I've been reading a couple of books lately, re-reading Perlsteins' "Nixonland" and concurrently his "Invisible Bridge". Both books are invaluable for understanding what has happened to us as a nation.
There are many reasons to wish a special place in Hell (if there is one) for Nixon and these books will not change that wish. But for forty years Watergate has made no sense to me, there was no reason for it to have happened. A couple of weeks ago the last lose thread was reveled, the only reason that could cause a rational sitting President to commit such a criminal act, the fear of getting caught in the greater criminal act of treason. As has been suspected Nixon committed treason by interfering with the 1968 Paris Peace talks, directly leading to the deaths of almost 30,000 US troops. His sabotage of the talks was confirmed a couple of weeks ago. While I could be wrong, Nixon's fear that the Democrats had that confirmation was what led to the break in of the Watergate and the bugging of the offices.
Of course it could be just as simple as Nixon had no moral compass, which was also true, just remember the Southern Strategy. Without Nixon the racists would have had no place to go other than Wallace and with out the power of one of the major political parties may have faded away.
Bottom line we are living in Nixon's world, 40 years later we are still paying the price and I expect will be for many more years. My only hope is once my cohorts have died out we as a nation can escape Nixonland.