View From the Editor’s Desk: Nixon Resigned in 1974 and More
August 8, 1974. After months and months of Watergate news that only got worse with each passing day, Republican President Richard Nixon, convinced by his fellow Republicans that there was no way to escape impeachment and conviction for the criminal acts, announced in a TV address to the nation on the evening of August 8 that he would resign from the presidency at noon the next day:
“By taking this action,” he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, “I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”
August 9, 1974. History has recorded the proceedings as 48 years ago today power was transferred to Vice President Gerald Ford at noon, and the Nixon family left D.C.
Watergate made household names of two young journalists and today, 50 years later, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are still writing.
We are living in unprecedented and historic times. Yesterday was another one for the books. For the first time ever, the FBI carried out a search of a former U.S. President’s residence. In January 2021, classified documents were taken by Donald Trump from the White House to Mar-a-Lago.
I hope our Republican electeds including our congressmen do not incite January 6, Part 2, with their obligatory Facebook rants and veiled threats intended to appease the base, and Trump. Country over party? That would require an honest assessment of the 2020 election and of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Washington Post reporter Jonathan Capehart has a timely column today using iconic characters recognizable to many of all ages. In Opinion | Liz Cheney is the Obi-Wan to Trump’s Darth Vader, Capehart uses a Star Wars analogy to make his point:
Star Wars fans, remember that scene in “Episode IV: A New Hope” when Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Sith lord Darth Vader are light-sabering it out on the Death Star? Kenobi and Vader are monologuing over the crackle of their clashing weapons when Kenobi declares, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” Then, in an act of self-sacrifice he hopes will hasten the destruction of the evil Empire, Kenobi allows Vader to do just that.
A version of this battle is playing out in real life with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as Kenobi and former president Donald Trump as Vader.
Ever since Trump summoned a mob to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in a failed effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Liz Cheney has made it her mission to destroy him. Well, by “destroy,” I mean hold him accountable for his violation of the Constitution and his oath to protect it — and ensure he never holds the high office ever again.
As the vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, Cheney has been merciless in that endeavor. Her remarks at the beginning and the end of each of the eight public hearings were a warning to the nation and a clarion call to her fellow Republicans about the danger to the republic that Trump remains.
If defending the Constitution against the threat that he poses means losing a House seat,” Cheney said in that CNN interview, “then that’s a sacrifice that I’m willing to make.”
The Force is strong with this one.
That’s the GOP that I used to know.
Today is the first day of the 2022-23 school year for Augusta County public schools. Keep an eye out for those big yellow school buses.
Covid continues its stealth campaign … it is everywhere around me. Entire families including children have come down with it. Our colleague Andi Epps here at Bearing Drift wrote about her extreme symptoms with it in July. It caused the local Boy Scout Camp to close down three weeks ago. Everyone knows someone who has it. Be safe out there.
One more hot day and then we begin moderating to a cooler weekend with overnight lows at my house predicted to be in the 50s. That will be a refreshing change. The cicadas were loud yesterday evening as I sat on the deck watching the resident deer grazing at the lower bottom of our backyard. Stay cool in today’s heat.