COVID-19: Trump Isn’t Making Mistakes

Donald Trump’s response, or lack of response, to the Coronavirus is not a mistake. Trump isn’t bungling the response. Like everything Trump does, he’s pursuing what’s best for him, not the American people.

Here’s a paragraph from Foreign Policy.

Suffice it to say, the Trump administration has cumulatively failed, both in taking seriously the specific, repeated intelligence community warnings about a coronavirus outbreak and in vigorously pursuing the nationwide response initiatives commensurate with the predicted threat. The federal government alone has the resources and authorities to lead the relevant public and private stakeholders to confront the foreseeable harms posed by the virus. Unfortunately, Trump officials made a series of judgments (minimizing the hazards of COVID-19) and decisions (refusing to act with the urgency required) that have needlessly made Americans far less safe.

Foreign Policy. The Coronavirus Is the Worst Intelligence Failure in U.S. History. March 25, 2020.

There’s nothing obviously incorrect or inaccurate here. However, the writer said that the Trump administration “failed” in its response to the pandemic. It’s easy to look at what Trump has done as a failure.

People are going to needlessly suffer and die.

My issue is with the very premise that Trump can “fail” to adequately respond, since he never intended to respond in a productive and positive way. What’s happening is what Trump wants to occur.

This is what success for Trump, Putin and the GOP looks like. It’s a nightmare for us, but it’s paradise for them.

That whole Russia story was, and still is, very real. Putin’s goal is to destroy western democracies. Putin helped Trump get to the White House. He owns Trump. The best way to destabilize a nation is to create chaos.

What’s more chaotic, preventing a pandemic, or allowing hundreds of thousands of people dead?

Language matters. We need to speak about these issues through the proper lens, because when we don’t, the truth can never be attained.

Trump isn’t failing, our democracy is.

Still, that FP story is a good one, give it a read.

COVID-19: March 24, 2020 New York

New York state has yet to reach the corona virus outbreak apex yet.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo provided stats on infections in New York today.

They have tested 91,270 New Yorkers. Of those tested, 25,665 tested positive for the virus. That puts the infection rate at 28 percent. Experts predict that between 40 and 80 percent of the population will eventually get COVID-19.

New York has not yet hit the apex of the outbreak, but it is coming and it is coming quickly.

Cuomo said New York state need 30,000 ventilators. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said today that they are sending 400 ventilators to New York.

“You’re missing the magnitude of the problem,” Cuomo said today.

One has to wonder if Republicans and the Trump administration are “missing the magnitude of the problem.” Perhaps, they really are working for Putin as his agent’s of chaos. Certainly letting millions of people die would be chaotic, right?

COVID-19: Flatten the Curve

The outlook is dire. It’s expected that 80 percent of Americans will get COVID-19, which kills 2 to 3 percent. With more than 300 million Americans, I can’t even bring myself to do that math.

At this point, if no one in my immediate family dies, I’ll consider that a win.

Stay home.

Here’s some chalk art my wife and kids did this weekend.

Sanders Will Lose to Biden on Super Tuesday 2020

Tuesday is the 2020 Super Tuesday Democratic primary day.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has just crushed Senator Bernie Sanders in South Carolina.

Biden’s win makes this race a two-race between he and Sanders.

Let’s pretend we can predict the future based on past events, like the 2016 Democratic Primary – Super Tuesday.

Here’s the data for Super Tuesday 2019.

Minnesota (Caucuses)773146
Total Percent56%44%

There were 10 primaries and one caucus in Minnesota. Sanders won 5 of the 11 contests.

In 2020, there are 14 rather than 11 races in 2016. I wrote down some estimates of how these races might turn out Tuesday. I’m assuming that with Sanders’ improved political machine and that Biden isn’t a woman will benefit Sanders.

North Carolina1225852
Percent Total54.1%45.9%

Based on these estimates of doing slightly better than he did in 2016, Sanders loses. For Sanders to walk away with an overwhelmingly victory, he needs to turn out the vote in California and Texas. Sanders did poorly in Texas last time, so there’s a lot of room to grow beyond what he got last time – 80 of the 262 delegates.

This is Sanders’ race to lose and Biden has to wipe Sanders off the map on Tuesday.

Twitter Shuttered

I spent a good part of my adult life building a following on Twitter. I created my account when I was living in Boston. I had this cool apartment, at least I thought it was a cool apartment on Chelsea Street in East Boston. From it, I could, and did, walk to the best pizza place in Boston – Santarpio’s. That was about 10 years ago. And now it’s all gone, not Santarpio’s, my Twitter account.

I don’t know if it was 2TwelveHundreds when I initially created my Twitter account in early 2011. It could have been though. At the time I was working as a freelance journalist and I still setup all my DJ equipment that I bought when I lived in Seattle. I still played, and even made music at the time. Now, I haven’t powered up either Technics 1200 in years. They just sit, collecting dust.

I didn’t have a huge following on Twitter at the end. I think I had like 5,300 followers. But they were good followers, some were great followers. Over the decade I’ve had some of the best, most enlightening political debates with my Twitter followers. Every now and then the random celeb like Talib Kweli would even join in.

That Twitter account was with me when I moved from Boston to Montpelier, Vermont. I got a job as the town reporter for the Times Argus. That job paid jack shit, but I did love it. Then I got married and started producing children and bought a house and went back to my old job as a software engineer and now …

Now that’s all gone. Twitter took it away. The account is gone, I still have the wife, kids and software engineering job, so it’s not that sad of a story. But I would like to know why Twitter took away my account. They didn’t say. They just told me that my Twitter account is suspended. I filed an appeal, but I’m quite certain it will get denied. I’m not famous. I’m not just a guy. It’s also true that I’ve violated Twitter’s terms of service many times over the years. I was suspended for an entire week last Christmas because I said to Trump that he’s a “punk ass bitch.” That’s probably targeted harassment. That wasn’t the first time I was suspended.

Some of my humor can be a bit aggressive. Sometimes I use violent imagery as a means, perhaps a cheap one, to make my point, or make something funny. Twitter doesn’t like jokes, at least not those sorts of jokes. Twitter is fine with Trump using its platform to target and destroy the lives of people who work for Our Government. Twitter’s fine with Trump and the GOP openly attacking our democratic institutions, and in many cases, openly committing felonies on Twitter.

But I was too much for Twitter. My opinions, jokes, style, whatever, were inappropriate for Twitter. I challenged Dear Leader and those in power the wrong way. So I had to be shut up. I have been shut up and shut out and shut down.

Before you spend years building a powerful following on Twitter, just know that if you’re not the right type, or famous, or powerful, Jack can take it all away with no explanation. It’s just poof – gone.

Why We Kill

White people are afraid. White people are terrified of an enemy that exists only in our collective white consciousness – black people.

There are no “niggers.” Black people don’t exist. Not really. Yes, in this society that white people have created, there are persons we call “black.” We do more than just call them black. We call them all sorts of horrible names. We lock them up in chains. We beat them. We spit on them. We kick them. We punch them. We rape them. We murder them. We have created this imaginary monster that we are absolutely terrified, and which we constantly violently attack.

Our white society was built around the brutalization of black men, women, and children. White people hired the white police officer who executed 12-year-old Tamir Rice playing at a playground. White people rallied their support behind the murderer of Trayvon Martin. White people empathized with the white police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. White people accept that Eric Garner was choked to death by a white police officer on video over a misdemeanor. These things just happen … to black people by white people.

This is a sickness. It’s a disease. It’s a cancer eating away at this nation’s intestines. Unless, and until, we find the cure, this nation will succumb. Our death is in view now as we watch Donald Trump in our Oval office, supported by white nationalists and Nazis. We can’t hold on much longer.

But the cure is a simple one.

White people need to accept reality.

We need to look at the world for what it is, not the fantasy that we tell ourselves that it is. White people have this insane idea that their safety and security and prosperity are integrally linked to the oppression and brutalization of black people. We fear that if we accept black people equally and completely into our lives that we will somehow lose something; our lives will be less.

This mentality, or belief, or whatever it is, it has to be tossed into the dustbin of history. We have to reimagine who we are based on reality, rather than the lies we tell ourselves.

It’s not simply a rejection of racism and bigotry in our own personal lives that we must overcome. We must actively resist the oppression of black people in society as a whole. That oppression can come in many forms: television shows or books or movies or cops killing black kids for no reason. When we see these things, these forms of oppression of black men, women and children, it is our gift to our fellow Americans that we shout it down every time and with great vigor.

This racism, this disease, it exists because white people continue to support it. If we remove that support, perhaps, one day this nation could be great.

“What white people have to do,” James Baldwin said, “is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place, because I’m not a nigger, I’m a man, but if you think I’m a nigger, it means you need it.”

James Mitchell Ashley

James Mitchell Ashley was a journalist, politician and abolitionist.

Reading about men like Ashley and Benjamin Butler, it’s disconcerting when compared to the politicians we have today. These men were certainly far from perfect, but they had strong convictions and they owned them.

Ashley was a fierce abolitionist. Growing up in the Ohio River valley, Ashley witnessed firsthand the atrocities of slavery. He saw chained slaves being marched to the Deep South. Boys his own age being sold. Ashley hated what he called the “peculiar institution.” He said slavery went against the teachings of christianity.

Ashley was a leader in the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. Ashley believed that Johnson was complicit in President Lincoln’s assassination.

Having suffered from diabetes since 1863, Ashley died of heart failure on September 16, 1896 in Alma, Michigan following a fishing trip. His body is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio.

Benjamin Franklin Butler

Benjamin Franklin Butler was a trial lawyer, Union Civil War general, governor and congressman.

Researching Butler, he appears to have been quite a charismatic, somewhat corrupt, but influential and effective politician.

During the Civil War, Butler helped concoct a legal loophole to free slaves. The Union would classify fugitive slaves as military contraband thus essentially taking possession of the slaves and then freeing them. This tactic lead the North to support general emancipation and ending slavery as goals of the war.

His commands during the Civil War were marred with shady deals across enemy lines that it is believed Butler himself knew about and financially benefitted from.

As a member of Congress, Butler authored the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 and the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1875. He also lead the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.

Butler died of a bronchial infection the day after he argued a case before the Supreme Court on January 11, 1893. He was 74 years old. On his monument at the Hildreth Cemetary in Lowell, Mass., is the inscription: “the true touchstone of civil liberty is not that all men are equal but that every man has the right to be the equal of every other man—if he can.”

Alexandria Gazette – March 8, 1867 – Andrew Johnson Impeachment

THE IMPEACHMENT subject was discussed, at length, in the House of Representatives, yesterday, on a resolution to pay on the order of the Judiciary Committee such sums of money as may enable the Committee to prosecute the investigation of the charges against the President on which to ground his Impeachment. The resolution was adopted – so the “investigation” is to go on. Mr. Butler, of Massachusetts, concluded his speech with this sentence: “I say that if any man stands in the way of the great march of this country to honor, to glory, to peace, to unity, to happiness, to liberty, and to law, he must be taken out of the way by a constitutional method.” The reader will translate this into plain English, readily, as Mr. Brooks remarked in reply. Mr. Brooks, Mr. Fernando Wood, Mr. Pruyn, and, others deprecated the continued agitation of this subject – declared that there was nothing for which the President could be impeached – and that the best interests of the country were satisfied by such a political movement. Mr. Pruyn remarked: – “The gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Butler] said that the President stood in the way of “progress;” not that he had neglected his duty; not that he had violated the Constitution of his oath of office, but he stood in the way of progress, as that gentleman understands it. My understanding of it is not progress in constitutional liberty, but progress in despotism.” We have only now to wait and see what is to come next.


MORE REQUIREMENTS. – Mr. Sumner’s joint resolutions requiring further guarantees for “reconstruction” in the South, provide, in addition to universal suffrage, without distinction of color, that the existing governments must be vacated and take no part in the reconstruction; that provisional governments must supersede the present illegal governments; that none but loyal persons shall take part in the formation of new State governments; that public schools must be established, open to all, and that homesteads must be secured to freedmen. Mr. Wilson’s bill, also exacting additional guarantees, provides for a registration, requires an oath of allegiance before registration as a voter, and arranges for State Conventions to be called by the military officers in command in the South.

The National Republican: Monday February 28, 1867 – Johnson Impeachment

This is a transcription of the front page story in The National Republican the day impeachment proceedings began in the US House of Representatives of President Andrew Johnson.

– * –
Fortieth Congress-Second Session
– * –

Monday, February 24, 1867

The Chaplain, Dr. Grey, in his prayer to-day invoked the Senators, in the midst of the turmoil and strife that now rages around, not to be unmindful that God reigns, and that both Senators and Representatives should come prepared to discharge the high and difficult duties now devolving upon them with clear hearts and consciences, and that the people throughout the whole would respect inviolably the laws.

[The galleries were all crowded, and the utmost silence prevailed.]

Mr. Johnson presented join resolutions of the Legislature of Maryland, relative to the rights of naturalized citizens, which were referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Williams introduced a bill in part execution of section 4 of the Constitution. Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

Mr. Sumner introduced a bill to renew the charter of the city of Washington. Referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia.

Mr. Edmunds called up the bill regulating the presentation of bills to the President and the return of the same.

Mr. Drake was not prepared to offer an amendment to the bill, but the second section left it to a person outside of Congress to decide when a bill became a law – to wit, the Secretary of State – and it also left it in the power of the President to deliver or not to deliver the bill to the Secretary of State. He thought that the two Houses of Congress and their officers should alone have the power to declare when bill became a law.

Mr. Edmunds said the Constitution provided that the enrolled bill should be presented to the President, and it would be running a great risk to have another copy made to be passed upon by the officers of Congress; and besides a doubt might be raised as to whether it was constitutional to declare any other than the original enrolled bill the law.

Mr. Buckalew thought it rather improper to pass a law the effect of which would be to amend the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution declares when a bill shall become a law, and now this bill is brought forward to alter the meaning of the organic law.

Mr. Edmunds said there was nothing frightful or revolutionary in the bill.

Mr. Davis did not think the honorable Senator from Vermont [Mr. Edmunds] was a very good judge of what was revolutionary. The mind of that Senator had become so much familiarized with revolutionary schemes of late that his judgment was somewhat flustered.

Mr. Edmunds said yes, he had been listening to the speeches of the Senator from Kentucky.

Mr. Davis. If you had listened to them more attentively you would have received some wholesome instruction, which you much need.

Mr. Doolittle asked if the committee had been unanimous in reporting this bill.

Mr. Trumbull believed that they had.

Mr. Hendricks explained that the bill had been inspired by the circumstances attending the action of the Executive on the bill striking the the word “white” from all laws and ordinances relating to the District of Columbia. He, however, did not wish to be understood that its effect would be to make that bill valid.

Mr. Sumner would like to know of the Senator from Vermont whether this bill would or would not make the “white” bill which had twice password Congress valid. According to his interpretation it did not, and he would ask his friend [Mr. Edmunds] whether it would not be better to add a clause to the effect that any bill which has heretofore passed, and coming within the provisions of this bill shall become law.

Mr. Edmunds said the committee was of opinion that the act referred to was already a law and that it was the duty of the Secretary of State to so proclaim.

Mr. Doolittle moved to postpone the pending bill and take up the bill providing that a majority of the voters shall be sufficient to ratify the constitutions of the rebel States.

Mr. Trumbull inquired if there was to be any debate on this bill.

The bill indicated by Mr. Doolittle was then taken up, and Mr. Doolittle took the floor on the general subject of reconstruction, and in reply to Senator Mortan and others [unreadable] … Moore, the Private Secretary of the President, appeared and announced a number of messages also announced that the bill authorizing the Secretary of War to employ counsel to defend the reconstruction acts had become a law without the signature of the President. When Mr. Doolittle concluded, the Senate, on motion of Mr. Johnson, went into executive session, and after some time spent therein, adjourned.


The recess taken at 11:15 on Saturday night expired at 10 o’clock this morning, and the House was called to order promptly at the hour, the galleries being crowded to their utmost capacity, but the attendance of members upon the floor at the opening was meagre.

Mr. Ashley, of Ohio, opened the business of the day by speaking if favor of the resolution of impeachment. He said he approached this question with no feeling of party spirit, but he endeavored to take a broad view of the whole subject. Before proceeding with the lines of his argument, he desired to call attention to the statute under which he believed the President was guilty, and then read the fifth section of the tenure of office act. In defiance of this provision of law the President had, on Friday last, removed the Secretary of War. While he regarded this as one of the smallest offences of which this man had been guilty, yet it was sufficient to satisfy all that the President’s purpose was to violate law. The offence of Mr. Johnson must satisfy all of the justice of impeachment who had hitherto held that the President could not be impeached except for some direct violation of statute law. He could not call to mind a single instance where the President had removed any officer who was confirmed by the Senate without the consent of the Senate. He denied the right of the Executive under any law preceding the tenure of office law to effect removals without the consent of the Senate. There was no warrant in the Constitution which would authorize the President to peremptorily remove a faithful public officer while the Senate was in session without the consent of the Senate. If there were no statute against removal the President would still be amenable for an infraction of the Constitution. But this is one of the smallest of crimes of which the President of the United States had been guilty, and would so be shown when the case comes to be tried before the Senate. This President has arrogated to himself and usurped the law-making and the judicial power of the country. He claimed the power to conduct reconstruction alone; he conspired and consented to the massacres of Memphis and New Orleans, and, is held to the just execration of all the country; he has used the money of the country for unlawful purposes; with entire disregard of oaths and of law he has tried to bring on a conflict with different branches of the Government. In this connection Mr. Ashley hoped the House would pardon him for repeating what he had said upon a former occasion, and he proceeded to read a speech delivered when he first brought the question of impeachment before the House.

Mr. Cook, of Ill., to whom Mr. Ashley yeilded for two minutes, said he should vote for the resolution if there was no tenure of office act, because he did not believe the President had any power under the Constitution to remove a Cabinet officer while the Senate was in session. It was to him not only a violation of law, but also a violation of the Constitution.

Mr. Boyer, of Penn., was opposed to the resolution. He referred to numerous acts which Congress had passed, which he claimed were unconstitutional. Twice before efforts had been made to impeach, but these efforts had failed, and thus admitted that until Friday last this Congress had not been able to find any ground of crime against the President. In this effort it is not pretended, in view of the former action of the House, that there was any for impeachment of the President until on the 21sth instant, when Mr. Johnson removed Mr. Stanton and appointed Gen. Thomas. This is the head and front of Mr. Johnson’s offending, and for this cause only the nation is to be convulsed by impeachment. It remains to be seen whether the people of the country will endorse the effort to perpetuate the power of Edwin M. Stanton. He doubted if the people would sustain this effort. Mr. Boyer quoted from a law of an early effort. Mr. Boyer quoted from a law of an early Congress, showing that the President had power to remove and appoint officers, and he said he challenged anything that would show a repeal of that law.

Mr. Myers, of Pa., said he could answer, and was proceeding, when

Mr. Boyer said he had not yielded for a speech, but simply to be informed what law had repealed the law he had first referred to.

Mr. Myers would answer if his colleague would permit him to do so.

Mr. Boyer would yield for an answer but not for a speech, and he resumed the floor.

Mr. Schenck, Oh! he does not want to be answered.

Mr. Boyer then resumed and argued, in the line first pursued, that Mr. Stanton was a mere tenant at will, and subject to removal by Mr. Johnson at any time. But it is said on the other side that the President has already recognized Mr. Stanton as Secretary of War. Admitting that to be a fact, the President had a right to exercise his judgment and discretions in his construction of a law of Congress.

Mr. Kelset, of N. Y., advocated the impeachment resolution. He argued that Andrew Johnson is not, never was, and hoped never would be President of the United States. He is simply a Vice President of the United States, acting as, and filling out the unexpired term of Mr. Lincoln. It is true he has assumed the title of President, but he is not clothed with all the full powers of a President elected by the people. But in discussing this question he would proceed to notice and express his views of what effect the impeachment of an officer would have upon the position of the person impeached. He contended that under the clause of the Constitution which provides that all trials shall be by a jury, except impeachment, the fact of impeachment was a criminal offence, and the President was accordingly liable to removal from office pending his trial. The articles of impeachment take the place of an indictment, and, therefore, all principles that govern in cases of impeachment. The object of the trial must prevent the criminal from doing a certain act or class of acts, and unless there was a power to control the criminal during the trial, the very unlawful act complained of might be pushed to a consummation.

Mr. Cake, of Pa., advocated the adoption of the resolution. The same cry that greeted our ears now (a violation of the Constitution) greeted our ears seven years ago, he said, when the loyal men of the North sprung to arms to resist treason. He had no confidence in these Constitution shriekers, and Andrew Johnson himself warned the people against those who continually prated about the Constitution. Andrew Johnson has been going on step by step in violation of law, and the House is to-day about to meet the demands of the loyal people of the North in bring the renegade President to an account for the crimes he has done the country.

Pending further remarks Mr. Cakes’ time expired.

Mr. Beanman, of Mich., obtained leave to print his remarks, and yielded his half hour in portion to several gentlemen, commencing with –

Mr. Price, of Iowa, to whom he yielded one minute. The latter advocated the impeachment because he believed Mr. Johnson had rushed madly upon his fate.

Mr. Blair, of Mich., obtained twenty minutes of the time, and said the House was about to do the gravest act committed to it under the Constitution. The House of Representatives has the sold power of impeachment, and under the Constitution, and it is therefore acting within the bounds of that instrument, and gentlemen need not fear that the House will step beyond its bounds under the Constitution.

Mr. Driggs, of Mich., had only to say that were the whole Democratic party thundering at the doors of the House to-day, as threatened by Mr. Brooks the other day, he would vote for the resolution, and he hoped all would vote in a fearless manner.

Mr. Washburne, of Ill., declared he should vote for the resolution before the House. Acting with the majority of the Republican members of the House, he had not hitherto favored impeachment against the President of the United States, not because he did not believe him morally guilty of impeachable offences; not because he did not execute his adminstration, but because that he felt that in the case of heretofore presented there might be a doubt of a his conviction. Rather than branch out on a doubtful experiment he had been dispose not to push impeachment in the hope that the President, warning of the power of the House, and indebted to its forbearance, would so conduct himself as to avoid the necessirty of resorting to the extreme remedy provided by the Constitution. But all hopes had been disappointed. Every act of forbearance had been but a fresh invitation to further and more flagrant aggressions, until at last he had flung himself against the very bulwarks of the Constitution, defying the laws and overriding a co-ordinate branch of the Government. The time had now arrived when the people’s representatives could no longer delay the vindication of the Constitution. To him the pathway of duty was plain. He scorned the threats which had been made upon this floor. He feared no appeal to the people, but courted such appeal. With such a President, nearly all departments of the Government had become demoralized and corrupt to an extent which could find no parallel in the history of any country or any age.

Mr. Woodward, of Pa., addressed the House is opposition to the resolution. He argued that the resolution was a great mistake and that any impeachment of the President on the idea that Secretary Stanton was withing the protection of the tenure-of-office bill was what Fouche, the old chief of the French police, would have called worse than a crime – a blunder. Whatever executive power the Federal Government possesses was vested in the President, who was made the sole trustee of the people in that regard. In the matter of appointments to office and the treaty-making power a check was imposed upon the President, but even in those instances the power exercised was the President’s. The concurrence of the Senate was only a regulation for the exercise of the power.

In conclusion he said: Mr. Speaker, so sure am I that the American people will respect the object, that if I were the President’s counsellor I would advise him, if you prefer articles of impeachment, to demur both to your jurisdiction and that of the Senate, and to issue a proclamation giving you and all the world notice that while he held himself impeachable for misdemeanors in office before the constitutional tribunal, he never would subject the office he holds in trust for the people to the irregular, unconstitutional and fragmentary bodies who propose to strip him of it. Such a proclamation, with the and nave in to sustain it, would meet a popular response that would make an end of impeachment and impeachers.

Mr. Wilson, of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, next obtained the floor and addressed the House in support of the impeachment resolution. He said:

Mr. Speaker: The public peace is again disturbed by the President of the United States. He denies to the nation that repose which it so much needs. He will not obey the law, and by it he must be judged.

I do not approach this case under the spur of haste or the heat of passion. Its presence I deplore, but its demands I will respect and obey. As a Representative it is my duty to see that the laws of the Republic are not defied by a criminal in office, if in the tenets of the Constitution a remedy may be found. The presence of the criminal is a palpable fact. The remedy is plain and indispensable, and from the performance of the duty imposed I will not shrink. An impeachment of the President of the United States is made inevitable by his own deliberate, criminal conduct, as presented to us in the case which now demands our attention. We cannot escape this conclusion if we would, for the President would hedge us about with new acts of greater enormity if there be any logic in his course of proceedings which would at last compel us to take up the gage that is now defiantly cast our feet. Heretofore his challenges have not been, in my judgment, in due form of law or stamped with the character of real crimes or misdemeanors, and therefore I have resisted a resort to the extreme remedy which the Constitution has placed in our hands. Perhaps I have been more cautious than most men would have been; but no regrets come to me on this account, for I still believe that I but did my duty. The considerations which weighed upon my mind and moulded my conduct in the case with which the Committee on the Judiciary was charged are not to be found in the present case.

The logic of the former case is made plain, not to say perfect, by its sequence in the present one. The President was working to an end suspected by others and known to himself. His then means were not known to the law as crimes and misdemeanors either of common law, or by statue, and we so pronounced. He mistook our judgment for cowardice, and work on until he was presented to us as a sequence, a high misdemeanor known to the laws and defined by statute. If we permit this to pass unchallenged by that high power with which the Constitution has clothed us, no man can measure the future troubles of this Republican. For one I am not troubles of this Republic. For one I am not willing to wait for an ascertainment of the unknown quantities of the future presidential crimes and misdemeanors. We have one before us, the elements known and its quantities ascertained, and I am in favor of wiping it from the executive blackboard by the impeachment of the criminal who placed it there.

In conclusion, Mr. Wilson said: Mr. Speaker, it has been urged in this debate that the President’s sole object is to secure the judgment of the courts as to the constitutionality of the “act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices.” Such an intent will not justify the commission of a high crime or misdemeanor. Suppose the courts should hold the act to be constitutional would the fact that it was his intent to have that question decided be a good plea to an indictment for a violation of its provisional. Who is so insane as to assert so preposterous a proposition? Whoever acts in the way and for the purpose suggested, does it at his peril. The risk belongs to the President in this case, not to the law. This plea in his defence demonstrates that his action was not the result of inadvertence or mistaken judgment, and that it is the fruit of cool calculation and deliberate purpose. He committed a high misdemeanor in order to secure a judgment of the courts. So, we will gratify his desire by carrying his case to the highest court known to the Constitution of the Republican – the high court of impeachment. To that august tribunal we will present this case, and with it the law and the criminal. He shall have his day in court, and be taught, for his own good and that of his successors in office, that the President of the United States, clothed with all the great powers of his high official station, is as completely subordinate to the law of the Republican as is the humblest of its citizens. The public welfare, the repose of the nation, the interests of our institutions, the safety of the Republican itself, require that all persons, official or otherwise, shall be solemnly taught that the law of the land is no respecter of persons: that the high and low, the rich and poor, the public officer and private citizen, are each all alike amenable to its imperial demands, subject to its high commands, subordinate to its supreme authority. The majesty of the law must be asserted though it strike from his exalted position the Chief Magistrate of the nation. We may deplore the necessity, but we must obey the majesty of the law. I speak not as a partisan, but as the custodian whose sacred character urges me to a strict observance of my duty. I will vote for the pending resolution to the end of an unworthy public servant from an official position which he has dishonored by his perverse disregard of duty and his unjustifiable contempt of the supremacy of the law.

Mr. Woodbridge, of Vt., said he had originally opposed impeachment, but he believed that the repeated crimes of Andrew Johnson demanded now that all feeling should be laid aside, and that he should be prosecuted at the bar of the Senate for trial. He should, therefore, vote for the resolution of impeachment, and hoped the party would be unanimous in its votes. In no other way could the majesty of the law by maintained.

Mr. Wood, of N. Y., opposed the resolution of impeachment. This whole proceeding is as unconstitutional as it is unprecedented. The President has been guilty of no legal or moral offence under the Constitution and the laws. The grounds upon which this action is sought to be maintained are frivolous, technical, and altogether unworthy of a serious attempt at refutation. If any branch of the Government has been guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors it is that which would usurp all power and make the coordinate branches subordinate to its will and to its selfish partisan designs. The President has been careful to maintain his oath of office, which requires him to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution to the best of his ability, and this is the extends of his offending, and no more. If motives in the Senate, shall consummate this proceeding and displace the Chief Magistrate of the nation under so slight a pretext, it will commit an offence greater in its effect than that attempted by the leaders of secession in 1861.

Mr. Pruyn, of N. Y., spoke against the resolution, and reviewed the constitutional provisions bearing upon the power of the President to effect removals, and contended that there was nothing which could by any possibility prevent the President from pursuing the exact course he had pursued upon this subject. He contended that the power of removal was one and indivisible, and that the President must consult the Senate of the United States before he makes removals.

Mr. Sitgreaves, of N. J., followed in a short speech against the resolution of impeachment as reported by the committee.

Mr. Poland, of Vt., said he deemed it necessary to give the reasons for the vote he proposed to give. He had hitherto opposed impeachment, and had hoped no case would be presented which would make impeachment necessary, but in that respect he was disappointed, and he believed the President had now been guilty of an infraction of the law which should not be permitted to pass unnoticed. He believed if it was permitted to pass without punishment that Andrew Johnson’s friends would consider it an indorsement of his action.

Mr. Stokes, of Tenn., addressed the House in favor of the resolution, and said he believed this was the last time that he would ever speak of Andrew Johnson as President of the United States.

Mr. Harding, of Ill., said too had the perfect approval of his constituents for the impeachment of the great criminal of the age.

Mr. Pike, of Me., contented that the resolution was justifiable in every particular, and said the peace of the country demanded its passage, and by a large and unanimous vote.

Mr. Eldridge, of Wis., proceeded to address the House, and commenced by speaking of the limited time that had been allowed for debate upon this important question. But as time was limited he would be brief himself, and would then yield to others portion of his time. He believed this impeachment was devised solely for the purpose of merging the Executive in the Legislative department of the Government. It was to curtail the President’s powers and deprive him of his rights under the Constitution, and to perpetuate the power of the majority in this House. If this is not so, why does Mr. Stanton hold on to an office which he admits he does not want, and under the protest, too, of a Senator of the United States, who has declared that [unreadable] be induced to retain a Cabinet office after having been advised by the President that his services were not longer required as a confidential adviser of the Executive. He would repeat that this whole effort was for the purposed of perpetuating Republican power. In proof of this Mr. Eldridge sent to the Clerk’s desk and had read a detailed account of a conversation between a Conservatives and a Radical last fall, in which the latter avowed that it was the purpose of the Republican party to displace Johnson and put Wad in the Presidential chair, and that, if necessary, the power of the army would be brought into requisition. All gentlemen now who formerly opposed impeachment were dragooned into it by party, and were compelled to vote as party dictated.

Mr. Cary, of Ohio, said the President was not arraigned upon common counts, but for an unlawful effort to rid himself of an obnoxious Cabinet officer. The Cabinet officers are the confidential advisers of the President, and it was certainly unjust to force upon the President an obnoxious adviser. The fact that Stanton had remained unbidden in his office had placed him in an embarrassing condition, and he thought that when looking at the act of Stanton’s the people would condemn him and sympathize with the President, although they might not approve altogether of the manner taken by the President to effect Mr. Stanton’s removal.

Messrs. Haight, of N. J., and Niblack, of Ind., each obtained two minutes of Mr. Eldridge’s time, and spoke against the resolution of impeachment.

Mr. Broomall, of Pa., said if he left all party considerations aside he would say, let Andrew Johnson go; but in doing his duty to the country he must lay aside all feeling relating to party prosperity. Andrew Johnson was presented here as criminal, and inquiry was whether the House had probably cause to push this trial to an issue before the Senate. It has been stated that the last act of the President was the smallest of which he had been guilty, but he (Broomall) did not look upon it in that light, but thought it the greatest of his criminal acts, for it was a clear and palpable violation of law, and the President had no power under the Constitution to act as he did in reference to this subject on Friday last.

Mr. Benton, of New Hampshire, had hitherto felt it to be his duty to vote against the proposition to impeach Mr. Johnson; but the question had now resolved itself whether this Government should be sustained or whether it should go down in blood; and, under these circumstances, he believed that Andrew Johson should be impeached and removed. Ever since Johnson has been in the chair of State, he has been shaking hands with red-handed traitors and rebels. We have seen him employ his power to subvert the Government, and the time has therefore arrived when he must be removed. He appealed to men to rise above party, and vote for this resolution.

Mr. Boutwell, of Massachuset’s, said he had been accused on former occasions of exhibiting a degree of zeal which it was said amounted to rashness; but he took this occasion to say that this was a better occasion to consummate the justice of impeachment than it was at first. He had followed the schemed and machinations of this man Johnson for months, and he early believed he was guilty of purposes not disclosed, and he long ago believed him a subject for impeachment. There was now no question of what the judgment of the House and of the people would make upon this subject. The crime of the President is, that he has been guilty of violating the Constitution and his oath of office, and is therefore guilty of the highest crime for which he could be impeached.

He (Boutwell) understand that Mr. Johson had recently sent a message to the Senate, saying that his intention in removing Stanton were not bad, but it was toolate to make reparation of that character – the mass of testimony against him was too great. He knew that in some trials a person convicted was permitted to plead good intentions and former good character in extenuation of sentence. But that opens up the whole past character of the man, and what kind of a character can this man Johnson present? Is he not the main who on the 4th of March, 1863, disgraced this country in the eyes of the civilized world? Is he not the main who gave up United States property to rebels of the South? Is he not the man who has kept ten States out of the Union and done all he could to break up the Government? Is he not the man whose crimes, if marshalled, would appal the world and show age. This man could not dare to put this character in issue before the Senate and country. The whole plot was to secure possession of the Government as the rebels did in 1861, and spread the army and navy everywhere in order that his treasonable purposes might be carried out. Mr. Boutwell closed with an eloquent peroration, in which he proclaimed the glories that would follow the impeachment of Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Kerr, of Ind., opposed the resolution, and said it was proposed to put Mr. Johnson upon trial for a crime which would not hold against the poorest and lowest individual in the land. The President was to impeached simply because he executed a law as he construed it under the Constitution. It was proposed to usurp functions that did not and never ought to belong to the legislative department of the Government. He had been told that Mr. Johnson is seeking an unlimited power, but under this tenure of office law the whole question is in doubt as to the power of the President, and the President, in the exercise of the judgment God has given him, construes the law according to his own convictions.

Mr. Barnes, of N. Y., opposed the resolution.

Mr. Marshall, of Illinois, thought this was a most solemn occasion, and he could not sympathize with the levity that was manifested upon this occasion. We are in the midst of a most remarkable revolution, and it is shameful when it is proposed to hurl from office the President of the United States, that no more time should be allowed for debate than would be allowed upon the most ordinary legislation. It is unquestionably true that under the Constitution the President has no power of appointment except by the consent of the Senate, but the power of removal is another question entirely, and it is from him. Admitting the constitutionality of the tenure of office act, it is plain that the Secretary of War is not one of the parties contemplated in that act.

Mr. Stevens asked if he had an house to close debate.

The Speaker said that debate was limited to half an hour in each case.

Mr. Bingham ask unanimous consent to allow Mr. Stevens one hour.

Mr. Eldridge objected.

Mr. Bingham moved to suspend the rules, but as there was an evident disposition against it Mr. B. withdrew the motion.

Mr. Eldridge said he objected as Mr. Stevens was about to close debate. He would withdraw objections if debate was thrown open to all.

Mr. Stevens then proceeded to speak, but his voice failed him, and by unanimous consent, his speech was read by the clerk, Mr. McPherson.

[We will publish Mr. Stevens’s speech in full to-morrow]

Mr. Stevens speech was all read at two minutes of five, after which the resolutions were read and the vote was taken, and resulted as follows:

Yeas – Messrs. Allison, Ames, Anderson, Arnell, Ashley of Nevada, Ashley of Ohio, Bailey, Baker Banks, Baldwin, Beaman, Beatty, Benton, Bingham, Blain, Blair, Boutwell, Bromwell, Broomall, Buckland, Butler, Cake, Churchill, Clarke of Ohio, Clark of Kansas, Cobb, Coburn, Cook, Connell, Covode, Cullom, Davis, Dodge, Driggs, Eckley, Eggleston, Eliot, Farnsworth, Ferris, Ferry, Fields, Gravely, Griswold, Halsey, Harding, Higby, Hill, Hooper, Hopkins, Hubbard of Iowa, Hubbard of West Virginia, Hulburd, Hunter Ingersoll, Jenckes, Judd, Julian, Kelley, Kelsey, Ketcham, Kitchen, Laflin, Lawrence of Pennsylvania, Lawrence of Ohio, Lincoln, Loan, Logan, Loughbridge, Lynch, Mallory, Marvin, McCarthy, McClurg, Mereur, Miller, Moore, Moorehead, Morell, Mullins, Myers, Newcomb, Nunn, O’Neill, Orth, Paine, Perham, Peteres, Pike, Pile, Poland, Poisley, Price, Raum, Roberston, Sawyer, Schetick, Scofield, Selye, Shanks, Smith, Spalding, Starkweather, Stevens of New Hampshire, Stevens of Pennsylvania, Stokes, Taffee, Taylor, Trowbridge, Twitchell, Upson, Van Aername, Van Horn of New York, Van Wyck, Ward, Washburn of Wisconsin, Washburne of Illinois, Washburn of Masschusetts, Welker, Williams Pennsylvania, Wilson of Iowa, Wilson of Pennsylvania, Wisdom, and Woodbridge – 125.

Nays – Messrs. Adams, Archer, Axtell, Barnes, Barnum, Beck, Boyer, Brooks, Burr, Cary, Chanler, Eldridge, Fox, Getz, Glossbreaner, Golladay, Grover, Haight, Holman, Hotchkiss, Hubbard of Conn., Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kerr, Knott, Marshall, McCormick, McCullough, Morgan, Morrissey, Mungen, Niblack, Nicholson, Phelps, Pruyn, Randall, Ross, Sitgreaves, Stewart, Stone, Taber, Trimble of Ky., Van Aukea, Van Trump, Wood, and Woodword – 47.

Absentees – Messrs. Benjamin, Dixon, Donnelly, Ela, Finney, Garfield, Hawkins, Sheilabarger, Thomas, Trimble of Tenn., Van Horn of Mo., Washburn of Ind., and Williams of Ind.

Before announcing the vote Speaker Colfax said he was unwilling that his constituents should be heard upon the question and he therefore voted aye, and announced the resolution passed by vote of 126 yeas to 47 nays.

There was no attempt at a demonstration when the vote was announced.

The vote was strictly partisan except that Mr. Cary, who sometimes votes with the Republicans, voted nay, and Mr. Stewart, who was elected as a Johnson Democrat from New York, also voted nay.

Mr. Steven of Pa., offered a resolution for the appointment of a committee of two members to go before the Senate of the United States, and at the bar therefo, in the name of the House of Representatives and of all the people of the United States, to impeach Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors in office, and to inform the Senate that the House will present articles of impeachment, and will prove the same.

He also offered a second resolution to appoint of committee of seven to prepare articles of impeachment against Andrew Johson, President of the United States.

Members of the Democratic side objected to the resolution, and commenced a fillibustering process for delay; and, after several votes had been taken on adjournment, &c., the question was taken on the resolutions, and they were passed by the same vote that had adopted the impeachment resolution.

The Speaker announced as the committee of two Messrs. Stevens and Pa. Bingham of Ohio, and as the committee of two Messrs. Stevens of Pennsylvania, and Bingham of Ohio; and as the committee of sever Messrs. Boutwell of Maasachusetts, Stevens of Pennsylvania, Bingham of Ohio, Wilson of Iowa, Logan of Illinois, Julian of Indiana and Ward of New York

The House then at 6:15, adjourned.

The source for this news story archive is the Library of Congress. The National Republican published on February 25, 1868 can be read online here.