The Case for Impeachment, by Allan J. Lichtman (a re-read)

Nine stars

I have decided to embark on a mission to read a number of books on subjects that will be of great importance to the upcoming 2020 US Presidential Election. Many of these will focus on actors intricately involved in the process, in hopes that I can understand them better and, perhaps, educate others with the power to cast a ballot. I am, as always, open to serious recommendations from anyone who has a book I might like to include in the process.

This is Book #24 (a re-read) in my 2020 US Election Preparation Challenge.

To simply peruse bookshop shelves and lists on Goodreads, one can assert that much has been written about Donald J. Trump since he announced his candidacy for President of the United States (POTUS). The number of publications since he ascended to the White House is likely exponentially larger than any other POTUS during the same short time in office. Within both those groups of books, there sits a sub-group of books about Trump’s impeachment, citing various sources and reasons. It’s not yet been two years since he has been in office—at the time of this review—and I baffle myself that I need not rely on #fakebookstats to make this assertion! Enter, Allan J. Lichtman, a distinguished professor at American University, who predicted Trump’s victory months before it took place. He also asserts that, using his own formulaic means of picking a winner, he has not been wrong over the past eight presidential elections. Not as well-published was his prediction that Trump would be impeached even before he lay his hand on a Bible before reader, please choose your preference of the true/fake number Americans watched in person on that January day. Publishing this piece months into the Trump presidency, Lichtman offers up a convincing case about why Trump should and will be impeached by Congress for deeds he undertook. Lichtman explores the historical use of impeachment for the curious reader, particularly on three sitting presidents. He uses the examples of Andrew Johnson—who was saved from having his impeachment upheld in the Senate by a singe vote—and Richard Nixon when discussing the role Congress played in investigating both men and how Trump’s actions paralleled those of his Oval Office brethren. Effectively laying out some of the changes brought against the Johnson and Nixon, Lichtman explains how they could be used against Trump, replacing the arguments with modern examples. From treasonous activities to collusion, through to crimes against humanity and abuse of presidential power, Lichtman reveals how Trump the man entered into the fray with so much baggage that Congress has much that can be used to bring forth Articles of Impeachment that can receive bipartisan support. While all this may be damaging, Lichtman also brings up an argument that I have not heard previously about the timing of acts and how they play a role in presidential impeachment. He effectively shows how acts that took place before Trump ascended to POTUS can and should be used to fuel an impeachment, citing examples of a recently removed federal judge. If this is the case, there are new and interesting angles to be discussed when it comes to the topic. As I mentioned before—something else that will stoke the fires—this book came out in April 2017, with only a few months of Trump presidential fodder and yet makes strong and convincing arguments for egregious acts that include treason and collusion with the Russians. No Mueller, no white supremacy, and no mass exodus of Cabinet officials (save Michael Flynn). These arguments are based on pre-White House acts that should not be ignored as partisan rhetoric. Worry not, Trump fans (or undecideds), as Lichtman offers some clear and foolproof ways of steering clear of impeachment, which will require only the same sacrifices as others who became president. As of now, it seems Trump has steered clear of any and all recommendations, sullying the office in new ways each day!u An interesting and eye-opening read for those who want to explore the topic a little more, particular by a man Trump praised for predicting his victory in November 2016.

I admit that I have been on a binge when it comes to American politics of late, exploring some of the more controversial aspects of Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign. I have also long had an interest in impeachment and read about the topic when I can. To see an academic of such high regard lay out the systematic reasons for Trump’s impeachment, I cannot help but perk up and listen. Many can say this journalist or that lawyer is biased and has no right to make such sweeping comments, but I have come to wonder if so many recognised people in their fields are making varied, yet similar, arguments, can we all be blinded and singing out of the same fake hymn book? With a man who makes double-speak an Olympic event, can the citizenry of the world sit around and make assertions that they are being duped by all but Fox and Friends? Lichtman offers the reader sound evidence, weaving together both recently happenings and those in history to assert that Trump has been acting in ways that Congress could and should push for impeachment. We have all heard the rigging of elections and the handing over information to the Russians, which are strong arguments, but Lichtman also introduces ideas about crimes against humanity. These parallel some of the ideas used by Congress to push for Nixon’s impeachment, though the rationale is vastly different now. The reader should go into the book with an open mind and allow themselves to be pushed in one direction or another. I did and find a lot of it quite revealing and convincing, without feeling a degree of inculcation. While the topic is quite academic and, at times, esoteric, Lichtman writes in such a way that the layperson is not lost when trying to follow the arguments. Headers and simple background for each topic guides the reader effectively. However, this topic requires some balanced approach, which is why I will next turn to a leading legal scholar who offers the opposing view, before making my final opinion. It seems the only fair thing to do, under the circumstances and is better than trying to shut out the opposition and call them fake!

Kudos, Mr. Lichtman, for opening my eyes up to new and revealing reasons that the US Congress should open impeachment proceedings soon. You make some convincing arguments for the case and I wonder, Mike Pence in the wings aside, if there are effective reasons not to proceed. Let me have a look now!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America, by Allan J. Lichtman (Re-posting)

Nine stars

I have decided to embark on a mission to read a number of books on subjects that will be of great importance to the upcoming 2020 US Presidential Election. Many of these will focus on actors intricately involved in the process, in hopes that I can understand them better and, perhaps, educate others with the power to cast a ballot. I am, as always, open to serious recommendations from anyone who has a book I might like to include in the process.

This is Book #10 (re-read) in my 2020 US Election Preparation Challenge.

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Allan J. Lichtman and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

As I sit north of the 45th Parallel, I look down and notice that there is an issue with gun violence in the United States. No matter where one gets their news, it is plastered all over the place and has been for decades. Guns killing innocent people for no reason. Yet, as the blood flows and creates rivers of red across floors and asphalt, politicians have done little but ask for prayers directed to the families of victims, while gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association (NRA) spouts that it is people killing people, not guns. Other countries have been able to notice the gun violence and legislate strong measures against it—take, for example, New Zealand in 2019–but America chooses to do nothing, citing something called the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Known as the ‘right to bear arms’, this has been the battle cry of the NRA and the hardcore right in America, but there’s something that’s missing here; something that Allan J. Lichtman professes throughout this book and I have said all along. It was never an individual right in that amendment, nor should it be. But, that’s the controversy behind Lichtman’s desire to see the Second Amendment repealed a new measures put in place.

The premise of the book is quite simple, people do not understand the amendment and spew inane falsehoods spoon-fed to them. Lichtman opens the book with a chilling discussion of some recent episodes of gun violence and how everyone was quick to point blame at a deranged killer, rather that discuss the issue of gun availability. From there, he takes the reader back to look at how guns were introduced into the region, brought from Europe, and how the firearm found a home in the Thirteen Colonies. After the play towards independence, the political figures sought to enshrine when and how guns should be made available, presenting the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Lichtman discusses how the constitutional conventions and speeches by the Founding Fathers shaped the intention of this amendment, laid out as being the right of the collective to bear arms in the form of a militia, particularly at a time when invasion was still possible. Moving forward, Lichtman explores how guns were of little issue in America for decades after that. Politicians began seeking to regulate guns in the early 20th century, which led to some questions about how to define the Second Amendment in contrast to this. The early NRA had no issue with the collective idea of gun ownership for the greater good, fixated on its role of promoting gun ownership for sport and education. However, with the rise of assassinations in the 1960s, there was a greater push to legislate gun control, keeping firearms out of the hands of just anyone. This was met with a newly politicized and fiery NRA, who turned their views towards the individual right to possess firearms. With massive amounts of money used to influence politicians, any meaningful change seemed paralyzed. Lichtman discusses these issues at length, culminating in challenges wth legislation violating the Second Amendment in the courts, some reaching the Supreme Court of the United States. Shockingly, when things reached that point, one of the Court’s great intellectuals and originalist thinkers, Antonio Scalia, completely forgot his long-held views of accepting laws through original meaning of the Founding Fathers. Instead, Scalia sided with this view of individual rights and the ongoing accessibility of people to possess firearms, in the pocket of the NRA.

As Lichtman scans the horizon to see where things have come in America, seeing an NRA bound and determined to use the Second Amendment’s bastardized interpretation to fill their coffers and hand guns over to anyone and everyone, the need for change seems dire. Citing former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, John Paul Stevens, Lichtman explores how Congress might go about dismantling this thorn and repeal the Second Amendment. It will not be pretty or easy (with threats of money and slander by the NRA), but will rid the country of a horribly misconstrued constitutional crutch that has helped fuel the bloodshed. Paralleling the repeal with that of Prohibition in the 20th century, Lichtman shows how it would work and which actors would need to stand tall. He ends with a post-repeal America and the need to tighten or create laws to keep America from falling into the hands of the NRA or their apparent abyss of money. Whether it will work is another question, but it is always nice to speculate.

When I was asked to read this book by the publisher, I could not wait to sink my teeth into it. These were the arguments I had long made in my own discussions of the Second Amendment and I found myself agreeing with a lot of what Lichtman had to say. The tome is full of wonderful facts embedded into an easy to comprehend narrative. While there are aspects that have academic explorations, Lichtman keeps the arguments simple enough that anyone could understand. He does not hide his bias, though I cannot see how one could remain entirely neutral on this topic, offering up some fiery criticisms of those who stand idly by and spout vapid sentiments when people—children especially—are dying in senseless ways. While the chapters are not massive, the information encapsulated within them makes for an impactful read and kept me nodding throughout. I was especially interested in Lichtman’s proposal to repeal the Second Amendment, knowing how difficult a process it is (as any constitutional change should be) and where the pitfalls lie with enemies waiting. This is a sobering read for anyone looking to stir up a little controversy at the dinner table or amongst those with strong opinions. If only a discussion could be had where both sides agree on the wording of the topic at hand, leaving well-rounded and firmly grounded ideas to sway opinions.

Kudos, Mr. Lichtman, for not shying away from the controversy. This will take longer than November 3, 2020 to make America great again, but if we can oust the clown, surely this circus can be quelled.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America, by Allan J. Lichtman

Nine stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Allan J. Lichtman and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

As I sit north of the 45th Parallel, I look down and notice that there is an issue with gun violence in the United States. No matter where one gets their news, it is plastered all over the place and has been for decades. Guns killing innocent people for no reason. Yet, as the blood flows and creates rivers of red across floors and asphalt, politicians have done little but ask for prayers directed to the families of victims, while gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association (NRA) spouts that it is people killing people, not guns. Other countries have been able to notice the gun violence and legislate strong measures against it—take, for example, New Zealand in 2019–but America chooses to do nothing, citing something called the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Known as the ‘right to bear arms’, this has been the battle cry of the NRA and the hardcore right in America, but there’s something that’s missing here; something that Allan J. Lichtman professes throughout this book and I have said all along. It was never an individual right in that amendment, nor should it be. But, that’s the controversy behind Lichtman’s desire to see the Second Amendment repealed a new measures put in place.

The premise of the book is quite simple, people do not understand the amendment and spew inane falsehoods spoon-fed to them. Lichtman opens the book with a chilling discussion of some recent episodes of gun violence and how everyone was quick to point blame at a deranged killer, rather that discuss the issue of gun availability. From there, he takes the reader back to look at how guns were introduced into the region, brought from Europe, and how the firearm found a home in the Thirteen Colonies. After the play towards independence, the political figures sought to enshrine when and how guns should be made available, presenting the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Lichtman discusses how the constitutional conventions and speeches by the Founding Fathers shaped the intention of this amendment, laid out as being the right of the collective to bear arms in the form of a militia, particularly at a time when invasion was still possible. Moving forward, Lichtman explores how guns were of little issue in America for decades after that. Politicians began seeking to regulate guns in the early 20th century, which led to some questions about how to define the Second Amendment in contrast to this. The early NRA had no issue with the collective idea of gun ownership for the greater good, fixated on its role of promoting gun ownership for sport and education. However, with the rise of assassinations in the 1960s, there was a greater push to legislate gun control, keeping firearms out of the hands of just anyone. This was met with a newly politicized and fiery NRA, who turned their views towards the individual right to possess firearms. With massive amounts of money used to influence politicians, any meaningful change seemed paralyzed. Lichtman discusses these issues at length, culminating in challenges wth legislation violating the Second Amendment in the courts, some reaching the Supreme Court of the United States. Shockingly, when things reached that point, one of the Court’s great intellectuals and originalist thinkers, Antonio Scalia, completely forgot his long-held views of accepting laws through original meaning of the Founding Fathers. Instead, Scalia sided with this view of individual rights and the ongoing accessibility of people to possess firearms, in the pocket of the NRA.

As Lichtman scans the horizon to see where things have come in America, seeing an NRA bound and determined to use the Second Amendment’s bastardized interpretation to fill their coffers and hand guns over to anyone and everyone, the need for change seems dire. Citing former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, John Paul Stevens, Lichtman explores how Congress might go about dismantling this thorn and repeal the Second Amendment. It will not be pretty or easy (with threats of money and slander by the NRA), but will rid the country of a horribly misconstrued constitutional crutch that has helped fuel the bloodshed. Paralleling the repeal with that of Prohibition in the 20th century, Lichtman shows how it would work and which actors would need to stand tall. He ends with a post-repeal America and the need to tighten or create laws to keep America from falling into the hands of the NRA or their apparent abyss of money. Whether it will work is another question, but it is always nice to speculate.

When I was asked to read this book by the publisher, I could not wait to sink my teeth into it. These were the arguments I had long made in my own discussions of the Second Amendment and I found myself agreeing with a lot of what Lichtman had to say. The tome is full of wonderful facts embedded into an easy to comprehend narrative. While there are aspects that have academic explorations, Lichtman keeps the arguments simple enough that anyone could understand. He does not hide his bias, though I cannot see how one could remain entirely neutral on this topic, offering up some fiery criticisms of those who stand idly by and spout vapid sentiments when people—children especially—are dying in senseless ways. While the chapters are not massive, the information encapsulated within them makes for an impactful read and kept me nodding throughout. I was especially interested in Lichtman’s proposal to repeal the Second Amendment, knowing how difficult a process it is (as any constitutional change should be) and where the pitfalls lie with enemies waiting. This is a sobering read for anyone looking to stir up a little controversy at the dinner table or amongst those with strong opinions. If only a discussion could be had where both sides agree on the wording of the topic at hand, leaving well-rounded and firmly grounded ideas to sway opinions.

Kudos, Mr. Lichtman, for not shying away from the controversy. This will take longer than November 3, 2020 to make America great again, but if we can oust the clown, surely this circus can be quelled.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

The Case for Impeachment, by Allan J. Lichtman

Eight stars

To simply peruse bookshop shelves and lists on Goodreads, one can assert that much has been written about Donald J. Trump since he announced his candidacy for President of the United States (POTUS). The number of publications since he ascended to the White House is likely exponentially larger than any other POTUS during the same short time in office. Within both those groups of books, there sits a sub-group of books about Trump’s impeachment, citing various sources and reasons. It’s not yet been two years since he has been in office—at the time of this review—and I baffle myself that I need not rely on #fakebookstats to make this assertion! Enter, Allan J. Lichtman, a distinguished professor at American University, who predicted Trump’s victory months before it took place. He also asserts that, using his own formulaic means of picking a winner, he has not been wrong over the past eight presidential elections. Not as well-published was his prediction that Trump would be impeached even before he lay his hand on a Bible before *reader, please choose your preference of the true/fake number* Americans watched in person on that January day. Publishing this piece months into the Trump presidency, Lichtman offers up a convincing case about why Trump should and will be impeached by Congress for deeds he undertook. Lichtman explores the historical use of impeachment for the curious reader, particularly on three sitting presidents. He uses the examples of Andrew Johnson—who was saved from having his impeachment upheld in the Senate by a singe vote—and Richard Nixon when discussing the role Congress played in investigating both men and how Trump’s actions paralleled those of his Oval Office brethren. Effectively laying out some of the changes brought against the Johnson and Nixon, Lichtman explains how they could be used against Trump, replacing the arguments with modern examples. From treasonous activities to collusion, through to crimes against humanity and abuse of presidential power, Lichtman reveals how Trump the man entered into the fray with so much baggage that Congress has much that can be used to bring forth Articles of Impeachment that can receive bipartisan support. While all this may be damaging, Lichtman also brings up an argument that I have not heard previously about the timing of acts and how they play a role in presidential impeachment. He effectively shows how acts that took place before Trump ascended to POTUS can and should be used to fuel an impeachment, citing examples of a recently removed federal judge. If this is the case, there are new and interesting angles to be discussed when it comes to the topic. As I mentioned before—something else that will stoke the fires—this book came out in April 2017, with only a few months of Trump presidential fodder and yet makes strong and convincing arguments for egregious acts that include treason and collusion with the Russians. No Mueller, no white supremacy, and no mass exodus of Cabinet officials (save Michael Flynn). These arguments are based on pre-White House acts that should not be ignored as partisan rhetoric. Worry not, Trump fans (or undecideds), as Lichtman offers some clear and foolproof ways of steering clear of impeachment, which will require only the same sacrifices as others who became president. As of now, it seems Trump has steered clear of any and all recommendations, sullying the office in new ways each day!u An interesting and eye-opening read for those who want to explore the topic a little more, particular by a man Trump praised for predicting his victory in November 2016.

I admit that I have been on a binge when it comes to American politics of late, exploring some of the more controversial aspects of Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign. I have also long had an interest in impeachment and read about the topic when I can. To see an academic of such high regard lay out the systematic reasons for Trump’s impeachment, I cannot help but perk up and listen. Many can say this journalist or that lawyer is biased and has no right to make such sweeping comments, but I have come to wonder if so many recognised people in their fields are making varied, yet similar, arguments, can we all be blinded and singing out of the same fake hymn book? With a man who makes double-speak an Olympic event, can the citizenry of the world sit around and make assertions that they are being duped by all but Fox and Friends? Lichtman offers the reader sound evidence, weaving together both recently happenings and those in history to assert that Trump has been acting in ways that Congress could and should push for impeachment. We have all heard the rigging of elections and the handing over information to the Russians, which are strong arguments, but Lichtman also introduces ideas about crimes against humanity. These parallel some of the ideas used by Congress to push for Nixon’s impeachment, though the rationale is vastly different now. The reader should go into the book with an open mind and allow themselves to be pushed in one direction or another. I did and find a lot of it quite revealing and convincing, without feeling a degree of inculcation. While the topic is quite academic and, at times, esoteric, Lichtman writes in such a way that the layperson is not lost when trying to follow the arguments. Headers and simple background for each topic guides the reader effectively. However, this topic requires some balanced approach, which is why I will next turn to a leading legal scholar who offers the opposing view, before making my final opinion. It seems the only fair thing to do, under the circumstances and is better than trying to shut out the opposition and call them fake!

Kudos, Mr. Lichtman, for opening my eyes up to new and revealing reasons that the US Congress should open impeachment proceedings soon. You make some convincing arguments for the case and I wonder, Mike Pence in the wings aside, if there are effective reasons not to proceed. Let me have a look now!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons