Thursday, October 08, 2020

Even the Washington Post blasted the Kamala Harris "take" on Lincoln and the Supreme Court in 1864

Further to the previous IPBiz post on Clinton/Lincoln, Kamala Harris during the debate on 7 October 2020 repeated the Lincoln/Supreme Court story that had earlier been mentioned by Bill Clinton. It was quickly blasted by a story in the Washington Post the next day. See including Harris is correct that a seat became available 27 days before the election. And that Lincoln didn’t nominate anyone until after he won. But there is no evidence he thought the seat should be filled by the winner of the election. In fact, he had other motives for the delay. (...) But that didn’t mean he was waiting for ballots so much as the mail. Letters flooded in from all over the country. What about Secretary of War Edwin Stanton? some suggested. Or Associate Justice Noah Swayne? Francis P. Blair recommended his son Montgomery, the postmaster general. Attorney General Edward Bates recommended himself. And then there was Salmon P. Chase. Chase was a former senator, governor of Ohio and treasury secretary who, according to Burlingame, thought he was destined to be president. He had vied unsuccessfully against Lincoln for the Republican nomination in 1860. Though Lincoln disliked him, Chase had a lot of supporters. Chase’s opponents told Lincoln all the nasty things Chase had said about him behind his back. The overarching effect of the delay is that it held Lincoln’s broad but shaky coalition of conservative and radical Republicans together. And it kept rivals like Chase in line. Chase, who had often been critical of Lincoln in the past, immediately began stumping for the president across the Midwest, sparking rumors of a secret deal, according to Kahn. Separately, Lincoln wished to keep "War Democrats" (who were unlikely to vote for McClellan) on board. Nominating Salmon Chase BEFORE the election would not have helped this effort. One recalls that in December 1864, Chase would be nominated, and confirmed, on the same day. About five years later, Stanton would also be nominated, and confirmed to the Supreme Court, on the same day. Sadly for Stanton, he died before serving. He had problems with, among other things asthma, and would not have done well in a covid environment. As has been noted elsewhere on this blog, Stanton and Lincoln, before the Civil War, were briefly teammates on a patent LITIGATION. At the time, Stanton did not think highly of Lincoln.


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