One Scandal per Administration? No.
I wrote a long comment in Kagro X’s latest impeachment post arguing that we need to demonstrate the systematic, ongoing corruption of the Republican party. Until we can show how often the Republicans have brought back discredited flunkies to pick up their corrupt plans where they left off, it will be difficult to show the importance of impeachment–the one recourse citizens have to ensure that these flunkies never return again. I’ve got a lot to say on this: we need to show how each scandal has built on the previous one, we need to move away from speaking in terms of individual administrations. But for now, I will argue that we need to move away from speaking in terms of discrete scandals.
Watergate, Iran-Contra, Abramoff (no mention of BCCI and S&L). That’s how we remember the scandals of the Nixon, Reagan-Bush, and Bush administrations. When we think of the first two, we think of them as events that reached some kind of resolution which therefore should be regarded as past, closed. And we treat them–even if we know this to be inaccurate–as one coherent scandal, one unified effort.