Perhaps Mr. Felt believed that going to the press was his only recourse. But as a senior government official, he had other alternatives–confronting Richard Nixon himself, or resigning in protest and then taking his story to Capitol Hill. It’s fascinating to consider what might have happened had Mr. Felt helped to crack the coverup before the election of 1972, when voters could have had a say rather than have to endure a painful impeachment two years later. We will certainly be interested in hearing Mr. Felt explain why he acted as he did.
All the more so because the larger story of Watergate was about holding the Presidency accountable for the misuse of that office’s vast power. One lesson we learned from the Nixon and Bill Clinton eras is that it is both difficult and painful to check a President, especially one abusing the Justice Department.
Timothy Noah says, Deep Throat, Antihero: His unmasking makes everybody look a little less noble.
Mickey Kaus adds,
A note to Fred Fielding, David Gergen, Al Haig, Pat Buchanan and all the other Nixon-era public officials who now stand unglamorously revealed to the world as Not Deep Throat: Just because you weren’t “Deep Throat” doesn’t mean you weren’t huge leakers to Woodward and Bernstein! We know that. And we appreciate it. …