1968 was one of the most godawful, horrible, miserable years in U.S. history. It changed who we are as Americans, and “fueled a general sense that the nation had gone mad; that the normal rules and constants of politics could no longer be counted on.” How Robert Kennedy’s Assassination Changed American Politics.
The Tet Offensive at the end of January stunned both the U.S. and South Vietnamese armies, causing them to temporarily lose control of several cities and the U.S. embassy in Saigon. It had a profound effect on the U.S. government and shocked the U.S. public, which had been led to believe by its political and military leaders that the North Vietnamese were being defeated and incapable of launching such an ambitious military operation.
A month later, Walter Cronkite reported on his recent trip to Vietnam to view the aftermath of the Tet Offensive in his television special Who, What, When, Where, Why? He chastised American leaders for their optimism, and advised negotiation “… not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” American support for the war declined.
In February, Richard M. Nixon (R-CA) declared his candidacy for the presidency. In March, Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-MN) and his “children’s crusade” nearly defeated President Lyndon Johnson in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Days later, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) declared his candidacy for president. By the end of March, President Johnson delivered his Address to the Nation Announcing Steps To Limit the War in Vietnam and Reporting His Decision Not To Seek Reelection. His Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey, would run in his stead.
When former U.S. President Richard Nixon sat down for an interview with British journalist David Frost in 1977, Nixon asserted a broad interpretation of executive authority:
Frost:…Would you say that there are certain situations – and the Huston Plan was one of them – where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation, and do something illegal?
Nixon: Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.
Frost: By definition.
Nixon: Exactly, exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president’s decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they’re in an impossible position.
You should note the context: If the president orders someone in the federal government to do something for a national security or domestic security reason, those individuals carrying out the president’s order “are not violating the law.”
Donald Trump and his shyster lawyers have taken Nixon’s assertion “[W]hen the president does it, that means it is not illegal,” and extended this to a blanket assertion of presidential immunity from (1) being subpoenaed in a criminal investigation, and (2) being indicted for criminal activity while president. It is a novel theory that the president is above the law, and a bold rejection of the bedrock foundational American principles that we are a nation of laws and that no man is above the law.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged conspiracy, Impeachment, indictment, obstruction of justice, Presidential Pardons, Special Counsel, suborning perjury, subpoena, witness tampering
The President and his devout counsel must think we are a Banana Republic. Despite his, and the zealots in his party, best efforts to facilitate this development, we are fortunately not there yet.
It was revealed today in the New York Times that some of the Presidents lawyers (including those no longer serving him) argued that obstruction of justice charges against the President cannot be pursued because, as head of the Executive Branch, he has the power to supervise investigations.
This is the zenith of chutzpah because if the President had such power, former Presidents Nixon and Clinton would have had their Justice Departments strangle the Watergate, and Whitewater Investigations in their infancies.
We are a Republic Mr. President, not an Absolute Monarchy or a Banana Republic. Being a Republic, you are not above the law and your people have to wonder if you are so innocent, why are you acting so guilty and making pronouncements and gestures that show culpability.
Sooner or Later the truth will come out. It always does. Just ask those who served Presidents Nixon and Clinton. It is inevitable.
Posted in Commentary, Community, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, David Gordon, Editorial, Ethics, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged Bill Clinton, donald trump, Richard Nixon
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Political Calendar for the Week of June 3, 2018:
Democrats of The Red Rocks Summer Picnic
Sunday, June 3, 3:00 p.m.: Democrats of The Red Rocks Summer Picnic, at Big Park Community School Campus, 25 Saddlehorn, Sedona.Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Meet the Democratic candidates for statewide and legislative offices. For more information please contact Jan Graham at email@example.com.
Monday, June 4, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria). New price: buffet lunch is $10.00 cash, $12 credit; just a drink is $3.50. Featured speaker is Catherine Ripley, candidate for LD 10 house. Next Week: Betty Villegas, candidate for LD 3 Senate.