In fact, we’ve already seen this movie. During the Reagan years, the Iran-contra conspirators violated the Constitution in the name of national security. But the first President Bush pardoned the major malefactors, and when the White House finally changed hands the political and media establishment gave Bill Clinton the same advice it’s giving Mr. Obama: let sleeping scandals lie. Sure enough, the second Bush administration picked up right where the Iran-contra conspirators left off — which isn’t too surprising when you bear in mind that Mr. Bush actually hired some of those conspirators.But the denouement to Iran-Contra was, itself, just a replay of Ford pardoning Nixon. And those assholes weren't just pissants like David Addington, they were criminal conspirators like, oh, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
I am shocked when I hear baby boomers say that Ford did the right thing -- hardcore lefties, in all other areas, who nevertheless think that it was grand for Nixon to go unpunished. I am told that "you don't understand what it was like then", as if the prosecution of criminal conduct of the highest order is something that should be optional. I'm told that near-impeachment was enough of a punishment, even if he never saw the inside of a cell, even if America never had to grapple with why they re-elected that monster.
Finally, I'm told that the country couldn't take it, the same logic that's being used now to urge Obama to carry on, nothing to see here. If that's the case, then the only real lesson to learn from the Bush, Reagan, and Nixon years is that we deserve everything we get, and nothing less.