Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Andrew Johnson - The Worst?

Andrew Johnson 17th President of the US was born yesterday, 29 December, in 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Astrodatabank gives his time of birth as 12.30AM, but without official source it remains 'C' rated. A biography by R.W. Winston has stated that President Johnson was "Born at night, after the ball." I suspect that the time given at Astrodatabank is a rectification, and puts Mars on the ascendant. A 2:00AM-ish birth though would bring the first degree of Scorpio rising, which I suspect might fit Andrew Johnson better than Libra rising. But whoever did the rectification would have used some of the most critical dates in his life story to assess a likely birth time, so I'll stick with that.

This was no academic president. Born into poverty, he taught himself to read and write, became a tailor, but until age 17 when he married a school teacher who furthered his education, Andrew Johnson had no mathematical skills and only basic literacy. He obviously had a natural draw towards politics and public service though. After serving as Alderman of Greeneville, Tennessee 1830-33 he rose to Mayor, then Member of Tennessee State Legislature, House of US Representatives, Governor of Tennessee, US Senator m Military Governor of Tennessee and by 1865 became Vice President under President Abraham Lincoln.

From Andrew Johnson: A Biographical Companion, at Amazon, an extract mentioning his youthful appearance with little sign of having aged; and his piercing eyes. People with Sun in Capricorn are often thought to age well, mainly due to Saturn, Capricorn's ruler relating well to old age, I suppose. Piercing eyes usually denote Scorpio rising or Sun sign - which is what led me to think that his time of birth might actually be around 2:00 AM.

Andrew Johnson inherited the presidency after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He had the complex, well-nigh impossible task of reuniting the nation, and reconstructing the defeated southern states after years of bloody civil war. History records that he didn't do a very good job; in fact he is rated as one of the worst of all White House incumbents. Eventually Congress voted to impeach Johnson by a vote of 126 to 47 in February 1868, citing his violation of the Tenure of Office Act and charging that he had brought disgrace and ridicule on Congress. By a margin of one vote, the Senate voted not to convict Johnson, and he served the duration of the term won by Lincoln.

I've read a selection of on-line accounts of Johnson's presidency and find myself confused. Some accounts are far more sympathetic than others. This is bound to be the case though, bearing in mind what a divided country this was - and still is! It's obvious that President Johnson made some serious mistakes and wrong decisions at a time when national sensitivities on both sides of the political divide were raw and hurting. His actions were diametrically opposed to all that the civil war had tried to achieve in bringing freedom from slavery to black Americans.
"The debate about Johnson's role in Reconstruction is highly charged, and much ink has been spilled attempting to disentangle the truth from the rhetorical flourishes that have grown up around the debate. A cursory examination of Johnson's actions in the post war period is likely to be both contentious and simplistic. What can be made clear is that early on in his administration, Johnson found himself at loggerheads with both the Congress and members of his cabinet. Whatever his own sympathies and motivations may have been, there were many in the government who opposed many of his actions, and several legislative measures were passed in spite of a Presidential veto.
Within his own administration, too, Johnson encountered resistance."

(Remind you of anybody? The more things change, the more they remain the same.)
Andrew Johnson's life and career show him to have been a man of great courage and integrity. He remained constant to his beliefs regardless of the personal cost to himself. Johnson's courage, dedication, and service to the nation in a difficult time of national transition reflect positively on Andrew Johnson and reflect well on his origins in the Old North State.Here.

Looking back at Johnson's natal chart, searching for the key to his professional persona, I keep going back to Pluto conjunct Jupiter in Pisces, in sextile to his natal Sun in Capricorn and trining Uranus in Scorpio. Pluto conjunct Jupiter in Pisces smacks of intensity colored by illusion aiding and abetting his serious-minded Capricorn Sun which is further flavored by a rebellious Fixed Uranus. This is another reason I see a Scorpio ascendant as being a better fit than Libra, which would have sugggested more of a tactful charmer - which he patently was not.

Saturn in Fixed Scorpio in opposition to natal Fixed Taurus Moon (if time of birth is correct) again emphasises a determination and clear stubborn element in his nature, whether pulled by Earthy Moon or a strangely emotional Saturn, he would have been hard to move from any course of action.

2 quotes from the 17th President of the USA:

I am sworn to uphold the Constitution as Andy Johnson understands it and interprets it.

Who, then, will govern? The answer must be, Man - for we have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are willing to take charge of our political affairs.


Wisewebwoman said...

Once again, T I am reminded of those who achieve high office who are patently ill equipped to handle it.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~ Yes. Abe Lincoln must have thought Johnson worthy of being his VP though.

I wonder if, really, any person however talented is equipped to be in charge of a country as vast and diverse as the USA. It's a lot to ask.

But many of the people in Congress, both houses, are certainly ill-equipped to hold a post of dog-catcher! Especially the two senators we have in this state. :-(