Reader's View: In political witch hunts, who’s keeping score?

Apparently Nixon, Clinton, and now Trump all instinctively reached for witch-hunt neutralizers in their presidential utility belts.

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Again, columnists across the U.S. are blaming Democrats for using the old ends-justify-the-means-ploy to indict former President Donald Trump, who rules like a mob boss. Eventually, I fear, his disease will metastasize, destroying the justice system's authority and effectively destroying the power of our votes.

Remember how President Bill Clinton used the witch-hunt defense to evade responsibility for an illicit sexual relationship he had with Monica Lewinsky — until he couldn't deny it anymore?

And remember President Richard Nixon's claims that the Justice Department and the Washington Post were out to get him, while he grumbled about being the object of a political witch hunt? Apparently Nixon, Clinton, and now Trump all instinctively reached for witch-hunt neutralizers in their presidential utility belts.

Is all this about power? Yes, of course, at least in a fundamental sense.

When Republicans are in control of the House, they can rightfully launch any investigation they want and establish procedural protocols. Thus, they bashed Hillary Clinton for decades, including over Whitewater investments, Benghazi, and her ever-loving emails. They failed to find a single pathway to indictment.


When Democrats control the House, under law, it's their turn to establish the investigative committees they desire.

A few outstanding traits usually indicate which side is making the most points. They usually don't admit to known mistakes and try to keep accusations about the other side going in perpetuity.

When Republicans grandstand before Congress, they come across as the most morally outraged victims in the world — even though Mitch McConnell, William Barr, and even Fox News hosts occasionally drop their facades; they must simply grow tired of spreading so many lies!

Peter W. Johnson


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