with Josh Marshall's take: she's been carrying water for one criminal Republican administration for so long, what's one more?

wait. strike "...if you're a Republican." as fun as it is to say, it doesn't apply here.

Nixon's ruin led to a cascade of catastrophic events--the crude and humiliating abandonment of Vietnam and the Vietnamese

A few highlights of the timeline:

1 Jul 71 - During the peace talks, the Viet Cong proposed the return of all American and allied prisoners held in North and South Vietnam by the end of 1971 if all US troops were withdrawn within that same period. US reaction was cautious

12 Nov 71 - President Nixon announced a troop withdrawal of 45,000 more troops by 1 Feb 72, but said it was particularly important to continue air strikes on enemy infiltration routes

Jan 72 - President Nixon announces the 7th withdrawal: 70,000 troops by 1 May 72 reducing the troop level in Vietnam to 69,000

17-28 Feb 72 - President Nixon visits the People's Republic of China

26 Apr 72 - President Nixon announced the withdrawal of 20,000 more troops

27 Apr 72 - Paris Peace talks resume

Jun 72 - Nixon announced the withdrawal of 10,000 more troops by September

17 Jun 72 - Watergate break-in and attempted bugging of the Democratic Party Headquarters

Peggy Noonan is an idiot who believes in time travel.

As for Pol Pot, how exactly was he removed from power? And how long after Pol Pot was removed from power did her boss, Ronald Reagan, still recognize, in the UN, Pol Pot as the legitimate leader of Cambodia?

Noonan is also the idiot who saw fit to assume the voice of Paul Wellestone from beyond the grave in order to lecture the Democrats on proper political behavior in one of her opinion pieces. She is truly disgusting. Now it's, "Illegal covert bombing campaigns don't kill millions of people, informers who help bring down a criminal President do."

Edward, I urge you to read the actual articles of impeachment and recheck your premises.

Of course, you could argue that the obstruction of justice charges were just a pretext for impeaching Clinton, and that the real outrage was over the oral gratification, but then there's a matter of making a case for that to consider. I, for one, would welcome...oh, never mind.

Slarti,

I urge you to re-read my actual post. It's questioning whether there are times in history when, even though the House suspect high crimes and misdemeanors have been committed, they should decide that in the country's best interest, impeachment is not the appropriate response. Noonan thinks so, just not when a Democrat is in office.

Interesting little mental exercise for those who are still beating the "it was all about sex" drum: if Clinton had--in the upset of all time--actually honestly answered the questions about Ms. Lewinsky that were put to him in the deposition in January of 1998, would he have been impeached? If so, how would the charges have read?

Noonan aside, Edward, indulging in your own sort of inaccuracy isn't helping you make a case, here.

. . . and that the real outrage was over the oral gratification . . .

I suspect that for the Tom Delays of the world, the real outrage was that Bill Clinton was ever President at all.

That being neither here nor there, I think you're misfocusing on what Edward's premise is. Or, rather, isn't.

I suspect that for the Tom Delays of the world, the real outrage was that Bill Clinton was ever President at all.

Exactly. The whole of the Clinton presidency was a mad search by the Republican party leadership for something, anything, from which to hang an impeachment.

"Interesting little mental exercise for those who are still beating the 'it was all about sex' drum: if Clinton had--in the upset of all time--actually honestly answered the questions about Ms. Lewinsky that were put to him in the deposition in January of 1998, would he have been impeached? If so, how would the charges have read?"

Another mental exercise might be to postulate that since George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, et al, have engaged in no wrong-doing, there would be no harm done by appointing an independent counsel to investigate whether any laws were broken in the run up to the Iraq war, and deposing everyone involved. Presumably no one would lie under oath, and there would be no charges, everyone in the Administration would be vindicated, and matters would be clearer. Surely a result everyone could applaud. Who could object?

I don't think Noonan is necessarily being inconsistent here -- she's not saying that Nixon didn't deserve to be impeached, only that in retrospect it was bad for the country's interest that he was. Obviously she doesn't feel the same way about Clinton. Her conclusions are arguable to say the least, but they're not mutually contradictory.

Interesting little mental exercise for those who are still beating the "it was all about sex" drum: if Clinton had--in the upset of all time--actually honestly answered the questions about Ms. Lewinsky that were put to him in the deposition in January of 1998, would he have been impeached? If so, how would the charges have read?

That might be an interesting mental exercise for you, but that's not what Edward's post is about. A relevant mental exercise might be for you to think about why a partisan Republican thinks that Nixon's crimes should have been ignored for the good of the country, while Clinton's much less serious violations should not have been.

Noonan aside, Edward, indulging in your own sort of inaccuracy isn't helping you make a case, here.

Slarti (and you should listen to this to M. Scott), you're really gonna need to make an effort to pay attention this time, because it's late in the day and my patience is dwindling ;p Noonan is not an "aside"...she's the bleeding focus of the post. The issue is not whether Clinton deserved to be impeached. The issue today is whether Noonan is right to assert that Nixon shouldn't have been forced to resign because of what it wrought. Everything else (including whether or not Clinton deserved to be impeached) is smoke and mirrors...cut through that...consider the real question here.

It will now be interesting -- even despite the distraction from Edward's point -- to watch certain parties run around like chickens without heads explaining how, as both an attorney and President, Bill Clinton had to be held to a higher standard concerning perjury and obstruction of justice, and there had to be consequences goddammit . . . then explain how that same argument absolutely does not apply in the whole Abu Ghraib-Gitmo-Amnesty kerfuffle.

Really, Edward, isn't pointing out the hackery of Peggy Noonan and Ben Stein a little like shooting fish in a barrel?

I have no outrage left over for those people. Torture, extraordinary rendition and the administration's sheer self-righteousness and contempt for its critics have exhausted my supply.

"The issue today is whether Noonan is right to assert that Nixon shouldn't have been forced to resign because of what it wrought."

Being persnickity, I have to say this is odd phrasing. Nixon wasn't "forced to resign" in any reasonable sense. He was perfectly free to go through impeachment and conviction. "Urged to" is not "forced to." (It might have been better if he had stayed for impeachment and conviction, as it might have led to slightly fewer "stab in the back" theories, though possibly not, and, obviously, the country would have been politically imobilized for somewhat longer.)

Ah, Edward, you beat me to it. So I'll just say, here, how odd it is to hear all these people who had no consciences at all going on about how awful what Mark Felt did. From the post I was writing when I had to go out:

We now get to be treated to lectures on ethics from, of all people, G. Gordon Liddy:

" "What you are ethically bound to do is go to a grand jury and seek an indictment and not go to a single news source," said Liddy, who was convicted and served nearly five years in prison for his role in the scandal."

G. Gordon Liddy, who struck even Colson as off the rails; who spooked someone he was trying to recruit as a mole inside a Democratic candidate's organization by burning his hand with her cigarette lighter to show that no one could make him talk, at which point "she suddenly recalled that she was to be married to a Swiss airline pilot in September and therefore couldn't do the job" (Liddy TV interview, quoted inFred Emery, Watergate, p. 88); and who wrote about his part in Watergate: "I knew exactly what had to be done and why, and I was under no illusions about its legality. ... As far as I was concerned, anything went." (Liddy, Will, pp. 266-7.) Just the person I'd trust to give me a lecture on what Felt was "ethically bound to do".

And then there's Chuck Colson, who famously said that he would run over his own grandmother if it would help reelect Richard Nixon, and who approved plans to firebomb the Brookings Institution, plans which were luckily never carried out:

" "He had the trust of America's leaders and to think that he betrayed that trust is hard for me to fathom," Colson told the AP."

These are people who used the full power of the Federal government to harass and intimidate their political enemies, real and imagined; who were willing to do whatever it took to advance their political objectives, even if it meant breaking our laws and undermining our Constitution; who did not seem, at the time, to recognize the existence of limits imposed by decency or morality; and who had, in particular, corrupted the very institutions they seem to think Mark Felt should have tried to work through. If they had any shame, it would surely have prevented them from speaking out on this occasion. But, as we already knew, they do not.

And the context is important. By the time Nixon resigned, I would guess ten cabinet level officials had resigned or been fired. Many were facing indictments. Nixon was very close to a breakdown. The administration was in collapse, and there should be no talk of "surviving". It was already gone.

Imagine Rove, Hughes, Cheney, Rumsfeld,Gonzalez,Rice all gone and facing indictment and try to imagine how effective Bush would be.

I don't think the leadership of the Republican party has changed much, unless it's for the worse. This administration is every bit as lacking in principles or respect for the law--plus their policies are out of sinc with reality.

Also I don't think the impeachment of Clinton was about sex. It was about a ruthless gang of partisan politicians who were determinied to find something, anything at all, that they could use against Clinton for partisan purposes. The same people, those that are still in Congress, now ignore or enable every breach of principle, procedure, or law committed by a member of the current administration.

Slarti (and you should listen to this to M. Scott), you're really gonna need to make an effort to pay attention this time, because it's late in the day and my patience is dwindling ;p Noonan is not an "aside"...she's the bleeding focus of the post. The issue is not whether Clinton deserved to be impeached. The issue today is whether Noonan is right to assert that Nixon shouldn't have been forced to resign because of what it wrought.

Then wouldn't you be better off just addressing that issue on its own merits rather than dragging out the "Bubba was wronged!" litany again? 1974 was not 1998--the situations were radically different as far as the political challenges faced by the current President, and it wasn't Our Bill who had the rough deal (other than his multiple self-inflicted wounds). IMO, Nixon got what he deserved and Noonan needs to take a time out for a bit of perspective, but you're comparing apples and oranges when it comes to the impact of a distracted Chief Executive was to the country in the times in question.

As an aside, it *is* rather amusing watching the left making a folk hero out of a man who had to be pardoned by Ronald Reagan for his involvement in illegal searches--I suppose repeated felonious violation of the Fourth Amendment is small potatoes compared to the service of passing on gossip about Tricky Dick. . .

"Being persnickity, I have to say this is odd phrasing. Nixon wasn't "forced to resign" in any reasonable sense. He was perfectly free to go through impeachment and conviction. "Urged to" is not "forced to." (It might have been better if he had stayed for impeachment and conviction, as it might have led to slightly fewer "stab in the back" theories, though possibly not, and, obviously, the country would have been politically imobilized for somewhat longer.)"

Posted by: Gary Farber

I've seen somebody (probably Safire) say that Nixon was more moral than Clinton because Nixon resigned, but Clinton didn't.

In the end, everything I saw of politics before, during and after Clinton convinced me that they hated his guts because he beat them, with very, very, very few exceptions. None of them in politics, or posting on the net.

My super-extra-favorite part of the Noonan column is when she goes on to praise Chuck Colson as the hero of Watergate, especially his subsequent work with children. Comparing Colson to Felt, she says:

Children aren't dead because of [Colson]. Some children are alive because of him."

Deep Throat is a child-murderer. That's where Noonan's coming from.

. . . but you're comparing apples and oranges when it comes to the impact of a distracted Chief Executive was to the country in the times in question . . .

Until it comes time to yell "aspirin factory" or "offered to give us bin Laden" or somesuch, anyway.

Who's making a folk hero out of Felt? Everything I've read about him acknowledges that Felt was likely personally embittered against Nixon because he got passed over for the top job at FBI, among other peevish character elements. For my part, I bet he had motives both noble and profane to do what he did, and I can't say which was the final straw that led him to pick up the phone and call his friend Bob. I'm just saying he's not a child murderer, is all.

Oh, wait, that's not all - I'm also saying that Noonan is a deliberately dishonest WHACKJOB.

Ah, but it says high crimes AND misdemeanors. Not AND/OR.

Important distinction, no?

you're comparing apples and oranges when it comes to the impact of a distracted Chief Executive was to the country in the times in question.

A distracted chief executive? Do you seriously think things in SE Asia would have turned out differently had Nixon not been weakened by Watergate? He had been President since January, 1969. Did all these problems just pop up four or five years later, when Watergate started to be a story? Of course not. He wasn't doing such a hot job with them before he got "distracted."

As an aside, it *is* rather amusing watching the left making a folk hero out of a man who had to be pardoned by Ronald Reagan for his involvement in illegal searches-

Almost as much fun as watching the right worship Ollie North and John Poindexter, criminals whose convictions were overturned on the sort of "silly technicality" conservatives love to rail against.


As an aside, it *is* rather amusing watching the left making a folk hero out of a man who had to be pardoned by Ronald Reagan for his involvement in illegal searches

"had to" ? who twisted Reagan's arm ?

I haven't really addressed the topic.

"When Is It Right to Remove a President from Office?"

Believe it or not, during the Clinton years, no matter what I thought of the players or the substance, my answer to that question would have been:

when you have the votes.

It may be a very anti-originalist position, but if a President is so unpopular and powerless that his job is in jeopardy, I consider it fair to remove him. For example, if Republicans gain House and Senate seats in both 2006 and 2008, and Hilary wins the Presidency, I would expect an immediate impeachment, if she even managed to get thru validation of electors. And I would consider it fair and just.

"had to" ? who twisted Reagan's arm ?

Fair enough--the sentence probably should have read ". . .who would be referred to today as an ex-felon thanks to his involvement in numerous illegal searches were it not for a pardon granted by Ronald Reagan in 1981." Personally, I'm not inclined to get on Felt too much about those searches, most of which were directed at members of the Weather Underground--regarding whom my greatest regret is that they didn't exit this existence the way most of the SLA did. However, it is fascinating to see those who screech at the slightest hint of a narrowing of Fourth Amendment precedents praise this guy.

I have always thought that Deep Throat did the nation a great service. I have never thought that I understood his motives, since I had no idea who he was; therefore, it always seemed clear that they could be mixed, or bad, or anything. My view of him in those respects has not changed much. I don't think I'm making him a hero, nor do I see a lot of that going on.

What I do see a lot of is: people who plainly forfeited their right to get morally indignant over Watergate getting morally indignant anyways, and moreover being treated as serious commentators in the media. Again: to think that people who thought it would be a good idea to firebomb the Brookings Institute, or to authorize burglaries of their political opponents, or deploy the FBI, the IRS, and who knows what other government agencies against anyone they thought was opposed to them, without anything remotely resembling a reason to think that those people were anything other than law-abiding citizens, have the right to get all huffy about Deep Throat is grotesque.

"I have always thought that Deep Throat did the nation a great service"

I would have to go thru the timelines and events very carefully to see how important DT and Woodward & Bernstein were. Without coverage, Congress might not have gotten involved. But IIRC, the important player was Judge Sirica and whichever (Hunt?) burglar(s) demanded payoffs.

Now W&B and DT were deeply involved in discovering the campaign finance illegalities, which was the grounds used to send AG Mitchell and many others to jail. But not the grounds for impeachment.

However, it is fascinating to see those who screech at the slightest hint of a narrowing of Fourth Amendment precedents praise this guy.

i'm sure you have someone specific in mind for your "those". but, from what i've learned of Felt (in the past three days) is enough to make me think of him not as a hero, but as someone who did the right thing for possibly the wrong reasons.

and, if you're going to be amused at people, you might try looking at the gang of convicts and suspects parading around the media these days calling Felt a criminal while trying to elevate Nixon to the level of "hero" - cause that's some funny sh!t.

Just came back from the Wikipedia entry and it was McCord who sung. The number of WH staffers and campaign members who were convicted of crimes is nothing short of astonishing. Maybe thirty? This was a formative experience for me in many ways, and with that level of universal corruption in a Republican White House, and yet to see people like Dole and Trent Lott and so many others defend them every day with the maximal charges of "partisan witch-hunt of noble public servants." turned me against that party forever. The corruption obviously did not stop at the WH.

Now some Democrats have done some bad things. Find me 30 convictions, and an entire party apparatus that never flagged in their support, until Nixon stepped on the helicopter.

No, wait. Noonan and ilk defend them to this day.

(NB. Let this not be interpreted as an attack on every Republican. It has been thirty years, and I am sure there are decent folk in that party today. I am talking about 1973-74, when I personally had a very hard time seeing any I liked.)

and, if you're going to be amused at people, you might try looking at the gang of convicts and suspects parading around the media these days calling Felt a criminal while trying to elevate Nixon to the level of "hero" - cause that's some funny sh!t.

You're not wrong--though I am irresistably reminded of a time when I saw Doris Kearns Goodwin appear on a panel show--might have been Politically Incorrect in the days before it became unwatchable--with Ben Stein, and she was going off about how terrible it was that Stein had worked for Nixon, when she herself had worked for LBJ--possibly the biggest political crook in the United States in the 20th Century. There's a tendency to be blind to the flaws of one's old boss, and Democrats and Republicans are both prone to it.

"possibly the biggest political crook in the United States in the 20th Century."

How many convictions, and how high the figures convicted of crimes. I have proof, you have accusations.

Now some Democrats have done some bad things. Find me 30 convictions, and an entire party apparatus that never flagged in their support, until Nixon stepped on the helicopter.

Of course, a special counsel never got a crack at Kennedy or (most particularly) LBJ. Nixon didn't originate a lot of the tactics that were cited--justifiably--as grounds for chasing him out of town: he continued a precedent that wasn't well known until long after the press that loved Kennedy and feared LBJ did a bit of digging after the fact and discovered some rather appalling misconduct. As for lockstep party support, well. . .we're back to Clinton again, aren't we? One of the ironies of the whole mess there is that if Clinton's allies in Congress in 1993-1994 hadn't dragged their feet so much in dealing with the Whitewater allegations, they might have been cleared up quickly and the investigation ended long before the Jones and Lewinsky affairs got tangled up in it. If Nixon's support in his own party in Congress had been as solid as Clinton's was, he might have been impeached, but he never would have been convicted in the Senate--let's not forget the role of Barry Goldwater in going to Nixon and saying "It's over" before you slime the Republicans in Congress regarding Watergate.

"How many convictions, and how high the figures convicted of crimes. I have proof, you have accusations."

Sure, Bob--and OJ was chipping golf balls that night, too.

A little hard to get convictions without a special counsel, and when the guys committing the crimes don't have anyone looking over their shoulders. Let's not forget that the AG when J. Edgar Hoover was bugging Martin Luther King Jr. was Bobby Kennedy. Are you claiming that it never happened because a jury never said so?

"let's not forget the role of Barry Goldwater in going to Nixon and saying "It's over" before you slime the Republicans in Congress regarding Watergate."

Watch the hearings, especially the days of McCord and Dean. Now Dean could have been making everything up in a vicious attempt to get Nixon, because that is how the Repubs on the committee treated him, but somehow I just didn't quite see his motivation at the time. The congressional Republicans turned on Nixon only at the very last possible moment.

After the resignations of three attornies general, the white house counsel, Nixons personal lawyer, Haldeman, Erlichman, wage-price controls, the Cambodia bombing, the impoundment constitutional crisis,etc etc etc...

...when they had Nixon on tape committing a felony, yup, Republicans in Congress did the right thing.

M. Scott: A little hard to get convictions without a special counsel, and when the guys committing the crimes don't have anyone looking over their shoulders.

Which is, presumably, why even though it has been proved that George W. Bush lied the US into war with Iraq (an impeachable offense, according to at least one legal opinion) he can remain confident that his loyal Congress will not permit him to be convicted.

"For example, if Republicans gain House and Senate seats in both 2006 and 2008, and Hilary wins the Presidency, I would expect an immediate impeachment, if she even managed to get thru validation of electors. And I would consider it fair and just."

I have to say, Bob, you're not someone who parrots a party line.

:-)

"LBJ--possibly the biggest political crook in the United States in the 20th Century. There's a tendency to be blind to the flaws of one's old boss, and Democrats and Republicans are both prone to it."

"Biggest political crook" is a tad vague, but I have no qualms in saying that while LBJ passed much domestic legislation I approve of and am thankful for, that he was pretty much of a scumbucket of a human being (can I say that here?) and guilty of many things worth condemning.

Of course, he was so popular among Democrats by 1968 that he had to withdraw from even trying to run again (my first major political memory, really, not counting my irritation at JFK's funeral taking my cartoons off the air). This tends to suggest that this man whom was deeply, deeply, deeply, hated by most Democrats by that time (hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?) did not precisely wind up with his sins "overlooked" by Democrats. See also such obscure biographers as Robert Caro (please!).

On the other hand, his sins didn't remotely approach those of Richard Nixon. I don't recall about ten thousand people being rounded up for protesting and imprisoned for a day in RFK Stadium (or elsewhere) under LBJ, or firebombings of academic institutions being authorized by him, or him concluding that anything he does while President is legal. Yes, he engaged in some crooked elections; yes, he was one of the most horrible Presidents at foreign policy we've ever had; yes, he was personally utterly dishonest; yes, he was close to Hoover and approved buggings; yes, he did a number of appalling things; but he didn't, you know, engage in subverting the institutions of our Republic remotely as much as Nixon tried.

I'm a little sad how little the crimes of Nixon are remembered these days by most, but it's inevitable; still very very very bad, though, in my not so humble opinion. (Big clues to this lack of awareness include how many smart young -- defined as those not aware at the time -- people have reacted to the DT revelation with a "who cares?" or a "who ever heard of W. Mark Felt?")

Noonan is not an "aside"

I'm going to chalk this up to an accidental misreading on your part of what I wrote, due to...perhaps an excess of emotion on your part, Edward. I suggest you reread, keeping in mind that I wasn't calling Noonan an "aside".

"...when they had Nixon on tape committing a felony, yup, Republicans in Congress did the right thing."

Bob is entirely correct about this. The recorded history is extremely detailed.

On La Noonan:

Nixon's ruin led to a cascade of catastrophic events--the crude and humiliating abandonment of Vietnam and the Vietnamese, the rise of a monster named Pol Pot, and millions--millions--killed in his genocide.

As many have remarked over the years, Nixon's "Secret Bombing of Cambodia" wasn't a secret to the Cambodians. Alas, it seems to still be a secret to Peggy Noonan.

I have to say, I had a wonderful giggle fit over the idea that Nixon's resignation is why we lost in Vietnam. Why, just a few months ago, John Kerry was the man singlehandedly responsible for losing the war in Vietnam!

Hey, I have a great idea on how Bush can escape the verdict of history for screwing up the US military, reducing our national prestige to Feral Keystone Kops, violating the Constitution, bankrupting the government, and generally treating his sworn oath of office like a winning Megamillions lotto ticket:

Bush should resign the Presidency. Immediately. Then the GOP can spend the next 30 years telling themselves how well everything would have turned out if only he had stayed in office.

When Is It Right to Remove a President from Office?

Using recent years are a guide:
When a Democrat gets a BJ in the White House, it's time for impeachment.
When a Republican lies to start an illegal war that has lead to the death of 100,000 Iraqis and not one single WMD, throws out the Geneva Convention and a good chunk of the constitution, it's time to repeal the 22 nd Amendment.

"I have to say, Bob, you're not someone who parrots a party line."

I believe in Congressional Supremacy, and not only dislike the Imperial Presidency, I dislike a strong or leading Presidency. Congressmen are closest to the people, and if the people want to go to Mars, have free prescription drugs, or attack Iraq, Congressmen will be the first to know. I would rather the President never proposed new programs at all.

I know there are stipulations, so my position is controversial, but the Constitution provides Congress with the power to remove the President and judges, and provides those other two branches nothing comparable. I can imagine many circumstances in which a President, while doing nothing illegal, would be so incompetent or radical in his policy that he should be removed, if the will exists. If Clinton(used for randomness) had attacked ten countries on four continents for no good reason, or fired the entire rosters of the FBI and CIA because he felt like it, for example.

I accept impeachment for ideological reasons or policy differences. This fairly describes the Johnson Impeachment, which largely was based on differing views of reconstruction. Who knows why Clinton was impeached, there weren't IIRC really pressing policy disagreements.
But there are enough checks and balances that I think power should flow to those who can wield it. And feel secure that nothing a majority of Americans could not bear would result from letting the processes work. I have some confidence that partisan impeachments will always be difficult and rare, for the obvious reason that such a large ideological gap between the President and Congress will be rare.

And so, for another example, SCOTUS's predominance in civil rights, abortion, gay rights derives in large part from the other branches inability or unwillingness to deal with the questions. This is cool. Abstract principle matters less to me than practical politics.

As an aside, it *is* rather amusing watching the left making a folk hero out of a man who had to be pardoned by Ronald Reagan for his involvement in illegal searches

As others have pointed out, this isn't really, you know, happening. I've heard/read/seen lots of people take a view like hilzoy's, but the idea of liberals calling Felt a great person is something I've only seen from partisan Republicans who refer to nothing specific.

A little hard to get convictions without a special counsel

This from a knee-jerk defender of the Bush administration. Who are you going to replace, Letterman or Leno?

Two small remarks to Scott (btw, do you prefer to go by Scott, Eiland, or something else when being addressed online?):

if Clinton had--in the upset of all time--actually honestly answered the questions about Ms. Lewinsky that were put to him in the deposition in January of 1998, would he have been impeached?

Based on the Republicans I knew -- and there were a fair number of them so this isn't just whistlin' Dixie, so to speak -- I'd say yes, he would have been. I don't know how they'd've justified it, but I'm pretty sure the Republican base would have been satisfied with nothing less. Heck, most of the Republicans I knew wanted him impeached by 1993, and that's (sadly) not a joke.

[Mind you, they also wanted Somalia to -- and I quote -- "turn into another Vietnam so it'd f*** Clinton" so YMMV.]

As an aside, it *is* rather amusing watching the left making a folk hero out of a man who had to be pardoned by Ronald Reagan for his involvement in illegal searches...

Could you provide specific examples of "the left" (tm Norbizness?) "making a folk hero" out of W Mark Felt? I've not seen this and I'm rather curious as to what I've been missing.

As others have pointed out, this isn't really, you know, happening

Sure it is, I have seen plenty of people in the last few days talking about what a great patriotic guy Mark Felt was.

And he wasn't. He was as bad as Nixon, only with a tad less power. Do you really think Mark Felt ratted out Nixon because he thought breaking the law was wrong? Mark Felt was doing the same damn things Nixon was doing at the time, and was later convicted for doing it. Mark Felt was a wannabe Nixon. He's doing what he's doing now for one reason - money. That's not heroic stuff.

So Mr. Eiland, for once, is right. There are people trying to make a folk hero out of Deep Throat, and that crap should be stopped right now. The talk should not be of heroes, the talk should be of how a system of self-interested people can be made to work for the common good, because that's how it played out during Watergate.

Would it play out the same way today? I doubt it. I would love to be proved wrong.

I'm not a big fan of GED (Google Erat Demonstratum) proofs, but for what it's worth, mark+felt+hero seems to indicate that the only one calling Mr. Felt a hero is, um, Mr. Felt (and his family). In any case, if Mr. Eiland is being amused in this way, he's not being amused here; I haven't seen anybody on these threads call him that.

Wow, no sooner do I post the above, and click the link to make sure it works, then the top result changes to a pretty shameless hagiography of Felt by Post columnist Richard Cohen. So, I stand corrected.

Two small remarks to Scott (btw, do you prefer to go by Scott, Eiland, or something else when being addressed online?)

Any and all of the above are fine--if there's another Scott posting in the thread, M. Scott or Eiland (I've learned the latter usually means that someone is seriously annoyed with me) might be useful to distinguish the two.

Based on the Republicans I knew -- and there were a fair number of them so this isn't just whistlin' Dixie, so to speak -- I'd say yes, he would have been. I don't know how they'd've justified it, but I'm pretty sure the Republican base would have been satisfied with nothing less. Heck, most of the Republicans I knew wanted him impeached by 1993, and that's (sadly) not a joke.

Looking at the votes of the actual impeachment, I doubt that they would have succeeded. He was only impeached on two of the four counts against him, and by razor thin margins--I suspect that without the obvious lies under oath--and the attempts to intimidate Betty Currie into lying to Mr. Starr--the critical mass wouldn't have formed to impeach him. Of course, there was always the risk that the media would have gone into overdrive and forced him to resign had he come out right away, but that would imply that Bill Clinton is capable of feeling actual shame, and there's virtually no evidence of that.

And for the record, *I* wouldn't have supported it, though I would have gleefully used it to bash the feminists over the head who so piously insisted that power differential situations could lead to cases where consent to sex could not properly be given in a workplace environment when private business was involved, then went mute when their beloved Bill got caught diddling an intern.

the top result changes to a pretty shameless hagiography of Felt by Post columnist Richard Cohen

But then, anyone at the Post would have a strong reason to beatify Felt, so we can dismiss that one, right? ;^)

"diddling an intern"

Did he actually diddle her? I thought he diddle something else.

Just for the record, too, both you Scott Eiland and the feminists would be wrong in some cases. If Monica had said no, you cad, rather than traveling across the country for the most inexorable and targeted pizza and b.j. in the history of the world, then you and a very radical feminist would be right.

As it happened, yes to this behavior was what was on her mind; she was a big girl and wanted to do something.

We (you, me, and the feminist) would agree that Clinton should have kicked her out of the office.

Resume bashing.

From Ken Duberstein, whose Democratic tendencies while serving as Reagan's chief of staff are now unmasked. Damn those libruls!

Edward.......

Thank you for understanding the Constitution's directive on impeachment and the clarity it contains re: High crimes and misdemeanors. Republicans seem to think that sex and personal behavior [no matter how we view it] is a high crime and misdemeanor. Pity these people their hypocricy and personal blindness, but pity us that this bunch is in power and our free press has all but disappeared. Noonan is an indescribable smug and loony burnt out hack. Stein is just loony. If there was a real MSM, Matthews would not get away with having the inmates on as featured guests in his hate fest about Felt. Blogosphere must be the answer.

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