American audiences love sequels. If you loved or hated the Mueller report, you will love or hate the aftermath of Congress when public impeachment hearings begin on November 13. Donald Trump seemed to get away with electoral interference “to his face” in 2016. Can he do it again in 2020? If so, will you be looking for a third or fourth sequel?
But there is more. Trump episodes are a rerun of the Nixon dramas of 1968 and 1972. President Johnson and senior officials around him knew that Nixon got away with foreign policy interference in 1968 and thus won the election through dirty tricks. international Although unknown at the time, the Watergate robbery was a sequel in national politics to Nixon’s successful interference in 1968.
Although the outcome of the unfolding impeachment drama remains uncertain, three historical lessons can be seen, although its outcomes cannot be predicted at this time. Contrary to what you hear, history does not repeat itself. But some themes and patterns repeat themselves, taking unexpected forms that pose new dangers and possibilities as in the case of these three lessons.
Lesson One: Parallelism. Nixon was caught during his second term for illegally meddling in an election he was sure to win. Had he gotten away with illegal meddling in the 1968 election as President Johnson sealed the evidence of concern for national security. Donald Trump meddled in the 2016 campaign in front of television cameras. The investigation of his actions was kept secret even when his opponent’s investigations affected the campaign. Trump damaged the effectiveness of the Mueller Report by attacking it for two years and then having his Attorney General undermine it when it was published. DESPITE the evidence that should have led to impeachment, it appeared that meddling during the 2016 campaign might not prevent Trump’s reelection.
The parallel with Nixon is clear after the Mueller Report. Needing even more help as Russia win re-election, Trump began gathering investigations into his most feared adversary in 2020 by using congressionally funded military aid to extort money from the President of Ukraine. This was not done on camera, but in the presence of seasoned diplomatic professionals who understood the dangers to our national security.
Seeming to have escaped meddling for a first term, Nixon HAD has also escaped, Trump was caught doing the same thing for a second term. The whistleblower complaint had the effect of a botched theft at Watergate. Both events brought to light events destined to happen in secret. The investigations then brought people with heavy consciences in front of cameras exposing presidential dishonesty to the world.
Lesson two: predictable versus unpredictable outcome. Political and scientific media commentators behave more like football announcers when they focus on political games to predict the outcome of this impeachment process. The outcome of Bill Clinton’s impeachment was clear when Senate Democrats backed him, agreeing with the majority of the American people that he had done wrong but should not have been charged. Nixon’s outcome, however, was not predictable. He was not charged or prosecuted because support collapsed to the point that he resigned instead of enduring the process. So if Trump’s impeachment fails, it will happen predictably when Senate Republicans follow Mitch McConnell and hold the line. If the impeachment is successful, you will most likely take a course that is not scheduled at this time and will demonstrate Nancy Pelosi’s ability to negotiate impossible situations.
This impeachment process hinges on the contest between Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi. It is possibly the last battle in the war between them since the Affordable Care Act (ACA). McConnell kept the Republican line in the Senate when the ACA passed with a 60-vote Democratic majority. Soon after, Democrats lost one of those seats and it seemed certain that the House would never accept the Senate version. That’s when Pelosi did the impossible, proving herself as a closer when necessary – even when it meant losing the majority in the House. McConnell then used the ACA to defeat the Democrats during four consecutive legislative elections. However, the elimination of the ACA was only possible after the 2016 victory with Trump’s victory. It was then that public opinion changed as it is becoming clear that there was no Republican alternative to the benefits that millions of people would lose. Mitch McConnell appears to have the upper hand if impeachment moves to Senate trial. No one doubts that he intends to support the party rather than the country; He already committed to that choice in the 2016 election when he refused to support President Obama’s actions against Russian interference.
HOWEVER, Nancy Pelosi handles the process before it reaches the Senate. He has an impressive winning record when committing to fights and shouldn’t be underestimated. He has also shown his commitment to the country more than to the party. If its strategy leads to a successful Overthrow of Donald Trump, it will follow a path that almost certainly no one can predict when the public hearings begin.
Lesson three: Russia and China. Nixon meddled in two elections while we were in a war in Vietnam. Our enemy was North Vietnam, but I knew they were an indicator of China and Russia. Nixon was also extremely adept at redirecting national policies towards China and Russia so clearly promote world peace and not undermine our international alliances.
Any true disciple of Nixon Republicanism should be surprised that Nixon’s revenge team, Roger Ailes, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone used Russian help to elect Donald Trump. Meddling in Ukraine Russia also helps other allies while demonstrating that you can not trust us.
Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan would roll in their graves (if such a thing were possible) at the prospect of a single Republican president crawling into Russia, attacking our European allies, undermining South Korean confidence and Japan and send our farmers to recession through a trade war with China that has constantly undermined agricultural supply chains. These first-term accomplishments will be followed by greater catastrophes if the current electoral meddling brings a second Trump presidential term.
Conclution. Richard Nixon undermined peace efforts in Vietnam as part of his 1968 bid for the presidency. Lyndon Johnson withheld that fact from the public out of concern for national security. Nixon meddled in the 1972 election, was captured, and had to resign to escape impeachment. Three revenge-seeking Nixon supporters – Roger Ailes, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone – helped Donald Trump win the 2016 election with the support of Russia. Trump’s opponent was known to be under investigation by the FBI, but news of a more serious investigation into Trump was kept under wraps. The FBI investigation resulted in the work of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, being successfully obstructed. Mueller’s results played by the rules in a way that seemed to reward obstruction. With the help of an obedient attorney general, it appeared that Trump had escaped. Then came news from a whistleblower, like the shocking news of the Watergate robbery. This prompted a number of professionals to speak the truth to Congress and sparked an impeachment investigation.
Like Nixon, Trump was caught with a smoking gun in his hand. Both escaped the assassination of the first half. Will Trump escape a second time?
The answer depends on the American people and Nancy Pelosi. The public is about to hear the truth. Will we recognize it and demand the removal of this president? If impeachment is successful, it will happen because of the vision and integrity of Nancy Pelosi and her team. And the outcome will be something none of us will be able to predict when the public hearings begin.
References on Nixon’s 1968 electoral interference:
Peter Baker, “Nixon Tried to Spoil Vietnam Peace Talks in ’68, Notes Show,” The New York Times (January 2, 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/us / politics /nixon-tried-to-spoil-johnsons-vietnam-peace-talks-in-68-notes-show.html.
John A. Farrell, “When a Candidate Conspired with a Foreign Power to Win an Election”, Revista Politico (August 6, 2017), https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/06/ nixon-vietnam-candidate-conspired-with-foreign-power-won-the-elections-215461.
Robert Johnson, “Did Nixon Commit Treason in 1968? What New LBJ Tapes Reveal”, History News Network, https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/60446.
Charles Wheeler, “The Lyndon Johnson Tapes: Richard Nixon’s ‘Betrayal’,” BBC News Magazine (March 22, 2013), https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21768668.