Saturday Night Massacre

Submitted by ub on Sat, 10/21/2017 - 09:38

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." This raises the question whether those who can remember are not doomed, to be swept along by the majority who cannot?

The last Presidential election was a particularly toxic for Americans. The tone of the race was negative and some political scientists worried the election could scar a generation of young voters, making them less likely to cast ballots in the future. Name-calling and accusations thrown between the candidates were just the beginning of the vitriol.

However, during the 19th century, candidates accused each other of infidelity, substance abuse, cross-dressing, and more. Thomas Jefferson said John Adams was a hideous hermaphroditical character and a repulsive pedant. Other candidates were accused of wearing women’s corsets Martin Van Buren and of having stinky feet Abraham Lincoln. In the 20th century, comparing candidates to rodents became a sort of trend, with Teddy Roosevelt calling William Howard Taft a rat in the corner and Franklin D. Roosevelt calling Alf Landon the White Mouse who wants to live in the White House.

As it turns out, blaming the media has been repeated for years. Newspapers were the main way news was disseminated in the 19th century and they affected political campaigns in many ways. Newspapers openly rooted for a particular candidate in any given election and they took no shame in smearing the opposing candidate, writing articles debating the candidate’s sanity and more. This led to candidates blaming the free press and attacking the news.

Then, on a fateful final Saturday in October back in 1973, the two highest-ranking members of the Justice Department, Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and his deputy, William D. Ruckelshaus, quit rather than follow President Nixon's order to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Cox and the courts were pressing the president to release information the president was refusing to acknowledge.

Watergate - Saturday Night Massacre

The "Saturday Night Massacre"

This Lawyer Found Out Nixon's Secrets and Then He Fired Him For It: Cons...

Salt in the Wound | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

The End of Trump | The New Yorker