In a bit over 100 yeas, the GOP loosed upon an unsuspecting nation the likes of Calvin Coolidge, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. Coolidge said little and did less. Harding died in the middle of a scandal --the Tea Pot Dome Scandal.
The exact cause of Harding's death was never learned because Mrs. Harding refused to allow an autopsy. She also declined the casting of a death mask. And the body was embalmed immediately, before it ever left the hotel. All this led to rumors that Mrs. Harding had poisoned the President while they were alone together shortly before his death, perhaps with the help or knowledge of Dr. Sawyer.
In 1924 eyebrows once again were raised. Dr. Charles Sawyer died suddenly--and his death was strikingly similar to that of President Harding--while Mrs. Harding was visiting the Sawyer home. Had she slipped something into Sawyer's drink, too, perhaps to ensure his silence? Mrs. Harding herself died in November, 1924, before the ugly rumors of her role in the President's death ever reached print. In 1930 Gaston Means, an unscrupulous detective and convicted swindler, published The Strange Death of President Harding, in which he claimed he had been hired by Mrs. Harding to serve as her personal investigator. One of his most important tasks was to follow Harding's longtime mistress Nan Britton, who had borne the President's only child, out of wedlock.The widely read book broadly hinted that Mrs. Harding, seeking revenge for this affair and for Harding's many other infidelities during their marriage, had poisoned her husband.
Means also suggested that Mrs. Harding had another motive, a more compassionate one: to spare the President the disgrace of the political scandals about to be disclosed. "My love for Warren has turned to hate," she supposedly told Means. "The President deserves to die. He is not fit to live . . . and he knows it." Means claimed that after the President's death Mrs. Harding confided to him, "Warren Harding died in honor. . . . Had he lived 24 hours longer he might have been impeached. . . . I have not betrayed my country or the party. . . . They are saved . . . I have no regrets. I have fulfilled my destiny."
Since 1900, the GOP has given us failure, idiocy, crookery, wars and industrial scale graft. Early outrages included Hoover who said of the victims of growing depression, "let the poor sell organges from a pushcart'. Only death would distance Warren Harding from the Tea Pot Dome Scandal and, as he called them, his 'God damn friends'. Americans may be forgiven if they are nostalgic for World War II. It was the only time in the twentieth century that American society was, in any way, egalitarian. By the time Ronald Reagan assumed the White House, the GOP had unfairly demonized Jimmy Carter1. The trail had been blazed for Reagan's great roll back to earlier Twentieth Century economics in which only the very, very rich benefit. Since 1980, the gulf between rich and poor has created two Americas --those who have very, very little and those who have almost everything. Those who have very little amount to some 90 percent of the entire population. Those who almost have it all amount to about one percent of the nation, yet own more than the other 90 percent combined. Hoover, Harding, Nixon, Coolidge must be beaming up from hell.
Clinton was reviled because he was not a part of the GOPs plan to exploit America's riches for the very, very few. Every GOP charge against Clinton was disingenuous. The GOP didn't care about the President's sex life. Not even the GOP could be stupid enough to equate oral sex with arming an avowed enemy of the United States. The GOP could not forgive Clinton his success which, in tern, reduced the GOP to framing Clinton for trivial offenses. It's all the GOP had.
Clinton dared to protest his innocence of an act that was not even a crime. In pursuit a dubious case, Kenneth Starr exceeded his charge, attempting to 'pin' a crime on Clinton could not have committed until three days later. Starr was either 'psychic' or 'crooked' and unprincipled. Being a skeptic, I believe that 'unprincipled' is the better explanation.
Clinton was accused of lying Starr's legalized 'witch hunt', the federal grand convened for the purpose of finding something that could be 'pinned on the President'. This panel, under Starr's direction, began its investigation of 'perjury' fully three days before it could have occurred.
Over the course of four years, Kenneth Starr's investigation of 'Whitewater' cost American taxpayers about $40 million dollars. The taxpayers got absolutely nothing for utter waste of their monies. By his Starr's own admission, Starr had already found absolutely nothing in Whitewater that he could pin on Clinton. That's why it Starr's 'investigation' of Clinton was reduced to lowering its standards.
"Trooper-gate" was a hoax! David Brock's story in Richard Mellon Scaife's 'American Spectator' consisted of allegations by Arkansas state troopers Larry Patterson and Roger Perry. To keep the heat on, Scaife tried and failed to buy witnesses against Clinton. Original stories referred to 'Paula' whom we later learned was Paula Jones. Nothing substantive was ever pinned on Clinton. Brock branded the exposé a case of "bad journalism" and called the troopers 'greedy'. He said they had 'slimy motives.' Scaife's office building was back in the news but a bit later when the body of liberal activist, Steve Kangas, was found dead in a bathroom stall. Kangas death was rule a 'suicide', obviously the first case in history in which the deceased managed to shoot himself TWICE in the head.
That left Starr with nothing to send up to Congress but the pornographic "Starr Report" shot through with prurient minutiae having less to do with substantive charges than with the appearance of Lewinsky's breasts and the shape of ejaculate on her dress.
Normal folk think it absurd to charge a man for perjury or obstruction of justice for merely protesting his innocence. Absurdity is compounded when the 'act' in question is not even a crime. Clinton was accused of a 'cover up'. 'Cover ups' of crimes are themselves crimes --but 'covering up' an act that is not even a crime???
In the middle ages, accused witches were, likewise, subjected to a trial by water. Those lucky enough to 'float' were condemned as witches and grimly executed. Those drowning were considered to be innocent but --unfortunately --dead! The GOP has embraced the 'trial by water' and would base American jurisprudence upon the model. The US practice of 'water boarding' throughout its CIA run gulag Medieval justice and GOP justice have much in common. Under Bush, the rule of law would lose all meaning. Bush would call the Constitution a 'goddamned piece of paper'. He would subject 'suspected terrorists' to the modern equivalent of the 'water trial'. The innocent and guilty alike are dead. And so --too --the rule of law.
The 'Watergate' case against Richard Nixon differed substantially from the spurious charges leveled against Clinton. Nixon was charged with 'obstruction of justice and perjury' with respect to actual crimes --not set ups or 'sexual' gotachas! Nixon was accused of using the IRS as a means by which he might retaliate against political enemies. His gang of 'plumbers', tasked with plugging up leaks in the government, were paid by way of elaborate money laundering schemes. The Articles of Impeachment against Nixon should be read and compared with the Articles of Impeachment against Clinton. The charges against Clinton are rhetorical fluff and insubstantial. The charges against Nixon are, rather, descriptions of real crimes, possibly treason.
The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan included one or more of the following:
1. making false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;
2. withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;
3. approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings;
4. interfering or endeavouring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and Congressional Committees;
5. approving, condoning, and acquiescing in, the surreptitious payment of substantial sums of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses, potential witnesses or individuals who participated in such unlawful entry and other illegal activities;
6. endeavouring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency of the United States;
7. disseminating information received from officers of the Department of Justice of the United States to subjects of investigations conducted by lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States, for the purpose of aiding and assisting such subjects in their attempts to avoid criminal liability;
8. making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct: or
9. endeavouring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favoured treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony.
In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
--Articles of Impeachment against Richard M. Nixon, Republican
Two of most troubling aspects of recent Republican history are the crooked nature of the Reagan Administration and the "election" George W. Bush. Among hundreds of 'black marks' against Reagan, the words of Iran/Contra Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh are the most damning.
The Iran/contra investigation will not end the kind of abuse of power that it addressed any more than the Watergate investigation did. The criminality in both affairs did not arise primarily out of ordinary venality or greed, although some of those charged were driven by both. Instead, the crimes committed in Iran/contra were motivated by the desire of persons in high office to pursue controversial policies and goals even when the pursuit of those policies and goals was inhibited or restricted by executive orders, statutes or the constitutional system of checks and balances.
The tone in Iran/contra was set by President Reagan. He directed that the contras be supported, despite a ban on contra aid imposed on him by Congress. And he was willing to trade arms to Iran for the release of Americans held hostage in the Middle East, even if doing so was contrary to the nation's stated policy and possibly in violation of the law.
The lesson of Iran/contra is that if our system of government is to function properly, the branches of government must deal with one another honestly and cooperatively. When disputes arise between the Executive and Legislative branches, as they surely will, the laws that emerge from such disputes must be obeyed. When a President, even with good motive and intent, chooses to skirt the laws or to circumvent them, it is incumbent upon his subordinates to resist, not join in. Their oath and fealty are to the Constitution and the rule of law, not to the man temporarily occupying the Oval Office. Congress has the duty and the power under our system of checks and balances to ensure that the President and his Cabinet officers are faithful to their oaths.
--Concluding Observations, FINAL REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL FOR IRAN/CONTRA MATTERS
Reagan armed Iran, an avowed enemy of the United States. Lest it be protested that we were not engaged in a declared war with Iran, I must point out that, likewise, our wars with the Taliban and Iraq were not declared. Nevertheless, members of the Bush administration were quick tar critics with the word 'treason' when, in fact, it is the very worst 'president' in American history whose loyalties must be questioned within the context of a full century of GOP incompetence and, in many cases, outright betrayal.
• Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part I, Police States Begin With False Flag Attacks
• Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part II, A Climate of Fear is Maintained
• Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part III, In Fascist Dictatorships Telling the truth becomes a crime
• Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part IV, the state forces an 'existential' choice
• Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part V, Public Opinion Becomes Irrelevant
• Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part VI, The government places itself above the law
• Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part VII, The Government Denies 'Due Process of Law'
• Bush's Conspiracy to Create an American Police State Part VIII: Atrocities are justified with lies, myths or propaganda