Lets Play Jeopardy!
"I'll take Presidents for Four Hundred"
The answer is "The House of Representatives has approved Presidential articles of impeachment four times. Two of them for this President"
(Buzzer sound) Q: Who is Richard Nixon?
Host- oh, no that is incorrect.
(Buzzer sound) Q: Who is Donald Trump?
So the 45th President of the United States was impeached for the second time on Wednesday.
What is next? A new recount in Georgia, obviously.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the current majority leader is prepared to set a trial on the matter using the "Miami REGJB Scheduling Method". Current estimates, after depos, is a trial sometime in 2024.
And now something for the author of the Constitutional Calendar and fellow Lincoln-philes.
President-elect Joe Biden announced he will ride the train to his inauguration. The current atmosphere in Washington, with armed national guard troops billeted on the floor of the Capitol, brings to mind the atmosphere in February, 1861, when President elect Lincoln left Springfield, Illinois and made a 90 plus train stop on the way to DC for his inaugural on March 4, 1861.
On February 21, 1861, Lincoln's train arrived in Philadelphia, where over 100,000 lined the streets as the President elect traveled via carriage to his hotel. From Philadelphia Lincoln went to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and then Baltimore, Maryland, where things got really interesting.
The railroad had hired detective Alan Pinkerton to coordinate security for the President elect. Pinkerton was concerned that as the train left Harrisburg for Baltimore, a plot to kill Lincoln would be executed in Baltimore. So Pinkerton did a few things. First he had the communication lines between Harrisburg and Baltimore cut. Second, he had Lincoln's train arrive at 3:30 a.m. Third, because the law in Baltimore forbade train travel at night, Pinkerton arranged for a team of horses to pull Lincoln's train between the President Street and Camden Street stations before the train left for Washington.
Having safely taken the President elect through the danger, Pinkerton sent this wire to the head of the railroad lines that had hired him: "Plums delivered nuts safely".
Lincoln's friend and self appointed body guard Ward Hill Lamon clashed with Pinkerton over Lincoln's safety. Lamon wanted to give Lincoln a revolver and bowie knife to protect himself. Pinkerton objected, saying he would not have it be said that the president elect had to enter Washington armed.
For the rest of his life Lincoln was ridiculed for his act of cowardice of sneaking through Baltimore in the middle of the night.
In the interregnum between his election and assuming office several southern states seceded from the Union.
In turn Lincoln gave the greatest peroration in inaugural address history- words that President elect Biden should echo. They are worth repeating at this hour in our history:
You can have no conflict without being yourselves being the aggressors. You have no oath in Heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it...We are no enemies but friends. We must not be enemies. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
We cannot tell you greater words were ever spoken by any President, ever. The address and peroration ranks with the greatest of all time, sharing first place, in our opinion, with Winston Spencer Churchill's address to Parliament on June 5, 1940. Having just secured the British Expeditionary Force from France via Dunkirk, Churchill thundered "We shall prove ourselves able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storms of war, and outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone...we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender!"
Some days we give the edge to Lincoln, other days to WSC. It is a very very close call. Lincoln did not stop the war, although he tried. Churchill rallied a nation and a world, at its darkest hour, to cause in which he would never accept failure as an outcome whatever the cost. As President Kennedy said when awarding him an honorary American citizenship, "He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle." This was a quote from the famous American journalist Edward R Murrow, who was in England as a reporter during the war. These days we give the edge, however slight to WSC, but that could change tomorrow.