In case you missed it, the acquittal of Donald J Trump took place Feb. 5, 2020. February is the same month that we commemorate the birthdays of our two most important American presidents: Lincoln and Washington. Ironic, isn't it?
What's even more ironic? When Bill Clinton was impeached back in 1998, a potential abuse of power charge was dropped by the Republican-controlled House. Did House Republicans realize the charge was too vague to prove or did they understand history?
Richard Nixon, who actually did obstruct justice and abuse his power by impeding the Watergate investigation, was impeached in 1974. However, when the Senate did a study on intelligence activities in 1976, they discovered widespread abuses of power going back decades. Each administration from FDR to Nixon had permitted, and sometimes encouraged, government agencies to spy on private citizens (political intelligence).
Here's a few highlights:
After Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt threw 120,000 Japanese-Americans into internment camps. Harry Truman used the FBI to collect inside information on journalists' publishing plans. John F. Kennedy ordered the assassination of at least one foreign leader (Castro), and used the FBI to wiretap members of the executive and legislative branches. His brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, spied on the private life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Lyndon Johnson used the FBI to conduct political investigations of his Senate critics, among other targets. You could say, then, that Nixon's infamous secret recordings were simply a continuation of procedures from the presidents who had come before him.
Where was Congress when all this was going on? Why was only Nixon held accountable for his actions? Herein lies an object lesson for anyone who wants to toss aside our Republic and implement majority rule. These other presidents had friendly majorities in Congress to support them. With a four year exception (1946-1948 and 1952-1954), both the House and Senate were entirely in Democrat control from 1932-1980. The House, in fact, was controlled for 40 straight years by Democrats (1954-1994). Added to that, Nixon was truly despised back then, especially by the press and Democrats. Does any of this have a familiar ring to it?
- Letter: The hypocrisy of Democrats
- Letter: People who believe the Trump-Russia conspiracy probably also think aliens landed in Roswell
Yes, it seems, nothing has changed. The Obama administration used the IRS as a political weapon to target conservative groups like the TEA party. In 2010, Obama's Department of Justice instituted a massive intelligence campaign to spy on news reporters, in particular James Rosen of Fox News, by wiretapping his phone calls and monitoring his e-mails. Even, Dana Milbank, of the left wing Washington Post, was outraged: "The Rosen affair is as flagrant an assault on civil liberties as anything done by George W. Bush's administration, and it uses technology to silence critics in a way Richard Nixon could only have dreamed of."
Trump was only stating the obvious when he remarked that, apparently, all you would need is a majority and you could even impeach George Washington. The British historian, Lord Acton, summed it up best when he wrote these words back in 1887: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."