Slow down, it’s not Watergate. Not even close.

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Slow down, it's not Watergate. Not even close.

By John Ruberry

Lib­er­als and mem­bers of the main­stream media – okay, other than how they earn their pay­checks there isn’t much dif­fer­ence between the two – have many intel­lec­tual flaws. But I’m going to zero in on just one here – their predilec­tion to view all events through the sphere of the ‘60s. For this dis­cus­sion I’m going to bend time a bit – and call the ‘60s as the years of 19641974, the period that cov­ers Viet­nam and the anti-​war protests, the Civil Rights move­ment, and the Water­gate Scan­dal. Richard M. Nixon, by the way, was elected to the pres­i­dency in 1968.

Older jour­nal­ists looked back at the first and sec­ond Gulf Wars with nos­tal­gia, espe­cially when the anti-​war protests broke out and dur­ing the pre-​surge quag­mire of 20052007. Younger jour­nal­ists felt cheated by their absence from that first quag­mire, Viet­nam, and they didn’t want to miss out on what they saw as a sec­ond one.

Very few reporters who were on the job dur­ing Water­gate are still work­ing in jour­nal­ism, the Wash­ing­ton Post’s Bob Wood­ward. who is 74, is a notable excep­tion, so those in the biz now are hop­ing that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s fir­ing of embat­tled (yes, embat­tled) FBI Direc­tor James Comey is their Water­gate, which of course crescen­doed with Nixon’s res­ig­na­tion before his almost cer­tain removal from office by the Senate.

Water­gate was of course much more than the break-​in at the Demo­c­ra­tic Party head­quar­ters at the Water­gate Hotel, it was the cover up as well as the side scan­dals, such as the White House Plumbers, the dirty tricks, and the slush funds that made it America’s gravest polit­i­cal scandal.

Trump’s fir­ing of Comey was ham-​handed. If he had canned Comey shortly after being sworn-​in, there would have been muted crit­i­cism from the left, as many Hillary Clin­ton sup­port­ers blamed Comey for her defeat last fall. Comey of course, in 2016’s Octo­ber Sur­prise, reopened the inves­ti­ga­tion of Clinton’s reck­less and ille­gal use of a home-​brewed email server while she was Barack Obama’s sec­re­tary of state. Many promi­nent Democ­rats called for Comey’s res­ig­na­tion. When Trump did fire Comey last week, the White House didn’t know where to find him – Comey was in Los Ange­les. And he learned of his dis­missal from a tele­vi­sion news report. And Trump, in an inter­view with NBC’s Lester Holt, con­tra­dicted the expla­na­tion from his deputy press sec­re­tary as to why he fired Comey. Finally, Trump’s hint that he may have taped one of his con­ver­sa­tions with Comey doesn’t help the president’s case the public.

The media of course is draw­ing par­al­lels to Comey’s fir­ing to that of Richard Nixon forc­ing the dis­missal of Water­gate spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor Archibald Cox in the “Sat­ur­day Night Mas­sacre.” Yes, Trump cited “this Rus­sia thing” as one of the rea­sons for get­ting rid of Comey, but what is this “Russ­ian thing?” Col­lu­sion? Mean­while James Clap­per, Barack Obama’s direc­tor of national intel­li­gence said only a few hours ago that there is no evi­dence of any Trump cam­paign col­lu­sion with Rus­sia.

And who seri­ously believes that Rus­sia hacked the pres­i­den­tial election?

Rather it appears “this Rus­sia thing” was invented by sore losers within the Hillary Clin­ton campaign.

So repeat after me. “Russ­ian col­lu­sion” is not Water­gate. James Comey is not Archibald Cox. Don­ald Trump is not Richard Nixon. While we’re at it, Black Lives Mat­ter is not the 1960s Civil Rights Move­ment and the reg­u­lar anti-​conservative riots at Berke­ley are not the Free Speech Movement.

So what does Wood­ward, who along with Carl Bern­stein broke the Water­gate scan­dal for the Wash­ing­ton Post, think about the Comey con­tro­versy? While con­ced­ing on Fox News Sun­day this morn­ing that there are some ques­tions on Rus­sia that he wants answered, he also told host Chris Wal­lace, “This is not yet Water­gate. Not a clear crime.”

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

By John Ruberry

Liberals and members of the mainstream media–okay, other than how they earn their paychecks there isn’t much difference between the two–have many intellectual flaws. But I’m going to zero in on just one here–their predilection to view all events through the sphere of the ’60s. For this discussion I’m going to bend time a bit–and call the ’60s as the years of 1964-1974, the period that covers Vietnam and the anti-war protests, the Civil Rights movement, and the Watergate Scandal. Richard M. Nixon, by the way, was elected to the presidency in 1968.

Older journalists looked back at the first and second Gulf Wars with nostalgia, especially when the anti-war protests broke out and during the pre-surge quagmire of 2005-2007. Younger journalists felt cheated by their absence from that first quagmire, Vietnam, and they didn’t want to miss out on what they saw as a second one.

Very few reporters who were on the job during Watergate are still working in journalism, the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. who is 74, is a notable exception, so those in the biz now are hoping that President Donald Trump’s firing of embattled (yes, embattled) FBI Director James Comey is their Watergate, which of course crescendoed with Nixon’s resignation before his almost certain removal from office by the Senate.

Watergate was of course much more than the break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, it was the cover up as well as the side scandals, such as the White House Plumbers, the dirty tricks, and the slush funds that made it America’s gravest political scandal.

Trump’s firing of Comey was ham-handed. If he had canned Comey shortly after being sworn-in, there would have been muted criticism from the left, as many Hillary Clinton supporters blamed Comey for her defeat last fall. Comey of course, in 2016’s October Surprise, reopened the investigation of Clinton’s reckless and illegal use of a home-brewed email server while she was Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Many prominent Democrats called for Comey’s resignation. When Trump did fire Comey last week, the White House didn’t know where to find him–Comey was in Los Angeles. And he learned of his dismissal from a television news report. And Trump, in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, contradicted the explanation from his deputy press secretary as to why he fired Comey. Finally, Trump’s hint that he may have taped one of his conversations with Comey doesn’t help the president’s case the public.

The media of course is drawing parallels to Comey’s firing to that of Richard Nixon forcing the dismissal of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in the “Saturday Night Massacre.” Yes, Trump cited “this Russia thing” as one of the reasons for getting rid of Comey, but what is this “Russian thing?” Collusion? Meanwhile James Clapper, Barack Obama’s director of national intelligence said only a few hours ago that there is no evidence of any Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

And who seriously believes that Russia hacked the presidential election?

Rather it appears “this Russia thing” was invented by sore losers within the Hillary Clinton campaign.

So repeat after me. “Russian collusion” is not Watergate. James Comey is not Archibald Cox. Donald Trump is not Richard Nixon. While we’re at it, Black Lives Matter is not the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and the regular anti-conservative riots at Berkeley are not the Free Speech Movement.

So what does Woodward, who along with Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, think about the Comey controversy? While conceding on Fox News Sunday this morning that there are some questions on Russia that he wants answered, he also told host Chris Wallace, “This is not yet Watergate. Not a clear crime.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.