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Sun Jan 10, 2021, 12:36 PM

There are two people we should remember as holding some responsibility.

That Trump started off the Beer Nut Putsch goes without question. There's been a lot of talk about how this could have happened, and whether anyone else is responsible.

Two names are getting a lot less mention in this regard than they should be. Both, ultimately, allowed Trump to happen.

1. Gerald R. Ford. They say he "healed the nation" by pardoning Nixon? No - he showed that presidents can pretty much do what they want, so long as they can count on a pardon at some point.

He didn't heal a wound. He put a bandage on it, but the wound nevertheless remained. Now, it's septic.

Ford's pardon of Nixon allowed Iran-Contra to happen. I actually think that was worse than Watergate. It also allowed the GW Bush administration to lie us into an unnecessary war and promote war crimes during its execution.

Trump acted as though he wouldn't face consequences because, based on past history, he figured there wouldn't be any.

2. Newt Gingrich. He led the effort to impeach Bill Clinton not as a matter of ideals, but to Clinton down, thereby elevating his own stature. But it backfired - Republicans ended up impeaching Clinton because Clinton lied about an extramarital affair, and although I thought he should have resigned or been censured, I'm like most people - it wasn't an impeachable offense.

The result? Republicans got slammed in the 1998 midterms - a day on which I felt genuine pride in being an American - and Gingrich ended up losing power.

Many voters now perceive impeachment not as a constitutional mechanism for punishing a president for wrongdoing, but for political payback against someone from the opposing party. I don't know whether it was popular in 1973 and 1974 - I was less than 10 years old at the time - but it was certainly unpopular when it happened to Clinton. This unpopularity was, to an extent, expressed the first time Trump got impeached, even though the reasons for impeaching Trump were more than legitimate. This is why we saw even otherwise-reasonable people asking whether Democrats were doing it because they hated Trump and were desperate to just get rid of him.


Moreover, congressmen are now very wary of impeaching someone. They worry about sharing Gingrich's fate. That the Clinton impeachment was nakedly a matter of political ambition, and that it happened during the 1998 midterm elections, meaning the whole thing was still very fresh in everyone's mind, doesn't seem to register.



I really do think the role both men played in the history of American politics enabled Trump to act as he did.

There has to be real accountability this time. Whether this involves prison time or a lifetime ban on running for office - or both - doesn't really matter anymore. Trump has to be held accountable, and so do those in government who cooperated them. We have to make it clear that actions bring consequences, that impeachment is sometimes necessary, and that we've learned from the errors of Ford and Gingrich.

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Reply There are two people we should remember as holding some responsibility. (Original post)
cab67 Jan 2021 OP
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #1
live love laugh Jan 2021 #2
handmade34 Jan 2021 #3
Pantagruel Jan 2021 #4
Pantagruel Jan 2021 #5

Response to cab67 (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 12:37 PM

1. K&R!

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 12:43 PM

2. My problem is that Trump's spent his term "reaching back"

It will seem like (at least to stupid people anyway) that the Democrats are doing what Trump didóreaching back out of spite.

Of course we know that isnít true but unfortunately there are more stupid people now than before Trump took office. So Iím not getting my hopes up high going forward.

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 12:47 PM

3. absolutely Gingrich! n/t

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Response to cab67 (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 12:52 PM

4. Reagan years ushered

in the death of factual truth when the GOP killed the "fairness doctrine"...

"In June 1987, Congress attempted to preempt the FCC decision and codify the Fairness Doctrine,[33] but the legislation was vetoed by President Ronald Reagan. Another attempt to revive the doctrine in 1991 was stopped when President George H.W. Bush threatened another veto.[34]"

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Response to Pantagruel (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 10, 2021, 06:59 PM

5. Another fairness doctrine believer


BK.

"We need to rein in fake news like FOX, OAN, NewsMax. We actually did so as a nation in 1949. Congress passed the "Fairness Doctrine" requiring broadcast licensees to give "honest, equitable & balanced" coverage of news. President Reagan ended it in 1987. We need to reinstate it."

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