Will the Hearings about the January 6th Insurrection Attempt Change Anyone’s Mind?

The 1973 Watergate hearings changed popular opinion after Richard Nixon’s landslide win. Here’s what is — and isn’t — different today.
by Stephen Engelberg

…The Watergate hearings changed the nation’s perception of President Richard Nixon, laying the groundwork for his impeachment.

The hearings, and the role played by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in exposing the Nixon administration’s corruption, inspired a generation of young people to become investigative journalists. I was one of them…

Many commentators have argued that given the current fractured political and media culture, Nixon would not have left office had the crimes of 1972 and 1973 taken place today; he could have been confident that 34 senators of his own party would stand by him, regardless of the evidence.

I’m not so sure. It’s certainly true that the major television networks broadcast gavel-to-gavel coverage on what amounted to nearly all channels available in that pre-cable period of our nation’s history. It would be decades before the creation of a network that would deliver an alternate reality in which an event like the Jan. 6 hearings could go mostly uncovered.

RTFA. Draw your own conclusions. That ticking clock will catch up with history and these hearings…sooner or later. And we’ll all learn who has it right.

Former White House Counsel says, Trump’s promise to rioters is “the stuff of dictators”

Donald Trump’s promise to pardon supporters who attacked the US Capitol on January 6 2021 was “the stuff of dictators”, Richard Nixon’s White House counsel warned.

Trump made the promise at a rally in Conroe, Texas, on Saturday.

More than 700 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol attack, around which seven people died as Trump supporters tried to stop certification of his election defeat, in service of his lie that it was caused by electoral fraud. More than 100 police officers were hurt…

John Dean, 83, was White House counsel from 1970 to 1973 before being disbarred and detained as a result of the Watergate scandal, which led to Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Dean responded to Trump on Twitter.

“This is beyond being a demagogue to the stuff of dictators,” he wrote. “He is defying the rule of law. Failure to confront a tyrant only encourages bad behaviour. If thinking Americans don’t understand what Trump is doing and what the criminal justice system must do we are all in big trouble!”

I hope more than half the voting Americans turn out to be “thinking” Americans, John.

Decades later, the truth we always knew about the “War on Drugs”


“Newspapers printed that crap like we were crusaders!”

“You want to know what this was really all about?” he (Ehrlichman) asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”