Watergate helps to explain Donald Trump apologists and the Russia investigation

How the attitudes of Trump Apologists and those trying to bring him down are so obvious after seeing Watergate in its minutia.

Young person coming in with a hot take off the top rope. Everyone ready for this?

Watergate was insane man.

Obviously those of you who lived through it understand that, and those of you that are history buffs understand that. But the depth, or lack-thereof, that highschool and generic college history course X go through when it comes to Watergate is incredibly unworthy of both it’s historical significance and the mirror that it shines back on our present state.

Every since Donald Trump was elected president there has been a cloud over him of constant comparisons to Richard Nixon. That comparison is easy enough to make for a variety of reasons before even touching corruption or any accusations of corruption. Both personality and leadership style make him an easy comparison to Richard.


It’s even easy enough to compare Watergate to both the Russia investigation and Trump’s potential obstruction of justice. Even if you’re on the side of believing that Trump has either done nothing wrong or that it just doesn’t matter, it’s still similar to Watergate.

Once again, for those of you that know Watergate well this is all nothing new. I for one am having quite the summer. Between Watergate and Chappaquiddick the research I’ve done has been actually enjoyable. Turns out when a bland curriculum isn’t forced upon you, history can be interesting and full of lessons. Everything our teachers told us as they were making us repeat repetitive tasks. (I’m bitter about our school system if you can’t tell)


Anyways, what has been most interesting about diving into Watergate stuff is obviously the story and the characters themselves. The in depth development of the trial, how the hearings dominated daytime television, the lies, the audio recordings and obviously much more. But what was truly interesting is to read and hear the reactions of both politicians and people in regards to Watergate as it was developing. I couldn’t help but see the comparisons to how politicians on both sides of the aisle, the media, and the everyday citizens react to Donald Trump and the many concerns with his behavior.

There are obvious differences. Watergate was an inciting incident in of itself, Trump getting elected was the inciting incident into the investigations both into Russia, but also potentially into obstruction of justice and the many business ties to foreign adversaries we’re unsure of because we can’t see his tax returns.

But the main thing that was so obvious to me is the undying support Nixon supporters had towards him even as the case grew in both stature and evidence. It wasn’t until Nixon refused to release the audio recordings that some started to believe it could be true and wrong.

Even once it was clear that Nixon had been involved in some aspect of it there were a plethora of excuses. Those same excuses can be heard today. People would bring up a variety of things when presented with obvious evidence about Nixon’s involvement in Watergate and about Trump’s involvement with both Russia and other matters.

A good one I was a lot in my Watergate research was: “Well what about Chappaquiddick, Ted Kennedy got away with whatever he wanted to so why not Nixon.” (this one was actually close the pin but still the “well Jimmy got to jump off a cliff so why don’t I” excuse never works)

People do the same thing with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama now. Somehow on Fox News the week that Trump and Putin had their abomination of a press conference, it was spun as a Clinton and Obama problem.

Then there’s the classic “well everyone is doing it” excuse that was brought up a ton in Watergate and you still occasionally hear in the Trump/Russia investigation every time another Trump person is either indicted or found to have met with Russia on shaky grounds.

What I took from this wasn’t necessarily all that discouraging. In fact, what it showed me was that even in the face of supporters and Republican counterparts supporting him throughout, there’s still a chance the entire truth will be shown and it won’t matter that his supports don’t care.

The one area I’ve had trouble wading into is the Supreme Court. Eventually, should Robert Mueller come to the conclusion that the evidence has been pointing towards and something is done with Trump, it feels like it’ll come down the Supreme Court. Which should Brett Kavanaugh get nominated to the Supreme Court, there will be another conservative leaning politician that is more likely to side with not indicting the President of the United States. Maybe.

There’s also the issue of the House is still a Republican majority they could still look the other way even if Mueller finds wrongdoing. As House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes discussed in his most recent fundraiser.

“If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones,” Nunes says on the tape, referring to his colleagues in the GOP-controlled House. “Which is really the danger.”

He continues: “That’s why I keep — and thank you for saying it, by the way — I mean, we have to keep all these seats. We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away.”

There’s a real scenario where Watergate and Trump line up perfectly until the day of reckoning comes and instead of indicting or impeaching or whatever the steps come too, the House looks the other way.

However, Watergate reminds us that the system can work. But it also tells us the opposite part needs to control branches of the government, and that public pressure will flip at some point.


So as we sit and watch people the president surrounded himself with go down in court, we wonder if the same democratic system that worked with Watergate will work with Donald Trump. Despite his lawyer outing him in court while pleading guilty, it still feels like we’re a long ways away from anything substantial happening and those that defend him admitting that perhaps something is amiss. The president is at this point an unindicted co-cosnpitator in the Cohen portion this entire mess. That’s insane.

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