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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:07 PM   #1
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Nothing to see here, move along, it is just Watergate


I will admit that most of my limited knowledge of Watergate comes from the movie, "All the President's Men". I apologize in advance for my ignorance if this post is completely wrong about what happened. The rest of my knowledge of Watergate comes from media coverage throughout my life, in terms of how the term "Gate" is used, and the overall negative "worst ever scandal in history" references the media makes.

When it is all boiled down, it seems to me that a member of Nixon's staff ordered some burglars to plant some bugs in the office of the Democrat Party in the Watergate Building, and those burglars got caught. Later on, Nixon was told about it, and he tried to cover it up.

I seem to be missing something here, there are way worse things than this that a President can do. Nixon covered up something someone else did, and he was crucified for it. Every time the words Nixon or Watergate are said I feel like I should cringe, as it is such a dark stain on America. But is it? Why would the media go after Nixon so harshly back then?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #2
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It's not what you do that maters, it's who you ticked off.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #3

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Well, a President of the United States obstructing justice seems bad enough for me right off the bat. But Watergate only opened up a whole can of worms on an administration that was horribly corrupt, paranoid, and abusive of power. 'Nuff said, from my POV.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #4
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Well, a President of the United States obstructing justice seems bad enough for me right off the bat. But Watergate only opened up a whole can of worms on an administration that was horribly corrupt, paranoid, and abusive of power. 'Nuff said, from my POV.
From what I have seen in my lifetime, the first thing a President does is stonewall investigators. That is just part of the game that they play, it is all seen as fair and legitimate it seems. I do not think that Nixon should be judged so harshly for that. Tell me more about the paranoid side of Nixon, I saw some mention of that looking at some old Nixon threads. It seems to me that some paranoia was justified when you consider how things turned out for Nixon.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
I seem to be missing something here, there are way worse things than this that a President can do. Nixon covered up something someone else did, and he was crucified for it. Every time the words Nixon or Watergate are said I feel like I should cringe, as it is such a dark stain on America. But is it? Why would the media go after Nixon so harshly back then?
Nixon wouldn't be the first president to do, or at least have knowledge
of clandestine operations going on for his benefit. But he seems the first
to have been caught.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:30 PM   #6

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From what I have seen in my lifetime, the first thing a President does is stonewall investigators. That is just part of the game that they play, it is all seen as fair and legitimate it seems. I do not think that Nixon should be judged so harshly for that.
There are legal ways to "stonewall" investigators, and there are illegal ways to obstruct justice. When a President chooses illegal methods to obstruct justice, he is breaking the law, and is as subject as any other citizen to prosecution. He is also subject to impeachment, as stipulated by the Constitution.

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Tell me more about the paranoid side of Nixon, I saw some mention of that looking at some old Nixon threads. It seems to me that some paranoia was justified when you consider how things turned out for Nixon.
I'll leave the details to others to explain. This era of history isn't my area of expertise. All I know is I've heard enough to be thoroughly convinced myself.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #7

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I will say that with regards to bugging the Oval Office, that wasn't really uncommon among presidents and it wasn't used for malicious purposes. The presidents that recorded their White House conversations did so for their memoirs. The other stuff though....not so innocent.

Eventually though Nixon's reputation will improve even with Watergate, he won't be a top 10 president but he won't be viewed as one of the worst.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:35 PM   #8
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I will say that with regards to bugging the Oval Office, that wasn't really uncommon among presidents and it wasn't used for malicious purposes. The presidents that recorded their White House conversations did so for their memoirs. The other stuff though....not so innocent.

Eventually though Nixon's reputation will improve even with Watergate, he won't be a top 10 president but he won't be viewed as one of the worst.
Well, the tapes that came out showing evidence that Nixon was guilty of the coverup are separate from the bugs that were planted (almost) in the Watergate Building. But I do get your point, apparently Nixon had nothing to hide (he should have) but the Democrats were hiding something Nixon's staff wanted to know.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:40 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by Rongo View Post
Well, a President of the United States obstructing justice seems bad enough for me right off the bat. But Watergate only opened up a whole can of worms on an administration that was horribly corrupt, paranoid, and abusive of power. 'Nuff said, from my POV.
Agreed. Watergate was one of the greatest constitutional crises of our nation's history.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:49 PM   #10
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Agreed. Watergate was one of the greatest constitutional crises of our nation's history.
Was the big problem the effort to stop security leaks that was uncovered? It seems like a good idea to stop them, but did the Nixon administration go so far that they created a constitutional crisis over security leaks?

Last edited by Virgil; December 14th, 2012 at 04:54 PM.
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