Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shades of Watergate

A band of Conservative bozos is validating Karl Marx's aphorism that history occurs twice--first as tragedy, then as farce--by staging a revival of Watergate at Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in New Orleans.

Like Nixon's crew, their apparent intent was "opposition research" by bugging the Senator's phones, but they got some of the details wrong. Instead of a dead-of-night break-in, they showed up during working hours posing as telephone repair men. (Wrong movie: A ploy out of, not "All the President's Men," but Clint Eastwood's 1997 "Absolute Power").

From there, it was all downhill as James O'Keefe and his three helpers ended up in the slammer, charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony, raising the stakes of their Watergate-like caper to a possible 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Last fall, O'Keefe and a female helper caused a brief stir in Congress over ACORN by posing as a pimp and prostitute to entrap community organizers into appearing to give them help and advice.

The furor faded with questions about editing of their sting tape, but O'Keefe has been out on college campuses, urging Young Conservatives to avoid complacency: "The more bold you are, the more opportunities will be open to you."

The possible motive for this new adventure may involve one of O'Keefe's helpers, the son of an acting US Attorney, for whom Sen. Landrieu proposed a replacement who was nominated last week by the President.

These 21st century activists should go back and study the history of their heroes. The Watergate dirty tricksters eventually were exposed and came to a bad end, as did the Great Unindicted Coconspirator himself.

There doesn't seem to be much political future in reincarnating Nixon's tragedy as Marx's farce.

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