Hank  Adler

Congressman Adam Schiff of California is apparently too young to remember Watergate with any clarity. That being said, if he had been a Republican in 197I, his quote on Watergate could easily have been as follows:

“I don’t think it makes sense really for Republicans to participate; I think it’s just a tremendous red herring and a waste of taxpayer resources. So I hope the Speaker will reconsider, but it looks as though he has bowed again to those on the farthest left of his conference. How many times must the Administration need to tell us that there was no cover up and the Watergate burglars acted on their own?”

Every day, we get additional proof that the people in the Beltway are detached from the rest of our national community. They do not understand that while distrust in government exploded because of Watergate, nothing has subsequently occurred to create a perception of our government as a source of candid, honest information.

Brilliant people have covered the turf of government scrutiny:

Dee Dee Myers:

This is a generation weaned on Watergate, and there is no presumption of innocence and no presumption of good intentions. Instead, there is a presumption that, without relentless scrutiny, the government will misbehave.

John le Carre

“Until we have a better relationship between private performance and the public truth, as was demonstrated with Watergate, we as the public are absolutely right to remain suspicious, contemptuous even, of the secrecy and the misinformation which is the digest of our news.”

Sadly, we, as a people, have great reason to be continue to be suspicious of our own government. Watergate is long over, but the scent lingers. There is more than a smidgen of evidence of far too many scandals in Washington DC in 2014: IRS, Fast & Furious, Benghazi, Veterans Affairs, ………………….. The list goes on and is far too long.

When Judiciary Watch received a Court ordered release of a White House Benghazi memorandum that was not produced when requested by Congress, I believe reasonable people could only conclude there was a necessity for a Select Committee.

Helen Thomas summed it up the last time:

Presidential power was overruled by the high bench in July 1974, when President Nixon was ordered to turn over some audio tapes of his White House conversations, including the 'smoking gun' tape of June 23, 1972, that revealing the Watergate cover up.

Let’s be clear here. Most Americans wish we would have found and there had been no presidential cover up with Watergate. But, we did find out there was a cover up and that was something Americans needed to know about their President and his colleagues. Forty years later, most Americans hope there was no presidential cover up with Benghazi and there is not a sea of co-conspirators in the White House. Again, as in 1974, the only way we will find out what really happened is to have a Select Committee. If it turns up nothing, America will be well served. If it turns up something, America will be well served.

Ronald Reagan liked to say:

“Trust but verify.”


Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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