Watergate has emerged as the preferred historical scandal for understanding the Trump administration in its first sixth months. There are plenty of good reasons for this, but they come with an unfortunate side effect: The Watergate fixation feeds the fantasies of liberals and the left.

The Watergate parallel can serve as a salve, holding out the promise that Trump’s administration — with all its vulgarity, disrespect for the rule of law, and questionable foreign entanglements —will be truncated in the same way Nixon’s was. As a check against the idea that all of the scandals must result in President Trump’s downfall, Trump’s opponents should start paying attention to another case of presidential malfeasance with a far more ambiguous resolution: Iran-Contra.

USSC research associate Dr Nicole Hemmer's latest article for Vox.