Do you know the one about the frog who escaped drowning? Two frogs accidentally hopping into a bucket full of cream. One gave up hope, sank, and drowned. The other kept kicking and kicking his legs, determined to escape and survive. Eventually his actions churned the cream into butter. The frog used the solid butter as a launching pad and hopped out of the bucket.
In another frog fable, two frogs fell into tubs of water. The first frog fell into hot water. She reacted immediately to the scalding water and jumped out. The other frog fell into comfortably warm water. She settled in, enjoying the temperature. Gradually, however, the water became hotter and hotter. The temperature went up slowly, though, degree by degree, so the frog didn’t notice until it was too late: she was about to boil to death.
The second story was related in All the President’s Men. Woodward and Bernstein, the journalists who investigated the Watergate scandals, said they’d felt like the second frog. With each story from each new source they peeled back one more layer, raised the heat one more degree. They actually became scared: what if this investigation reached the White House? What would that do to the country? But they were in too far to stop; the temperature kept rising.
Now there’s Walkergate, the investigation into illegal campaigning while on company time. That “company” is, notably, both public and taxpayer funded: the Milwaukee County Executive’s office under Scott Walker. In Watergate, the question became one of integrity: what did Nixon know and when did he know it? That question has already come up for now-Governor Walker.
Nixon had tapes, recorded conversations between himself and other high-ranking staffers. He or a staffer physically erased some of the more incriminating recording before the conversations could be made public.
Walker has an electronic trail as well, but one that is harder to erase. His emails, date stamped and word-for-word quotable, are grounds for discussion and investigation. These email conversations might, if the investigation continues to heat up, be grounds for dismissal – or even arrest.