Jeff Webb: Time for Minnesota's Collin Peterson to Be a Profile in Courage and Publicly Oppose Impeachment

Jeff Webb, chairman of the New American Populist, said on Wednesday it is time for Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) to publicly declare his opposition to his own party’s abuse of power and announce he will vote against both articles of impeachment announced by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

“Rep. Peterson knows full well that the two articles of impeachment presented by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday morning are entirely unsupported by the facts. Indeed, they represent an abuse of Congressional power, as George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley testified before the committee last week,” Webb said.

“It is time for Rep. Peterson to be a profile in courage and announce today that he will vote against impeachment and encourage his Democratic colleagues in the House to do the same,” he continued.

On Monday, CNN reporter Manu Raju tweeted that Rep. Peterson told him he was “leaning" against voting for impeachment.

“In a time where voters in Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, like voters around the country, are crying out for sanity and national unity, Rep. Peterson must step up and provide the leadership other Democrats need to do the right thing and oppose this bogus impeachment. ‘Leaning against’ now, followed by a vote against on the day the House takes up impeachment—expected to be some time next week, is simply not sufficient. Such a statement is not courageous leadership. It is instead standard political back-side covering,” Webb said.

“In his 1956 Pulitzer-Prize winning book, Profiles in Courage, President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat like Rep. Peterson, praised a Republican Senator, Edmund G. Ross of Kansas, for providing the final vote needed to acquit President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, from partisan impeachment charges brought by the leadership of Ross’s Republican party back in 1868,” Webb noted, citing this passage from the book:

"As the trial progressed it became increasingly apparent that the impatient Republicans did not intend to give the President a fair trial on the formal issues upon which the impeachment was drawn, but intended instead to depose him from the White House on any grounds, real or imagined, for refusing to accept their policies. Telling evidence in the President's favor was arbitrarily excluded. Prejudgment on the part of most Senators was brazenly announced... The chief interest was not in the trial or evidence, but in the tallying of votes necessary for conviction."

“But Ross was a man of courage and principle, and voted to acquit Johnson on the evidence, as President Kennedy wrote,” Webb noted, citing another passage from the book:


“Only Ross's vote was needed to obtain the thirty-six votes necessary to convict the President. But not a single person in the room knew how this young Kansan would vote. Unable to conceal the suspense and emotion in his voice, the Chief Justice put the question to him: ‘Mr. Senator Ross, how say you? Is the respondent Andrew Johnson guilty or not guilty of a high misdemeanor as charged in this Article?’ Every voice was still; every eye was upon the freshman Senator from Kansas. The hopes and fears, the hatred and bitterness of past decades were centered upon this one man...

“Then came the answer, again in a voice that could not be misunderstood--full, final, definite, unhesitating and unmistakable. ‘Not guilty.’ The deed was done, the President saved, the trial as good as over and conviction lost.”

“We need more profiles in courage to bring unity to this divided country today. It is time for Rep. Collin Peterson to be such a profile in courage, and publicly announce he will vote no on all articles of impeachment,” Webb concluded.

Jeff Webb is a Tennessee entrepreneur and founder of Varsity Brands, the nation's leading direct provider of spirit, sports, and team recognition products and services. 

Varsity has operations in all 50 states and over 20 foreign countries.

The New American Populist is committed to building a strong consensus in support of our middle class ideas and positions within the American marketplace. 

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