What finally did in Nixon — besides himself — is what will do in Trump: not the Democrats, or a turncoat base, or brave GOP leaders. “Historians have written that Nixon was persuaded to resign after the arrival at the White House on Wednesday, August 7, of a delegation from the Hill — Senator Barry Goldwater, Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, and House Minority Leader John Rhodes — to tell him he must go,” writes Pat Buchanan in his memoir. “This is myth.” Nixon’s collapse was well under way by then, from the ground up. With the midterms growing ever nearer, garden-variety GOP officeholders, most of them as cowardly as today’s, started to flee. The House Judiciary Committee voted on an article of impeachment on July 27, three days after a unanimous 8-0 Supreme Court, including three Nixon appointees, ruled that the president would have to turn over the White House tapes. Even then there was wavering. The ten Republicans who voted “No” on all the impeachment articles in committee would switch their votes only after the August 5 release of the “smoking gun” (a new coinage then) — the transcript of a June 23, 1972, tape showing that Nixon had ordered the facts of the Watergate break-in to be covered up six days after it happened despite his repeated public protestations otherwise. One congressman who didn’t bolt even then, Earl Landgrebe, regarded such revelations as fake news (“Don’t confuse me with the facts”), telling the Today show hours before Nixon resigned that he was “sticking with my president even if he and I have to be carried out of this building and shot.” Landgrebe hailed from Indiana’s Second Congressional District, which decades later would send Mike Pence to the House.
...that’s just an excerpt from Frank Rich’s new piece in NY magazine. The rest is here:
Patience, people. Patience.