Jack Schlossberg, the sole grandson of John F Kennedy, took to Twitter to hit out at Mike Pence after the Vice President quoted from the deceased president’s book ‘Profiles in Courage’ to criticize the impeachment of Donald Trump.
Vice President Mike Pence recently penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling on Democratic Senators to follow the example of a 19th-century politician who broke with the Republican Party to vote against the impeachment of Andrew Johnson in 1868, an example cited in president John F. Kennedy’s book.
Republican Senator Edmund G. Ross of Kansas went against his party whip and voted against the impeachment of then-president Johnson who was impeached for his efforts to bring the southern states back into the union in the wake of the Civil War.
Senators are expected to toe the party line in the upcoming impeachment trial, but Pence used his opinion piece to ask Democrats to mimic Ross by breaking ranks and voting against the party whip.
“Then as now, a political faction has forced a partisan impeachment through the House in the heat of an argument over a difference in policy,” Pence wrote in the WSJ. “Then as now, this faction has cheapened the impeachment process, which the Founders believed should be reserved for only the most grave abuses of the public trust.”
Pence alluded to Kennedy’s work, which praised Ross for standing up to mob rule in 1868, and asked which Democratic Senators would take inspiration and stand up against “legislative mob rule” and stand for the rule of law in Donald Trump’s Senate trial.
Schlossberg, however, took to the social media site to voice his discontent and said that Pence’s piece was a “total perversion of JFK’s legacy and the meaning of courage.”
The 27-year-old said that, while Pence was right to laud Ross for voting to pardon former President Johnson, he was out of line to draw comparisons between the two impeachments.
According to Schlossberg, Ross was a courageous public servant who put national interests ahead of his own and risked his political future to save the presidency.
On the other hand, Donald Trump had done the complete inverse, Schlossberg said.
“@realDonaldTrump was impeached because he did the exact opposite -- he put his own interests ahead of our country’s national security and, in the process, broke federal law,” Schlossberg tweeted.
In fact, Schlossberg used the thread to call on Republican Senators to break party lines and agree to hear witnesses and evidence at the upcoming trial.
“I would argue instead that today, as in 1868, 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,” he said.
Schlossberg concluded by quoting a famous passage from his grandfather’s book which stated that people could only find courage by looking inwards at their own soul.
“The stories of past courage can define that ingredient—they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.”