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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Blame the Filibuster

From the L.A. Times:

As Mary Landrieu, the Louisiana Democrat who sponsored the (anti-lynching) resolution, said, the Senate was "uniquely culpable" for Washington's failure to protect U.S. citizens from a type of domestic terrorism often orchestrated by local authorities.

What wasn't said is that the Senate was "uniquely culpable" because it cherished the filibuster — a procedural rule that enhances each member's individual power — over the Constitution. The Senate's failure to acknowledge the cause of its homicidal negligence robs its apology of much meaning or sincerity.

Those unfamiliar with history today, or generations from now, might blame the American people for sending senators to Washington who were evil or out of touch. But there were 70 senators willing to sponsor anti-lynching legislation as far back as 1938, and lives could have been saved if the federal government had taken action then.

History would look a little different if a minority of Southern Democrats hadn't been allowed to defend their cultural livelihood using a procedural tool.

Tyranny of the minority, indeed.


.: posted by Dave 12:03 PM

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