The Congress: When Is a Majority a Majority?

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With a glance at the bronze-faced clock above the presiding officer's chair, Majority Leader Mike Mansfield rose in the well of the Senate Chamber. His lined, angular face was even more solemn than usual. His words came slowly and with feeling.

"There is," he said, "an ebb and flow in human affairs which at rare moments brings the complex of human events into a delicate balance. At those moments, the acts of government may indeed influence, for better or for worse, the course of history. This is such a moment in the...

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