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Even after Senator Tim Scott got Mitch McConnell to agree in advance to allow 20 Democrat amendments to his police reform bill, which included an anti-lynching portion, the Democrats killed the bill by filibuster. Now, if you have been paying a bit of attention to history, this might sound familiar. Yes, indeed, there is a long and ugly history, in the Progressive Era, of Democrat senators filibustering anti-lynching laws every time they came to the Senate floor, and of the Republican leaders not changing the rule to stop this facilitation of race-based political terrorism. Meet the new Senate, same as the old Senate.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, states and local governments controlled by white supremacist Democrats blocked blacks from serving on juries and reliability acquitted white men if officials even felt a need to hold a trial over the killing of a black man. The original intent of federal anti-lynching laws was to bypass white supremacist controlled state and local governments, stopping them from providing legal cover, from holding occasional trials of white killers of black men and always acquitting them. It was the norm in segregated states to pervert justice in this way. The point now is some sort of symbolism, as current federal civil rights law already provides ways to prosecute and no jurisdiction has anything like the poisonous conditions of Jim Crow.
Still, this legislation had been revived by Senator Tim Scott and supposed by Democratic Senators Harris and Booker in 2018. Now, they refuse to even allow debate on such a bill. Senator Scott calls them all on their real reason for not letting the bill be debated on the merits: naked electoral politics.
Senator Scott finally got angry at Democrats. In fact, he went past medieval to Old Testament on them. He says they will have blood on their hands. See the full treatment featured on C-SPAN’s YouTube channel, or the condensed burst of truth on ABC News, or his follow-on comments on Fox News.
Senator Scott is angry, but not yet to the point of demanding an end to the filibuster in the name of overcoming a stained Senate history. Never mind that the Democrats, if they gain the majority, will sweep away the filibuster the first time Senator Scott tries to use it on any serious legislation next year. He is angry with Washington, DC, and Senate games, just not yet the filibuster rule game, which enables the games he decried.Published in