Comey sacking doesn't rise to Watergate levels

Nixon and trump in White House Image copyright BBC/Reuters

The New York Times called for the president to leave office immediately, describing it as "the last great service" he could perform for the country.

The Washington Post demanded impeachment, followed by a Senate trial. Time magazine, deeming it necessary to publish its first-ever editorial, thundered: "The president should resign."

Outside the White House, protesters waved placards at passing motorists: "Honk for Impeachment." Even Washington's most influential columnist, Stewart Alsop, who was normally supportive of the president, called him an "ass." The president had lost his moral authority, argued his critics, and with it, his ability to govern. The country faced a constitutional crisis. The republic was imperilled.

Such was the feverish reaction to the events of 20 October, 1973, a date remembered in the national memory as the "Saturday Night Massacre" - a pivotal moment in the unfolding Watergate controversy.

With scandal engulfing the White House, Richard Nixon decided to fire Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor appointed to investigate "all offenses arising out of the 1972 election… involving the president, the White House staff or presidential appointments".

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Will Republicans learn the limits of oppositional politics?

US Speaker of the House Republican Paul Ryan (R) gestures during a news conference beside House Majority Leader Republican Kevin McCarthy (L), following a Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 28 March 2017 Image copyright EPA

"All politics is local," was the famed dictum of the legendary House Speaker Tip O'Neill.

O'Neill hailed from an age when lawmakers had a more intimate relationship with the voters who sent them to Washington and were also more willing to cut deals with their partisan adversaries.

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Drip of Russia revelations puts damper on Trump's 'home run'

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A week that began with a reset ended with Russia, the scandal that refuses to go away.

On Tuesday night, when Donald Trump delivered his first speech before a joint session of Congress, there was a new tone, in marked contrast to the shrillness of his American carnage inaugural, and even new tailoring, a more sleekly fitted suit.

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Donald Trump and the end of American exceptionalism?

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When a German Chancellor feels the need to explain the refugee convention to an American president, the speaker of British House of Commons says the leader of its closest ally is not welcome to address parliament, China positions itself as the grown-up in the room by chiding him for his blunt Twitter diplomacy and the botched travel ban is denounced not just by US adversaries, such as Iran, but allies, such as France and Canada, is it not time to sound the death-knell of American exceptionalism?

That is, the credo pushed by successive presidents that the United States is a beacon of democracy, an exemplar of human rights, an indispensable country imbued with special values and beliefs that grants it the moral authority and national self-belief to influence and admonish other countries, friend and foe alike.

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Barack Obama legacy: Did he improve US race relations?

: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the eulogy for South Carolina state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney's funeral service June 26, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina Image copyright Getty Images

Barack Obama sealed his racial legacy the moment he sealed victory in the 2008 election - a black man would occupy a White House built by slaves, a history-defying as well as history-making achievement.

In 1961, the year of Obama's birth, there existed in the American South a system of racial apartheid that separated the races from the cradle to the grave.

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New York: The city where Donald Trump hates being hated

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After a year of being greeted by fawning crowds in the American heartland, Donald Trump appears to be struggling with the hostility that now surrounds him in New York City.

Outside Trump Tower, you don't see many people wearing Make America Great Again baseball caps or hear them chanting "build a wall!"

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Was the summer of liberalism really the dawn of Trump?

Confederate flag holder with Trump sign

The United States of America. There have been times over these past seven days, and this past year, when the very name of this country has seemed at odds with its divergent mood.

Increasingly the USA seems oxymoronic, a geographic expression rather than a term to describe a cohesive republic, "one Nation under God, indivisible."

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Hillary Clinton and the US election: What went wrong for her?

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This election, surely the most extraordinary in American history, was a revolt against the political establishment.

And few people personify the political establishment more than Hillary Clinton. During this campaign, for millions of angry voters, she became the face of America's broken politics.

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US election: America the beautiful's ugly election

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Some of the wisest words I have heard during this campaign came from the Governor of Ohio and Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich.

During a campaign stop at a brewery in Michigan, he explained how he had implored young aides, during a picturesque swing through the upper peninsula of the Great Lake State, to avert their eyes from their smartphones and to take in the scenery passing by unnoticed outside.

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US election: Hillary's humiliating low road to White House

Clinton walks up to the plane Image copyright Justin Sullivan

Hillary Clinton could be days away from earning the most powerful job in the land. But the road to the White House has been a rough one.

Her journey in these final days has taken her across this vast continent, and travelling with Hillary Clinton, on her plane and in her motorcade, I have got to see the view from her window.

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