John Dean, fabled Watergate whistleblower, comes to Laguna Woods August 8!




john dean youngLegendary Watergate figure and whistleblower John Dean, who served four months in prison for aiding Nixon’s cover-up and eventually became a celebrated speaker and author on matters of good government, will be coming to Laguna Woods Clubhouse 5, Saturday August 8 at 5pm, to give a talk  — “Watergate’s Lasting Impact and Today’s ‘Scandal’ Politics” — then Q&A, and both before and after dinner book sales/signing of his latest book, “The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It.” More details on the event are below, but first some more about John Dean.

I (Vern) remember the conservative independent well as a frequent MSNBC guest during the dark George W Bush years, which may have been Dean’s most glorious time.  This is when he wrote an “unplanned trilogy” which Wikipedia describes surprisingly well, indeed stirringly:

from the WIK…

john dean older Conservatives without Conscience, the title a play on Barry Goldwater‘s book The Conscience of a Conservative, was released in the summer of 2006.  In it, Dean asserts that post-Goldwater conservatism has been co-opted by people with authoritarian personalities and policies, citing data from Bob Altemeyer.

According to Dean, modern conservatism, specifically in the Christian Right, embraces obedience, inequality, intolerance, and strong intrusive government, in stark contrast to Goldwater’s philosophies and policies. Using Altemeyer’s scholarly work, he contends that there is a tendency toward ethically questionable political practices when authoritarians are placed in positions of power, and that the current political situation is dangerously unsound because of it.

Dean cites the behavior of key members of the [2006] Republican leadership, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Frist, as clear evidence of a relationship between modern right-wing conservativism and this authoritarian approach to governance. He places particular emphasis on the abdication of checks and balances by the Republican Congress, and of the dishonesty of the conservative intellectual class in support of the GOP, as a result of the obedience and arrogance innate to the authoritarian mentality.

After it became known that George W. Bush authorized NSA wiretaps without warrants, Dean asserted that Bush is “the first President to admit to an impeachable offense”.[16] On March 31, 2006, Dean testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during hearings on censuring the president over the issue. Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who sponsored the censure resolution, introduced Dean as a “patriot” who put “rule of law above the interests of the president.”

In his testimony, Dean asserted that Richard Nixon covered up Watergate because he believed it was in the interest of national security. This sparked a sharp debate with Republican South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, who repeatedly asserted that Nixon authorized the break-in at Democratic headquarters. Dean finally replied, “You’re showing you don’t know that subject very well.” Spectators laughed, and soon the senator was sputtering mad.[17]

Dean’s 2007 book Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches is, as he wrote in its introduction, the third volume of an unplanned trilogy. In this latest book, Dean, who has repeatedly described himself as a Goldwater conservative, built on Worse Than Watergate and Conservatives Without Conscience to argue that the Republican Party has gravely damaged all three of the branches of the federal government in the service of ideological rigidity and with no attention to the public interest or the general good. Dean concludes that conservatism must regenerate itself to remain true to its core ideals of limited government and the rule of law.

The August 8 event.

john dean smilingJonathan Adler reports:  We’re talking dinner, talk, Q&A, book sale/signing by the Watergate whistleblower, now bestselling author, historian, respected analyst on TV and in print. A John Dean talk, Q&A, book sale/signing is big, fascinating, and rare in O.C.! Attend also to keep Dean returning. 

41 years ago, exactly Aug. 8, Pres. Nixon announced his resignation. Dean will inscribe to you his latest book “The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It” – 784 pages based on 600 secret tapes newly-found and transcribed by Dean, and other new sources. The NY Times said it “resolves … major unsettled questions,” besides “creating a definitive historical record of how the Watergate scandal unfolded.“ 

Buy it in paperback now until Aug. 7 at $18 (17% off), at the event $20 (8% off) – both prices include 8% sales tax paid by bookseller, as do all below – or hardcover $30 (21% off) until Aug. 7, $33 (13% off) at the event.

He’ll also sign 3 prior bestsellers, all paperbacks on sale at big discounts (26% off until Aug. 7, 20% at event) – “Broken Government” ($13-14), “Conservatives Without Conscience” and “Worse Than Watergate” ($12-13). Buy now thru Aug. 7 from The Book Corral (family-owned bookstore host engaged), 949-855-8054; 23016 Lake Forest Dr. #D, Laguna Hills 92653 (at Carlota, SW corner, behind Coco’s); open Mon.-Sat. 10-6. Delivery of books at event. VISA, Mastercard, Discover accepted. 

Enjoy a fine caterer’s served dinner: Hors d’oeuvres: meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, krab on Belgian Endive. Entree choice: Florida chicken, salmon filet, vegetarian. Tossed green salad, mango sorbet dessert, wine served at table, coffee, tea, etc. Laguna Woods Democratic Club hosts. Members $30; Guests $35. Amazing silent auction! “Blue Donkey” drinks (don’t ask!) for small donation to benefit South County Outreach, serving the poor and elderly. 

Sign up at by July 29; to pay by check or for more info call Penny, 714-381-6439.

nixon peace sign

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.