One of the chief presidential enablers seemed to have reached the off ramp. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that “the House of Representatives has voted to impeach the president. The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House.”
And so it begins (again). This is the second impeachment for the president and this time it is for incitement of insurrection. The charge is that the president of the United States did the unimaginable, rather than faithfully executing his duties to uphold the Constitution, he fired up an angry crowd to storm the Capitol, as his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said, it was time for “trial by combat.”
In moments of national crisis, such as we are witnessing now, we turn to history for lessons and comfort. Comparisons between Trump and 19th Century President Andrew Johnson have been made. Both were impeached, both are seen as failed and divisive presidents at critical moments of crisis in the country (Trump during the worst health crisis in our nation’s history and Johnson at the end of the Civil War). The comparisons are understandable, but deeper and more significant than typically understood.