Thought on “Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches” by John W. Dean.



 John W. Dean, for those who don’t know, gained much of his fame (infamy?) working in Richard Nixon’s white house as legal counsel during the Watergate silliness. He ended up pleading out to obstruction of justice in exchange for testimony. 

In Oliver Stones’s Nixon, he was played by Frasier’s brother.

I was pleased to find out that Dean’s book, rather being about the usual partisan issue squabbles, was really devoted to examining the most disturbing trend in today’s world: the death--in fact, the outright desecration--of duty, civility and institutional pride. 

In “Broken Government”, Dean writes about how disrespectful, unmindful and outright contemptuous modern politicians (yes, mostly Republicans) are of the following notions: laws, processes, constitutionality, norms of civility, ... and, well, aren’t those four enough?!?

In blaming Republicans, Dean is obviously inviting the usual culture war nonsense. But he is himself a professed “Goldwater conservative”. What’s more, he correctly points out how non-Republican the modern GOP is and, even more importantly, stresses that there simply has never been such widespread, systematic and bald-faced degradation in American politics before. 

 It is a positively Orwellian age.

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