Democrat Party hero and KKK veteran Robert Byrd dead at 92, longest senate term ever.

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by phenomena, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. The death of Senator Robert C. Byrd is hardly a shock, and given his great age and full life, it can’t be thought of as a tragedy, either. But it is, nevertheless, the end of an era in Washington and the nation—an era that had its great and grave flaws but whose passing is worth pausing to mourn. Byrd loved dogs, “Washington Week in Review,” tradition, fiddle music, the Senate, the Constitution, and his home state of West Virginia—not necessarily in that order. He was the master of the Senate’s rules, precedents, and folkways, and the author of a multi-volume scholarly account of its history.

    He lived long enough to embrace most of a century’s arc of United States political history, from his sordid (and much-regretted) start in the Ku Klux Klan to his fierce opposition—in league with a generation of activists who’d never heard of him—to the Iraq war. No less keen an observer of the human condition than Barack Obama once wrote that Byrd “really was a proper emblem for the Senate, whose rules and design reflect the grand compromise of American’s founding: the bargain between Northern states and Southern states, the Senate’s role as a guardian against the passions of the moment, a defender of minority rights and state sovereignty, but also a tool to protect the wealthy from the rabble, and assure slaveholders of non-interference with their peculiar institution.”

    Byrd opposed the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, filibustering against it all through one long night. After he became the Democratic leader of the Senate, though, he supported civil rights legislation. While he was respected by his colleagues, he was not always warmly liked as a leader, and often stood a bit apart. He could be windy and pompous at times, but by the end of his long career, he had earned the right to hold forth, and did. His hand shook, and his voice quavered, and he had to be brought to the floor in his wheel chair to vote for Obama’s health care measure. But he showed up.

    He was an original, a type never to be seen again in the capital. In a discussion of gays in the military with fellow Senators and President Bill Clinton early in the latter’s first term, Byrd discoursed on military homosexuality in antiquity in piquant and detailed terms that, Clinton later recalled, left Ted Kennedy looking like he was either going to start giggling or jump out the window.

    When Obama, early in his own Senate career, paid a ritual courtesy call on Byrd, he looked squarely into Obama’s eyes and said: “I have only one regret, you know. The foolishness of youth.” Obama paused and finally said, “We all have regrets, Senator. We just ask that in the end, God’s grace shines upon us.” On the day of his death, that seems as fitting a way as any to think about him.

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  2. Somber and tragic as it may be for friends and family, our nation as a whole is better off.
  3. So, was this the last member of the Democrat activist group, the KKK, alive and serving in Congress?
  4. Well there's always the Congressional Black Circus that thinks person's of color are inferior to everyone else.
  5. Unlike many who post here on this forum, Byrd showed that he could change for the better:
    "Byrd explicitly renounced his earlier views on racial segregation.[58][59] Byrd had said that he regretted filibustering and voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1964[27] and would change it if he had the opportunity. He stated that joining the KKK was "the greatest mistake I ever made."[58] "

    a b "What About Byrd?". Slate. 2002-12-18. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
    "Sen. Robert Byrd Discusses His Past and Present", Inside Politics, CNN, December 20, 1993
  6. Oh right , most of us didn't have the opportunity to join the Stasi in order to conveniently renounce it (and go underground) just so we could look good to dupes like yourself.