If We Impeach Trump, We Can Set a New Record

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I know what you’re thinking: no president has ever been successfully impeached, so of course it would set a new record. But that’s not what I have in mind.

At the moment, we have five living ex-presidents: Carter, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama. Has this ever happened before? Yes! When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, we also had five living ex-presidents: Van Buren, Tyler, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan. This lasted for 320 days, when Tyler died on January 18, 1862.

It’s also happened twice since then, most recently when George W. Bush was inaugurated. This lasted for more than three years, until Ronald Reagan died on June 5, 2004.

We will exceed that record in 2020—assuming everyone stays alive until then. But we can do better! If we impeach Trump, we’ll have six living ex-presidents. I think this is a record worth trying for. Republicans like setting records, don’t they?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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