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  • Writer's picturejohn raymond

From Criminal to Outlaw: An Examination of Scandals in Republican Administrations

"...ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse." -A direct quote from the Republican National Committee Chair refusing to condemn the violence of January 6th, 2021.


The Republican Party has undergone a significant transformation in the past 50 years, from a political party with a criminal element to one that now operates as an outlaw entity. This article aims to examine this transformation by tracing the scandals that have plagued GOP administrations from the Nixon era to the present day. From Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to the recent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, this article will explore how the GOP's disregard for the rule of law has become the defining characteristic of the party.

Watergate and the Southern Strategy

The Watergate scandal was a turning point for the Republican Party. The break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and subsequent cover-up by the Nixon administration led to the downfall of the president and several of his top advisors. This event marked the beginning of a new era of criminal activity within the GOP, as it showed the willingness of Republicans to engage in illegal acts for political gain.

The Southern Strategy, a political tactic used by the Republican Party during the 1970s to attract white, conservative voters from the Democratic Party, was also a significant moment in the party's transformation. The strategy involved playing on the racial prejudices of white voters and stoking the flames of segregation, ultimately leading to the erosion of civil rights protections for minorities.

Iran-Contra and the Bush Administrations

The Reagan administration was plagued by the Iran-Contra scandal, in which Reagan administration officials secretly sold weapons to Iran and used the proceeds to fund anti-Communist rebels in Nicaragua. The illegal arms sale and the subsequent cover-up demonstrated a blatant disregard for the rule of law by the Reagan administration and marked a continuation of the GOP's criminal behavior.

The Bush administrations continued this trend, with the lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq leading to a costly and devastating war. The Bush administration's disregard for international law, as evidenced by the use of enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, showed a complete disregard for human rights and the rule of law.

The Trump Administration: Criminality Transmuted into Outlawry

The Trump administration marked a new level of criminality for the GOP, with its disregard for the rule of law reaching new heights. The Trump administration's collusion with an adversarial power, Russia, was a clear violation of the law, and its efforts to overturn the 2020 election results through claims of widespread voter fraud were an attack on the very foundations of American democracy.

The January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, where armed militias stormed the building in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden's November victory, was a clear example of the GOP's transformation into an outlaw entity. The fact that this insurrection was incited by Donald Trump, the outgoing president, and supported by many Republican leaders, demonstrates the extent to which the GOP has abandoned the rule of law and embraced lawlessness.


The GOP's journey from criminal to outlaw has been a gradual process, marked by a series of scandals and a disregard for the rule of law. The party's embrace of lawlessness and its willingness to engage in illegal acts for political gain has led to a situation where nothing is beyond the pale. The events of the past four years, particularly the January 6 insurrection, have shown that the GOP is now a threat to American democracy, and it is imperative that the rule of law be upheld to protect our nation from further harm.

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