The Los Angeles Times likes to post historic front pages on its Facebook page. Not a bad idea. The one for Aug. 9, though, struck me. Thirty-seven years ago Tuesday Vice President Gerald Ford took office the day after President Richard Nixon resigned following a long investigation into a slew of nefarious political and criminal activities — a dark web that began to unfold starting with a Washington Post story about a rather bungled break-in at Democratic National Headquaters located at the Watergate Hotel.
Ford on that day proclaimed that “our long national nightmare is over.” But did it really end? I wonder.
In many ways the argument can be made that the polarizing politics of today is rooted in this single event — the idea that Democrats and Republicans can “get each other” and perhaps hack the scalp of the opposition’s leader. So started a laundry list of political games, one-upsmanship, escalating rhetoric and special prosecutors stretching from one decade to the next.
And the very worst thing? It gave the media — let me say the “lazy-ass media” — the now hackneyed idea of slapping the word “gate” on the back end of any scandal du jour — Iran-Contra-gate, Travel-gate, Monica-gate …
That part of the nightmare might never end.