Letter: Reader: Time for some profiles in courage


Shortly our three Delaware Congressional representatives will be participating in the most serious deliberation in their tenure, the impeachment of the 45th president of the United States.

It will be no surprise to anyone that our representative-at-large, Lisa Blunt Rochester, will vote to advance the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial. She went on record last July that the Mueller Report’s findings of President Trump’s collusion, obstruction, general unacceptability, bad comb-over, anything he did while in office or before he was elected or even thought about, was sufficient for her to support his impeachment. But, as we all know by now, the Senate will need to vote to convict and remove a sitting president, or not, depending on how two-thirds of them think about the validity of the process and the evidence presented during the trial.

The assumption today is that Delaware’s Blue Chicken Senators will scurry to join the Pelosi Farm’s flock and cast a guilty vote, regardless of their current let’s-wait-and-see-the-facts posture.

Politics, like poultry, is a dirty business. Although at this point Sen. Carper quietly scratches around in the yard, Sen. Coons seems to be preening himself to be the reasonable rooster (even interviewing on Fox News), portraying himself as a serious, thoughtful statesman aware of the gravity of the moment. I suspect it is a ruse to make himself the go to honest broker the Democrats will employ to influence waffling Republicans during the trial. This would resemble his plucking of the hapless Jeff Flake during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

In 1868, when articles of impeachment were served against President Andrew Johnson, the Senate failed to convict by one vote, a not-guilty vote by the junior Senator from Kansas, Edmund Ross. Ross’s courage to resist going along with the political will of that day and his party was chronicled in John F. Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage.”

Ross explained his vote with the following quote, “Conditions may, and are not unlikely to arise someday, when the exercise of power to impeach and remove a president may be quite as essential to the preservation of our political system as it is threatened to become in this instance destructive of the system. Should that day ever come it is to be hoped that the remedy of impeachment as established by the Constitution may be as patriotically, as fearlessly, as unselfishly applied as it was on this occasion rejected.”

In other words, you better take this seriously. In exercising an obvious political act, beyond the normal transfer of power through an election, you risk losing the foundations that unite the country. It is time for our Blue Chicken Senators to resist the pecking party that has been orchestrated by the House. Otherwise, they may risk damaging the entire chicken coop or at least being plucked by the voters.

One can’t know what the impeachment process will unleash in a country already divided. If you think family conversations around the dinner table are tense now, just wait ’til Thanksgiving. The poultry centerpiece may be the only thing we agree upon again. Chris, could you pass the mashed potatoes when you and Tom are done with them?

Herbie Smith
Ocean View