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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Comey hearing a dose of deja vu

This and That By Avis Anderson

Boy! Talk about dèjá vu all over again’ (Yogi Berra)!  I’ve been trying to keep some kind of sense in my head as to what is going on in the Comey hearings, the Russian interference in our elections, and a rationale explanation for why Trump does what he does.  As do most folks my age we remember the Watergate hearings.  If we think this is continual media coverage now, remember the hearings?  Sam Ervin, Barbara Jordan and her monumental speech on impeachment, John Dean, Haldeman and Erlichman and the list goes on and on.  The book “All the President’s Men” was central to our understanding of the need for a free press and the fact that no one is above the law.

Then there were the hearings during the Clinton presidency and the charges involving perjury and obstruction of justice. Ronald Reagan was tied into the Iran-Contra hearings and the testimony of Oliver North was continually in our faces.  And so it goes.

I sat in the car in the parking lot of the grocery store listening to the vote on Clinton regarding impeachment.  It was a pivotal moment in the history of our country and outside my window people were going about their usual chores.

President John Kennedy wrote a book entitled “Profiles of Courage.” One of the chapters was dedicated to a key player in the impeachment proceedings against Vice President Andrew Johnson who came to office after the assassination of Lincoln. Edmund G. Ross, Senator from Kansas, voted for acquittal in Johnson’s impeachment.  He is supposed to have said, “I look down on my open grave” (meaning he was committing political suicide). He was striving to preserve the importance of the office of President.

I remember when President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon after his resignation.  He took a lot of abuse for the move and it was probably a big reason he was not re-elected president in his own right.  I was glad he did it.  The fingers of Watergate had reached into everything and it really seemed as though we would never be free of “the long national nightmare” if Nixon were sitting in prison.

As I said earlier, no one is above the law and there is no excuse for even bending the law; If something was done that is wrong, people need to be called to account. But, who knows?  Everyone has their favorite media pundit liberal and conservative and we hear the issues reviewed over and over again until we can repeat the facts in our sleep. The case may go on to historical fame, but it may also die a natural death.

Anything like this deserves our attention and concern.  A great deal of what we hear may be repetitious, but it is important to know and recognize the facts.  The Constitution remains a great document regardless of the attempts to reshape it. The words, “We, the people ...” really should be central to all that is said and done.

Avis Anderson lives in Glendive. Her online blog can be found at www.prairienewdays.com.

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