If you’ve been watching TV news recently, you’ve probably heard someone try to compare President Obama to Richard Nixon.
“I find the comparison — that whoever is making the analysis is challenged in their understanding of history.”
The truth is that every president since Nixon — except possibly Gerald Ford — has been compared to Nixon at some point, according to The New Republic‘s Eric Kingsbury:
Of course, most of these comparisons require a bit of historic amnesia. While Nixon used the IRS to intimidate and investigate his enemies, there’s no evidence that Obama had any clue about the agency’s wrongdoings. There also doesn’t seem to be any cover-up, since the story itself was uncovered by an Inspector General report that was slated to be made public this week. And it appears that the Justice Department broke its own binding regulations, but not necessarily the letter of the law, in secretly obtaining two months’ worth of Associated Press phone records. It’s troubling, just not quite Nixon territory.
Other recent presidents — notably George W. Bush — came much closer to Nixonland.
President Obama isn’t even in Iran-Contra territory, another Republican scandal the GOP often likes to invoke.
Notably, the only scandals those on the right can use as a reference point for a real administration-shaking crisis were all perpetrated by Republicans.