Students of the Watergate era (or those old enough to have lived through it) will recall the “dirty tricks” played by Richard Nixon’s henchmen, most notably Donald Segretti. Segretti, who was hired by Nixon’s deputy assistant, Dwight Chapin, was tasked with smearing Democrats, including senator and 1972 presidential candidate, Edmund Muskie of Maine.
Among several “tricks,” Segretti composed a fake letter on Muskie’s letterhead falsely alleging that Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson, D-Wash., had fathered a child with a 17-year-old girl.
In 1974, Segretti pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of distributing illegal, even forged, campaign literature and served four months of a six-month prison sentence.
I mention this sordid history because some Democrats are playing similar “dirty tricks” on Donald Trump.
Videographer James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas and National Review columnist Stanley Kurtz have exposed Democratic dirty tricks in this presidential campaign.
O’Keefe’s videos purport to show Democratic activists, allegedly hired by the party, describing tactics they use to deceive the public. The most notable comes in a clip in which Scott Foval, national director at Americans United for Change, tells of hiring people to demonstrate and even start fights at Donald Trump rallies.
The objective was to encourage the media to treat the disturbances as spontaneous responses to Trump’s rally rhetoric, which some lefties called “hate speech.” Predictably, the media, especially CNN, bought this narrative and willingly spread it without investigating the background of the disruptors. That’s probably because the resultant free-for-alls fit the left-leaning media’s narrative about Trump.
The equally predictable response from the left was that the videos must have been edited. Democratic Party operatives and Hillary Clinton deny any knowledge of such tactics. Do you really expect them to admit it?
In an Oct. 20 column for National Review, Kurtz reminds us that these tactics are straight from the mind of the late “Rules for Radicals” author and community organizer, Saul Alinsky, a Clinton pen pal.
Another of O’Keefe’s videos is of Robert Creamer, an Alinskyite from Chicago, an experienced community organizer and a man who, according to Breitbart News, visited the White House 340 times and on 42 of those occasions met with President Obama. Creamer admits to being the brains behind hiring and paying for Trump disruptors. He was also sentenced to five months in prison for bank fraud and a tax violation.
Neither the mainstream media, nor Republicans, have sufficiently exposed these dirty tricks and their intent to swing elections toward the Democratic candidate. Federal authorities – from the compromised FBI, to higher ups in the Justice Department – won’t do anything about it either, mostly because they back Clinton’s presidential candidacy.
And somewhere Nixon is shaking his head.
Cal Thomas, a columnist with Tribune Content Agency, appears in Opinion on Wednesdays.