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May 20, 2013

Letter to a Young Scandalmonger

John Dickerson cautions anyone wanting to hurt the Obama administration to not use refer to Watergate.

"The problem is that the label has become shopworn. The constant application to lesser scandals such as Iran Contra, the Clinton-Lewinsky imbroglio, or the Scooter Libby leak case has scrubbed the analogy down to near meaninglessness. It now signifies overcompensation, telegraphing a weakness in your case. It suggests you are conjuring the ghosts of Watergate because you have so little in the present to frighten men, women, and children. We see how this overcompensation fails in other realms: the guilty child who protests his innocence too volubly, the aging Lothario who uses too much hair dye, or the purchaser of the vehicle known as the Hummer. The weakening of the Watergate analogy has led some to madness as they search for ever-harder stuff. Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Keith Ellison, for example, compared President George W. Bush and his administration to the Nazis and Hitler."


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