Ever read about the Watergate era and felt a pang of regret that you missed it? Have you watched All the President’s Men and longed for your own drip, drip, drip revelations of the perversion of democracy at the highest levels? The Nunes memo was promised to be a thousand times worse than Watergate, but turned out to be a belly flop instead.
Still hungering to turn on your TV (or stream on its latter-day incarnations) to watch senators of both parties make a sincere effort to uncover the truth?
I’ll wait for you to stop laughing….
Yet, it really did happen. Honest.
Yes, the Republicans on the Senate Watergate Committee were far more sympathetic to President (I am not a crook) Nixon than the Democrats were. But the most famous line from the hearings were uttered by Republican minority chair Howard Baker:
What did the president know and when did he know it?
The key phrase is minority chair. Democrats controlled both chambers of congress during the Watergate scandal. We’ll never know how things might have played out if the GOP had controlled all the reins of power, as they do today. I think — or at least hope — that there were enough patriots on the Republican side that they would still have voted with the Democrats to impeach Nixon.
That was then, this is now.
I’ve watched with growing revulsion the sickening spectacle of cowardice and collusion on the part of the GOP leadership regarding the Nunes memo. Do they really believe they can get away with charging the deeply conservative FBI with anti-Republican bias? Seriously!????
Do they think they can pull the loose threads of our institutions without destroying the very fabric of our democracy?
So far, the two lone conservative voices raised in protest have come from the two current senators from Arizona. One, Jeff Flake, destroyed his chances of reelection by publishing an anti-Trump screed and will leave office at the end of 2018. The other, John McCain, has been tragically term-limited by his aggressive brain cancer.
There was no such thing as Twitter in 1974. What would Watergate have been like with Nixon tweeting grade school insults against “little Sam Ervin?”
Thankfully, we’ll never know. And, at any rate, Nixon preferred to reserve his base utterances to private conversations…and recording them on tape.
Nunes Memo Mock-a-Thon
Richard Dawkins coined the original meaning of meme two years after Nixon’s resignation. But it took the web to transform memes into a visual form of partisan warfare. I’ve never been one to make many memes. But there’s something about the Nunes memo’s destructive absurdities that has inspired me to crank up the meme machine.
I started, however, with the president’s first State of the Union speech — the very speech Trump is now using to accuse Democrats of treason for not applauding him. If that’s his standard then this meme could brand me as a public enemy:
The American people are desperate for any signs of stability and presidential norms. That’s why the few times Trump has made half-hearted feints at bipartisanship, his approval ratings have risen.
There was, however, more than a fair heaping of Stephen Miller, anti-immigrant cant in the SOTU. Yet, there were enough vaguely worded paans to bipartisanship that the American public could at least cling to these crumbs as signs of the much promised — but never realized — presidential pivot.
Asked about his decision on the release of the Nunes memo after the speech, Trump replied:
Oh, yeah, don’t worry. Hundred percent. Can you imagine?
Devin Nunes, of course, is the Trump lackey who heads the House Intelligence Committee charged with distorting and contorting evidence to discredit the FBI — that nest of lefties — wiretapping of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page (who by then had already left the campaign). The ultimate goal, however, is to discredit the Mueller investigation and possibly give Trump cover to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and continues to oversee the investigation.
Trump’s approval ratings predictably rose after he approximated a typical presidential SOTU. Yet, in keeping with his habit of stepping on positive news, by the end of the week he had — drumroll please — approved the release of the Nunes memo.
It must’ve killed Trump to wait a few days to give the appearance of a deliberative process.
When the memo was released despite the FBI’s adamant opposition, the geek in me was inspired to create this meme in appalled response:
The dark absurdity of the Nunes memo, Deep State conspiracy theories is that most of its targets are actually Republicans, including Rosenstein and indeed Mueller himself.
The minority co-chair of the House Intelligence committee has drafted a detailed rebuttal of the Nunes memo. The committee initially voted against releasing Adam Schiff’s memo on a party-line vote.
Surprisingly, they received blowback for this. Who could’ve foreseen that blocking the Democratic response to the Nunes memo would appear to be partisan?
Once touted as “Watergate times a thousand,” the Nunes memo proved more like a holistic version, diluted until all that remained was an imaginary molecular memory of political scandal.
Dumbfounded, I was thus moved to create yet another meme:
Cowed into another vote, the House Intelligence Committee has now voted unanimously to release Adam Schiff’s memo. Like the the Nunes memo, it’s classified, meaning that it’s up to Trump to approve its release.
So, it’s a hundred percent certain that he’ll approve it too, right? After all, the White House claimed that Trump approved the Nunes memo in the name of transparency.
In the off chance that president will instead opt for hypocrisy and block the Schiff memo’s release, the House has the power to override his decision.
I always try to leave my readers laughing….
If history repeats as farce, Trump and his GOP stooges have turned the Nunes memo into a slapstick routine.
If you like my writing, please consider supporting my work on Patreon. For only $1 a month, you can follow my recovery while you enjoy wildlife, nature, and garden photos, gifs, and panoramas, as well as other exclusive content. A pledge of $5 brings you the pre-publication versions of my Free Inquiry essays. Click here for more rewards: