Be nice to some Republicans

by Harry on February 25, 2011

The Assembly passed the Bill last night around 1am—although there is now some doubt about the legality of the process, in view of the fact that many Democrats had no opportunity to vote. (TV report here, thanks Joe). The Republicans said that 60 hours of debate was enough—though it is hard to call what happened in the Assembly “debate”, given the complete lack of interest one side had in considering any possible slight flaws in the Bill.

Four Republicans voted against the bill:
Dean Kaufert of Neenah
Lee Nerison of Westby
Richard Spanbauer of Oshkosh
Travis Tranel of Cuba City

Their mailboxes will be full of bile. If you live in one of their districts, please write, thanking them. If you don’t live in any of their districts, it is still worth writing a short, kind, note, thanking them for their courage, and telling them that you understand how hard it must have been to stand up for their principles, but that there’s no point being in politics if you can’t do that. Tranel, in particular, is young, and a freshman: he’s going to have a tough few months is my guess, and friendly words of support from around the country and maybe the world are the least he deserves.

The Dems have been bloody brilliant.

{ 53 comments }

1

roac 02.25.11 at 2:57 pm

It appears to an outside observer with a bias toward optimism that the Democrats should now be heavy favorites to take back the legislature in 2012, and that barring the unforeseen, the state should now be be a lock for Obama. Are my spectacles too rosy?

(For some years now, I have been watching the right-wing echo chamber convince itself that running against public school teachers is a political winner, and thinking that was a big mistake. The problem with demonizing public school teachers — unlike, say, Muslims — is that everybody knows some.)

2

Daniel Nexon 02.25.11 at 3:08 pm

If you oppose the bill, do not send nice emails to these people. They voted with the Republicans on *every* procedural vote. They appear to have been released because their votes weren’t needed. I’d think CT posters were sophisticated enough to understand how t his works.

3

Rich Puchalsky 02.25.11 at 3:19 pm

The Dems have been brilliant? How? They lost. They get full marks for being well-intentioned, I guess. I’m sure that will be comforting to the people put out of work.

The whole episode seems to me to be very much a continuation of successful Bush-era GOP methods, in which public opinion, and protests, simply don’t matter. All that matters is having a bare legislative majority and the executive, and doing the bidding of powerful interests. The decision is no more going to be reversed when Democrats come back into power than Obama has reversed anything important that Bush did.

4

Harry 02.25.11 at 3:32 pm

I’m not a Democrat nor a fan of the Democrats in general –but they have held solid and helped to galvanize yet more support. They were bound to lose in the Assembly, and they have done everything within their power to delay the vote and to expose the Republicans lack of interest in any kind of discussion or debate. They have exhausted themselves and been willing to talk endlessly. But Rich, if you can figure out how to do better, fantastic — please get in touch with them and tell them what they should be doing.

Daniel — I love being called unsophisticated, it really puts me in my place, thanks. And I’m always so impressed by people who are more sophisticated than I am (I’ve long known there are lots of them, but the internet has really opened my eyes to just how many there are!)

Yes, I think the Dems may well have locked the state for Obama in 2012, and the same may be happening in other purple midwestern states. At present I’d settle for winning this one.

5

Daniel Nexon 02.25.11 at 3:40 pm

Harry-I’d never call you unsophisticated. I’m discussing specific values of “sophistication” in a specific context. Or just throwing baseless ad homenins. Probably the latter.

6

Daniel Nexon 02.25.11 at 3:41 pm

Which, of course, would mean that I am calling Harry unsophisticated–but without really meaning it. Or something. Been a long 24 hours.

7

mds 02.25.11 at 3:43 pm

Mr. Nexon has the right of it. These four were almost certainly already drawing heat for their cultish support of the new governor’s every move, so the leadership decided to blatantly hand them a “fool the rubes” figleaf to wear back home. There have been plenty of opportunities for them to really stand up in opposition if this were anything but a simplistic ploy.

The decision is no more going to be reversed

Erm, I could see how “Assembly passed the bill” could be misleading, but the assembly is merely the lower house of the WI legislature. The senate still hasn’t passed the bill, which is where that whole quorum bit has been an obstacle. You know, the quorum being denied by WI senate Democrats, the ones who are indistinguishable from Republicans? Granted, I’m sure Walker’s senate bumlickers will now find a way to ram a vote through without a quorum, and leave it for the courts to sort out at taxpayer expense, but still. A smidgen of credit for taking the side of the masses in the streets for a change would be nice.

8

roac 02.25.11 at 3:45 pm

the same may be happening in other purple midwestern states.

It says on msnbc.com this morning that the governors of Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan have put their union-busting plans down very, very gently on the floor and are tiptoeing away.

9

mds 02.25.11 at 3:51 pm

Whoops, now I’ve probably called Professor Brighouse simplistic. Perhaps I should stick with more self-deprecating venting, and blame my own excessively bitter, shriveled cynicism. But I don’t currently have the context to see that these four are doing anything more than making a meaningless show vote. Did they support Dems’ attempts to extend debate? Support amendments altering the Holy Walker’s Perfect Budget Writ? Make public statements in favor of collective bargaining rights? If so, then I do them a disservice by spraying them with my inky vitriol, and splashing Professor Brighouse in the process. There’s just a long and glorious history of legislators supporting odious things procedurally, but then ostentatiously voting against them when passage is assured.

10

Harry 02.25.11 at 4:12 pm

There’s understanding politics, and then there’s understanding psychology, and conjecturing a link between the two. It is costless to say nice things to them (unless you bear the psychic cost of partisanship which, as I’ve said, I don’t. I really don’t mind the insults though.
roac, I’m pressed for time, if you can give us a link that’d be great.

11

SamChevre 02.25.11 at 4:12 pm

The whole episode seems to me to be very much a continuation of successful -Bush era GOP- [modern political] methods, in which public opinion, and protests, [and even voting] simply don’t matter. All that matters is having a bare legislative majority and the executive, and doing the bidding of powerful interests.

I don’t think this can reasonably be called a Republican problem, given it’s exactly what happened with the health-care bill. And it’s been made clear that “if Congress won’t pass it, we’ll do it through the regulatory process” on global warming, so there even a majority of the votes doesn’t matter.

12

chris 02.25.11 at 4:26 pm

@11: Doing anything on global warming would be *against* the bidding of powerful interests. In health care there were powerful interests on both sides; arguably, it was only by drawing the battle lines in this way that the battle became winnable for Obama in a way it hadn’t been for Clinton (on the other hand, drawing the battle lines in that way also meant not even trying to capture some of the ground that otherwise could have been fought over; there is a great deal of debate over whether or not this was a worthwhile tradeoff, some of it by people who deny that it was a tradeoff at all).

13

roac 02.25.11 at 4:26 pm

14

Christian Long 02.25.11 at 4:32 pm

I think we can thank Scott Walker for getting unions fired up. This it the biggest boost they’ve seen in twenty years.

15

Rich Puchalsky 02.25.11 at 4:50 pm

“But Rich, if you can figure out how to do better, fantastic—please get in touch with them and tell them what they should be doing.”

I’m not talking to them, I’m talking to you. I think that you could do better by not hailing political losses as victories. I’d be glad to tell the representatives their business if someone provided me time and money to focus on their case: neither of those is necessary in order to see the problem with what you wrote.

I remember a lot of similar rhetoric over the 2003 Texas walkouts. And then, as now, it changed very little. It’s an easy, posturing tactic that predictably doesn’t work. But if the people involved really were bloody brilliant, they wouldn’t have lost more than half of the statehouse in the first place.

16

Sam H. 02.25.11 at 4:55 pm

TPM reports that the four Republicans represented marginal districts and were thought to benefit from the meaningless votes against the bill. Can’t find the link.

17

Christopher Phelps 02.25.11 at 5:06 pm

The MSNBC piece is huge. It proves Harry right that the Dems have been brilliant – their fillibustering and endless amendments were stopped in the end but they bought days of stalling. It’s really those in the rotunda and streets who get the credit. But because of this massive demonstration of popular will, second thoughts are being had, and the juggernaut was broken. Indiana especially looks like a tremendous victory.

18

chris 02.25.11 at 5:15 pm

But if the people involved really were bloody brilliant, they wouldn’t have lost more than half of the statehouse in the first place.

Yes, the Wisconsin state legislators should have just headed off that worldwide financial crisis and recession, then they wouldn’t have been turfed out regardless of how good a job they were doing.

19

moe 02.25.11 at 5:16 pm

It’s absurd to think that we should excoriate democrats any time they lose. This time they stood up and fought. The most infuriating thing of the last 20 years has been watching them (many of them anyway) compromise on almost everything of importance. I think expecting them to win every time would be too much.

20

David W. 02.25.11 at 5:29 pm

Nothing would please me more if Governor Walker’s attack on unions resulted in the Democrats taking control of the Assembly and Senate from the Republicans and recalling Walker from office himself. I’m disgusted at how the WI Republican Party has put its own partisan interest ahead of the interests of the people of Wisconsin.

21

Jonas 02.25.11 at 5:31 pm

Rich

The Texas redistricting led to the indictment and conviction of Tom DeLay, so it wasn’t a total loss. His crimes, at least the ones he was prosecuted for, were for illegal fundraising to take back the Tx legislature in order to be able to do the 2003 redistricting.

22

Steven 02.25.11 at 5:31 pm

The irony is too thick to cut.

In high times, the ruling class encouraged regular private sector workers to mock public employees for being cowards who were too timid to prove their worth in the free market, the province of American Heroies and real men, instead meekly taking home their paltry salaries and taking false solace in their modest little pensions.

Then, the institutions of the ruling class collapsed like the house of cards they always were. The ruling class claimed we owed them survival, and we paid their bonuses for them and shielded them from their own free market. It went well for them, and they’re back to making their collective billions.

Now that public sector workers are the only ones besides those in finance who have a decent, secure job at a good wage, along with nice benefits and the ability to finance a retirement, the ruling class is encouraging regular private sector workers to demand that public sector workers be stripped of the security and stability that they foresook when they chose the public sector over the private one.

Make no mistake, this is the end game: to ensure that the rich have money funneled toward them forever, to enslave the rest of us to this end, and to have the average person feel grateful, when a plutocrat wakes up in the morning and decides to take something away fom him like health care or vacaction days, that such a great, great man has even spent time thinking about a wretch like him.

23

geo 02.25.11 at 6:53 pm

I move unanimous approval for Steven @20.

24

Lemuel Pitkin 02.25.11 at 7:09 pm

No objections to Steve @ 20 here.

However. It’s important not to focus only on how the ruling class is screwing us. That happens every day, and it gets demoralizing. The story right now is about ordinary people’s determination not to get screwed — a less common and much more useful story.

And as other people here have said, the question isn’t only what happens in Wisconsin — although I hope the protesters win and believe that they can. Just as important, the protests in Wisconsin are making it much easier for working people elsewhere to resist similar attacks. Because the most powerful weapon the ruling class has, is that most of us, most of the time, believe that nothing can be done.

25

joel hanes 02.25.11 at 7:12 pm

seconded

26

Salient 02.25.11 at 7:44 pm

I move unanimous approval for Steven @20.

Point of order! The motion as proposed cannot proceed through the CT Senate, because Brett Bellmore and Tim Worstall are off hanging out in the lobby withholding a quorum.

(This procedural finagling has freed Daniel Nexon and Sam H. to vote their conscience on the motion.)

27

Salient 02.25.11 at 7:46 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

… Oh goodness that’s awesome. CT auto-moderation decided to filibuster my point of order.

28

politicalfootball 02.25.11 at 8:08 pm

The Dems have been bloody brilliant.

I’ll take exception to Rich here and endorse this. The Dems made a gutty play and (so far) stuck with it. In a polity more closely resembling a democracy, it wouldn’t have been necessary, but we live in the U.S.

Obama has missed (or rejected) an opportunity to urge the grassroots to rise up. The Wisconsin Dems seized their opportunity. Good for them.

29

Tim Worstall 02.25.11 at 8:25 pm

“All that matters is having a bare legislative majority and the executive,”

Damn this democracy thing, damn it to hell!

Can’t people see that’s what’s much more important is to do what is right according to my lights, whatever the voters said?

(Again, yes, yes, I know, but really, the Republithugs did in fact win the election….)

30

Keith 02.25.11 at 8:30 pm

Obama has missed (or rejected) an opportunity to urge the grassroots to rise up.

This relaly annoys me. Obama had a clear opportunity to rally the base and he did nothing. All it would have taken was 5 minute press conference saying something to the effect of, “We got you back.” But he couldn’t be bothered to do something even that tepid, for fear of what Socialist hay Glenn Beck would make of it.

I’ve eaten overcooked pasta with more of a spine than Obama.

31

Keith 02.25.11 at 8:34 pm

(Again, yes, yes, I know, but really, the Republithugs did in fact win the election….)

Winning an election is not a mandate to tear down the system. Implicit in the democratic process is the understanding that, whichever party wins, they’ll act in good faith for all citizens. If the GOP doesn’t want to play the game anymore, they can take their ball and go home. But they don’t get to burn down the field as they leave.

32

geo 02.25.11 at 8:38 pm

Tim @26: really, the Republithugs did in fact win the election….

As did the Democrocks in 2008, of course. I assume you spent a good part of the last two years fuming over unrelenting Republithug obstructionism.

33

Marc 02.25.11 at 8:39 pm

I’d take the Republican point more seriously if they hadn’t spent the past two years using every procedural trick in the books to stop a genuine mandate. You don’t do things like what we’ve seen in the Senate from 2008 to the present and then complain about obstructive minorities.

34

y81 02.25.11 at 9:05 pm

“You don’t do things like what we’ve seen in the Senate from 2008 to the present and then complain about obstructive minorities.”

We could go down either of two paths here. Everyone could stop complaining about obstructive minorities, enjoying it when their side is the obstructive minority and sucking it up when the other side fills that role. Or we could continue with hypocritical complaints from both sides about how the other side is an obstructive minority, buttressed by disingenuous special pleading about how their obstructive minority is different from our obstructive minority. I am guessing that the latter option will prevail.

35

Harry 02.25.11 at 9:09 pm

Rich, really — you know I didn’t hail this as any kind of victory. I was praising people, many of whom I would not have expected to stay solid, let alone be imaginative and inventive, for doing the best that I think they can in the circumstances. They have, instead of distancing themselves from a truly grassroots movement, as Dems are prone to do, identified themselves with it, taken leadership and strength from it, and contributed to leading it without trying to control it. Yes, I am not optimistic this will end in victory here in Wisconsin, but as CP and roac point out this is bigger than Wisconsin and effects have been felt elsewhere. If the Senators hadn’t left the state, this would all be over by now, and the movement would never have reached the stage that it could inspire other states or that it could think seriously about a fightback if and when the bill passes. One of the Assembly Dems is a former student of mine and a close friend — he has, I have to say, acted exactly as I would have predicted and I am deeply proud of him. But I have not had as high an opinion of many of his colleagues. They have, indeed, been bloody brilliant, and I am a little ashamed of my presuppositions that many of them would not be up to a fight.

As I say, if you have better tactical ideas that would have won this, or still could, I’d like to hear them and will pass them on. If you don’t, then have a bit of humility for goodness sake.

36

rea 02.25.11 at 9:12 pm

Obama has missed (or rejected) an opportunity to urge the grassroots to rise up.

I do not understand how that sort of claim gets repeated. See here, for example:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/17/AR2011021705494.html

37

Aulus Gellius 02.25.11 at 9:26 pm

“But if the people involved really were bloody brilliant, they wouldn’t have lost more than half of the statehouse in the first place.”

Of course, the people whose actions are being discussed here are the ones who are in the statehouse, and thus, presumably, all won their last elections. It really does seem a bit much to say “well, a good politician would have made sure that all his allies won their elections too.”

38

geo 02.25.11 at 10:20 pm

y81@34: You’re quite wrong in equating the delaying tactics of Democratic state legislators in Wisconsin and Texas with those of the Republican minority in the 2008-2010 Congress. The former knew perfectly well that they couldn’t prevail indefinitely; they mainly wanted to allow time for public mobilization and call attention to the high-handed tactics of the Republican majority. In the latter case, Republicans could and did scuttle action on innumerable routine judicial, regulatory, and civil service appointments and prevented any action at all on legislation they disliked, not until there was time for reasonable debate but until their demands, reasonable or not, were met. Of course the media, like you, overlooked this difference and carelessly treated all the episodes as equivalent, thereby awarding yet another propaganda victory to the Republicans.

39

geo 02.25.11 at 10:23 pm

I just made a very moderate comment, which is now languishing in moderation. Very frustrating. Could the site administrators please publish a list of suspect words or expressions whose employment may land one’s comment in moderation?

40

Harry 02.25.11 at 10:28 pm

Sorry George, I can’t find any problem with your comment. We’ve been having lots of trouble recently, and I am probably the least tech-savvy of us (if I’m not, whoever is should be embarrassed). I’m off site probably till the morning — so if any of my colleagues can moderate please go ahead.

My 14-year-old just left to spend the night, again, at the Capitol. My wife’s on her union’s crisis committee. My 10-year old and 4 year old know all the chants by heart. I can’t help feeling that if, somehow, I could require Scott Walker to look after my 4 year old till he caves this would be over very quickly.

41

Ben Alpers 02.25.11 at 10:30 pm

These four were almost certainly already drawing heat for their cultish support of the new governor’s every move, so the leadership decided to blatantly hand them a “fool the rubes” figleaf to wear back home.

That’s certainly my sense of who the four GOP “nay”s were.

Assuming that these are, in fact, wingnuts who represent swing districts and who the GOP leadership released to cast token votes, they shouldn’t be praised. Instead, progressives should join together with wingnuts in their district in order to recall them. If these are in fact swing districts there’s every reason to expect that, given anger at Walker, they can be replaced with Dems.

42

Salient 02.25.11 at 10:35 pm

I just made a very moderate comment, which is now languishing in moderation.

The CT-robots normally just take a majority vote on these things, but two of them fled the server over proposed crippling bandwidth cuts and are hiding on an undisclosed USB drive.

Everyone could stop complaining about obstructive minorities, enjoying it when their side is the obstructive minority and sucking it up when the other side fills that role.

I’m not an “ends make the means ok” type person when it comes to violence, but my allegiance is to people, not procedure. And so is yours! Though you and I certainly differ in how we would characterize our own and one another’s allegiances, neither of us would stoop so low as to suggest that the other person was subordinate to procedure for procedure’s sake. I think more of you than that, even if I disparage your politics. Please show the same respect?

Procedural obstructionism is never moral nor immoral inherently. Not for people like you and I, anyway. If I ever complain about Republican obstructionism on purely procedural grounds, with no moral objection, you’d be fair to call me on it. It’s what they’re doing and why that matters: who are they defending, who are they protecting, and against whom?

43

politicalfootball 02.25.11 at 10:48 pm

rea, I don’t see how your post is responsive. Obama is following here, not leading – and good for him. Following is still an improvement over triangulating or opposing.

their obstructive minority is different from our obstructive minority.

In the narrow sense, y81, I disagree with you. Obstructionism in the U.S. Senate was casually used in everything, whereas Wisconsin Dems, confronting a surprise challenge to their core principles, actually fled the state – actually had to work hard in the face of an extreme agenda. It would be as though Republicans had filibustered by talking and talking and talking – and did so only in a time of grave threat to their basic principles.

But in a broader sense you are certainly correct that people are often hypocrites on this stuff – raising purely procedural objections when it isn’t the procedure that they object to at all.

For my part, I will say: Your obstructive minority is, in fact, different from mine. If Obama were a radical, Kenya-born, Sharia-spouting, stealth communist who intends to enslave America, I’d be pretty sympathetic to people toting guns to political rallies and filibustering everything in sight. As it is, though, Obama is a stealth Mitt Romney when he isn’t being a stealth George W. Bush, and the hysteria and obstructionism of the right is inexcusable.

The right is full of evil, crazy fucks and the left is not. They are different.

44

politicalfootball 02.25.11 at 10:51 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If it’s moderation from me that CT is looking for, it’s going to be a long wait.

45

Rich Puchalsky 02.26.11 at 3:48 am

I think that I probably should give the Wisconsin Dems a break on this one: I’m probably directing some annoyance that rightly should go to Obama to them. Why should it go to Obama? Because certain things involving political parties can only be done from the top, not the bottom. (See e.g. this post if you want an example of how upwards vs downwards party loyalty works.) The same article cited upthread that describes Obama’s support also notes how he needs that support because he’s been making “centrist” moves i.e. betraying his base. Politicians are all over this one because it’s easy for them to look good and doesn’t cost them actual political chips.

But one other thing:
chris @ 18: “Yes, the Wisconsin state legislators should have just headed off that worldwide financial crisis and recession, then they wouldn’t have been turfed out regardless of how good a job they were doing.”

Really? The supposed defenders of working people can’t win during a worldwide financial crisis and recession? Why do you think that is?

46

John Quiggin 02.26.11 at 8:38 am

Whatever their motives, it seems likely that being nice to them will encourage them to act the same way again. And, if the view is that they have to act moderate to survive, verbally rewarding such acts seems like a good idea.

I don’t suppose there is much risk that anyone here would actually trust a Republican.

47

Christopher Phelps 02.26.11 at 9:11 am

Two suggestive reasons as to why the police union is taking this stance now.

Point One: Walker’s imbecility

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_40c3dfbe-402c-11e0-8c68-001cc4c002e0.html

Point Two: The impending action

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_2e705dfa-4154-11e0-8bdf-001cc4c002e0.html

48

Christopher Phelps 02.26.11 at 9:14 am

Whoops – that was meant for the cops thread. Maybe someone can delete this and my prior one here. I’ve reposted it there.

49

Harry 02.26.11 at 1:57 pm

JQ’s thought is what animated me.

50

Darren 02.26.11 at 3:12 pm

Really? The supposed defenders of working people can’t win during a worldwide financial crisis and recession? Why do you think that is?

Rich, the finding in the voting behavior literature that the party in power will be punished electorally during bad financial times is robust and cross-national, and isn’t dependent on actual policy positions or accomplishments in any meaningful way.

51

geo 02.26.11 at 7:28 pm

the finding in the voting behavior literature that the party in power will be punished electorally during bad financial times is robust and cross-national, and isn’t dependent on actual policy positions or accomplishments in any meaningful way

Isn’t this terribly depressing? Why can’t the electorate actually think about what might have caused their plight, rather than reacting reflexively, as the above finding suggests? You can’t have much of a democracy, after all, if the electorate won’t think. Perhaps CT (or the political science community) should dissolve the electorate and choose another.

52

Norwegian Guy 02.27.11 at 10:01 pm

“Common wisdom”, at least in Norway, is that the left-of-centre has an advantage in times of economic troubles, while the right wing does better during economic booms. The reelection of the Labour government in 1993, despite (or because of?) record high unemployment, is often given as an example of this.

More recently, the chances for the centre-left government didn’t look good before the global financial crisis exploded in September 2008. But not long afterwards, the opinion poll started to change, and a year later they were reelected. Now, that the effects of the crisis is no longer felt here, the right wing parties are unfortunately back in the lead.

Governments don’t seem to get the blame for recessions, which makes sense for a small, open economy. After all, global financial crises often start at Wall Street, not domestically, though of course national governments can mitigate or exacerbate the consequences, to some extent. But more people appreciate the welfare state during economic downturns, when they see more direct need for it, for instance unemployment insurance. When the economy is booming, more people see less need for the welfare state, and tax cuts get more prioritized instead. It also helps that the Labour Party has a reputation of a more steady pair of hands, and often boasts of having cleaned up after right-wing governments have wrecked the economy.

53

chris 02.28.11 at 3:31 pm

Isn’t this terribly depressing?

Yes.

Why can’t the electorate actually think about what might have caused their plight, rather than reacting reflexively, as the above finding suggests?

Well, the US has a notoriously terrible educational system, in which history in particular is often very distorted, omits the last several decades, or both, but the cross-national nature of the findings suggests a deeper problem. Most people just don’t have the time, the inclination, or perhaps even the ability to think rationally about political issues and so we’re left with rock-stupid, massively counterproductive sloganeering like “the government should tighten its belt and balance its budget”.

You can’t have much of a democracy, after all, if the electorate won’t think. Perhaps CT (or the political science community) should dissolve the electorate and choose another.

Obligatory Churchill quote here. Better the incompetent whole people than a corruptible subset (possibly smarter, possibly not). A competency test could and would be abused (indeed, in the US, already has been, until it was abolished) and in any case the connection between political knowledgeability and education and leisure time available to learn about political issues would practically guarantee class stratification. And that’s if the test was honestly written by people who themselves qualify as well-informed and rational — imagine Michelle Bachmann on the test-writing committee filling it with ideological shibboleths you have to answer the “right” way in order to be allowed to vote.

The problem with human governments is that they’re made out of humans.

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