Saturday, June 28, 2003

Impeachment: "Be prepared" is good advice for the Bush White House

By Paul M. Weyrich web posted June 23, 2003 -

The late John Connally, former Governor of Texas, and Secretary of the Treasury in the Nixon Administration, told me a story back in 1975 when I was a guest at his ranch. The governor had been indicted and, although later vindicated, he was fixated on the question of who was responsible for his indictment.

He related to me an episode that he was convinced lay at the heart of his indictment. He said that one day he had been asked to testify before a House Committee. He was confused about the location. He opened a door and there off in a corner was then-Defense Secretary Mel Laird and with him was Father Robert Drinan, the extreme leftist Congressman and a half-dozen other leftists. Since he had not been seen, he thought he'd listen to what Laird was discussing with those left-wingers. Connally found to his utter shock and amazement, Laird was discussing the impeachment of President Nixon. This was early on, when Drinan and the other leftists had just introduced impeachment articles in the House. Most everyone thought this was a frivolous joke on Drinan's part. Supposedly impeachment had no chance.

Anyway, to hear Connally tell it, Laird suddenly looked up and saw Connally there. The governor said Laird was obviously embarrassed and Connally excused himself, saying he was in the wrong place. He didn't give it much thought at the time, he told me, although the sight of Laird together with those left-wingers really troubled him. Then, when the governor was indicted, he began to think of who would want him out of the way and he recalled the meeting. The governor went to his grave convinced that fellow cabinet Secretary Mel Laird was responsible for his indictment so he would not be credible if he fingered Laird as being in on a plot to get President Nixon.

Now I have known Mel Laird for many years and while I am no fan of his, I find the notion that he would be plotting against President Nixon a bit hard to believe. But I mention the story for this reason.

When Father Drinan said that Nixon should be impeached, the president was at the height of his popularity. Drinan was regarded even by most of his Democratic colleagues as a far-out crazy. Drinan was not taken seriously.

Well, there is a little weasel tripping around now, insisting that there might well be grounds to impeach President George W. Bush. I have heard three different interviews with him on the subject. He sounds plausible. His name is John Dean. He once was White House counsel under President Nixon. He blew the whistle on Nixon and for weeks was a matinee idol when Senator Sam Ervin's hearings into Watergate were televised.

- continued -

Too much to hope for?



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