Ron Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan, told the Daily Beast that his father would have been “embarrassed and ashamed” of the current Republican president.
Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told CNN its impossible to compare President Trump to past holders of the office.
Said Brinkley: “We always are trying to compare presidents to each other, but we haven’t had an outlaw president before, and that’s what you have with Donald Trump.”
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This looks interesting: Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War by Steve Inskeep.
NPR has an interview with the author.
- Hardcover Book
- Inskeep, Steve (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 480 Pages - 01/14/2020 (Publication Date) - Penguin Press (Publisher)
Steve Inskeep: “Can any past presidential campaign help us understand the election year now beginning? There never was a sitting president like Donald Trump. But if we widen our lens, we find timely echoes in an era when America was rapidly changing, the old political order was coming apart, and it seemed like the country was about to split at the seams.”
“An early version of modern-day America was already visible in June 1856. At a music hall in Philadelphia, delegates of the recently founded Republican Party gathered for their convention and chose their first-ever presidential nominee. Supporters unfurled an American flag onstage that bore his name: John C. Frémont.”
Key takeaway: “What are lessons for 2020? Expect a terrifying year.”
”He just got impeached. He’ll be impeached forever. No matter what the Senate does. He’s impeached forever because he violated our Constitution.”
— Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an interview with the Associated Press.
“Go after your enemies. I mean, they’re after you. Go after your enemies. I think that Clinton probably is too nice a guy in a certain respect. I don’t think he’s going after people the way he should and I really believe his thing is to be liked and I don’t think that’s a very good position to be in right now.”
— Donald Trump, on Hardball in September 1998, advising President Bill Clinton on how to fight impeachment.
Michael Lewis interviewed by The Guardian:
“It could be that. But my gut says don’t bet against the country. It has this incredible capacity for self-reinvention. If it was Britain and this was happening I would say yes, it might be a one-way ticket to decline. But in the States I think something will come along that will finally induce the requisite state of terror – and it will regenerate the place.”
It was published a year ago but this is a really good book: Impeachment: An American History by Jon Meacham, Peter Baker, Timothy Naftali and Jeffrey Engel.
“Four experts on the American presidency examine the three times impeachment has been invoked—against Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton—and explain what it means today.”
- Hardcover Book
- Meacham, Jon (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 304 Pages - 10/16/2018 (Publication Date) - Modern Library (Publisher)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who helped draft an article of impeachment against Nixon as a congressional staffer and served on the House Judiciary Committee during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, told CNN that she thinks that President Trump’s actions involving Ukraine are “far more serious” than Watergate.
Said Lofgren: “President Nixon’s misconduct related to trying to use the levers of government to hide the Watergate burglary… His misconduct had to do with trying to throw the election but at least it didn’t involve involving other foreign nations. If you take a look at the — what the founding fathers were concerned about, it was the interference by foreign governments in our political system that was one of the gravest concerns. Nixon’s behavior didn’t fall into that range. So in that way, this conduct is more serious.”
New York Times: “While President Trump is just the fourth commander in chief in American history to confront a serious threat of impeachment, the prospect hung over many of his predecessors, a nagging worry in the back of the mind for some, a constitutional sword of Damocles for others.”
“Impeachment has served not just as a means for removing a corrupt president from office, as outlined in the Constitution — in fact, it has never actually accomplished that purpose. Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both impeached by the House but acquitted after Senate trials, while President Richard M. Nixon resigned before the full House could vote. But impeachment has served as a deterrent, a consequence that presidents had to consider when making decisions that crossed into questionable territory.”
“Beyond Johnson, Nixon, Mr. Clinton and now Mr. Trump, lawmakers have filed formal impeachment resolutions against at least seven other presidents, meaning that one out of every four occupants of the White House has faced accusations of high crimes and misdemeanors, while others were threatened. Most of the time, the effort posed no serious jeopardy.”
A new Economist/YouGov poll finds 53% of Republicans said Donald Trump was a better president than Abraham Lincoln, while 47% chose the Civil War-era leader.
Pope Francis said politicians who rage against homosexuals, gypsies and Jews remind him of Hitler, Reuters reports.
Said Francis: “It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism. And I must confess to you that when I hear a speech by someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936.”
He added: “With the persecution of Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies, today these actions are typical and represent ‘par excellence’ a culture of waste and hate. That is what was done in those days and today it is happening again.”
Timothy Naftali: “Even those of us with two impeachments under our belts have never seen anything quite like this one. Besides the modern procedural innovation that this time the House Judiciary Committee is not in charge of all aspects of the inquiry, this is also the first impeachment investigation that a citizen (let alone a member of Congress) can watch unfold in real time. In the Clinton era, the public practically learned the whole case for the prosecution at once, when the House dumped Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s salacious report, unedited, on the web.”
“In the Nixon era, the televised Senate Watergate Hearings and the very public struggle that ensued between the White House and the Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox introduced the public to a lot of the data points of presidential misconduct and issues of possible criminality but neither the Senate nor the special prosecutor initially had impeachment as their goal. It was the Saturday Night Massacre a few months later that led to impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee that ultimately impeached Nixon did most of its work in closed sessions, only publicly revealing the additional important tapes and documents it had collected once the members had largely made up their minds and their televised debate had started.”
“But what we saw this week was much more than just a dramatic retelling before the cameras of testimony already released in transcript form by the three House Committees assigned responsibility for the inquiry. Witnesses Ambassador Bill Taylor, George Kent and Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, especially Taylor, had important new information to share in real time.”
A new Gallup poll finds 89% of Democrats currently say President Trump should be impeached and removed from office. That compares with 71% of Democrats who in 1974 said the charges against Nixon warranted his removal from office.
Among Republicans, 92% reject Trump being impeached and removed from office while just 7% are in favor of it. Under Nixon, a smaller 59% of his fellow Republicans opposed his removal from office while 31% endorsed it.
Amy Walter: “Back in 1973-74, even as voters were souring on Nixon, and getting plenty of evidence of his wrongdoings, but they weren’t sold on the prospect of the wrenching process of impeachment until the very end. Impeaching a president is rare for a reason. It can tear and divide us like nothing else. Yet, it’s hard to believe that anything can divide us more than we already are. As such, an impeachment vote feels less like a sacred, once-in-a-lifetime event and more like a predictable reaction to a time of ceaseless polarization.”
“In March of 1974, then-Washington Attorney General Slade Gorton (R) broke with fellow Republicans with a public call for President Richard Nixon’s resignation amid revelations of abuse of power related to the Watergate scandal,” the Seattle Times reports.
“More than four decades later, with Congress poised to take a key vote Thursday to formalize an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Gorton is once again at odds with most in his party, who have dismissed the Ukraine investigation as a partisan witch hunt.”
Said Gorton, who later became a U.S. Senator: “I reached the conclusion that there are a dozen actions on this president’s part that warrant a vote of impeachment in the House.”
“A new, wind-driven wildfire erupted outside Los Angeles early Wednesday, forcing an evacuation of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and threatening about 6,500 homes,” NBC News reports.