Nor am I trying to be.
Vice President Mike Pence published a powerful, but deceptive article in Friday’s Wall Street Journal that offers the White House position. Pence called for “courage” from Senate Democrats who, he contended, must be willing “to stand up and reject a partisan impeachment.” He invoked former Republican Senator Edmund Ross who, during the trial of President Andrew Johnson in 1868, voted against the Republican Party to prevent the removal of the president. As Pence put it: “Ross was determined to render a fair judgment, resisting his own party’s stampede.” . . .
In this op-ed, Pence has distorted basic American history and civics into Soviet-style propaganda, where the facts are intentionally turned upside down. Numerous historians have written about President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, and Senator Ross’ role in his trial — including Manisha Sinha, Brenda Wineapple, David Greenberg and David Stewart. They all agree — and no serious historian disagrees — that Ross intended to vote for Johnson’s conviction, but suddenly changed his mind. Ross did not experience an epiphany of conscience or a surge of courage. Evidence suggests he was bribed.
The following note is appended to the end of Suri’s article:
This commentary has been updated from an earlier version to clarify that historic evidence suggests Edmund Ross was bribed.
“Evidence suggests” OJ Simpson murdered his ex-wife, too. C’mon Prof. Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs (Mack Brown was the football coach at Texas, which is the kind of subtle touch I really appreciate from the writers), just come out and say it: Ross was bribed, Profiles in Courage is ghostwritten hack work, and Mike Pence is the most morally craven of all of Trump’s lackeys, assuming it’s even possible to win such a fierce ongoing competition.