After Vice President Mike Pence called for "courage" for a Senate Democrat to stand against partisan impeachment of the president, evoking former President John F. Kennedy's book on that topic, JFK's grandson ripped it as "a total perversion of JFK's legacy."
Jack Schlossberg tweeted:
"[email protected] Mike Pence's recent piece in the @WSJ, 'A Partisan Impeachment, a Profile in Courage,' is a total perversion of JFK's legacy and the meaning of courage. As Kennedy's grandson, and a member of the Profiles in Courage Award Committee, I took special interest. THREAD ↓"
[email protected] draws upon JFK's book 'PROFILES IN COURAGE' and the example of Edmund G. Ross, a Republican Senator who broke with his party to oppose the impeachment of President Johnson in 1865.
[email protected] is right to celebrate Ross, a public servant who, foreseeing his own defeated, nonetheless summoned the courage to vote his conscience, and put the national interest above his own. But let's not be confused.
[email protected] was impeached because he did the exact opposite – he put his own interests ahead of our country's national security and, in the process, broke federal law.
[email protected] Pence and Congressional Republicans have also failed the test of courage. Rather than risk their career or endure personal reprisal, they excuse the President's and others' admitted wrongdoing and disgraceful behavior.
I would argue instead that today, as in 1865, political courage might require a Republican Senator to risk his or her own political future by breaking lockstep from the President and agree to hear from witnesses, review the evidence, and put the national interest above their own.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has brought on constitutional legal expert Alan Dershowitz pro bono on his Senate trial team. Dershowitz is a self-proclaimed "liberal Democrat" who has "always voted Democrat," and he argues this partisan impeachment would set a "terrible precedent" that would ultimately amount to the "weaponization of impeachment."
"Let me be perfectly clear: I'm an advocate – I'm an advocate against impeachment – but I am politically neutral," Dershowitz told CNN's "The Lead" on Friday. "That is, I would make the same argument if it was a Democrat or Republican, and I don't let my political preferences interfere with my constitutional analysis.
"The country is helped when they hear from someone like me, who is a liberal Democrat who has always voted Democrat.
"I don't take my cases based on whether its a Democrat or a Republican, and I pass the shoe on the other foot test," he added.
"I don't think that's true of all of my colleagues or all of the folks on CNN, or on Fox or anybody else."
Schlossberg's call for a non-partisan view of impeachment might be questionable by his own partisan leanings. JFK was a Democrat, and Schlossberg's Twitter account hails House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., retweets liberal anti-gun activist David Hogg, and praises former President Barack Obama – some of President Donald Trump's most vocal detractors.
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