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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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