By L. Neil Smith
Over the past few weeks, it has surprised me how seldom the name Andrew Johnson has come up. Sure, every time it has been mentioned that Donald Trump is the third (or fourth — or third and a halfth) President to be impeached, Johnson, the first, is given a brief mention, but very few details are offered of a story almost as stupid, insane, villainous, and corrupt as what’s going on now.
I am greatly obliged to my old friend revisionist historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, who encouraged me to look into the Johnson impeachment.
Johnson was the 17th President of the United States, rising to that office when his predecessor, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated. Johnson had been a southern Democrat Senator, unjustly reviled by both sides, but remained in the Senate throughout the War Between the States and was chosen by Lincoln to help spread the appeal of a crypto-Republican “National Union” party dedicated to the peaceful and humane reintegration of those states that had seceded and been militarily crushed.
Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, however, held a somewhat different view. He thought he should be running the government.
For various unsavory reasons — that would fill a book or two by themselves (hint: look up Grenville M. Dodge) — Stanton wanted to grind the South down even further under the Northern boot-heel, establishing, for example, extra-constitutional military zones to supervise the phony replacement “carpet-bag” state governments that the North had imposed on Southern states.
Once Johnson became President, he fired Stanton — whom more than one historian believes actually _engineered_ Lincoln’s assassination — immediately running afoul of a little ditty called the 1867 Tenure of Office Act, which it appears was specifically cobbled together to keep Johnson from operating his own Presidency, leaving the nascent Stantonian Police State intact. Stanton and his cohorts impeached Johnson; his conviction failed by one vote in the U.S. Senate. Stanton resigned and skulked off to the garbage-heap of history.
Today we have a ravening pack of communoid Democrats, squatting in the basement of the United States House of Representatives, playing the same melody, proving that Mark Twain was right when he observed that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.
Donald J. Trump, a tough, straightforward construction-oriented businessman from New York, was duly elected by ordinary people — against the sometimes violent urgings of those who falsely consider themselves our betters — to end a century of perpetual international warfare, to give individuals more control over their own lives, to end the very real threat of Extinction-Level Events (natural and otherwise), to squash environmental fascism, and put as humiliating a finish to political correctness as possible. As such, the “Hardhat Billionaire”threatens _two_ centuries of socialist Utopianism (look up Pierre-Joseph Proudhon) and the bottomless benefits the Left thinks are to be derived by taking away everything that you possess in terms of wealth and power and giving it to themselves.
Democrats have now passed Articles of Impeachment in the House, but are afraid to send them on to the Senate where they’ll quickly be exposed for what they are, pure Stalinist innuendo, communist drivel, an endless series of damp paper matches that pathetically fizzle out as soon as they are struck.
What nobody seems to have noticed in all of this hoo-hah is that, under the rules then current in 1867, the former Vice President, Andrew Johnson, would have been replaced by … wait for it … Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton! Stanton’s “noble” efforts to impeach Johnson and get him out of the way of the Northern revenge-machine amounted to a cheap, flimsy _coup d’etat_.
Almost exactly a century and a half later, as soon as Democrats can find some credible excuse to shove Mike Pence out the airlock door (and they’re salivating about it enthusiastically already) his legal successor to the Oval Office would be — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi!
Strip away all the Soviet-style surrealistic mouth-flapping of Adam Schiff, Gerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters, and the rest, and what you’ve got is a cheap, flimsy _coup-coup_.
The answer? The media who refused to tell us about this “coincidence” should be fired with extreme prejudice. Trash the impeachment and either start all over again, or forget the whole damned thing. Nancy Pelosi must resign in shame immediately and possibly face criminal charges for trying to take over the government. There is always _seppuku_, or a Webley revolver with a single cartridge. If you agree with me, distribute this essay as far and wide as you can.
Award-winning writer L. Neil Smith is Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise and author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com. He is available at professional rates, to write for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-60s. His writings (and e-mail address) may be found at L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO.org or at https://www.patreon.com/lneilsmithHis many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. If you like what you’ve seen and want to see more, he says, ”Don’t applaud, throw money.“
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal