Why we’re still not over the “Hoover effect”
More than two decades later, there are still many people in the U.S. who think it was Hoover who “brought down the House of Representatives.”
The myth is that Hoover led to the demise of the House, which was controlled by Republicans.
It’s not true, but it has made a huge comeback.
The myth persists because of Hoover’s famous line in response to House Speaker Tip O’Neill, in response of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Senate Judiciary committee had called on Hoover to resign.
The House had said he had no authority.
Hoover responded, “My duty is to preserve the rights of the people, not to exercise my power.”
Now, more than two centuries later, this myth has been completely discredited.
In a piece for the American Prospect, Paul Begala, author of Hoover, called the House’s reaction to the Judiciary Committee inquiry “truly pathetic.”
He said it’s a reminder of what happens when you treat the Judiciary committee as the ultimate arbiter of what is legal and what is not.
He said the public “deserves to know that Hoover, like all powerful men, was not above criticism, but he never lost sight of the fact that he was defending the rights and rights of his fellow Americans, not his own.”
In a recent interview with NPR, historian Paul Kengor of the University of Texas at Austin said Hoover was “one of the few leaders who really understood how to use the power of the legislative branch.”