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Opening Arguments


Did you catch the tribute to Howard Baker on the Saturday Journal Gazette editoiral page

Indeed, the Senate’s ability to deal effectively with the infamous 1972 break-in and the related dirty tricks that came to light in 1973 and 1974 was due in part to Baker’s willingness to let the investigation findwhat needed to be found.

Baker, who died this week at 88, was known as The Great Conciliator” for his ability to get members of Congress to work together.

He served 18 years in the Senate, was President Ronald Reagan’s last chief of staff and served as ambassador to Japan under President George W. Bush.

But it was those crucial months as the lead Republican in an investigation of wrongdoing by an American president that earned him a fond place in the memories of those who lived through the scandal.

Yes, yes, courageous and brave and principled and all that. Nixon was compelled to resign in disgrace, in fact, because so many Republicans, starting with Baker, abandoned him. It might have been worth noting in passing that not a single Democrat can find the bravery and principles to speak against the IRS scandal, which has the potential to eclipse anything Nixon even dreamed of. But of course the press itself, which became such a big driver in the Watergate scandal, can't find it within them to be the slightest bit interested in the use of the most powerful agency in government to harass and intimidate American citizens.