A forgotten lesson of Watergate: conservatives may rally around Trump

For Americans worried about the state of our republic, Watergate analogies can be a comforting salve. If FBI Director James Comey’s firing is President Donald Trump’s Saturday Night Massacre, then impeachment hearings should be coming down the road — perhaps soon. But even if Comey’s firing leads to a widening scandal, some of the lessons of Watergate should worry Trump opponents more than soothe them.

That’s because the Watergate affair turned conservative skeptics of Richard Nixon into hardcore supporters, drawing out the immediate crisis and deepening divisions in the long term. Conservatives at the time refashioned the scandal into a tale of Democratic hypocrisy and media hostility — a narrative that many Republicans have adopted once again to explain away the emerging Trump scandals. CONT.

Nicole Hemmer (UVA), Vox