Donald Trump is no fan of the impeachment proceedings against him, but, for the longest time I couldn’t quite figure out where he might’ve gotten his anti-impeachment mantra from. Luckily with the help of some history buffs, my web adventure took me back almost 150 years if not more.
Trump has argued that he shouldn’t be impeached for simply having policy disagreements with others; Democrats, the House as a whole, and pretty much anyone in Washington. A little digging and a latte later, I managed to discover (in what at least appears) to be the first time such an argument was actually muttered and sort of became the gist of impeachment proceedings.
I bring you the story of Andrew Johnson. Yeah, that racist prick who denoted anyone who wasn’t white and totally refused federal protections for black people.
I’m talking about 2-3 March 1868 when the House of Representatives brought 11 articles of impeachment against Johnson (although at least 3 of them they weren’t able to bring charges against him.) On this day, it was determined that a President shouldn’t be impeached simply for having policy differences from those he may consider colleagues and the like.
But the main and focal difference between the remarks about Johnson and Trump is that Trump is being impeached not because of policy differences but because of grotesque violations of the law. The claims otherwise are mere attempts to rile his base, people who otherwise. believe literally anything they’re told as long as it means those who are different don’t get the same information.
The remarks were first made at a time in when such procedures and general congressional thoughts hadn’t even really existed yet. But in modern-day.. they do. And this is why they should be enforced more than ever — equally in part just as the impeachment of Johnson helped formulate the balance of power in the United States.