Romeo & Juliet Act 2 Scene 4
Lt. Kaffee: It’s doesn’t matter what I believe it only matters what I can prove
A Few Good Men 1992
Doctor Who The End of the World 2005
One of the greatest and most common misconceptions about events is history is the aura of inevitability.
People reading about the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Space Race, The Yankees during the 50’s all tend to naturally feel it was inevitable that these events would turn out as they did. We see a lot of this in revisionist history where people critique decisions made not based on the knowledge the people had but on the “facts” they come up with decades later.
Back during the Nixon era while I was still a pre-teen infatuated with history and had not yet discovered a certain scarf wearing Madman in a box I would rush home from school and watch the Watergate hearings wondering what might happen next. Like the people who today think of Watergate as something that was practically destined to be I didn’t understand how many things took place behind the scenes that facilitated Nixon downfall particularly the skilled moves by the Democrats in the house.
Fortunately for people interested in these things Tip O’Neill included an informative chapter in his autobiography Man of the House that detailed not only the twists and turns that led
lead him as Democrat Majority Leader at the time, to suspect that the Nixon administration was up to no good in terms of political intimidation but of the right decisions made by the congress and the wrong decisions by the administration that led to their own downfall.
It is almost a handbook as to what to do and what to avoid in a similar situation…
…and that brings us to the Obama administration and the IRS.
As a criminal investigation begins we’ve seen some the “I” word, Impeachment thrown about.
Now a lot of that is on twitter, but that’s no big deal, a lot of words are thrown about on twitter, but some of it has been thrown around in the press.
The funny thing is a lot of the people doing so are of the left,
This is not an accident, the left understand that talk of impeachment now would be a disaster, not to the president, but to those building the case against him.
As Tip O’Neill notes public opinion led the congress on impeachment. Democrats were hesitant to move forward until polls showed otherwise.
Now we of course have a different environment today. Instead of a Republican president attacked by a democrat press and generally friendly to the Democrat majority, you have a Democrat press who has traditionally defended Barack Obama that dislikes the GOP majority in the house.
This is all the more reason to let the public get there first. The congress HAS to be perceived as investigating facts. If the facts continue to go where the evidence seems to be pointing the public will demand action.
A great example of the danger of moving early was Fr. Robert Drinan (D-Mass) who introduced a resolution of impeachment on the last day of July in 1973 over the Bombing of Cambodia. As O’Neill writes it almost blew the game:
politically , he damn near blew it, for if Drinan’s resolution had come up for a vote it would have been overwhelming defeated by something like 400-30. With so many members already on record as having voted once against impeachment it would have been extremely difficult to get the to change their minds later one.
meanwhile if a vote came up and failed, Republicans, who at the time were not convinced that there was any “there there” would have said when a later resolution came up:
“Why bother? We’ve already been through this.”
As Drinan refused to withdraw his resolution and all resolutions on impeachment are privileged the leadership O’Neill took extraordinary measures to make sure the resolution was not called up keeping one of the leadership ready on the floor 24/7 ready to table such a resolution. Because he didn’t want to give them the idea to move Drinan’s resolution forward. After a long time of this he finally approached Jerry Ford who told them bluntly the White House had rejected the idea. As O’Neill wrote:
By not forcing an early vote on impeachment, Nixon’s allies made a tremendous mistake. In addition to winning the vote, the Republicans could have turned impeachment into a party issue which might have allowed Nixon to remain in office and blame the Democrats for harassing him, But in the summer of 1973 the White House couldn’t imagine that Watergate would end in the downfall of the president.
And that is the trap.
I’ll wager not too may members of the Tea Party have read O’Neill’s book, nor GOP members of congress but I’ll wager plenty of people on the left have. They understand that if the GOP moves early, before democrats are on board, it becomes a party issue so they are going to do their best to force our hand before the facts are in evidence.
I suspect the facts on this case are going to be damning to this administration. The best thing the congress can do is to investigate and let these facts come out to the American people and watch the administration stall and cover up. The press already finds themselves split on this issue, only the most partisan seem willing to defend the IRS without question.
This morning Politico yes POLITICO reported in disbelief on MSNBC on the data being asked of TeaParty groups. As long as the conversation is about what the IRS did and if the White House co-operated public opinion will move. Right now that’s where the conversation needs to be.
The White House and their allies will do their best to wave the red flag in the hope we charge, instead we should sit back and let this scandal and the investigation cook.
And when it is ready the evidence presented the people and the votes will be there for the next step.
Update: You can get Tip O’Neill’s Man of the House at Amazon for .01 plus $3.99 shipping all over Amazon. Buy it, you’ll need it soon.
Update 2: “Led” instead of “lead” corrected
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