At This Point Richard Nixon Resigned

At This Point Richard Nixon Resigned

Richard Nixon resigned as president after the House Judiciary Committee recommended he  be impeached, the vote that just happened yesterday for President Trump.  In the case of Nixon that vote was followed by a famous visit from three powerful GOP senators, including Barry Goldwater, who informed Nixon that he had lost the support of the GOP in the Senate.  Of course now we have the GOP Senate Majority Leader McConnell going on Sean Hannity to promise that Trump will not be convicted and that he will “coordinate” with Trump’s lawyers to make sure there is no conviction.

Curiously, public polling support for impeaching Nixon only got ahead of opposition to it after the SCOTUS ruling that led to the public  release of the so-called “smoking gun” tape about a month before Nixon resigned.  In contrast, support for impeaching Trump has exceeded opposition to it since soon after it was announced the impeachment hearings would happen and appears to be holding steady, even as the Trumpists run all over the place declaring how he is  going to gain or is gaining from the impeachment proceedings.  It may be that his base is all riled, but so are those who do  not like Trump.

I also find it a bit weird that Trump and his supporters are running around threatening that the next time they control the House under a Dem prez, well, they will just go and impeach him.  They seem to forget that we have already seen this show with the Clinton impeachment, also a thoroughly partisan affair, and which never had support from more than about 30 percent of the population.  That one went to trial with all the GOPs voting for conviction, with one Dem also voting for it, Mr. Clean Russell Feingold of Wisconsin.  Of course the current GOPS say Clinton committed a crime called perjury and claim Trump has not, although last time I checked, bribery is still a felony.


Now they did not try to impeach Obama, for which I suppose we should be grateful, even though he was largely squeaky clean.  But they certainly did harass him endlessly  over nonsense, 8 separate hearings on the nothing that was Benghazi, lots of time and millions of dollars spent, endless aggrieved ranting by Sean Hannity, and today we barely or never hear a whisper about Benghazi now.

As a final comment on the changed attitude of the GOP, I can look at my congressional representative.  In 1974 GOP M. Caldwell Butler of  Roanoke was our representative, a member of the House Judiciary committee, and who voted in support of recommending to impeach Nixon.  As successor (after a six year spell with Dem Jim Olin) was a former staffer of Butler’s, Richard Goodlatte, who also was on the Judiciary committee, eventually becoming its Chair in recent years. He just stepped down and was replaced in the  2018 election by one of his staffers, the mostly mild-mannered Ben Cline. However, not only did Cline not vote for impeaching Trump, he even joined the gang led by Matt Gaetz that raided the House Intelligence committee during one of its hearings.

Needless to say, Ben Cline is no M. Caldwell Butler, even though he sits in Butler’s old seat.

Barkley Rosser