How can the Iran-Contra affair be both linked to and separated from the Watergate scandal?
One significant point of separation between both presidential scandals is that the relative cost in terms of political damage between them. Iran- Contra did not do significant damage to the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. In some ways, Regan ended up getting the proverbial "last laugh." For so long during his tenure, critics argued that Reagan was "out of touch," an indication that his age had impacted his political sense of savvy. With the disclosure of the Iran- Contra Affair, those same critics were condemning the President as "knowing too much." In an instant, the self- defeating and contradictory nature of the critique became evident for the President could not be oblivious, and yet serve as the architect for the arms for hostages nuances. Watergate, in stark contrast, helped to fit the narrative of President Nixon. It was not that far fetched to see the President as guilty of some breaches of public trust...
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