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I am currently listening to Barbara Tuchman's tremendous book about the gilded age (1890-1914)—The Proud Tower—and the camera has panned over to America in time for a major showdown over a weird old filibuster tactic we used to suffer under during reconstruction. Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.

It used to be possible to deny quorum to vote on legislation simply by remaining silent during roll call votes. It was called "the silent filibuster" and it was as extremely stupid as it sounds.

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Needless to say, the Republicans abolished it over militant and shrill objections from Democrats, who reversed the ruling and reintroduced it at the next rota fortunae... only to sheepishly re-abolish it when they realized the roadblock to legitimation it represented when used by both parties.

Turns out the public begins to view the legislature as illegitimate when majority parties cannot pass majority-approved legislation! WHO KNEW.

Anyhow, this guy fucking ruled and I would trade a thousand Nancy Pelosis and Chuck Schumers for his reanimated corpse: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_B

(This might be confusing because our contemporary Republican and Democratic parties have realigned substantially. If you are a Democrat today, it is likely that you would have been a Republican then, unless you are a white southern working-class man who joined neither the cult of Dixiecrats nor Trumpery, in which case I salute you in your steadfastness over the century.)

Also, Free Silver was the cryptocurrency of the era.

You think I'm joking, but I would bet some etherium that William Jennings Bryan would one-hundo percent be a twitter warrior in the cause of bitcoin. He'd be a blogging machine.

"You shall not press down upon the brow of the creative class this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of fiat currency!"

@hypomodern Did you listen to _Heirs of the Founders_, too?

I keep muttering "cut-rate John Calhoun" under my breath at the current politicians for which this is appropriate (and there are many).

aadl.org/catalog/record/104169

@Vaguery I have not read that, but I shall.

Also, John Calhoun was a real piece of work.

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