Stirewaltisms: Of Presidents and Precedents


I’m going to throw a Strunk and White (paperback)  at the next pundit who uses the term “unprecedented.”

We are a country that has been through federal criminal investigations involving multiple sitting presidents, their families, vice presidents,  presidential candidates, Cabinet secretaries, senators, representatives, and at least one Supreme Court justice. It would be right to say that the FBI executing a search warrant at a former president’s home is “unusual” or “remarkable.” I might even turn a blind eye to “historic.” But, yea, verily, there is lots and lots of precedent for criminal investigations of and criminal conduct by America’s powerful people.

Whether the previous investigations were merited usually depended on one’s political affiliations. Republicans called the Iran-Contra probe a “witch hunt” aimed at damaging the reputation of Ronald Reagan and harming the chances of George H.W. Bush in 1988. Democrats said much the same of the many, many probes into the Clinton family over the years. 

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