Book Review: The Impeachers

As they watch modern day Washington with a wary eye, Impeachment proponents can find some aspirational reading in a new book about Andrew Johnson’s proceedings. The Guardian reviews it here.

Implicit or not, parallels abound with current American life. Johnson’s “Swing Around the Circle” railroad trip featured rallies at which his language was (at best) strong and intemperate, including personal attacks on Congress. During the trip, the president even told a supporter: “I don’t care about my dignity.” Senator John Sherman of Illinois complained that Johnson had “sunk the presidential office to the level of a grog-house”.

Unsurprisingly, analogies to the current situation are emphasized, however subtly, throughout Wineapple’s book.

The author writes that “the highly unlikeable President Johnson was impeached … by men who could no longer stand his arrogance and bigotry, his apparent abuse of power, and most recently his violation of law.”/blockquote>

Source: The Impeachers review: Andrew Johnson and the men who nearly trumped him | Books | The Guardian

Andrew Johnson’s Inebriated Inaugural

If you’ve read Team of Rivals, you’ll be familiar with Andrew Johnson’s drunken Vice-Presidential inauguration. If not, and if you can bear the cringe-inducing details, click through for this summary.

After expressing his gratitude to his colleagues for their kindness during his tenure as vice president, Hamlin suppressed whatever bitterness he felt about having been tossed off the ticket and asked: “Is the vice-president elect now ready to subscribe the oath of office?” The combination of Hamlin’s introduction and Johnson’s speech was supposed to be a matter of minutes; instead, it turned into a 20-minute spectacle.

Source: Jared Cohen: How a drunk vice president foreshadowed segregation | Fox News