Coming of Age in the Watergate Era and Awaiting the Trump Impeachment

February 24, 2017

I’m kinda old (I turned 53 this week), so forgive me if I appear a bit jaded by the current state of corrupt politics. You see, I came of (political) age in the Watergate era so I know exactly how this Trump mess is gonna end.

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When Richard Nixon won reelection on November 7, 1972, I was an 8-year-old third grader at Atherton Elementary in Dekalb County, Georgia. Please do not tell anyone this, but I supported Republican Nixon over Democrat George McGovern. The truth is Nixon’s nose reminded me of Bob Hope’s. That’s all it took. I was unaware that the “White House Plumbers” had already broken into the Watergate Hotel and begun their crime spree under the guidance of Tricky Dick and his funky beak. In those days Republicans couldn’t get the Russians to break into Democratic National Committee files. They had to do it themselves. (Ah, those were the days.)

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By the following spring, the Senate Watergate hearings were being broadcast live on all three networks. (That’s all we had, folks!) I was 9 and, instead of running wild through the Georgia pines, I was glued to the boob tube, fascinated at the collapse of the highest power in the land, John Dean’s cover-up-cracking testimony, the president of the United States asserting “I am not a crook,” missing minutes of secret Oval Office recordings, and the whistle blowing of black security guard Frank Willis. (John Lennon was glued too and even showed up, with Yoko, to witness the hearings on June 27, 1973.) It was as if my beloved country was breaking in half and trust in authority was evaporating. When Vice President Spiro Agnew (who hated the news media before it was fashionalbe) resigned on October 10, 1973, I was just a fourth grader, but I knew Nixon would appoint a vice president who would later pardon him. My first Latin was “Quid pro quo.”

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The following spring, hearings for the impeachment of the president began. That summer I finally made it to Washington DC and had the honor of taking a crap in Nixon’s White House. Soon after that historic dump, before congress could finalize the ugly task of impeachment, on August 8, 1974, the President of the United States of America resigned. His recently appointed VP, (now President) Gerald Ford pardoned him. I freakin’ told you so. Nixon rode off to the Orange County sunset with one last victory sign but the nation was forever broken. He was a crook. And now aren’t they all?

Much has been written about how the Baby Boom cohort lost its idealism because of Watergate. That the Woodstock generation caved in to self-serving narcissism and nostalgia paving the way for the Reagan “revolution” in 1980. If you can’t trust the President, who can you trust, Dad?  But it affected more than baby boomers. Us little Gen X kids grew up believing that absolute power corrupted absolutely. Whether it was Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal or Congress impeaching Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job. They’re all a bunch crooks. Why bother to even vote? What’s on the TV?

That’s why the relatively scandal free eight-years of Obama was such breath of fresh air. Is it possible that our elected officials might be capable of not disappointing us on each corner of the calendar? His kids didn’t even get wasted. One time Amy Carter came in to the record store I worked at in Stone Mountain and bought two tapes, Janis Joplin and The Clash. “My dad hates this shit,” she said. The Obamas gave us a weird sense of hope.

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Then here comes Trump, probably the most corrupt president in American history. He’s still doing business deals and hiding God knows what in his tax returns, his advisors are winking at Neo-Nazis and Russian dictators, and his spokeswoman is hawking his daughter’s fake bourgeois clothes (made in China) on live TV. It’s like the White House has been turned into a giant dumpster fire. Meanwhile, Americans, desperate to hold on to their healthcare and not blow billions of taxpayer dollars on Trump’s vanity wall and a new nuclear arms race, are secretly hoping Justin Trudeau will quietly annex the Lower 48. Save us, JT!

It doesn’t seem like much of a question if Trump will get impeached but when. And will there be enough dirt to get creepy Mike Pence out, too? I think any sane American would gladly take Paul Ryan as president over this incompetent gang of shysters who are making our country less secure every day they are allowed to control the executive branch. (Is it too macabre to imagine Trump, Pence, and Steve Bannon being crushed to death in a tragic golf cart rollover?) I remember when I was a kid some conspiracy nuts thought the Soviet Union was somehow mixed up in the Watergate scandal. There’s an awful lot more evidence that Russia has its claws all over this administration. But the formerly Russian-hating right could care less. Maybe it’s because Russia is white. Now about those Mexicans and Muslims…

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For those of us who grew up in the time of Watergate, it’s easy to get jaded. Why not turn off the political noise and become whatever the 2010s version of a yuppie is? But we saw what that got us in 1980, and for millions of Americans who didn’t have stock in IBM, it was pretty ugly. So let’s stay focused and drive the rats from the people’s house before they destroy it and let’s replace them with something beautiful. How about a vegetable garden?

 

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9 thoughts on “Coming of Age in the Watergate Era and Awaiting the Trump Impeachment

    1. as usual you have summed up today’s situation in a nice little bundle. to bad we can’t just throw it in the trash with the rest of the garbage . i am old enough to remember vividly the Iran mess and Watergate. Trump’s impeachment can’t happen soon enough for me. if he had any balls he would just quietly exit left. alas he will follow it to the bitter end. i am 79 don’t think i can survive this mess for four years. we can only hope he will do something so outrageous to make impeachment sooner rather than later.

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  1. I dunno, Randy. Wall Street seems to erupt with giddiness every time Trump opens his mouth. Even as they try to build a positive narrative about the “border tax” so they can eliminate Obamacare and sell the idea that “dynamic scoring” is essential in the budget proceess, sort of like how reading tea leaves is essential to the process.

    Which brings us to Evangelicals, who also adore Trump. They recognize him as one of them because he speaks just like them, his faith and belief in whatever is going through his head on any given day is inviolable. Pick anything out of his speech, it is like a revival, as he lists pretend calamities that no one is witnessing in any measure, but his congregation eats it up. “I’m as rich as I feel”, he “just knows” The a Central Park 5 are guilty of something, anything, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Then they examine and rephrase and reinterpret everything he tweets and says like they’re quote mining scripture and massaging passages to match their already established beliefs. They’ve all had quite enough of left coast elitist experts explaining how the world works and it doesn’t ever seem to line up with the “ordered society” they hunger for, where they land on top and the lessers “know their place”.

    This is how they then ended up booking a pedophile apologist for their holy Christian white power rally, CPAC. It is just yet another symptom of their systemic disfunction, as when they scrambled to apologize for their other favorite pussy grabber, Josh Duggar, and why they could not care less that Trump feels entitled to walk up to women and grab them by the cunt. Even some of the female Trump supporters said “I wouldn’t mind if someone did that to me!” The pathology runs deep and is masked as “the right to free speech!!!”

    They got exactly what they wanted, their strongman who is going to restore “natural order” for their deity, and if Putin is involved, well, the more the better. Plus, Wall Street also got exactly what they wanted, the guy who will give them every tax cut and deregulation they ask for. Finally, at last, these 2 factions have united solidly behind one man. They have been working towards this for decades. In order for Trump to be impeached, Republicans will have to turn their backs on both of these groups and their deeply held principles of helping themselves to our money and calling it “freedom and choice”. There is literally no reason, no upside for them to do that, it isn’t going to happen. I just spent 4 days watching CNBC and Fox News, and I can safely say, they could not be more ecstatic. A scandal or cover-up, even a massive one, isn’t going to affect them the teensiest little bit.

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    1. You used a word that I like, scandal. Every president (including Obama) has been involved in a scandal. Obamacare sounded good, but all he did was lie about. There were two things Obama said but were lies, “You can keep your doctor. Premiums will go down.” David Howard who is a professor at Emory University said this about Obamacare, “”We have no idea what the plans are paying. That’s closely guarded information. We can only draw conclusions based on anecdotal reports.” There were many holes that were still left opened and unanswered. When Obama said that premiums will only go down and not up, we know how that turned out. Come the beginning of this year, premiums for Obamacare actually increased as high as 116% in Arizona http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/11/01/Here-s-How-Much-Obamacare-Premiums-Are-Rising-All-50-States.

      Obama also made a trade with known terrorists. As a matter of fact, he actually dishonored the U.S. by negotiating a trade with 5 known terrorists for a guy who was a deserter that led to 6 soldiers being killed while they searched for him. Present law mandates that the president is supposed to give 30 day notice before releasing a prisoner from GITMO. Obama didn’t do that.

      Last year, there was more publicity about American Olympian swimmer Ryan Lochte than the release of 4 American prisoners and a $400 million payment to Iran. That sounds very similar to a paid ransom. Especially to the same country that he made a nuclear deal with that wants to nuke Israel.

      Obama claimed to “have the back” of the veterans. As a wounded veteran, he didn’t have the back of the veterans. If he did, then all these scandals about the VA wouldn’t have happened under his watch. He had one of the best Veteran Affairs Secretaries (Retired General Eric Shinseki). When everything began to unfold with the VA, everyone was calling for the head of General Shinseki before anything can be looked into. Several years ago, I was interviewed by several news stations about the Portland Veterans Affairs system. They came to me because I told the truth and wasn’t afraid to expose it. Yes, the system still has a laundry list of problems and Obama didn’t do anything to fix the problem.

      I haven’t mentioned Benghazi, Fast and Furious (not the movie), Eric Holder, or NSA spying.

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      1. Nor did you mention pizzagate, our modern day Satanic Panic, which by the way, people are still in jail and families decimated from phony accusations from the original Satanic Panic. Fortunately no one got hurt this time. Or that Trump has never shown the bare minimum of ethics by releasing his taxes. It’s so nice after decades of the Republican Party claiming the moral high ground for themselves suddenly find that stepping over the low bar of the American legal system is just fine with them. Or that Trump is a 5 time draft dodger, Mr. “I’m Going To Change The Subject Entirely And Reply To A Comment With A Gish Gallop Of Irrelevant Nonsense By Pretending To Care About Veterans Now” Brian.

        I believe it was you about a month ago who said I was “angry at God” then denied saying it as you handwaved away your deity cursing girls just for being born with a vagina by claiming the bible is actually a book of prophesy, so it’s all good. Cute.

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  2. You made an interesting comment about how the Evangelicals adore him. I don’t agree with that because at the church I go to in West Linn (Athey Creek Christian Fellowship), there’s people there who don’t adore him and are scared. Where they do take solace though is how is towards not only to the Jewish community, but to the country of Israel. He wants to do the one thing that no other president has talked about and that is establish an embassy in Jerusalem.

    Claiming CPAC is a Christian white rally….that’s quite entertaining. There were quite a few speakers who aren’t white. I’m hearing so much about how conservatives are white supremacist, sexist, or bigots. On one side of the coin, you have a group of people for protecting our southern border and then on the other side, you have those against. I’m for protecting our country because those who come across our borders illegally are also stealing somebodies identities. Back in 2010, I had my credit report checked. I found out that someone used my social security number to buy a car, use credit cards, and there was even a judgement against me. After doing research, we (the investigator and myself) were able to find out the guy who did this to me lived in Arizona. He was later arrested and was deported back to Guatemala. Not only are they stealing social security numbers of those who are living and dead, but they are committing terrible crimes here.

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    1. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear that Christians are fine with themselves and others being scared as long as they get their precious building moved. I mean, who cares if JCC’s around the country are getting bomb threats, disrupting children’s education, Jewish cemeteries are getting vandalized and the Holocaust statement doesn’t even mention Jews as long as Christians are taking solace in something. Whew. Good job, Brian.

      And, oh yes, let’s all fear the Mexican Rapists. It gives us a chance to brush aside all the Bill Gothards and Doug Philip’s and Jack Schapps of the world. White Christians get such a pass, it allows Megyn Kelly to give a such fawning interview to Jim Bob Duggar that when he excuses his son’s behavior and his own complicity in causing it by saying “Right. I was so thankful, though, that Josh came and told us. And our girls, even though this was a very bad situation, as we’ve talked to other families who have had, you know, other things happen, a lot of their stories were even worse.” No one even blinks. Others are worse? Excuse me? This is apparently OK with you all. So do not pretend to be all concerned about criminals and rapists when you’re all so ready to excuse it. And that is only when you all are not busy calling women liars, like Trump did.

      Oh, and back to Josh Duggar, because, you know, he was just a boy, he couldn’t have known any better. Then a couple of weeks later, Megyn Kelly vilified black teenagers over several days just for attending a pool party. Saying “they’re old enough, they should have known better” They were the same age as Josh, yet somehow even after grabbing his sister’s pussies, he is such an innocent, and the black teenagers, just for attending a party, are guilty and deserve to be dragged through the mud. It was a disgusting display. Much in the same way that Trump took out an ad against 5 innocent black teenagers and is still convinced they’re guilty of “something”, evidence be damned. Oh, wait, hm, you know, Christians are scared, but hey, their holy building is getting moved, so it’s completely understandable that they just brush this aside. They’re getting what they want, who cares if Trump thinks innocent people are guilty, that’s not for Christians to worry about.

      I can’t help it if pretty much nothing out of your group lines up with the narrative of your own perceived goodness, even as you malign and misrepresent and employ strawman arguments to try to build your case.

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