Conservatives in An Age of Change: The Nixon and Ford Administrations

By James Reichley | Go to book overview
Save to active project

12
Watergate

AT ITS SIMPLEST, most tangible level, Watergate was nothing more than dirty politics. A gang of officeholders, unsure of their chances of winning the next election, set out through illegal means to shift the odds in their favor. Such behavior, however deplorable, has never been particularly unusual in American politics--is, in fact, common in many large cities, and present in many states.

There were, of course, certain distinguishing qualities about Watergate, even when it remained a "third-rate burglary" committed on the offices of the Democratic National Committee. For one thing, the prize at stake was the presidency of the United States. For another, among those participating in the meetings at which the crime was planned, or holding prior knowledge that it was to be committed, were the attorney general of the United States and members or former members of the White House staff. Finally, and most important in terms of immediate consequences, the burglars got caught; and one of them, under pressure from a ruthless and implacable "law and order" judge (just the kind Nixon most admired), proved willing to implicate the higher-ups.

Even at this point, Watergate, so long as nothing more than the planning and execution of the break-in was involved, would hardly have destroyed the Nixon administration or entered history as much more than an anecdote of bad judgment and low conduct in high places. If Nixon and his chief lieutenants had in no way interfered with the investigation and prosecution of the case after the Watergate burglars were arrested on the night of June 17, 1972, the costs to the

-250-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Conservatives in An Age of Change: The Nixon and Ford Administrations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 482

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?