Senator Robert Byrd – 1917-2010
The longest serving member of the Senate, Robert Byrd (D-WV), passed early this morning. His legacy as a public servant is long and complex, and the early part of it was marred by racism. He was a member of the KKK, and used the racist organization to launch, and further, his political career. Senator Byrd eventually say the error in his ways. He had this to say in 2005:
” I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times… and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened. ”
He admitted his error, and attempted to make up for it, as can be seen in his legislative body of work, as well as his 100% rating from the NAACP in the 108th congress. Mr Byrd was also one of the few members of Congress unafraid to speak out against the Iraq war:
No man is perfect, and we all have past issues we should take responsibility for. Mr. Byrd did, and was a better man for it. He deserves respect and should be lauded for the work he’s done on behalf of all the American people. Whatever his past transgressions, he certainly deserves better than this bullshit from Andrew Sullivan.
Speak no ill of the dead? Well, let me simply say that the racist, populist, larcenous bigot of a Senator – a man who robbed the American tax-payer to pave his state with baubles and bribes – is not going to be much mourned in these parts.