Senator Sam Ervin was just an old “country lawyer” as he liked to call himself from Morganton, NC. A Democrat, Senator Ervin served 20 years in the senate from 1954 to 1974. Being from Charlotte, NC, 75 miles east of Morganton, Sam Ervin was a familiar name for me growing-up. My Dad was and still is a political junkie and a life-long Democrat and Sam Ervin was as close to Democratic royalty at my house as you could get in North Carolina.
Our television was tuned to the Watergate Hearings whether anybody was watching it or not. As a 12 year old I had very little understanding about what was going on other than knowing that Senator Ervin, with his slow southern drawl, made mincemeat out of all those slick “Nixon Men” during these hearings. The sound of his voice were the sounds that I heard every day of my life. When I think about it, other than Senator Jessie Helms who was not well thought of in my house, Senator Ervin was the first famous, powerful and real Southern person I was exposed too on television that wasn’t made fun of because of the way he talked.
So what was the outcome of the Watergate Hearings? Because of these hearings Republican Senators, who had supported and defended President Nixon, soon realized that the man who said on national television “I am not a crook” was in fact a crook. The Mitch McConnell’s and Lindsey Graham’s of 1974 saw the writing on the wall as did Nixon himself and rather than go through what would have been a bloody and divisive impeachment hearing these men encouraged Nixon to resign, which he did.
Despite Nixon’s transgressions I think his legacy was not as tarnished as it would have been had he drug this country through a long, drawn-out, civil war. He did plenty of bad shit but he also did some good creating the EPA and opening-up diplomacy with China just to name a few. The other thing that I firmly believe about Nixon is, despite his idiosyncrasies, he loved America and American ideals more than himself. Certainly he probably wouldn’t have resigned without an escape plan, pardon, firmly in-place but he did and rather than burn this country down to save his own ass he left and eventually the country healed.
Nixon’s “smoking gun” was a taped conversation of his about the Watergate scandal, specifically a single day June 23, 1972 which Nixon eventually lost legal control of. Trump’s “smoking gun” among many, is the “perfect call” he had with the Ukrainian President this past July.
Trump and the Republicans are attempting to convince the American people that there was nothing sinister or illegal about the “perfect call” and that we can read it for ourselves because he, Trump, has released a word for word, exact transcript of the “perfect call” which, surprise, surprise, isn’t true. Not by a long shot. Hell the document itself says at the bottom in plain sight “not a verbatim transcript of a discussion”.
Is there a tape of the call? I doubt it. Trump has built his career on not leaving a paper trail of any kind, hell the man doesn’t even use email. For Trump it is all about his “word” against everyone else’s. His mantra is very simple, if you want the truth then sue me to get it.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman who was listening to the “perfect call” confirmed, under oath, to Congress that the word for word, exact transcript did leave out a number of very important and distributing details. To combat Vindman’s damning testimony Trump’s minions began a smear campaign of Lt. Col. Vindman, a highly decorated and wounded combat solider and released the following Republican talking points;
- Vindman stated that the released transcript of President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President was accurate. (According to ALL reports and Vindman himself in his released opening statement he did not say it was accurate.)
- There was no quid pro quo on the call. (Trump’s Chief of Staff admitted on national television it was a quid pro quo and Trump does it all the time. “Get over it” were his exact words to the press)
- Vindman did not question the legality of the phone call. (Vindman did, at least twice, and his questioning was the reason the real transcript was locked down.)
- The release of Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry confirms that she has been pushing a bogus and illegitimate impeachment. (Apparently a “baffle them with bullshit” answer because I got no clue what this even means.)
- Adam Schiff can’t erase his long history of lying to the American people of multiple occasions. (This is the funniest one of all, I mean come-on.)
- Republicans hands will be tied throughout the proceedings and President Trump will not be granted due process. (Yesterday Congress gave the Republicans everything they wanted for “due process”, everything except not going through with the impeachment.)
These are real. I didn’t make this silly shit-up.
I don’t know if or when we will arrive at the Nixon moment when Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham see the writing on the wall. We might when McConnell realizes that keeping Trump safe means losing the majority in the Senate in the next election which is a real possibility. I am very confident of this point, unlike Nixon Trump does not love America more than he loves himself and he will burn this country down to the ground to save his own ass. Over the coming months it will get messy, I hope it won’t get bloody, but it could. Sadly, it really could.
“There is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes or makes it the official duty of a president to have anything to do with criminal activities.” – Senator Sam Ervin