There are a few differences, however, between the transgressions of Nixon and Obama, and America’s reaction to each.
The old watchdogs of civil liberties that took on Nixon — the American media of the Watergate era — are now silent. Obama is not right-wing, easily caricatured, unappealing, or an old anti-Communist agitator but an iconic liberal, charismatic, and, in the past, an experienced community organizer. A Democratic Senate majority now has little interest in auditing Obama, though it once zealously pounced on Nixon’s misdeeds.
If you once suggested that Nixon’s team was violating constitutional principles, you were hailed as speaking truth to power. Try that with progressive Obama and you are likely to be caricatured as some sort of embittered tea-party zealot at best, a retrograde racist at worst. Nixon ended impeached and disgraced; Obama may well enjoy a lucrative and in-demand post-presidency.
Both presidents once had enormous potential and high poll ratings, but their treatment of the Constitution was as Orwellian as it was unnecessary. Before Nixon imploded, he was warned to stop it.