In his fourth annual message to Congress, President James Buchanan addressed the crisis of Secession and how he intended to handle it… the results were underwhelming and have forever relegated him to the “worst Presidents” list.
“The course of events is so rapidly hastening forward that the emergency may soon arise when you may be called upon to decide the momentous question whether you possess the power by force of arms to compel a State to remain in the Union…”
Buchanan offered a timid, ineffectual answer that has forever stained his one term in office…
“After much serious reflection I have arrived at the conclusion that no such power has been delegated to Congress or to any other department of the Federal Government. It is manifest upon an inspection of the Constitution that this is not among the specific and enumerated powers granted to Congress, and it is equally apparent that its exercise is not “necessary and proper for carrying into execution” any one of these powers. So far from this power having been delegated to Congress, it was expressly refused by the Convention which framed the Constitution.”
Ol’ Buck showed no backbone and capitulated to the slave interests one final time. Secession is wrong, but I won’t stop you. That’s leadership?