Former Senator Fred Thompson, who has died at the age of 73, is being remembered today. John Podhoretz has an excellent blog on Thompson over at Commentary.
The fact that jumped out at me in several articles recounting Fred Thompson's career was this: it was Thompson, an aide to moderate Republican Senator Howard Baker, who popped the question at the Watergate hearing that revealed the Nixon White House's secret taping system. This revelation assured that Nixon would not survive the Watergate scandal.
Anybody who saw Hillary Clinton's testimony at the Benghazi hearing, with her party protecting her and decrying their Republican colleagues, must know that nothing like that could happen today in Washington. While it is likely that Clinton's testimony brought more to light than was originally assumed (here), the Democrats tried to make sure that nothing came out.
Jonathan Tobin, also at Commentary, has a good post on what has been lost since the Congress of 1973. He acknowledges that much had to change:
But there was one aspect to the change in Washington that we should lament. In 1973, Republicans were not prepared to put their partisan loyalties, even to a president that had been re-elected only months earlier in a historic landslide, above their responsibility to investigate potential wrongdoing.
That’s why Thompson, in his capacity as counsel to the GOP minority on the Watergate committee, pressed witnesses as closely as his Democratic colleague. While they may not have approached their task with the zeal of the Democrats, there was no thought in 1973 that the purpose of the Republicans there would be solely to play defense for the administration. So it was no surprise when it was Thompson’s questioning that elicited the replies that uncovered the facts about the secret White House tapes that blew the case open.
It should be noted that Fox's Catherine Herridge has an excellent piece up today pointing out discrepancies between information in Mrs. Clinton's newly-released emails and her testimony at the hearing (including her denial that Sidney Blumenthal, then being paid by the Clinton Foundation, was an adviser on Libyan policy). Democrats in Congress don't want you to know.