Filibuster

Is the Senate Filibuster a 'Jim Crow Relic' That Should Be Abolished in the Name of Democracy?

Politicians' opinions about the maneuver depend on which party is in power.

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During his eulogy yesterday for Rep. John Lewis (D–Ga.), a leading figure in the civil rights movement, former President Barack Obama expressed support for eliminating the Senate filibuster, which he called a "Jim Crow relic." That position contradicted the one Obama took as senator in a chamber controlled by Republicans, and his historical framing was more than a little misleading. The filibuster, which in its current form prevents a vote on legislation without 60 votes to cut off debate, was first used in 1837 during the controversy over the Second Bank of the United States, and it has been deployed many times since for reasons having nothing to do with government-enforced white supremacy.

It is true that segregationists used the filibuster to oppose civil rights legislation in the 1950s and '60s. Most famously, Sen. Strom Thurmond, then a Democrat representing South Carolina, spoke for more than 24 hours to impede passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which aimed to protect the voting rights of African Americans in the South. Southern legislators—including Sen. Robert Byrd (D–W.Va.), an ardent defender of Senate traditions—also used the filibuster in an unsuccessful attempt to block the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned segregation in public schools and racial discrimination in voting requirements, employment, and places of public accommodation.

But that is just a snapshot of the filibuster's potential uses, which can be either malign or beneficial, depending on the target and one's view of the legislation's merits. Just as the principle of federalism does not qualify as a "Jim Crow relic" simply because segregationists invoked it, the filibuster cannot be deemed irredeemable simply because they found it useful. Like other restraints on the majority's will—including those mandated by the Constitution, such as requiring bicameral approval of legislation and the president's assent in the absence of a congressional supermajority—the filibuster is an ideologically neutral obstacle that makes it harder to pass laws. Whether you think its net impact is good or bad is apt to depend not only on which party happens to be in power but also on your general view of the work that Congress does.

The filibuster was not part of the original constitutional design. It arose from a rule change that Vice President Aaron Burr urged in 1805. As George Washington University political scientist Sarah Binder explained during a 2010 Senate hearing, Burr thought the chamber's rule book was cluttered with unnecessary provisions, including what was known as the "previous question" motion, which it turned out could be used to close debate with a simple majority. Unlike the Senate, the House of Representatives retained that rule.

"Today, we know that a simple majority in the House can use the rule to cut off debate," Binder said. "But in 1805, neither chamber used the rule that way. Majorities were still experimenting with it. And so when Aaron Burr said, 'Get rid of the previous question motion,' the Senate didn't think twice. When they met in 1806, they dropped the motion from the Senate rule book." In other words, "the filibuster was created by mistake."

However inadvertent its inception, the filibuster has proven useful to legislators of various parties during the last two centuries, as its persistence demonstrates. And while the very term filibuster—derived from the French flibustier, referring to pirates in the West Indies—suggests a lawless hijacking, there is nothing illegitimate about the tactic, since it is authorized by the Senate's rules.

When they are in the majority, senators may complain that the filibuster is undemocratic. But the same could be said of many constitutional provisions that prevent a legislative majority from doing whatever it wants, including the restrictions imposed by the Bill of Rights, not to mention the basic principle that Congress may exercise only those powers it has been explicitly granted.

Three decades elapsed between the Senate's rule change and the first recorded use of the filibuster. In 1837, Whig senators used the tactic in an attempt to keep Democrats from expunging an 1834 resolution that censured President Andrew Jackson for removing federal funds from the Second Bank of the United States. The Democrat-controlled Senate nevertheless nullified the resolution by a five-vote margin.

While "there were very few filibusters before the Civil War," Binder noted, they were common by the 1880s, deployed against civil rights legislation but also against election law changes, nominations, and the appointment of Senate officers. In 1917, Woodrow Wilson, outraged by Republican senators' filibustering of his proposal to arm merchant ships as a deterrent to German U-boats, demanded reform to disempower this "little group of willful men." The Senate responded by adopting Rule 22, which empowered a two-thirds majority to cut off debate—a compromise between Democrats who favored a simple-majority rule and Republicans who resisted any change. In 1975, the Senate reduced the majority required for cloture from two-thirds to three-fifths, or from from 67 to 60 votes in a chamber with 100 members.

"Adoption of Rule 22 occurred because Wilson and the Democrats framed the rule as a matter of national security," Binder noted. "They fused procedure with policy, and used the bully pulpit to shame senators into reform." While that description suggests senators who opposed American involvement in World War I were engaged in shameful obstruction, a more skeptical view of that senseless and disastrous conflict suggests otherwise, and the defeat of the Wilson-backed bill inspired a chapter of Profiles in Courage.

Whatever your view of Wilson or World War I, it is indisputable that senators have used the filibuster for what they sincerely believed were sound, public-spirited reasons going beyond petty partisan interests. To take an example that appeals to libertarians, Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) protested the Obama administration's policy of "targeted killing" via drone with an old-fashioned 13-hour talking filibuster against the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan in 2013. Those of a different political persuasion may admire the eight-and-a-half-hour filibuster that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) pulled off in 2010 to protest the extension of federal tax cuts.

Both Democrats and Republicans have used filibusters or the threat of them to block the nomination of judges and justices whose records they found alarming. That option was largely foreclosed in 2013, when a Democrat-controlled Senate, frustrated by Republican opposition to Obama's judicial picks, approved a rule that allowed a simple majority to end debate on almost all presidential nominations except for the Supreme Court—an exception that was eliminated four years later, after Republicans regained control of the Senate in 2014 and Donald Trump was elected president in 2016. Both changes were accomplished via the "nuclear option," a parliamentary maneuver that allows a simple majority to approve rule changes.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–Nev.), who had opposed the nuclear option as a threat to venerable Senate norms when George W. Bush was president and Republicans ran the Senate, switched positions in 2013. So did Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.), who as the majority whip during the Bush administration had threatened to make the rule change that Reid resisted.

McConnell warned Democrats that they would regret their shortsighted move. And presumably they did once McConnell, converting again, greased the skids for Trump's Supreme Court nominees and the president began reshaping the federal judiciary. As the Cato Institute's Gene Healy noted in 2013, "Serious political movements shouldn't try to knock down all the barriers to power whenever they temporarily enjoy it, because nothing is permanent in politics save the drive for more federal power, and the weapons you forge may someday be detonated by the other side."

When politicians are in the mood to defend filibusters (i.e., when their party is not in charge of the Senate), they often say that preserving the tactic helps ensure that the minority's views receive adequate consideration as legislation is crafted. Bipartisanship for its own sake is a dubious goal. Joe Biden, who is trying to replace Donald Trump as the guy who gets to make nominations without worrying about filibusters, has famously cited his collaboration with Strom Thurmond—yes, the same senator who tried to block a civil rights bill with the longest filibuster in U.S. history—as an inspiring example of bipartisanship. That collaboration produced the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, a godawful piece of legislation that set the pattern for a decade of indiscriminately punitive criminal justice policies.

Still, there is something to be said for mechanisms that require the majority to slow down, reflect a bit, and maybe even read legislation before passing it. Biden used to think so. Last February, while he was competing for the Democratic nomination, he said he was against eliminating filibusters. But this week, contemplating a victory that looks increasingly likely, he is having second thoughts.

Despite his adulation of compromise and consensus, Biden now thinks it may be time to remove this impediment to presidential agendas. "It's going to depend on how obstreperous [Republicans] become," Biden told reporters on Monday. "But I think you're going to just have to take a look at it."

The situational ethics of filibusters could be seen as evidence that the time-honored tradition is nothing more than a tricky maneuver that members of both major parties praise when it's convenient and condemn when it's not. But the relevant question is whether that tricky maneuver, on balance, gives us better or worse government. When you think about the gratuitous, pernicious, and blatantly unconstitutional legislation that Congress manages to pass even when the filibuster option is available, it is hard to imagine that eliminating this obstacle would improve the situation.

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  1. No, it’s one the dumber things Obama has said – which is quite the feat

    1. Taking away the Filibuster would open the floodgates for Democrats to revolutionize America if Biden wins and the Dems win the House… that would be a disaster…

      1. It would probably force the hand of actual Americans and require the slaughter of most hardcore progressives to put and end to their bullshit. As it stands now, maybe they could be forcibly exiled.

        1. Promises promises.

          If I was given a nickel every time some raving lunatic promised their civil war, I’d have a higher net worth than Demented and Deluded Donald currently does.

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        2. Open wider, Shitlord. Your betters are not nearly done shoving progress down your whimpering, bigoted, right-wing throat.

          And you will comply, clinger. Just as you have throughout your inconsequential life.

          1. Are any of your comments not rape fantasies?

    2. unreason is so funny. they think that:
      (1) Biden will ever have any political power again
      (2)Any American outside the MSM and unreason care what Chocolate Jesus says.

      1. Having a black president really fucked with the minds of a bunch of stupid people, huh?

        1. Yes, and you are a prime example Tony.

          1. Ever wonder what would happen if everyone just ignored him?

        2. Obama’s problem was his vanity, corruption, and greed.

          Still, I voted for him, because McCain was even worse than Obama.

          1. Vanity, corruption, and greed are now the highest virtues a president could offer.

            1. They have always been. Though Obama and Hillary really broke new ground. That’s why Trump got elected.

        3. Well, he is half white. Can we at least agree that he is 50% privileged douchebag?

          Actually, factoring in that he’s a politician kinda cancels out the black coolness factor.

          So yeah he’s a douche. At least 95%.

        4. Having a stupid black president fucked with the minds of intelligent people which left you out.

    3. Also, we are NOT a democracy. We’re a constitutional republic.

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    5. Obama was so good at the racial healing stuff, wasn’t he?

    6. If Reason had a like button you would have a lot of likes!

  2. I think the following portion:
    “Like other restraints on the majority’s will—including those mandated by the Constitution, such as requiring bicameral approval of legislation and the president’s assent in the absence of a congressional supermajority—the filibuster is an ideologically neutral obstacle that makes it harder to pass laws.”
    says it all. Anything that prevents more laws is good!

    1. Unfortunately, it also prevents the repeal of old laws too.

  3. Meanwhile the PTB are busily implementing Jamal Crow Laws.

  4. Is this really something libertarians need to ask? Whether a significant minority can prevent a slim majority from streamrolling legislation into place?

    1. This isn’t a libertarian magazine though.

  5. Democrats label something they don’t like as racist. Again.

    How is this news?

    1. When they run low on race cards, they call the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

      1. Race card printer goes BRRRRR

  6. Obama was for the budget ceiling before he was against it too. He is a shill and mouthpiece for ideas not his own. And I still want to see his transcripts from Columbia and Harvard because I think at best he was a C student and he desperately needs you to believe he’s smart when he’s a middling academic.

    Wouldn’t it five funny if Biden picked Michelle Obama as VP. Then Biden resigns Michelle picks Barack as her VP and the obamas pull off another two terms.

    God that may be one of my worst nightmares.

    1. The 22nd Amendment would like a word with you.

      1. Where does it say in the Constitution that a black man can’t be Vice-President, you racist bastard? Besides, the 22nd Amendment says he can’t be elected, doesn’t mean he can’t be appointed. You’ve never met a lawyer, have you?

        1. That depends on what your definition of “met” is.

          It would be interesting to see the USSC coin flip on that situation.

        2. It is sort of ambiguous if Barack could be a Vice President. Certainly he could not be elected as President but it does not say that you can’t go through the backdoor via the Vice Presidency.

          Of course, one might point out that people vote for both a President and the Vice President as one entity which sort of assumes that he could never be on a ticket that people are voting for.

          Thus I would think that the only loophole path I can think of would be to be appointed Vice President after the election. Still shady as fuck, but apparently in line with the text of the 22nd amendment. This obviously says nothing towards the intent, which obviously this would conflict with.

          1. Could courts rule that he would have to be skipped in succession if he was VP when the president died? I think… maybe.

            1. Fairly sure the Amendment says he cannot serve after two elections. Doesn’t matter how he gets to the serving part, he cannot serve.

              …but Roberts would OK it. Because amendments don’t mean a lot to Roberts.

        3. 12A

          But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

          1. Sorry, OHE. I misread as BO elected as VP.

    2. Get a hobby you worry too much.

    3. Wouldn’t it [be] funny if Biden picked Michelle Obama as VP.

      Don’t give them ideas. When they first said that they wanted a “woman of color” for VP that was actually the first thing that popped into my head because I assume Harris basically calling him a racist made her a non-starter. I still think it might actually happen.

  7. I think there is a real question of what we are tying to achieve with the filibuster. I like the idea that the minority can stop legislation, but only if that is used with restraint. If used to stop all legislation and appointments, then its not working as intended. The majority party should be able to rule. The minority party should let them rule. I wonder if we could set this up like instant replays, where the minority party has a limited number of filibusters (like 2 for legislation and 3 for judges) and they have to use those wisely.

    1. Why “only with restraint”? The fewer laws the better. Restraint belongs in enacting laws, not in stalling or repealing them.

      1. The fuck? Restraint works in all of those things.

        We’ve already seen that filibusters are subject to being nixed due to purely political motives, so how hard is a filibuster to get around here in reality?

        The answer would appear to be ‘not very hard at all’.

        There’s nothing inherently wrong with a minority that consists of just shy of 50% of a governing body blocking legislation they disagree with. In fact, that’s rather the point. 51% shouldn’t be the cutoff for ruling all 100% of a nation, especially one that’s as geographically and demographically diverse as the United States.

        It’s one of the reasons why amendments to the constitution require such a high bar of agreement: because it affects everyone and as such the more of a majority the better.

        This benefits both parties at one point or another, and often benefits the people as well by blocking one-party diktats.

        Sure, things like the ACA slip through but that’s more the exception than the rule. It’s rare when a party gets that much power, and we see what kind of shit they get up to when they have that much power. Filibusters are one way to (theoretically, at least) limit that power. Even if it only exists as an informal rule, it’s probably better than the alternatives that are likely to be enacted to ‘fix’ the supposed problem.

        This is especially evident when you realize that the majority party will be the one writing the rules. I mean, that’s already how it works with filibuster rules: they are subject to the whims of the party in power. Didn’t we learn this all over again super recently, or was no one paying attention?

        1. 51% shouldn’t be the cutoff for ruling all 100% of a nation, especially one that’s as geographically and demographically diverse as the United States.

          We don’t have a parliamentary system.

            1. Right? It’s Jeff though, so, whatever.

            2. Well, if we had a parliamentary system, then your 51% concern would carry a little bit more weight. As things stand now, even if the filibuster were abolished, a 51% majority support would not be able to carry the day on anything, because it would have to get by the gerrymandered House, where a 51% majority there probably doesn’t represent 51% support among the entire nation; then it has to get by the Senate and the Executive, where geography matters more than majoritarian support even in the absence of the filibuster; then it has to get by the courts, which is completely anti-majoritarian.

              There are a lot of roadblocks already to majoritarian tyranny.

              1. There is nothing stopping the United States government from changing the required vote threshold for laws here in the U.S. under our current system of government. In fact, ironically, doing so requires a higher threshold in and of itself.

                So, again, so what if we’re not parliamentary?

                Personally, it seems to me that the filibuster rules are being systematically done away with and the results of that haven’t been as positive as some seem to believe.

                1. My point, is that there are already so many anti-majoritarian roadblocks, filibuster or not, that we are a long ways from worrying about majoritarian tyranny

                  1. Most of those roadblocks are paper thin. And the 20th century shows that they are easily circumvented. That’s why the US keeps slipping on the liberty index.

                    The US is in deep trouble.

              2. There are a lot of roadblocks already to majoritarian tyranny.

                And yet.
                *gestures vaguely at the entire country*
                Clearly not enough.

              3. “…As things stand now, even if the filibuster were abolished, a 51% majority support would not be able to carry the day on anything,…”

                Sometimes, you don’t even need 51% if you’re slimy enough to game it, as Pelosi and Obama were:
                “…So both of the “Acts” were able to pass both houses of Congress and sent to President Obama for his signature without a single Republican vote in favor of the legislation…”
                https://www.briansussman.com/politics/how-obamacare-became-law/

                1. …. and held-up in the liberal Supreme Court on some wildly idiotic claim that the power to “tax” (i.e. steal from) people supersedes any enumerated powers, A9-A10, and well the whole darn thing.

                  Supreme Court conclusion, “by taking ALL the immediately surrounding context of the ‘power to tax’ clause out the entire document becomes void because we have the ‘power to steal’ thus we can steal whatever we want for whatever reason we want.

          1. We are also not a democracy. Or a haven for the world’s pedophiles. No matter how hard you wish for these things.

      2. I see many things wrong with stopping all legislation for political reason. The simplest is that things like budgets don’t get done. No budget so we have continuing resolutions, which continue spending money and at the same rate even when we need changes. Want to cut spending you need a budget. Another problem is that when majority parties cannot enact legislation, they sometimes benefit from it. They go back to their voters and say we tried, even if they knew the legislation was bad from the start. The fact that the Republican often have no real plans on how to govern has not hurt them because they go back and say we tried.

        1. “how to govern” — Your arrogance is only surpassed by your own stupidity. You really don’t belong in the USA; please move to Cuba where your “how to govern” has more promise.

        2. You cannot filibuster budgets.

    2. “I wonder if we could set this up like instant replays, where the minority party has a limited number of filibusters (like 2 for legislation and 3 for judges) and they have to use those wisely.”

      Would you be surprised if this was a stupid idea?

    3. Restraint is the issue. In the hands of whichever party is in the minority it’s nothing more than a way to block any legislation you don’t like when the majority party can’t reach 60 votes in the Senate. Used to be you actually had to take the podium and keep talking, now you just say “filibuster” and nothing.

      1. “Used to be you actually had to take the podium and keep talking, now you just say “filibuster” and nothing”

        ^this
        Is bullshit.
        Make them work for it

    4. “should be able to rule”

      Fuck you

  8. Filibuster Shmilabuster. Long as the chosen one has a phone and a pen it’s all academic.

  9. The filibuster certainly is anti-democratic, and thank God for small favors. There’s still one or two of those old relics around from the days when we were a republic with a limited government but few remember what they were for.

    1. Or they realize but think the ideas are well past expiration and we need to move closer to a true democracy.

  10. former President Barack Obama expressed support for eliminating the Senate filibuster, which he called a “Jim Crow relic.” That position contradicted the one Obama took as senator in a chamber controlled by Republicans

    Principals, not principles.

  11. The filibuster is fine, just do away with non-talking filibusters and voila it will hardly ever happen. Just like it hardly ever happened before they decided to take it as read that you were speaking forever.

    1. And, while we’re on the subject, is it ironic for a minority to try and enshrine the rule of the majority?

      1. I assumed that little detail was so overtly apparent it did not even need to be mentioned.

        1. I would have thought the same, only I have years of experience with the Reason comments section and there are more than a few people who would not notice this glaring logical disconnect.

      2. They’re always planning on being back in the majority.

        1. I think he was pointing out the little detail that Obama, who is not a member of the ethnic majority in this country, objecting to the fact that there are barriers to letting the majority rule.

          You could call it irony if it wasn’t so blatantly hamfisted. The author of this book is a total hack.

        2. No, I mean the population of Black people in the United States is quite certainly a minority population. If white people are really and truly racist by default, this is essentially begging to be put back in chains using the logic of certain special interests.

          Of course, Barack is well aware of this information. He knows he’s selling snake oil to rubes when he claims filibusters are racist. He doesn’t believe it himself, but he knows it will play well to the party base. There is no way he made it out of college without hearing about the tyranny of the majority.

        3. Gotcha. But the filibuster is used by political parties not races, and most black people are Democrats.

          1. Tell that to 1960’s Democrats.

          2. The parties are not permanent constructions, no matter how hard both parties are trying to cling to that. It’s not difficult to imagine a future, perhaps closer or perhaps further away, when political parties really are drawn on racial lines. And in that future, the minorities will be happy if the filibuster survives.

    2. I would also like to do away with progressives.

  12. Obama is a mendacious shitbird, and what he thinks of the filibuster rule is as important as what my dog thinks of it. Shuffle off to the golf course and leave the rest of us alone you attention whore.

    1. It seems absolutely appropriate for the first black U.S. President to give eulogies for black community leaders, can’t fault him there.

      That Obama clearly and obviously lied about his opinion on the filibuster rules notwithstanding, of course. He’s just telling them what they want to hear, same as he did while he was in office. Now he has the extra benefit of not having any power to change those things, so he can in essence critique himself and no one will notice or care.

      1. Except for his skin tone, Obama shares nothing with African Americans.

  13. The Constitution says both houses of Congress may make their own rules to operate by. The filibuster is not in the Constitution, there is no real reason to have it other than for a minority party to block legislation and force a requirement for a higher number of votes than a simple majority.

    1. You know what else isn’t in the Constitution? Direct election of senators. Senators were supposed to be representatives of the states, and that’s really the only system that makes sense.

      Let’s repeal the 17A, and then we can debate about what rules the Senate should follow.

      1. I actually agree with this statement. The Senate lost it’s one reason for existence when they started being directly elected.

        Sure, the previous system resulted in it’s own set of nutty problems but if a State wanted to fuck around with it’s own representation at the Federal level that was pretty much their business and only hurt their own interests.

        1. Add me to the list of agreements. As designed, the senate represented the interests of the state, keeping the federal government in check. Now all roads flow to DC.

      2. That the 17th Amendment was passed means it is in the Constitution now. Whether it should be is another thing.

    2. Laws should be harder to pass, not easier. Getting 51% of the representatives on board is way too easy. All legislation should require a two thirds majority to pass (or maybe three fourths, or nine tenths), to make sure it is truly needed and not just partisan.

  14. Given the left’s belief that nothing exists except as it relates to blacks (including America itself) why wouldn’t Obama believe this?

  15. That collaboration produced the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, a godawful piece of legislation that set the pattern for a decade of indiscriminately punitive criminal justice policies

    And decades of falling crime rates.

  16. I suggest we adopt a rule and a constitutional amendment that all laws must be passed by a 2/3s majority.

    1. Just to float an idea, what would we think about lowering the requirement to repeal laws while raising the requirement to pass them?

      1. Bingo. And let’s make all laws sunset after a certain period of time (anything permanant needs to be a fucking amendment) and we don’t grandfather in all existing laws so that it applies to all laws. And make it illegal to simply amend a bad law after it is passed and force them to rewrite and pass the whole thing new.

        1. So much this. A 10-year automatic expiration on laws would give politicians something to do and stop them from looking for things to do.

        2. Automatic expiration of all bills at 5 years, and limit their size through a cap on words/characters

        3. Sunsetting only works if they must be individually reinstated, otherwise they’d just make reinstating all sunsetting laws a formality at three beginning of each term.

          Generally, laws themselves need to be better and more formally defined and structured, taking cues from mathematics and artificial intelligence.

          1. My amendment envisions all bills must be individually debated before renewal. No blanket renewals. And all bills must clearly state why they are Constitutional, and the courts must rule first on those grounds (but if it violates another portion of the Constitiuton they may rule against it, but cannot find a different Constitutional reason to rule for it, if it violates the principle that they passed it under) and all bills may not contain any wording or amendments or riders that do not directly relate to the bill being debated. And I would also add a balanced budget amendment (that can be overridden only by a declaration of war or stated emergency with 2/3 approval of both houses and must be renewed annually) additionally I would ban omnibus spending and end non-discretionary spending, all spending will be classified as discretionary except service on the debt. Make them debate Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare and Social Security every year.

  17. I do think the filibuster is time to go. There are enough anti-majoritarian roadblocks already in place:

    Bicameral legislature
    Senate with members chosen by geography not population
    President who must approve legislation to become law even for legislation supported by a supermajority of the legislature up to 2/3rds
    The Electoral College
    And then the entire judiciary

    1. If you think anti-majoritarian roadblocks are a good thing-which you seem to since you listed many of them seemingly say those are okay-then why are you against the filibuster?

      1. Good question. I think the purpose of an anti-majoritarian structure should be to temper the passions of the mob when they want to go make some rash decision or when they want to fuck around with people’s rights in some substantive way. When the anti-majoritarian structure stands in the way of the majority when they are NOT just making a hasty rash decision, or when they are not abusing people’s rights, then I think it really ought to be seriously questioned. The filibuster’s use seems to be mainly about the minority using it to prevent the legitimate will of the majority “by any means necessary” and not as some act of prudence.

        Furthermore, making it harder for the majority to enact change is implicitly biased in favor of the status quo. It is the age-old question: why should the dead rule the living? Making it difficult for today’s majority to do things means that the Senators from 50 years ago have more power than the Senators of today. Why should that be the case?

        1. This seems to assume that repealing laws has no effect upon the status quo.

          Curious.

          1. Repealing laws is one way to enact change. I don’t know what you mean.

            1. Well, if you acknowledge there are other ways to ‘change the status quo’ or ‘enact change’…


              I think the purpose of an anti-majoritarian structure should be to temper the passions of the mob when they want to go make some rash decision or when they want to fuck around with people’s rights in some substantive way.

              So, higher burden on constitutional amendments. Check, that exists.


              When the anti-majoritarian structure stands in the way of the majority when they are NOT just making a hasty rash decision, or when they are not abusing people’s rights, then I think it really ought to be seriously questioned.

              Remind me again how many laws get passed every day that are named after a tragedy victim, passed in haste with little thought to ramifications?

              Not only do you assume that passing laws is the best way to enact change, you also assume that right now today Congress and the Senate are being thoughtful and well reasoned. That’s a twofer, right there.

              1. I didn’t say that passing laws is the “best” way to enact change. But for some issues, passing laws is the *only* constructive way to enact change. For instance the looming entitlement disaster can only be averted without default by passing some sort of law.

                And “thoughtful and well reasoned” is a matter of degree. What I’m talking about is something like how the entire government rushed to pass the PATRIOT Act after 9/11. That was a decision made in haste in the wake of a tragedy and not after thoughtful reasoned consideration. That was a time when anti-majoritarian structures should have saved us but didn’t. No matter how bad you think that Democratic or Republican proposals are currently, the vast majority of them are not being rushed through in haste.

                Ironically the times that the government does act with undue haste (other than incidents like the Patriot Act) are issues like spending bills, which are due in part to the filibuster rule – since nothing happens unless there is a ticking deadline forcing everyone to act, and one reason why everything waits until the deadline is because bills can’t pass without a supermajority so individual spending bills can’t pass on a regular schedule on their own merits even if it has majority support. So everything must wait until there is NO CHOICE but to pass the bill or default. If the filibuster rule were abolished I would expect that we would have fewer Bloated Omnibus Spending Bills Passed At The Last Minute which would be better overall I think.

                1. “majoritarian tyranny” – “entitlement disaster”… Holy crap chemjeff sometimes your comments are just totally awesome! 🙂

        2. Sounds like you’re trying to cut a distinction awfully fine, there. Maybe you’re more upset about the way filibusters in execution rather than the general idea of them.

          My response is that this is part of how a bicameral legislature should work. The House is the gas, and the Senate are the brakes. The House, in theory, could be completely replaced every two years, so you can have massive populist waves. The Senate is there to check the passions of the moment.

          To me the issue isn’t the filibuster, it’s politics. In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, we had 90% of country ready for serious police reform. And then it quickly became an issue of infighting, and both sides determined that whatever passed, it had to be THEIR bill, no need to encourage bipartisanship. And since it’s an election year, they’re all more than content to just put the issue off until after the election instead of actually seeking changes.

          1. Well, the Senate is already the “brakes” even without the filibuster – their election based on geography, and their 6-year terms, already guarantees that.

            And see the George Floyd police reform thing is where the filibuster really bit us in the ass. Democrats in the Senate were able to filibuster the Republican bill purely out of political considerations. If they had been unable to do that, then Congress would currently be reconciling the Democratic House version and the Republican Senate version of the bill and we would be a step closer to making some progress. And this is on an issue where, as you say, there is overwhelming public support for enacting some type of constructive change. If Congress cannot do something on an issue like this when the overwhelming majority want some change, then I think some structural change is needed. Getting rid of the filibuster is one easy option, but there are others. Increasing the size of the House, letting states have 3 Senators each and having a Senate election every two years in every state along side the House elections, ranked choice voting – something to clear out the dysfunction.

            1. Because that’s political bullshit and not specific to the filibuster. In the House, the Democrats introduced a criminal justice reform bill with zero input from Republicans, even those willing to reach across the aisle. They would not allow the bill to debated or amendments to it be added. They were able to pass it on the “Fuck you we’ve got 53% of the votes” clause.

              That’s not the way to write legislation when there’s bipartisan support for an issue. The problem is rooted in the way politics is being conducted.

              1. Well if Democrats and Republicans reached a compromise in the House, and passed a different bill that way, then the issue of the filibuster wouldn’t have even come into play because such a bill would have been much more amenable to Democrats and Republicans in the Senate as well and probably would not have faced a filibuster. Sure that is probably the better way to do it.

                But in the absence of that, if Democrats in the House say “Fuck you we’ve got 53% of the votes we’re passing a bill”, and the Republicans in the Senate are able to say (in the absence of a filibuster) “Fuck you we’ve got 53% of the votes we’re passing a bill”, then that is an alternative way to reach some sort of compromise bill that both chambers can live with.

                In the end, either way, the process enables a compromise to move forward.

                1. Why would you assume that suddenly the two houses would find compromise if only the Senate bill got out of the Senate? The Republican Senate didn’t decide to suddenly start evaluating the House Bill after the Senate bill was tanked. You’d still have ended up with both houses tanking each others’ bill.

                  Because it’s an election year and we can’t run the risk of passing a bill that everyone wants but one side might get more credit for.

                  The filibuster is completely irrelevant to the reasons criminal justice reform was killed, once again, in 2020.

                  1. You are probably right in the grand scheme. If two separate bills had been passed however it would have been one step further towards progress than what we currently got.

                    1. And if there’s one thing Jeff wants, it’s progress…

            2. Why does the federal government need to pass police reform laws at all? All these democrats, who are in charge of places like Minneapolis whine and cry about what big meanies the police are to blacks. Why haven’t they just passed all the reforms themselves?

        3. that’s the whole point of the filibuster though — to call attention to a hasty mob and make them slow down for a day or two.

    2. Senate with members chosen by geography not population

      This is simply the wrong way to look at the Senate. Think of it this way: each state legislature, which is the prime lawmaking body of any state, has an interest in making sure that the governing powers granted to it by the Constitution are not trampled upon by federal laws. To ensure this, each state legislature was given representation in this body called the Senate whose assent is required to make federal law. Geography and population are and should be totally irrelevant for the purpose of determining how much representation each state legislature gets in protecting its governing prerogatives — each state should be equal in this regard. The 17th Amendment severed the connection between the state legislatures and senators, and hence engendered confusion as to the purpose of the senators, making it look like they just represented the people living within state borders rather than the states as governing entities. While it is still possible for senators chosen by popular vote to guard the sovereignty of the states, the fact that any one senator is now accountable to an amorphous mass of hundreds of thousands or millions of voters instead of just the few hundred people who are tasked with writing laws for the state will (adversely, imo) affect the way the senator discharges his duty to represent his state.

      So, it makes no sense to call the Senate anti-majoritarian when the Senate was never meant to represent the people (or geography, as you put it).

  18. Sen. Robert Byrd (D–W.Va.), an ardent defender of Senate traditions—also used the filibuster in an unsuccessful attempt to block the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Sen. Robert Byrd (D–W.Va.), an ardent defender of Senate traditions

    Really? Was he a ‘peaceful ascetic’, too?

    And this throwaway line–

    also used the filibuster in an unsuccessful attempt to block the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    It’s the longest filibuster in US history. 60 days. That’s ‘days’, with a ‘d’.

    And what’s left out?

    That the filibuster was used mostly by Democrats, mostly for the purpose of oppressing black people.

    1. Given the overtly racist history of the Democrat party, and the current penchant to demand renaming anything with the slightest connection to anything that might remotely be related to anything distasteful, I think it is high time that the Democrat party be renamed the Party of Slavery. Somebody with more time on his hands than me needs to start a petition to demand it. It’s time to wipe the history of Democrats clean and start over with an appropriate name. On top of all that, the Democrat is a POS.

      1. I am proud that my Democratic Party has repudiated its history of support for slavery and racial discrimination. Are you proud of how eagerly the Republican Party stepped into the breach?

        1. But the Democrat should be renamed. Tear down that racist relic. The POS should be flushed down the drain of history.

        2. The Democrats are as racist as ever: they want to impose racial discrimination as a matter of law. And the Republicans are as anti racist as ever: they want legal equality under the law

          The trick the Democrats pulled is that they managed to redefine standing up for equality under the law as “racist”. It’s typical of the left: they latch onto terms like “social”, “community”, “liberal”, “progress”, “rights”, and “equality” and pervert its meaning.

    2. And the Democratic party cut out the cancer of its racist southerners and handed their power to Republicans, who rely on it to this day.

      Imagine a party sacrificing power for principle. Also imagine a party gleefully accepting the KKK faction into its arms as a means to power.

      1. They traded southern racists for northern racists. Democrats in Detroit literally built a fucking wall to separate themselves from black people.

        1. Detroit has Republicans too. They’re the ones in the suburbs walling themselves off from black people. You forget that black people are, in and of themselves, a major constituency of the Democrats. As in almost zero of them support Republicans.

          Of course the suburbs are no longer on Team Republican because Republicans are too racist for them.

          1. You forget that black people are, in and of themselves, a major constituency of the Democrats. As in almost zero of them support Republicans.

            So? Black voters switched to the Democratic party in the South in the 1930’s, when even the Democrats admit that they were still the party of segregation and racism. Support from black voters is based on poverty and government handouts, not on opposition to racism.

            Of course the suburbs are no longer on Team Republican because Republicans are too racist for them.

            The Democratic party wins elections by dividing people up by race and then creating race-based policies. The racists today are where they have always been: in the Democratic party.

            1. So black people vote universally for Democrats because they thin they get special goodies for being black (they don’t) and also they are racists.

              Only the 100% white party containing all the right wingers is not racist. Checks out.

              1. So black people vote universally for Democrats

                Only about 2/3 of people who identify as black are Democrats; the rest are independents or Republicans.

                because they thin they get special goodies for being black (they don’t)

                No, you aren’t thinking this through. I said that people who are poor or otherwise dependent on government vote for Democrats; that has nothing to do with race. It just happens to be the case that blacks are statistically more likely to be in that group. That is, they don’t receive “special goodies for being black”, it’s just that the group that receives special goodies happens to have a lot of blacks in them (because Democrats spent much of the 20th century destroying the livelihood of blacks).

                and also they are racists.

                LBJ referred the the Civil Rights Act as the “n____ bill”, said about Thurgood Marshall “When I appoint a n____ to SCOTUS, I want everybody to know he’s a n_____”. And based on his other statements, it’s pretty likely that support for black “civil rights” was a political strategy and ploy. Clinton said about Obama “A few years ago, this guy (Obama) would be getting us coffee.” Yes, Democrats cynically went for the black vote because 13% of the US population is worth it.

                On the other hand, the idea that Republicans turned racist in order to attract a few thousand KKK members is utterly absurd.

                Only the 100% white party containing all the right wingers is not racist. Checks out.

                There are plenty of black Republicans, including in the current administration. But because it doesn’t fit your racist world view, you simply deny reality.

          2. Yeah. White people are terrible.

      2. False. A fcvkin lie. And incredibly dumb

      3. The South turned Republican because whites there stopped being racist.

        And the idea that the KKK is a group with any significant political influence or power is laughable

        The Democratic party is still the party of racists and plantation owners, they just asked to the 21st century.

        1. Uh huh. It’s the blacks who are the real racists. *Pats your head*

          1. Inconceivable!

            And it’s gotta be one or the other. Victims and villains. That’s how it works. There is no “bad people on both sides” possible here. Decades of grievance pimping hasn’t made black people racist. Just resentful.

            Haha. *pats your head*

            1. But the problem is not about what people think in their hearts. Of course everyone is a little bit racist. White people don’t suffer social consequences from racism. As much as you may want to make this about rightthink, it’s actually just about people being poorer with fewer opportunities because of how they were born and the pathologies of the society they were born into.

          2. It’s the blacks who are the real racists.

            No, it’s Democrats who are the real racists; they destroyed the black family and black livelihoods in order to create a permanent underclass of government-dependent voters who are forced to vote for government handouts.

            The Democrats have created a modern version of the plantation system and are enriching themselves with it. Blacks are the victims and don’t have a choice, just like when Democrats enslaved them.

            And you are a racist for enabling and supporting this system.

            1. Or maybe the racists systematically excluded black people from any progress. That might have something to do with it.

              Your entire narrative drips in condescension toward black people. They have practically no agency in your story. But good news, it’s not that you are making the argument that blacks can vote themselves off their plantation but choose not to for some reason. You’re just making yourself into a joke by desperately defending Republicans for some reason snd absurdly claiming that they are the racially progressive ones. I wonder why blacks haven’t got that memo. Too stupid and helpless?

  19. I am coming around to Heinlein’s concept of a third legislative house, with only the power to repeal laws, on a 1/3 vote.
    And yes, eliminate the filibuster; require ALL bills to pass by 2/3 super majority.
    The reasoning being if one third oppose a law, it is probably a bad law;
    if you can’t get 2/3 support for a law, it is probably a bad law.

  20. As the party that enacted the Jim Crow Laws, the DNC is more a ‘Jim Crow Relic’ that should be abolished in the name of Democracy, than the Senate Filibuster is.

    Remember, the Democratic Party is the party responsible for;
    – The Indian Removal Act/Trail of Tears
    – Dred Scott decision
    – Missouri Compromise, Kansas–Nebraska Act, Slave States
    – The Knights of the Golden Circle and the civil-war Copperheads
    – The Draft Riots
    – The Klu Klux Klan
    – The Chinese Exclusion Act
    – Jim Crow Laws
    – Resegregation of the Civil Service
    – “The Birth of a Nation”
    – Rejection of Japan’s Racial Equality Proposal
    – WWII Japanese American internment
    – Opposition to the Equal Pay Act of 1963
    – The Solid South
    – Opposition to the Civil Rights Acts of ’64 and ’68, George Wallace, Bull Conner, etc.

    Slightly less racist than the German National Socialists, but more racist than the Italian Fascists, the DNC should be consigned to the dustbin of history.

    1. Wasn’t Robert Byrd in office until he died in 2010? Shouldn’t he have died as a Republican, according to Democrats?

      1. Klan recruiter and Exalted Cyclops Robert Carlyle Byrd?

        Joe Biden: “A very close friend of mine, one of my mentors, a guy who was there when I was a 29-year-old kid being sworn into the United States Senate… We lost the dean of the United States Senate, but also the state of West Virginia lost its most fierce advocate and, as I said, I lost a dear friend.”

        Hillary Clinton: “It is almost impossible to imagine the United States Senate without Robert Byrd. He was not just its longest serving member, he was its heart and soul. From my first day in the Senate, I sought out his guidance, and he was always generous with his time and his wisdom.

        Barack Obama: “He [Robert Byrd] was as much a part of the Senate as the marble busts that line its chamber and its corridors. His profound passion for that body and its role and responsibilities was as evident behind closed doors as it was in the stemwinders he peppered with history. He held the deepest respect of members of both parties, and he was generous with his time and advice, something I appreciated greatly as a young senator.”

        But remember. Statues of a “‘white” looking Jesus are racist.

      2. Byrd and Thurmond illustrate things nicely for people who still can’t grasp the concept that a political party can change in 100 years.

        Thurmond, a Dixiecrat, became a Republican in 1964. I bet you can guess why!

        Byrd remained a Democrat even after his party fought for civil rights, recanting his former racism in the 1980s.

        Not that which party is more racist today can’t be teased out by the fact that one runs every year on a platform of shitting on brown people. The party whose current presidential campaign strategy is to crudely and violently oppose civil rights activists and promise soccer moms to rid their neighborhood of “low income housing.”

        But you know all they already.

        1. Byrd remained a democrat because that’s where his bread was buttered. And he had the clout to stay in the party.

        2. Now do Al Gore Sr, George Wallace, Clinton mentor J W Fulbright ( Arkansas had no R Senators from 1880 – 1997) Fritz Hollings (in office until 2005) , John Stennis ( 1989) Howell Heflin (1997) – The South DIDNT change because of Civil Rights or Nixon or anything like that, it changed 1) because old racist Ds died off, 2) Republicans migrated form the North, and the 3) Democrat Party went wackadoodle Lefty. The End.

          1. Do what? Racism is what’s wrong. If Democrats were racist in the last, they were wrong then. I’m still awaiting at least a lame-ass excuse for why Republicans are currently far-right reactionary racists. You wanna go with “I learned it by watching Clinton mentors!”?

            1. Republicans aren’t racist. They don’t lobby for legislation DIRECTLY about sex or color… They don’t believe a persons sex or color are SIGNIFICANT factors about who a person is…….

              But you know which party does lobby on those things COMPULSIVELY and which party thinks they are SIGNIFICANT factors?????????????????????

              Same racist sexist party as always – just a whole crap load of excuses, manipulation and projection tacked on…

              1. “They don’t lobby for legislation DIRECTLY about sex or color… They don’t believe a persons sex or color are SIGNIFICANT factors about who a person is”

                How about you name the legislation you had in mind. The civil rights act directly addresses race. Is it the most racist law of all time, do you think?

                You could just ask a black person if their race is significant to their identity in our society or not.

                1. lol… Tony; you can’t even argue that manipulation tactic correctly…

                  The Civil Rights act of 1964 was pitched by D-NY Cellar (i.e. Democrats).. The civil rights of 1868 with a 94% R-vote and 0% D-vote that freed slaves was pitched by Republicans and VETOED by Democrat Andrew Johnson in 1866. It makes no reference to race.

                  1. The civil rights act of 1866 grants equal protection regardless of race. It establishes an equal right to the civil procedures that, and I quote, “white citizens” enjoy. What are you talking about? And I take it you do not support the CRA of 1964?

                    It would be nice if you could just say what policies you are for instead of trying to take credit for something you and your ideological brethren have fought tooth and nail against at every step.

                    1. You do realize that what you just stated there is that I need to clarify what your ‘enemy’ (you and your ideological brethren) believes in so you can argue whatever it may be…. Except; your not sure whatever it is…………. lmao 🙂

                      You really need to take it easy on the gangster affiliation pills.

                      See its right here… “It would be nice if you could just say what policies you are for instead of trying to take credit for something you and your ideological brethren have fought tooth and nail against at every step.”

            2. I know, right? It is always amusing to see Republican apologists trot out all of these old dead racist Democrats as “proof” that “Democrats are the party of racism” or some such. Parties change over time. Democrats WERE full of white racists at one point, but they aren’t now. Maybe someone should point out that Republicans WERE full of trust-busting progressives who favored the income tax and the inheritance tax.

              Here is Teddy Roosevelt in 1907:

              A graduated income tax of the proper type would be a desirable feature of Federal taxation, and it is to be hoped that one may be devised which the Supreme Court will declare constitutional. The inheritance tax, however, is both a far better method of taxation, and far more important for the purpose of having the fortunes of the country bear in proportion to their increase in size a corresponding increase and burden of taxation.

              Would it be fair to say “Republicans are the party of raising your taxes”? They WERE, back in the 1900’s. They’re not now.

              1. lol… “Democrats WERE full of >>>white<<>>black<<< Democrats.."

                So the color of one's skin determines whether someone is racist or not? I was always under the assumption using the color of one's skin as a marker of who someone is was the VERY DEFINITION of being racist.

                1. huh – comment got cut out…
                  “Democrats WERE full of white racists” … as opposed to, “We’re not racist because we’re black Democrats” …

              2. Name one piece of legislation, the most recent you can remember, from the Rs that includes race/color/ethnicity as a primary factor

                1. Ignoring race is not the same as being not-racist. “I don’t see color!” Really?

                  1. Ignoring race when it comes to legislation is EXACTLY what non-racist MEANS…. Holy cow; If democrats were Pinocchio their noses would stretch all the way to Pluto and back.

                    1. You understand it’s illegal to make laws that benefit one race or another? What are you even talking about? Are you suggesting that black civil rights activists and their political allies should have abandoned civil rights legislation in favor of… what? Graciously thanking Republicans for all they’ve done for black people?

                    2. Are you suggesting that black civil rights activists and their political allies should have abandoned civil rights legislation in favor of… what? Graciously thanking Republicans for all they’ve done for black people?

                      Civil Rights legislation was a well-meaning attempt to reduce statistical disparities between blacks and whites. It was a reasonable thing to have tried.

                      But it failed. Blacks were making rapid progress before the passage of civil rights legislation. That came to a crashing halt after the passage of civil rights legislation.

                      As it turns out, the best way of helping minorities is for government to get out of the way. That’s how most other minorities prospered in the US. The only effect government intervention has ever had on minorities is to hurt them/us.

                    3. “Are you suggesting that black civil rights activists and their political allies should have abandoned civil rights legislation in favor of… what?”

                      There seems to be confusion here about the 14th Amendment / Civil Rights of 1868 and the Civil Right Act of 1964. NOYB2 explains this very well in effect that the 14th Amendment made things fair whereas the CRA of 1964 written as such or not ended up ‘entitling’ certain inalienable characteristics above and beyond others.

                      i.e. If you’re white you can get kicked out of businesses for whatever reason at all. BUT if your Black or a Woman you can sue under the CRA of 1964. That’s an ‘entitlement’ created.

                    4. You can’t be discriminated against for being white any more than you can for being black. It doesn’t say any race gets special treatment. If you don’t know they then you have a lot of reasoning to do before you come informed to this discussion.

                      White people managed to escape without ever having to experience discrimination. How nice is that? But I’m sure we’ll find some minor inconveniences to endlessly whine about anyway.

                    5. So how did the civil rights act of 1964 turn black people’s “rapid progress” into decline? Too much freedom for them to handle? You still keep going back to an implicit argument that something is wrong with black people that causes their poor social outcomes. The CRA did nothing to them but grant them some rights everyone else already enjoyed. As much as you want to characterize these efforts as some kind of freebie giveaway that corrupted the morals of black people, it was actually just an incomplete step in making their rights equal to your own.

                      It is yet another absurd example of willful blindness not to even acknowledge that discrimination and bigotry might have some small role to play in those worse social outcomes. Like being forced out of white neighborhoods systematically and escorted into ghettos. Like every time your community succeeds, white people come and burn that community to the ground. It happens over and over and prevents any generation from gaining a foothold. That might reduce their opportunities somewhat. As St. Jordan Peterson says, clean your own goddamn house. “Republicans are for equality!” What a joke this place is.

                    6. “But I’m sure we’ll find some minor inconveniences to endlessly whine about anyway.”

                      That is exactly what you’re doing. You acknowledge, “You understand it’s illegal to make laws that !!-benefit-!! one race or another?” — WHAT’S LEFT to be crying racist about?????

                      Yet you’ll demonize the party that lives by that law and say nothing about the ‘other’ party (the Democratic party) that compulsively pampers and tries to do EXACTLY that illegal act on every campaign trail… Heck – right here on the DNC website, “advance the issues that matter most to African Americans, from civil rights to economic opportunity.” WHY JUST AFRICAN AMERICANS??? Isn’t that pushing to !!-Benefit-!! one race over another?????

                      People of ALL forms carry prejudices. INCLUDING black people. You don’t think white people get socially banned from the ghetto’s? Heck; I remember a white truck driver that got beat to death for being in the wrong ghetto at the wrong time BECAUSE he was white. You cry about white people burning down communities yet the BLM protest is doing that RIGHT NOW????

                      You live in your own “illusion” of truth which coincidentally is a blatant and completely opposite of the truth lie. You might want to consider correcting or at least aligning that ‘illusion’ with a little reality.

                    7. Let’s have some fun here — Lets rewrite exact phrases on the DNC webpage using Republicans and white people eh….

                      [We] will push for a societal transformation (i.e. Socialism) to make it clear that WHITE lives matter

                      For decades, Republicans have stood with the WHITE community in the struggle for equality

                      (used before) Advance the issues that matter most to WHITE Americans, from civil rights to economic opportunity

                      The economic crisis had an especially brutal impact on communities of WHITE people that were already struggling long before the financial crisis hit.

                      make college more affordable, and expand opportunities for WHITE Americans

                      Republicans are proud to stand and declare the WHITE lives matter.

                      “Hey man… We’re not racist.. It’s that other party that is” /s

                  2. Ignoring race is not the same as being not-racist.

                    Yes, ignoring race is the same as being not-racist. If you don’t ignore race, by definition, you are engaging in racial discrimination, and that makes you a racist.

            3. I’m still awaiting at least a lame-ass excuse for why Republicans are currently far-right reactionary racists

              Republicans stand for equality under the law and a color-blind society. That is the non-racist position. Any other political position is racist.

              Democrats stand for equality of outcome, affirmative action, quotas, hate crime legislation, and reparations. That is a racist position. It’s the same kind of racism Democrats were guilty of when they favored eugenics and segregation.

              You’re a racist, Tony, and you favor racist policies. At least have the decency to admit it.

              1. I’ll never forget CHAZ demanding that only BLACK doctors could work on black patients….. The mob out “protesting” racism is demanding segregation…. lmao….. It was just way too funny.

              2. You’re wrong on both counts. But I’m sure republicans appreciate you giving them credit for a platform they have no interest in enacting while assuming the most nefarious motives possible of Democrats.

                The equality people, Republicans, are basically 99% white. Do minorities hate equality or what?

        3. “The party whose current presidential campaign strategy is to crudely and violently oppose civil rights activists DNC white paramilitary thugs, looters and rioters not even pretending to give a shit about blacks anymore and promise soccer moms humanity to rid neighborhoods of “low income housing.” racist minority ghettos and DNC vote plantations.”

          Fixed that for you Tony. I had a bit of a laugh that you tried to defend something as racist as the projects.

          Thurmond, a Dixiecrat, became a Republican in 1964.
          One.
          One southern Democrat switched parties.The rest, including those who filibustered the ’64 CRA, stayed Democrats until they were out of office. Most remained Democrats until they died.
          There was no switch. The record of who was in Congress proves that.
          This is a lie perpetrated by your tribe, the party of slavery, of Jim Crow, of the Black Codes, of the KKK, of segregation, of thousands of Confederate monuments placed to intimidate black people. The party of redlining, of destroying the black family, of creating ghettoes.

          You only want the statues gone to hide their crimes. To make it easier to blame Republicans instead of your own fouled nest.

          1. The current leader of the Republican Party ran a campaign on walling off brown people and has declared war on American cities because they have too much protest for black civil rights. If you can’t see his white racial grievance politics, you are lying, because you aren’t deaf and blind.

            You people are just trolling with the lamest and most desperate deflections imaginable. Why are we wasting our time with this sad nonsense?

            1. Mexicans aren’t a race any more than Canadians are you purposefully dishonest fuck, and the DNC rioters give as much of a shit about black lives and police brutality as you do.

              So fuck off back to reddit with your concern trolling and race-baiting you disgusting shill.

              1. Curious that the far-right Trumpers never shit themselves in bloodthirsty glee over the thought of building a wall to keep Canadians out.

                It’s almost like race is something racists impose on other people, and that’s the whole goddamn point.

                1. Curious that the far-right Trumpers never shit themselves in bloodthirsty glee over the thought of building a wall to keep Canadians out.

                  We don’t have millions of Canadians trying to come into the US illegally; that’s why we don’t need a wall with Canada.

                  It’s almost like race is something racists impose on other people, and that’s the whole goddamn point.

                  I agree: you and the Democrats are racists, and you are trying to impose your racist world view on the entire country. Go to hell, Tony, your racism is not acceptable.

                  1. Centuries of racist inhumanity amounts to a lame zinger to you.

                    All the illegal immigrants who come by plane don’t come through Mexico, and walls don’t stop planes. But it’s not about race. It won’t do a goddamn thing about immigration, but it’s not about race.

                    1. You were insinuating that by not building a wall with Canada, Americans have some kind of preference for Canadians over Mexicans and that that preference is race-based. And I explained to you: we don’t need a wall with Canada because there aren’t millions of illegals trying to come in through the US Canada border.

                      Centuries of racist inhumanity amounts to a lame zinger to you.

                      They amount to a lot to me, which is why I call out Democrats for the inhuman racists they are.

                      All the illegal immigrants who come by plane don’t come through Mexico, and walls don’t stop planes.

                      It’s not an either/or choice. We need to strengthen physical border security with Mexico and we need to deal with the problem of people overstaying their visas and remove them when they do.

                      But it’s not about race.

                      Given that most illegals in the US are the descendants of slave-holding white European imperialists and conquerors (namely Spaniards), no, it’s not about race.

                    2. Who are you trying to convince? Trump says he wants more immigrants from Scandinavia. So his problem isn’t specifically with immigration is it?

            2. Being opposed to importing unlimited third world poverty and anarchy in the cities is “white racial grievance politics”? Wow.

              What is wrong with you?

              1. I didn’t realize that was something I favored. Shit.

            3. The current leader of the Republican Party ran a campaign on walling off brown people

              He ran a campaign of stopping illegal immigration, regardless of race.

              And to most people in the world, they are descendants of Spaniards, and generally more light skinned than Southern Europeans.

              You’re projecting your own racist world view onto others, Tony.

              Why are we wasting our time with this sad nonsense?

              Why are people like you wasting everybody’s time with your racist world view? With your inability to see people as individuals and invent ever more bizarre ways of dividing people up into different “races”?

              1. I don’t like people who lie.

        4. Byrd and Thurmond illustrate things nicely for people who still can’t grasp the concept that a political party can change in 100 years.

          Yes. Unfortunately, the Democratic party is still the party of racial division and racial discrimination.

          Not that which party is more racist today can’t be teased out by the fact that one runs every year on a platform of shitting on brown people.

          Yup, Democrats do that.

          The party whose current presidential campaign strategy is to crudely and violently oppose civil rights activists and promise soccer moms to rid their neighborhood of “low income housing.”

          Translation: Republicans oppose socialism and mob rule. Democrats use racial divisiveness to promote socialism, a propaganda strategy of socialists since Stalin.

          1. So explain again why blacks almost universally vote for Democrats. Did you say something above about how black people see it in their interest to do so?

            1. The DNC controls the media megaphone, and just like every other demographic some people get suckered in.

              1. So almost all black Americans are suckers. And they can’t change the channel to Fox News where they’ll learn how much Republicans want to help them.

                1. So almost all black Americans are suckers.

                  Less than half of blacks vote in federal elections; in local elections, voter turnout is often in the single digits.

                  Approval ratings of politicians are in the low 20s; few people vote because they like the people they vote for or agree with their ideology. People vote with their pocket book. For poor folks who came out of a dysfunctional public education system, that means voting for the party that promises to give lots of government handouts.

                2. “So explain again why blacks almost universally vote for Democrats.” — A question I often ask myself over and over again….. But there are many black people who don’t. Ben Carson, David Clarke, etc.. etc..

                  “how much Republicans want to help them” — Republicans (their platform anyways) believe all people (individuals) should have equal freedoms, rights and justice..

                  As someone else once stated so well (I paraphrase), “Slave ownership sells to everyone but those who are being enslaved”.

                  When “Democrats” sell “help them” they are selling slavery unless the subject is completely non-legislative and they themselves are doing the ‘helping’ entirely.

                  Sadly what it really amounts to is — We as the 3rd party gun carriers will force/steal from those ‘other’ people to ‘help them’. It’s not hard at all to see that a party that carries that ideology would definitely also be the party of slavery. ‘them’ being the entitled at the expense of the ‘others’. Government doesn’t produce anything…. What they give/help with is what they stole.

                3. all black Americans are suckers
                  I didn’t say that, did I, you dishonest fuck.
                  Can you ever manage to craft an argument that isn’t in bad faith?

        5. They do a lot less pandering and self righteous virtue signaling. = “shitting on brown people”.

          Give yourself a pat on the back. Haha.

  21. Mister Smith would be upset.

  22. Nothing all that bad about real filibusters where they have to actually hold the Senate floor and it blocks all other business.

    This pseudo filibuster thing where a single Senator can block one bill or nomination while normal business proceeds on other issues needs to go.

    1. This, the filibuster is a good tool but when they did away with the actual difficulty of maintaining a true filibuster it went from a use in an emergency tool to let’s use it every day for partisan reasons.

  23. the information is very complete and easy to understand qq online

  24. If you want your filibuster you can keep your filibuster

  25. I don’t understand why we allow the uneducated masses to block progress.

    President Biden should have the authority to save the country and it should require a 2/3 majority to overturn his executive orders. This is too important to wait for a dysfunctional congress.

  26. unreason …ever wonder how I know Trump will win reelection?

    The Democrats acting so desperate means even they know Trump will be reelected. A cocksure Democrat Party would know their guy would be elected, like Obama was a guarantee.

    The Party of slavery needed their token Black American to smooth over the racist past of the Democrat Party.

    1. I dread the election of a Biden, were it to happen. A lot of people will have to die to stop the Democrat’s Marxist agenda if he gets elected.

  27. Both parties have used a tool that benefits the minority when they were in the minority. Hot take!

    We don’t have a functioning government, in no small part because of the “accident” of the filibuster, one of the most annoying consequences of which is to give people notions that minority rule is somehow more virtuous than majority rule.

    1. … and there’s still a few of us who think individual rights and justice should rule (U.S. Constitution). Instead of having the mindset that some “mob” should rule everyone else.

      1. I don’t think either of us understands what you’re trying to say here.

        1. “minority rule is somehow more virtuous than majority rule” — The (by far) most virtuous being the U.S. Constitution because we’re a Republic not a Democracy.

    2. We don’t have a functioning government, in no small part because of the “accident” of the filibuster, one of the most annoying consequences of which is to give people notions that minority rule is somehow more virtuous than majority rule.

      The minority can’t “rule”, it can simply block the majority. That’s a good thing. We should require 2/3 or 3/4 majorities for all new legislation, while a simple majority should suffice for repealing a law.

  28. If we just prohibited government from initiating force it wouldn’t matter.

    1. Dude, you gotta give it a rest.
      Either explain how you envision a government that is “prohibited from initiating force” operating, or stop with the meaningless slogan

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  31. The problem with the filibuster is that there is no such thing
    Used to be you had to stand and talk like MR Smith

    Now you just have to threaten to.

    Funny how the reality of election cycles makes reactionaries and racists embrace the filibuster

  32. “it has been deployed many times since for reasons having nothing to do with government-enforced white supremacy.”

    That must explain your documenting those whole 10, or was it 15, times over the period of more than 100 years before the Conservatives/racists started abusing it.

    The difference is: The racists/Conservatives use the filibuster to prevent good – The good then used the filibuster to slow the spread of evil/Conservatism.

    Like Jesus said: ‘By their fruits you’ll know what these motherfu@king Conservative Biotches are all about.’

    P.S. That was also Mighty White and KreeeeeeshChaaaan of you to conveniently pretend to forget to mention the fact that those old Southern Democrats are now the new Conservative base.

    1. Copypasta from above, but;

      One.
      One southern Democrat switched parties.The rest, including those who filibustered the ’64 CRA, stayed Democrats until they were out of office. Most remained Democrats until they died.

      There was no switch. The record of who was in Congress proves that.

      This is a lie perpetrated by your tribe, the party of slavery, of Jim Crow, of the Black Codes, of the KKK, of segregation, of thousands of Confederate monuments placed to intimidate black people. The party of redlining, of destroying the black family, of creating ghettoes.

      You only want the statues gone to hide their crimes. To make it easier to blame Republicans instead of your own fouled nest.

      1. Why do black people vote almost universally for Democrats?

        1. The DNC owns the media megaphone and has since before the New York Times was pushing Birth of a Nation and writing editorials about how blacks belong in zoos.
          Since the seventies their media’s been telling everyone how suddenly unracist your party is even while it was herding blacks into ghettoes projects. And just like with every other demographic some people get suckered in by it.

          1. But blacks get suckered in at like 90%. So I’m asking you to explain what it is about black people that isn’t the case with white people that makes them make such terrible decisions?

            You really ought to have an iron-clad explanation for this since your argument is that the party that only white people support is actually the one on the side of racial justice.

            1. But blacks get suckered in at like 90%

              No, they don’t. The majority of blacks doesn’t usually vote at all. And the vast majority of blacks, like the vast majority of whites, despises politicians.

              So I’m asking you to explain what it is about black people that isn’t the case with white people that makes them make such terrible decisions?

              They are not “terrible decisions” at the individual level. Democrats depend on the vote of government-dependent poor people, and those people vote for Democrats. Republicans want to move people into the middle class in the long term, but that requires reducing government handouts and taxes; it’s not in the short-term interest of poor people today to vote for that.

              Just like slavery itself, Democrats have worked hard to create this new racist system and maintain it. It will take many more decades to dismantle it as well.

              You really ought to have an iron-clad explanation for this since your argument is that the party that only white people support is actually the one on the side of racial justice.

              Republicans are most certainly not on the side of “racial justice”, a discriminatory, divisive neo-Marxist concept.

              Republicans are on the side of a free, tolerant, non-racist, prosperous society

              1. Voting is not, in fact, just like slavery. Black people can choose whom to vote for, and they always choose Democrats. You have to explain what is special about black people that makes them make terrible decisions about voting in a way that poor whites don’t.

                1. Voting is not, in fact, just like slavery.

                  Something we can agree on.

                  Black people can choose whom to vote for, and they always choose Democrats.

                  That’s simply false. The majority of blacks doesn’t vote at all.

                  You have to explain what is special about black people that makes them make terrible decisions about voting in a way that poor whites don’t.

                  As I explained, there are two incorrect premises in your statement.

                  First, poor blacks are not “making terrible decisions”, they objectively vote in their own short term interest; Democrats have simply arranged for the short term economic interests of blacks to coincide with maintaining a permanent underclass of blacks.

                  Second, major determinant factors of who votes for Democrats are independent of race. People who vote Democratic are single parents, poor and unemployed youth (and younger people in general), people on government programs, and government workers; this is independent of race. So, poor black voters don’t generally behave all that differently from poor white voters.

                  The remaining race-based differences can be accounted for by Democratic policies and rhetoric: poor whites are more rural and more blue collar, often in industries like coal, energy, construction, and manufacturing that Democrats are attacking and destroying. And Democrats have gone out of their way to insult specifically poor whites while portraying poor blacks as victims.

                  The differences you see are due to Democratic racism and policies, simple as that.

                  1. “Democrats have simply arranged for the short term economic interests of blacks to coincide with maintaining a permanent underclass of blacks.”

                    But you can see this permanent underclass strategy while black voters can’t. I’m still waiting for someone to point out the law that Democrats support that only benefits black people. You can’t because it would be unconstitutional.

                    But I’m sure if you spoke to a black person they would thank you for telling them all the secret plans of Democrats they don’t know about.

                    Don’t you think it’s more plausible that a portion of a racial group neglects their economic interests for cultural reason, rather than the entire racial group? Isn’t it simpler just to say that a sizable chunk of white voters have bought into Republican racial and cultural resentment politics, but the lure is hardly universal among whites?

                    1. But you can see this permanent underclass strategy while black voters can’t.

                      Like most voters, the long term strategy doesn’t matter to black voters, what matters is their short term interests. This is hardly new: black voters started voting for southern Democrats in the 1930’s when Democrats where clearly still the party of racism and the KKK by their own admission (long before the mythical “Southern Strategy” when everything supposedly flipped).

                      And this doesn’t just apply to black voters; as a gay man, I have voted for anti-gay politicians because it was in my economic interest.

                      It’s a frequent occurrence in politics that group X votes for politician Y even though politician Y hates group X.

                      Isn’t it simpler just to say that a sizable chunk of white voters have bought into Republican racial and cultural resentment politics, but the lure is hardly universal among whites?

                      I’m not aware of any “Republican racial and cultural resentment politics”. After imperfectly living up to the “liberal” moniker for a few decades, It’s the Democrats who returned to their roots and started massively engaging in “racial and cultural resentment” over the last 20 years, in addition to fascist/socialist economics.

                    2. So Democrats, the real racists, get all the black votes because they offer a better deal to black voters. Maybe they suck at racism?

                      You won’t even go so far as to state the obvious, which doesn’t absolve Democrats of anything: Republicans are consistently terrible to all minorities, with a special edge of sadism reserved for blacks. I don’t know what to tell you. Without white racial resentment politics, the modern incarnation having been born in 1964, there would be no a Republican Party as we know it. From white flight to welfare queens to one race-based moral panic another, it’s practically all they got.

                      You can’t possibly be this blind to historical and current reality, so I can unfortunately only assume you’re trolling. The Republican Party is currently in the throes of its biggest belly flop into infamy since it was founded. Why waste any time defending them so ludicrously?

                    3. You won’t even go so far as to state the obvious, which doesn’t absolve Democrats of anything: Republicans are consistently terrible to all minorities, with a special edge of sadism reserved for blacks. I don’t know what to tell you.

                      What you can tell me is actual instances of this Republican “sadism”. What “sadistic” policies did Reagan enact? Bush? Trump?

                      From white flight

                      “White flight” isn’t a Republican policy, it’s a statistical phenomenon. Individuals don’t want to live in high crime, high inequality, high tax areas where politicians accuse them of “unconscious racism”/”white privilege” and advocate “reparations”, conditions created by Democrats.

                      to welfare queens to one race-based moral panic another, it’s practically all they got.

                      Single motherhood and welfare dependence are at the core of black poverty and are the reason why blacks are doing economically so badly. And the way to end those evils requires adopting policies that voters currently receiving government benefits don’t like.

                      The Republican Party is currently in the throes of its biggest belly flop into infamy since it was founded. Why waste any time defending them so ludicrously?

                      The Democrats have gone from a moderately left wing party to fully embracing cultural Marxism, social justice, and socialism. Their ideology is morally indefensible and and particularly harmful to blacks.

                      As for “infamy”, congressional Republicans have a higher approval rating than congressional Democrats and it’s trending further upwards. Trump is a deeply unpleasant man and that may cost him the election; we’ll see. But don’t kid yourself: Biden isn’t winning on policy or morality.

    2. “By their fruits” …. “motherfu@king” …. “Biotches” … Vandalizing statues, tearing down fences, burning buildings, an 80% prison rate, stealing entire lots of private land as their own CHAZ gangster territory, beating to death white truck drivers, shooting their own at the highest rate, filibustering women’s right to vote, filibustering civil rights act of 64 ………

      Oh excuse me; but “their fruit” is actually the fault of the ‘other’ party…. /s

      By your ‘fruits’ I see a lot of hate, violence and crime against people justified by a concrete tail of projection.

      1. You forgot: killing blacks who don’t stay in their place.
        A Democrat tradition for 192 years and counting

        1. Why do blacks vote for the people who kill them?

          1. And yet Tony and his team unironically ask this very same question when pontificating about why the working class and the poor vote Republican.

            1. But I know why the (white) working class votes Republican. I’m asking you why all blacks vote for the people who want to kill and enslave them.

            2. The point of all this, in case anyone couldn’t tell, is to demonstrate that your argument is incoherent without a fucking racist assumption, and that you can’t even pretend to be anti-racist without being fucking racist.

              Just say what you really think. If you believe it you shouldn’t be embarrassed by it.

              1. Certainly.

                You are an idiot who is obsessed with racial grievance. Most of us don’t hate anyone, and we don’t think we have anything to atone for.

                Don’t change a thing, tho. It’s working so well!

                Haha.

                1. Atone? See you still think it’s all about you.

              2. Just say what you really think

                Okay. I think you’re a race-baiting, racist piece of shit who cares about minorities in the same way a pedophile cares about kids. As something to exploit.

                I think you can’t argue against the brutal, bigoted, hate-filled history of your fellow Democrats, so you use innuendo and assumption and implication to lie and then use those lies to assert phony, opportunistic outrage.

                I think you are misanthropic and evil. And I’m not using hyperbole here Tony. Unlike the crazies and the self-deluded like Sqrls or Nuttplug, you are actually an evil person.

                1. But I did defend against your uninformed accusations. You just can’t let go of your horseshit talk radio trash talking points. That’s not on me. Learn to enjoy learning. The world is so dismal otherwise.

                  If I’m evil for supposedly using blacks as rhetorical pawns (to what end, would you mind explaining?), what do you call people who exploit blacks to stir up fear in white people (those would be the ones you support with your bullshit)?

              3. The point of all this, in case anyone couldn’t tell, is to demonstrate that your argument is incoherent without a fucking racist assumption, and that you can’t even pretend to be anti-racist without being fucking racist.

                Tony: that pretty much describes you perfectly. You simply cannot help yourself but see individuals as members of racial groups. Racism permeates your thinking and your arguments.

                In that, you are making the same errors progressives made in the early 20th century when they brought us eugenics and segregation, policies ostensibly to help blacks. In the 21st century, the same political movement (progressivism, socialism) brings us racial quotas, diversity training, and reparations.

                1. I know, black people and Democrats insist on not accepting the status quo, so that makes them the real racists because they dare talk about race. Us real Americans never have to talk about race. Things seem fine from where we’re sitting (except in the burning hellscapes of Chicago and Portland).

                  1. Oh, we agree that the status quo is unacceptable. But the status quo is the result of decades of Democratic and progressive mismanagement and policies, policies rooted in racist assumptions about black people, policies that are rooted in a desire for political power, union support, sinecures, and profits.

                    The way to help blacks is pretty clear: reduce barriers to getting into the job market (including abolishing the minimum wage), give parents the freedom to choose the school for their kids, reduce regulations and occupational licensing, stop promoting multiculturalism, stop incentivizing and subsidizing single motherhood. Republicans and libertarians talk about these issues a lot. But you’re so stuck in your racist and socialist mindset that you think of these policies as “sadism”.

                    The burning hellscapes of Chicago and Portland is what your politics bring. And that’s nothing new: the same kind of progressive policies brought us burning hellscapes in the US and Europe a century ago.

                    1. I think the active hostility and nakedly aggressive policies directed toward brown and black people by Republicans might have some small role to play
                      .

                      Again, blacks are free not to vote for Democrats.

                    2. Right; ya know like freeing them…. Republicans must have made a HUGE mistake with their “hostility and nakedly aggressive” policy that gave black people the exact same justice/respect as white people. So unacceptable. /s

                      No Republicans should’ve ran around screaming Black this and Black that and the Black ghetto’s deserves X,Y,Z (just like Democrats) instead of actually trying to pretend every person (regardless of race) should be treated equally under the law.

  33. My solutions while improbable because it would require an amendment is simple to apply. It would repeal the 17th and in its place change how the two senators for each state are selected, one would be selected by the governor and the second by the states legislature. There would be no set time in office and they would be subject to removal and replacement by the selectors. Finally, the states they represent would be responsible for setting and paying the salaries. Also remove the Filibuster permanently. The senate was supposed to be the place where the states are represented so whenever the governor or state legislature changes hands so would the person in the senate who represents them. As it stands now it is just another place where democrats and republicans fight it out.

  34. No, the filibuster stays

  35. My solutions while improbable because it would require an amendment is simple to apply. It would repeal the 17th and in its place change how the two senators for each state are selected, one would be selected by the governor and the second by the states legislature. There would be no set time in office and they would be subject to removal and replacement by the selectors. Finally, the states they represent would be responsible for setting and paying the salaries. Also remove the Filibuster permanently. The senate was supposed to be the place where the states are represented so whenever the governor or state legislature changes hands so would the person in the senate who represents them. As it stands now it is just another place where democrats and republicans fight it out.

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  36. Politicians are disingenuous and think “we the people are stupid”. They won’t get rid of the filibuster when in power, but whine about it when out of power in the Senate. The Democrats had 4 years with control or the House, Senate and President, yet they never once tried to repeal the filibuster.
    Pretty much the same for GW Bush, but the Senate was a 50/50 split. Still they only would have needed one Democratic vote.
    The same can be said for the line item veto in many states.
    Quote: ” That position contradicted the one Obama took as senator in a chamber controlled by Republicans, and his historical framing was more than a little misleading. ”
    Perfect example.

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  39. One of the first uses of the filibuster was by Senator Cato the Younger against Julius Ceaser.

  40. The filibuster violates the Constitution’s rules:
    – that each senator shall have one vote
    – that the vice president shall have no vote unless the votes are equally divided
    – that the Constitution, not Senate rules, shall be the supreme law of the land.

    Representation that’s valid brings change that’s fast. Change that’s fast is best in all cases:
    – When change is for the better, change that’s fast makes sure that changes that are good are more complete.
    – When change is for the worse, change that’s fast ensures that change that’s bad is felt fast, so reversal to change that’s good comes fast.

    Anthony, James. “rConstitution Paper 13: Filibuster/Cloture Is Unconstitutional.” rConstitution Papers, Neuwoehner Press, 2020, pp. 13.1-13.9. Preview available at jamesanthony.us/papers.

    1. Your mistake is thinking Senators feel bound to follow the Constitution!

  41. If you believe the Filibuster should be eliminated because of it’s Jim Crowe origins. then power up the wrecking balls and bulldozers because Thomas Jefferson’s memorial is next.

    Guilt by association is still a fallacy, even in an engineered dilemma of a false nature. There positive aspect of eliminating the Filibuster though, it would surely give “Bridges to Nowhere” somewhere to go. The Filibuster can be considered necessary evil in the political “food chain” much like Lima beans in our food chain. (Of course, you don’t ‘”have” to eat Lima beans.)

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