Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Watergate: Fond memories

On Saturday with friends who are younger, I went past the famous Watergate Complex on the Potomac. Since they were too young to burn all the details in their not yet flourishing memories, I usually bore them (and others) with my own memories of a tumultuous and exciting era. Little could I have guessed that the news would become dominated by Watergate memories over the next week as the identity of Deep Throat was finally revealed. I love the recording (only now so meaningful) in which Nixon and Haldemann are discussing the indentity of the source. Incredibly, Nixon suspected Mark Felt and asks Haldemann if Felt is Catholic. The response: No, he has some Irish but he is Jewish. And Nixon ruminates, "Maybe its the Jewish thing." Even the most conspiratorial among us must admit that Watergate was the result of a conspiracy of only ONE: Nixon himself. I don't know whether Nixon could ever acknowledge that even in his most private solitude, but he showed us a magnificent panorama of human pride and self-deception. Even when we credit him for the opening to China and for the Food Stamp program, I am enthralled at how absolutely incapable we all are of seeing ourselves as we really are, and often as seen by others. Perhaps some gratitude is in order for all that, but that surely doesn't preclude the fun and incessant revelations that still mark the 'third rate burglary."