Posted In: Lingering Questions on June 16, 2015
- Most certainly – and I mean both the initial scandal and the resulting over-reaction of the reformers.
- All of the so-called Watergate reforms have been ineffective – and the abuse of institutions remains a constant threat. Put simply, you cannot legislate morality.
- The Founding Fathers had it right: they greatly feared concentrations of power and hit upon the solution of three co-equal branches operating in a system of checks and balances.
- When you get bright and self-assured officials who are so committed to their particular point of view that they decide that their ends justifies their means, then you get the conditions that led to Watergate: intellectual arrogance and institutional abuse.
- All that’s then needed for a national scandal is when the political pendulum swings back the other way – and you get a Congress willing to take on the President and, perhaps, a special prosecutor.
- Special Prosecutors are an invitation to abuse: when a group of specially-recruited, highly partisan prosecutors is assembled to target a specific group of individuals, our Fifth Amendment’s guarantees of due process seem to evaporate in the rush to secure convictions.
- The greater the perceived abuse from the one side, the greater the over-reaction from the other.