Dave Simpson: Back Then, We Agreed About Spiro

Columnist Dave Simpson writes, "I don't remember any debate among Republicans and Democrats about the propriety of a vice president who accepted bribes. He had  to go."

Dave Simpson

August 21, 20234 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Time for another exciting stroll down Current Events Boulevard.

Let's see what's whoopin'.

 REMEMBER SPIRO? Some of us are old enough to remember when Vice President Spiro Agnew had to resign in 1973 because he took bribes when he was governor of Maryland, and even got some money when he was in the White House.

That was back when we were watching the Watergate hearings that ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. But I don't remember any debate among Republicans and Democrats about the propriety of a vice president who accepted bribes. With Nixon on the ropes, it was clear Agnew had to go.

Republicans and Democrats agreed back then that taking bribes was unacceptable. The man who called reporters “the nattering nabobs of negativism” was suddenly gone, like a dead mouse swept from the kitchen floor, never to be heard from again. Good riddance.

Today we hear that our president might have gotten $5 million when he was vice president. But it's all considered highly partisan, and this is probably another one of those things we never “get to the bottom of.”

Funny how things change.

GOOSES VS. GANDERS: Whether you're a good whistle-blower or a bad whistle-blower depends, in these highly partisan times, about whom you are blowing a whistle.

Remember Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's  involvement with a whistle blower over evil President Donald Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine? That was an example of heroic whistle blowing above and beyond the call of duty, and it led to Trump's (failed) Impeachment 1.0. You'll never go wrong in the court of public opinion – orchestrated by the liberal news media – blowing a whistle to expose the vile wrongdoing of a Republican. To borrow a phrase from Martha Stewart, blowing that whistle is “a good thing.”

Blowing a whistle at officials during a Democratic administration, however, is a horse of a different color. Multiple whistle blowers claiming that the Hunter Biden investigatios was slow-walked and hamstrung by a Democratic administration are viewed as cranks, conspiracy theorists, and disgruntled misfits, or simply ignored  – again with the liberal media leading the orchestra.

Funny – once again – how things change.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH: Education officials in New York announced recently that time will be taken in schools there to instruct students in how to breathe deeply.

It stands to reason that with test scores showing that traditional subjects like reading, writing and arithmetic are increasingly difficult to teach, the education community would reach out to other disciplines, like breathing, gender options, and those all-important Kindergarten through Third Grade discussions about sex.

Is it just my imagination, or are all of our dumbest ideas coming out of our most populated states? Where graduates of our elite colleges and universities keep coming up with one crazy, knuckle-headed, goof-ball notion after another – from safe spaces to therapy dogs to drag queens to boys in girls' locker rooms, to doing away with standardized college entrance exams – the basket of deplorable ideas runneth over.

These people who claim to be so much smarter than us could screw up a steel ball with a rubber hammer, and be proud of the results. 

FREE SPEECH: I saw in a recent news release that at the University of Wyoming, they are making an effort to ensure free speech on campus, complete with a program and a person to administer the program. The president says the emphasis is on “education, not indoctrination.”


 My wife, who got her bachelor's and master's degrees from UW, and I (two years at UW, then graduated from a college in Wisconsin), were surprised to hear that ensuring free speech at UW is necessary, and requires a new program and personnel.

As I recall, there was plenty of free speech during our years at UW. For example, there was an abundance of free speech around the flag pole at Prexy's Pasture after the killings at Kent State.

We're all for this new effort, but is free speech somehow a new thing at UW?

But then, we live at a time when many students want to be protected from ideas with which they disagree, not exposed to them, so maybe this is to be expected.

Having to ensure something as basic as free speech tells us how crazy things have gotten in recent years on our nation's campuses.

Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@hotmail.com

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.