Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - May 26, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Ouster tactics’ self-serving slant ill-becomes both parties
By Norman Cousins
ONF OK IHM interesting ironies developing out of Watergate is the extent to which prominent Republicans are urging the President to resign while equally prominent Democrats are imploring him to stay at his post
The Republicans contend that the President has been hobbled by the protracted Watergate revelations and by the controversy over the tapes; that he no longer can govern effec tively and that the impeachment process would lie a terrible ordeal for the* nation
The Democrats contend it would lie a dangerous precedent for a President to resign out of pressure, and that any change in the office between terms should come about only as the1 result of impeachment by the' house and conviction by the senate.
This, then, is a fascinating paradox — Republicans urging a Republican President to leave voluntarily and Democrats counseling restraint and due process. How to explain it?
It would be comforting to believe that all this advice is being offered out of altruism and philosophical principle. Unfortunately, such may not Im* the case.
What is happening is that leading Republicans and Democrats are addressing themselves to the same political realities. From the Republican point of view, impeachment would be a severe political liability and could tear the party apart. If some way could be found to spare its members the need to vote on impeachment, the Republican party might come out of Watergate with a whole skin. And the only way to make a vote on impeachment unnecessary may be for the President to resign voluntarily tardy.
Conversely, many Democrats in congress would rather not let the President and Republicans off the hook. The Democrats would like to have an individual showing of hands in congress — especially in the senate — on the possible connection between the President and the Watergate crimes.
In a larger sense. Democratic party leaders know that the surest way for them to return to power in 1976 would be if Richard M. Nixon has to serve out his term. He could not be a candidate for re-election, but his presence in Un1 White House could provide the Democrats with a villain on location against whom the electorate can react.
What the Democrats fear is that ii Richard Nixon is forced out of office now—whether through resignation or impeachment—his successor would have two years to get file minds of the American people off Watergate
herald Ford could establish ins own identity in that time Ile would have the advantage of being un incumbent President in going into an election campaign. And, tieing personally free of any Watergate taint, some of his personal purity might rub off onto his party.
What appears to be happening, therefore, is that tin1 politics of 1976 are becoming a significant feature of the 1974 Watergate scene and tin- debate on what ought to Im* done about impeachment.
It is understandable that people iii polities should be aware of large advantages and disadvantages in any particular course of action, whether with respect to Watergate or anything else Bul nothing could Im* more damaging to the American people and their institutions than to allow an election two years away to become a basic factor in deciding what ought to tie done about the President at this time
We succeed only in compounding the horrors of Watergate if we make questions of legality and responsibility secondary to political opportunities and liabilities. The? original breakin at Watergate. reprehensible as it is. I-, not nearly as shocking as the attempt iii some quarters lo fit Watergate into the requirements of the 1976 presidential election.
The test to the American political system is not just its ability to determine whether the President has acted constitutionally but whether the men who are going to make that determination can rise above partisan advantage
Los Angeles lime'. Syndicate
Boon in ‘vetoproof congress?
By Jenkin Lloyd Jones
THE SADDEST fallout of Watergate has little to do with Richard Nixon. It has little to do with the wounded mystique of the American presidency, lacerated by the incredibly crass and profane musings engraved upon the tape's.
The real tragedy is that it stopped in its tracks a rolling and greatly overdue counterrevolution against “liberal’’ philosophies that had been pretty generally in control of the country for 40 years.
Let it not Im.1 forgotten that Sen. George McGovern, who represented a logical extension of this philosophy, took a shellacking in the electoral college exceeded only by the Alf London debacle. Although the Democratic majority in congress came out of the 72 election iii good shape, it did so only because most of its members scuttled and run from the party standard-bearer
Thus in the dawn’s early light on postelection day with only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia floating on gray and empty seas, it appeared tfiat the end of the tax-tax, spend-spend, elect-elect formula was at hand. Then came the growing revelations of Watergate and all was apparently restored
The President, struggling for survival. lost any semblance of cohesive conservative policy and compromised all over the place. The rampant liberals have been in paroxysms of joy. The bright prospects loom of a vetoproof congress next full, east in the McGovern mold, after all And the nation's conservatives, red faced at the deleted expletives arc bickering among themselves and apparently in full retreat.
Yet Watergate will nut make basic liberal theories right. Only time would test them And if they are wrong—or mostly wrong—time will eateh ui) to them
There is good reason to believe that they are mostly wrong, and that when the agony of Watergate fades into history the disenchantment which produced the Nixon landslide will reassert itsell A vetoproof left-liberal congress cm lid be a one-time thing
Which of the liberal theories has worked?
Why bas dependency risen steadily iii the face of record outlays for relief and social scrv ice?
Where has busing improved school performance or added to racial goodwill
What has been tile history of inflation as the nation has locked itself into steadily escalating Great Society programs that have guaranteed either crushing taxes or gigantic deficits ’
W hat percentage of those hired-lor-life federal judges who have chosen to legislate by interpretation could win a local election for keeper of the dog pound?
What ukases from tin1 department of health, education and welfare could survive a local referendum ’
What are the real prospects for eradle-to-grave security in tile face of a steadily eroding dollar.’
What will be the real effect upon the economy and the purchasing power of the average American if the great labor unions can come up with congress in their bag'’
Violence! That's all you ever want to watch.
Way with words
By Theodore M. Bernstein
America, american a reader
asks about the use of those two words to refer to the Fluted States and its t it i/ms, asking v\ bethel ii ism t presumptuous usage. It is true that America embraces more territm v than the United States and that technically Americans should apply to ( hileans, Canadians and American Indians as well as to I luted States citizens
But the established fact is that iii Usage America means the United States and American means one of its citizens or pertaining to that country
By chanco, at hand is a letter from
Theodore M, Bernstein
In our increasingly dangerous cities anti suburbs, at what point will the theses of social theorists become buried under bloody statistics0
lf the broad outlines of liberal political philosophy are correct. Watergate can be viewed as a rerailer to speed us back upon the proper track. But if the track itself is crazy and broken the reruiluig w ill be temporary
That’s why tins might be a very good year for ambitious young conservatives to run for public office, even at the risk of getting clobbered next full. Those who stand for a philosophy that is in temporary eclipse could benefit handsomely when the eclipse passes.
They would not be us Tom Paine put it, “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.” They would be remembered us hav mg dug iii at Valley Forge when the fate was sparse and the north winds shrewd.
A vetoproof congress might be a very good thing lf it were, indeed, largely subservient lo big labor, the Eastern intellectual establishment and Big Brother pushers, it would have two years to slip into a hell of a mess before 1976
Then the sadly interrupted counterrevolution could get going again
(.pfM’rol ) eatur<”> ( or cor af ion
Mrs. Helen Richards Campbell of Kingston, Ontario, on a completely different subject iii which she refers to something she — a Canadian — heard “on an American TY station. That list' of American (and America) as relating to the I luted States is not presumptuousness; it’s simply common, established Usage.
One and a half misused words. "When the plane smashed into the* mountainside 114 persons were killed and the aircraft suffered extensive damage iii the mishap Broadcasters and press reporters sometimes produce such sentences and L. .I Fitzpatrick, jr., ut Duncannon, Pa , questions that use of sot fered and mishap
The word suffer for the most part is applied to bv mg creatures rather than to, sa>. airplanes But we must un) be too rigid about it A company can suffer a loss iii profits and a school can suffer from a lac k of adequate filths
Mishap, however, is dofjmitelv misused iii the quoted sentence. A mishap is an unfortunate happening, but it is a minor one, Its shoulders are not broad enough to carry the weight of a crash that killed 111 person -
Word oddities. Suffer means literally to bear up under the weight of something It coffles from the Latin sui-ferre, winch is a merging of sub-, under, aud terre, to bear. That derivation suggests. to a limited extent, that it mainly applies to bv mg creatures
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