President Trump is under siege, unable to escape the darkening cloud of Russian interference in last year's election. As his presidency nears its six-month mark on Thursday, questions and protesters followed him even to his Trump National Golf Club resort in Bedminster, N.J. There he spent the weekend watching the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament and launching Twitter salvos at his detractors.
Watching the news it is hard not to feel echoes of perilous times when other presidents were under siege, or when government institutions were tested by crises.
But it is those dark days that should give Americans a measure of reassurance and hope. Our government is far more durable than any single president. The Founders created an ingenious system of checks and balances, with three independent branches, that has triumphed over crises throughout our nation’s history.
Watergate was one of the greatest tests of the nation's stability, and there were several moments when it seemed the rule of law might crumble.
In October 1973, when Richard Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox and attempted to shut down the independent investigation of the Watergate affair, he pushed the system to its breaking point. The blowback in Washington and across the country was so intense that Nixon backed down and turned over several White House tapes that Cox had demanded. A new special prosecutor was appointed and the investigation continued. The next year, after Nixon refused to turn over more of the tapes, the Supreme Court voted unanimously that even a president must abide by a subpoena in a criminal case. Again, Nixon complied. Within months, after the House Judiciary Committee (including six Republicans) voted to impeach him, Nixon resigned rather than put the country through more turmoil. His vice president was sworn in minutes later as president. The nation moved on, scarred but stronger from the ordeal.
_________________________ **** ATTENTION! BAD POLITICIANS ARE ELECTED BY GOOD PEOPLE WHO DON'T VOTE! ****