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Senator Robert Byrd Has Died At Age 92

From his bereaved fans at the Associated Press:

West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd dead at 92

By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer

June 28, 2010

WASHINGTON – Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a fiery orator versed in the classics and a hard-charging power broker who steered billions of federal dollars to the state of his Depression-era upbringing, died Monday. He was 92.

A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs, said Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. He had been in the hospital since late last week.

At first Byrd was believed to be suffering from heat exhaustion and severe dehydration, but other medical conditions developed. He had been in frail health for several years.

Byrd, a Democrat, was the longest-serving senator in history, holding his seat for more than 50 years. He was the Senate’s majority leader for six of those years and was third in the line of succession to the presidency, behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi…

In comportment and style, Byrd often seemed a Senate throwback to a courtlier 19th century. He could recite poetry, quote the Bible, discuss the Constitutional Convention and detail the Peloponnesian Wars — and frequently did in Senate debates.

Yet there was nothing particularly courtly about Byrd’s pursuit or exercise of power.

Byrd was a master of the Senate’s bewildering rules and longtime chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which controls a third of the $3 trillion federal budget. He was willing to use both to reward friends and punish those he viewed as having slighted him…

In 1971, Byrd ousted Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts as the Democrats’ second in command. He was elected majority leader in 1976 and held the post until Democrats lost control of the Senate four years later. He remained his party’s leader through six years in the minority, then spent another two years as majority leader…

Byrd stepped aside as majority leader in 1989 when Democrats sought a more contemporary television spokesman. "I ran the Senate like a stern parent," Byrd wrote in his memoir, "Child of the Appalachian Coalfields." His consolation price was the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee, with control over almost limitless federal spending.

Within two years, he surpassed his announced five-year goal of making sure more than $1 billion in federal funds was sent back to West Virginia, money used to build highways, bridges, buildings and other facilities, some named after him…

Last November he surrendered his chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee.

Byrd’s lodestar was protecting the Constitution. He frequently pulled out a dog-eared copy of it from a pocket in one of his trademark three-piece suits. He also defended the Senate in its age-old rivalry with the executive branch, no matter which party held the White House.

Except there is scant evidence of Mr. Byrd’s defense of either the Constitution or the Senate in Mr. Byrd’s actions. Only in his words.

Unlike other prominent Senate Democrats such as 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry of Massachusetts, who voted to authorize the war in Iraq, Byrd stood firm in opposition — and felt gratified when public opinion swung behind him.

"The people are becoming more and more aware that we were hoodwinked, that the leaders of this country misrepresented or exaggerated the necessity for invading Iraq," Byrd said…

And never mind that the wisdom of invading Iraq is being proved more prescient every day that passes in Afghanistan.

Byrd’s accomplishments followed a childhood of poverty in West Virginia, and his success on the national stage came despite a complicated history on racial matters. As a young man, we was a member of the Ku Klux Klan for a brief period, and he joined Southern Democrats in an unsuccessful filibuster against the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.

He later apologized for both actions, saying intolerance has no place in America. While supporting later civil rights bills, he opposed busing to integrate schools…

And yet he will be extolled as a champion of civil rights.

He clashed with presidents in both parties and was implacably against proposed balanced budget amendments to the Constitution…

Since such an amendment would limit his abilities to deliver the pork and buy himself re-election. That is how he honored the Constitution.

Byrd was a near-deity in economically struggling West Virginia, to which he delivered countless federally financed projects. Entire government bureaus opened there, including the FBI’s repository for computerized fingerprint records. Even the Coast Guard had a facility in the landlocked state. Critics portrayed him as the personification of Congress’ thirst for wasteful "pork" spending projects…

Or, to put it more simply, he was a typical Democrat. Buying votes with the taxpayers’ money.

In 2004, Byrd got Congress to require schools and colleges to teach about the Constitution every Sept. 17, the day the document was adopted in 1787.

Where is such a power enumerated in the Constitution? This act alone shows his abject ignorance of the spirit of the document.

Still, Mr. Biden would tell us we must say something nice about Mr. Byrd. And we will say that Mr. Byrd was the very embodiment of the Democrat Party.

And would suggest that we honor his memory, just like we honored that other lion of the Senate Ted Kennedy, by passing legislation he would have wanted passed.

So in that spirit we call upon Congress to forever ban any ‘cap and trade’ carbon tax, that would cripple Senator Byrd’s beloved home state of West Virginia.

Do it for Bob.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 28th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Senator Robert Byrd Has Died At Age 92”

  1. Chinnubie says:

    He was the evil embodiment of everything gone wrong with our country and it’s power structure. This clown, oops I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself, was the guy who showed everybody else how to take advantage of being a Senator or Representative.

    What I still can’t get over are all of the black folks that will pay homage to this horrible biggot and just because he “apologized” we can forgive him his unearthly discretion of racism. If ANY Republican had been found guilty to have been a KKK member or filibusted the Civil Rights Bill they would have been run out of politics!!!!!! Do Not pass “GO” head straight to “jail”.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Let’s hope the apology was sincere and he made his peace with God.

    • Mithrandir says:

      If you are a democrat, all is forgiven, and forgotten. The most important thing is having enough votes for the manipulation of the system.

      The W.Virginia people have just proven that they are PARASITES on the rest of American society.
      Who else would vote for a leaching scumbag for 57 years? They can’t think of any other ways of progress, than stealing money to benefit themselves? AND name everything under the sun after the man who stole it for them!

      Sick society man….

  2. FCAFlyer says:

    Another miserable, corrupt, liberal, greedy, mean-spirited thief of our resources removed from office after serving about 50 years too long by the only way that seems to be working – – by The Hand of God.

  3. wardmama4 says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I do not care as a citizen whether Byrd made his personal peace with God – as he clung to his seat (even though he really hasn’t vote since March and probably hasn’t really voted in a number of years (just an aide or the D sitting next to him, pointed at where to push for the vote) – I would doubt it but also it does nothing to negate his public abuse of power and position. [See for example of Byrd being against reconciliation on Clinton healthcare reform (‘It is for budget only’) to voting for it on Obamacare]

    While I do believe in forgiveness – on a Christian level – read the bible – forgiveness does not mean unaccountability Yes God will forgive you – if you repent and change your ways – seems to me his long career shows that he simply changed his vote – not his ways – so how can God forgive when the apology was not followed by a real repented and changed heart and soul (i.e. “I’m sorry (unspoken – that I got caught’).

    Thus – like a true Li(e)bral – it appears to be a Do As I Say and Not As I Do personna – say you’re sorry but continue down the same road – no accountability, no consequences, no change – God is not the DNC – while He may accept the apology – I do not think that Bryd has proven in his public life to be all that different than he was before – he just changed a bit as to exactly what he is intolerant of and committed to. And his refusal to retire and/or step down and therefor cling to power for both himself and the DNC is all the proof I need that he never changed.

    Having said that – I do extend condolences to his family in this time of grief and sorrow and do have to admire him for being married for 69 years. It is a shame the rest of his public life could not be as committed and dedicated to principal and honor.

  4. GetBackJack says:

    What I’m saying privately cannot be printed on this family friendly forum about this … thing …. in the US Senate. Use your imagination what I’m really thinking.

  5. tranquil.night says:

    It happened again. Another Democrat phoned home right before carrying out his last duty.

    Of course, it’s just a reminder each time that they stole their “super-majority” in so many respects.

    “So in that spirit we call upon Congress to forever ban any ‘cap and trade’ carbon tax”

    And the Financial Regulation Reform disaster! Come on Scott Brown, you silly maverick! You positioned yourself to be a Republican hero again – “#41” against the bill.

    “And never mind that the wisdom of invading Iraq is being proved more prescient every day that passes in Afghanistan.”

    Thank you Steve. I’d yet to hear that point in the mainstream.

  6. proreason says:

    “Mr. Biden would tell us we must say something nice about Mr. Byrd. And we will say that Mr. Byrd was the very embodiment of the Democrat Party.

    Correct. Mr. Byrd was liberalism personified. Racist. Thuggish. Greedy. Arrogant. Self serving. Hyprocritical. Brazen.

  7. Mithrandir says:

    Was the Grim Reaper sleeping somewhere?

    In true democrat fashion, Byrd stole and funneled money to buy votes, rather than encourage investment in his pathetic state. Why make fisherman, when you can be the only one handing out fish?

  8. ptat says:

    Oh No! Who will take Byrd’s place? Who can we look forward to next to drool and babble on incoherently? Lautenberg of NJ is now the oldest member of Congress–will he step up to the plate and begin to ramble, stammer, stutter and “umm,uh” his way into the history books? Darn, Biden would have been perfect…..

  9. pdsand says:

    If he did so much to help his state how come it never seemed to help? 50 straight years of economically struggling and all the federal funding in the world never made a difference?

  10. Right of the People says:

    Robert KKK Byrd, Poster child for term limits.

    How come there isn’t a mandatory retirement age for congress? At least where he’s going he’ll never have to worry about being cold again.

    • JohnMG says:

      You mean……..he’s found an alternative energy source that will lessen our dependence on fossil fuels?

  11. fallingpianos says:

    Bye bye Byrdie.

  12. canary says:

    He’d make great fertilizer for the White House plantation garden. He & Obama shared babbling ballyhooing

  13. Liberals Demise says:

    Hey Steve?
    Is that a recent (new) pic of Teddy and the “Sheet” wearer?

    I didn’t know they made you wear ties down there.

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