Worse Than Watergate?

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With Watergate back in the news, it’s time to dust off a video interview we did just before the 2004 election with John Dean, special counsel to Richard Nixon from 1970 to ’73. Dean’s book, “Worse Than Watergate,” argues that the current Bush administration makes Nixon’s gang look like a bunch of spineless moderates, lacking the full courage of their corruption. Take it away, John Dean:

I barely recognize the Republican Party today. In the Republican Party that I was active in, it was really a party of moderation. What I think the party is dominated by now is a radical philosophy.

This is a good government issue, not a right-left, Republican versus Democrat [issue]. Therefore in the book, I cite one Republican after the other who are complaining about Bush’s secrecy. Now these people don’t think this is good Republican politics, they don’t think it’s good conservative politics; they think it’s bad government. …

I wouldn’t use the title, “Worse than Watergate,” if I didn’t truly believe that what’s happening in this presidency is far worse than anything that did happen during the Nixon presidency.

And he should know. Watch the full, 10-minute interview here, and pine for Richard Nixon.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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