Deserting the President

March 10, 1867


Many are starting to lose faith in the power that the President claims he has, but does a terrible job at enforcing it. He casts out vetoes to protect the Constitution, yet he gives Congress many other benefits to work around his vetoes.


One of the arguments of those who inveigh against submitting to the Sherman Law is, to ask, with great emphasis, "Shall we desert the President? " We almost suspect them of designing to be facetious. They might as well accuse the army of General Lee of deserting President Davis. The President gives us the benefit of his vetoes, which are very line defences of constitutional rights on paper; but he gives Congress the benefit of his acts in enforcing the laws which he has pronounced unconstitutional! President Davis put forth a great many protests against the acts of the Federal Government, and his protests were about as potential with Congress as those communicated to that body by President Johnson. Vetoes, when overridden by the powerful majority in Congress, are of no service to us, while the example of the author of these vetoes, in enforcing the laws he pronounces unconstitutional, not only counsels us to respect the laws, but absolutely forces us to submit to them.
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Walker Black




“Deserting the President,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 20, 2022,