Seeing So Much of The Present Through Watergate Makes It Harder to See The Future

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Photo: National Archives/Atkins, Oliver F.
Media Outlet: Washington Post

Peter Scoblic wrote the for the Washington Post's "Outlook" section on the pitfalls of overly relying on the comparison of Watergate and the Trump administration's potential collusion with Russia:

A danger of fixating on the Watergate analogy — on any analogy — is that it sets us in a rut. Watergate has become the model for how American politics works when criminality is suspected, and it may be blinding us to other possibilities. The Mueller investigation might last far longer than Trump’s critics hope. Its findings might not implicate the president directly — as former acting attorney general Sally Yates and former Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara emphasized this past week, there’s a high bar for proving criminal conduct. And there is the question of whether the Republican Congress would ever consider articles of impeachment.

Author:

J. Peter Scoblic is an International Security program fellow with New America, where he researches U.S. nuclear strategy and the power of prediction.