Political Scandals make great head lines, sell papers, garner advertisers for TV “news” shows, and keep the country talking.
We’ve had a few lately, some are much ado about nothing and some may turn out to be bigger than we thought. Only time will tell.
But, political scandals are nothing new.
There may not have been a Watergate, a Monicagate, or a Wienergate back in the day, but every Presidential administration has had its share of scandal.
During Washington’s time, Silas Deane, a merchant, politician, diplomat, and member of the Continental Congress who married more rich women than John Kerry, was accused of mismanagement and espionage!
Of course, he was never tried, never found guilty, and finally cleared some fifty years after his death!
But, it WAS a scandal!
During Buchanan’s term as President, Preston Brooks, a Democrat from South Carolina erupted onto the Senate floor and and while two of his buddies held the Senate back at gun point, beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner until he was unconscious and bleeding.
And even Honest Abe had his woes. First of all, his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln was an embezzler of the first degree, padding the White House gardening bill with her expenses. And Lincoln’s Secretary of War – it was the War Department then, not the Department of Defense – Simon Cameron, resigned due to corruption charges. When discussing Cameron’s dishonesty with Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens said, “I do believe he would not steal a red-hot stove.”
When Cameron demanded that he retract the statement, Stevens said to the President, “I believe I told you that he would not steal a red-hot stove, I now take that back!”
And you don’t have enough time today to read about the scandals in the Grant administration!
Warren Harding’s administration was so full of his thug cronies from Ohio they were called “The Ohio Gang”!
Harry Truman had his own IRS scandal. It was so big that 166 lower level employees were axed!
Ike had two problems; Richard Nixon and Sherman Adams. Adams, Ike’s chief of staff had to resign after being charged with contempt of congress for refusing to answers questions about a Vicuna coat and an oriental rug someone gave his wife!
LBJ; too much to tell.
Oddly enough, scandals are nothing new.
And oddly enough, most of the scandals center on the legislative and judicial branches, it’s only in the 20th Century and today that the White House really takes the heat.
And oddly enough, JFK had fewer scandals in his Presidency than George Washington – well, as long as we’re not talking sex scandals.
Oh, and we will!