fbpx

Pence Cites ‘Profiles In Courage’ In Anti-Impeachment Essay — But JFK’s Grandson Says VP ‘Failed The Test Of Courage’

As the Senate prepares to begin in earnest the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence tried to use the words from a book written by President John F. Kennedy in order to suggest Senate Democrats ought to cross partisan lines and vote against indicting the current chief executive.

In doing so, JFK’s grandson, Jack Schlossberg, called him out in a lengthy Saturday Twitter thread, pointing out that Pence and other Republicans lacked the “political courage” to make such demands.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Pence wrote his comments in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, citing Kennedy’s 1957 book “Profiles in Courage”. The book details how lawmakers in American history took principled stands that may have hurt them politically but helped the nation’s interests, oftentimes defying their own party’s desires while doing so.

Pence detailed Sen. Edmund Ross, a Republican who voted against impeaching President Andrew Johnson in 1868, and to whom Kennedy devoted a chapter to in his book.

“The question naturally arises: Who, among the Senate Democrats, will stand up to the passions of their party this time?” Pence wrote in his opinion piece, according to reporting from CNN. “Who will stand up against ‘legislative mob rule’ and for the rule of law? Who will be the 2020 Profile in Courage?”

Schlossberg, who also sits on the “Profile in Courage award” board of directors, said Pence citing his grandfather’s words, however, was inappropriate. The vice president’s op-ed was “a total perversion of JFK’s legacy and the meaning of courage,” he added.

President Trump “had put his own interests ahead of our country’s national security and, in the process, broke federal law,” Schlossberg pointed out, Newsweek reported. Someone displaying a courageous act in modern times wouldn’t necessarily vote against impeachment, he added — rather, a courageous lawmaker might emanate from the Republican side of things.

“Political courage might require a Republican Senator to risk his or her own political future by breaking lockstep from the President and agree to hear from witnesses, review the evidence, and put the national interest above their own,” Schlossberg wrote.

“Let’s not be confused. @realDonaldTrump was impeached because…he put his own interests ahead of our country’s national security and, in the process, broke federal law,” he added.

Pence had no business bringing up Kennedy’s book to defend against Trump’s impeachment, Schlossberg implied, because it’s Republicans who have failed to do anything courageous when it comes to standing up to this president and his governing style.

“Pence and Congressional Republicans have also failed the test of courage. Rather than risk their career or endure personal reprisal, they excuse the President’s and others’ admitted wrongdoing and disgraceful behavior,” Schlossberg said.