The argument for forcing Nixon out of office was that he was an imperial president, who violated the norms of democracy. That is, he had no respect for the law and as a result a lawless environment evolved in the White House. It was, of course, a justification intended to hide the truth. Nixon was hated by the Left because he was an aggressive anti-communist in the 1950’s. The Left could never forgive him for his attacks on the Left, so they could never accept him as a legitimate president. He had to go.
The charges against Nixon were always nonsense, even on the dubious moral grounds promoted by the Left. Woodrow Wilson was recklessly used his power to suppress the media. He jailed 10,000 Americans for opposing his war. FDR trampled all over the concept of republic, promoting a program that looked a like Italian fascism. Compared to those two, Nixon was a piker. Most of the stuff Nixon was doing was done under his predecessors. Kennedy and Johnson loved spying on people.
That said, a healthy self-governing society should have a fair amount of transparency and the political class should be deeply invested in the rules. Once the people in office lose respect for the rules, the road to authoritarianism opens, as the rules lose their moral power. In other words, adherence to the rules is purely practical, rather than a matter of status within the ruling class itself. People obey the rules if they benefit them and violate the rules if that works. No one is ashamed of breaking the rules.
We’re seeing this with Team Obama. They figured out how to use the IRS as a political weapon, stocking the upper ranks with their people who set about harassing the political enemies of Obama. Today brings word that the Census Bureau has come in for similar treatment. They faked the unemployment numbers leading up to the election. That naturally calls into question all of the other economic reports. It may also explain how the regional reports never seem to square with the national statistics.
This is very serious stuff. In a modern economy, information is currency. Like money, it can be debased. When people lose faith in the currency, they lose faith in the entity issuing it. Trust in government is near record lows and that’s with a national media out waving pom-poms for the ruling class. Imagine where things go if the press throws in the towel on these people. It may not matter as no one trusts the press anymore anyway.
Of course, that same poll shows that the people no longer trust the most democratic institution in the nation – Congress. Fifty years ago, the alleged culture of lawlessness in the Nixon White House was enough to force out the president. Here we have actual corruption, real violations of the basic trust. Yet, the political class cannot bring itself to even discuss it, much less act on it. The old line about silence being consent is overused, but it applies here. Lawlessness is now the law of the land.
Of course, you have to wonder what else they are doing. if they are willing to abuse the IRS, are they willing to abuse the FBI or the CIA? They corrupted the FBI by installing true believers into the leadership layer. What happens if they do the same with the FBI? What are the chances the media would look into it? If they are willing to excuse the abuse of the IRS, why would they raise an alarm over other abuse? This sounds far-fetched, but ten years ago the IRA stuff seemed far-fetched, but here we are anyway.