Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Last Call For, Well, Actual Watergate

The last batch of Nixon's secret Watergate tapes are due out today from the National Archives, covering the last few months in 1973 before Nixon resigned in disgrace.  Should be...illuminating stuff.

The final installment of secretly recorded phone calls and meetings from President Richard Nixon’s White House will be released Wednesday, marking a final chapter in a campaign for public access that continues as memories of Watergate fade.

The recordings cap the chronological release of 3,000 hours of tapes Nixon recorded between February 1971 and July 1973 that have been released by the National Archives and Records Administration. The final installment covers the tumultuous three months when Watergate was closing in on the 37th president. Still, he forged ahead with Soviet peace talks, worked to cement Chinese relations and welcomed home Vietnam prisoners of war.

“This is a really big release in volume and importance, because of the time period it covers,” said Luke Nichter of Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen, who runs a website cataloging Nixon’s secret recordings. “This is the end of taping and this is Watergate really beginning.”

The recordings released Wednesday from the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., cover April 9, 1973, to July 12, 1973, the day before the existence of the covert recording system was revealed to a Senate committee probing Watergate.

So, some 40 years later we finally get to hear what Nixon said as the walls closed in on him (well, not all of it, a bunch still remains classified.)  The good news is we also get thousands of White House documents, including some 30,000 on the Vietnam War alone.

All my history major friends are going to have a field day, I think.  And we get a nice reminder of what a real "American dictatorship" actually looks like.

More On The I-Word

The dark secret about the GOP is that Republicans are eventually going to have to deliver on the threats of impeaching President Obama, or the base will replace them with people who will.

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio this week said he's consulted with lawyers about impeaching President Obama.

The Michigan Republican on Monday said it would be “a dream come true” to see the president forced from office over criminal misconduct.

“If I could write that bill and submit it, it would be a dream come true,” Bentivolio said in a video from a Monday town-hall meeting uploaded on YouTube and first discovered by BuzzFeed. “I stood 12 feet away from the guy and listened to him. I couldn’t stand being there, but because he is president I have to respect the office. That’s my job, as a congressman, I respect the office.”

Bentivolio said that after the encounter with Obama, he returned to his office and summoned lawyers to discuss the impeachment process.

“These are lawyers, Ph.D.s in history, and I said, ‘Tell me how I can impeach the president of the United States.’”

But the Michigan Republican said that until he could produce hard evidence, such as a directive from Obama to the IRS demanding that the agency target conservative groups, he didn’t have the legal means to pursue impeachment.

Gosh, why would we want legal means to pursue impeachment when Republicans can just make stuff up?

Eventually the Tea Party Beast Slouching Towards Washington is going to demand impeachment happen, and woe to Republicans that don't deliver in 2014 or 2016...

America Will Not Make The GOP Pay The Price In 2014

Because liberals upset with Obama sat out the 2010 elections and gave the Republicans at state level the keys to redistricting, in 2014 Republicans will continue to control the House.  That is simply reality.

Greg Sargent has two tremendous overviews today: the first an overview of the upcoming budget wars, and the second on immigration.

Both posts, especially combined with this sobering, smart take from Chait on the Dems' small chances of taking the House in 2014, reinforce something I've been saying for quite some time now: Republicans are mostly electorally immune to their extremism for the next long while. To be sure, the Republican Party faces increasingly long odds in Presidential elections, and the 2020 census may be devastating blow in the 2022 elections after the current wildly gerrymandered lines are replaced. But for most Republican legislators staring down the next few election cycles, the biggest threats still come from the right rather than the left or the middle. Extremism, in short, will be rewarded.

You can post this article again in 2015, 2017, and 2019 too.  It'll be equally valid.  We screwed ourselves over for a decade...unless...and this is a huge unless, we get out there in record numbers to vote.  All liberals.

The only way to get rid of extremist Republicans in the House is to vote them out.  But if you have a  Republican for a Representative, odds are better than 95% they will win re-election.  And if your reaction is "well, I'm going to stay home" then that 95% becomes 100%, and then they win the Senate too.

Literally, your choice.


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