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Robert Byrd dies: Reaction in Washington

By Matt DeLong

With news of the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) early Monday, Byrd's friends and colleagues in Washington are paying their respects to the longest-serving member in the history of the Senate. Here is a sampling.

President Obama:

He was as much a part of the Senate as the marble busts that line its chamber and its corridors. His profound passion for that body and its role and responsibilities was as evident behind closed doors as it was in the stemwinders he peppered with history. He held the deepest respect of members of both parties, and he was generous with his time and advice, something I appreciated greatly as a young senator.

Byrd's fellow West Virginia Democrat, Sen. Jay Rockefeller:


It has been my greatest privilege to serve with Robert C. Byrd in the United States Senate. I looked up to him, I fought next to him, and I am deeply saddened that he is gone. He leaves a void that simply can never be filled. But I am lifted by the knowledge of his deep and abiding faith in God, I have joy in the thought of him reunited with his dear Erma, and I am proud knowing that his moving life story and legacy of service and love for West Virginia will live on.

Senator Byrd came from humble beginnings in the southern coalfields, was raised by hard-working West Virginians, and triumphantly rose to the heights of power in America. But he never forgot where he came from nor who he represented, and he never abused that power for his own gain.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.):

Robert Byrd's was one of the greatest minds the world has ever seen. From his graduation as valedictorian of his high school class at the age of 16 to his chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee until the age of 91, he mastered everything he touched with great thoughtfulness and skill. Throughout more than half a century of service in this body, and six more in the House, Senator Byrd never stopped fighting for the people of West Virginia and for Democratic principles. My thoughts, and those of the entire United States Senate, are with the Byrd family.

Robert Byrd was a Member of this nation's Congress for more than a quarter of the time it has existed, and longer than a quarter of today's sitting Senators and the President of the United States have been alive. The nine times the people of his state sent him to the Senate and the more than 18,500 votes he cast in its chamber will never be matched. His political career spanned a dozen presidencies and countless American advances and achievements. And throughout one of the longest political careers in history, no one ever defeated Robert Byrd in a single election.

The people of West Virginia have lost a dedicated public servant, and America has lost a great defender of its most precious traditions. He was the foremost guardian of the Senate's complex rules, procedures and customs, and as leader of both the majority and the minority caucuses in the Senate he knew better than most that legislation is the art of compromise.

By virtue of his endurance, Robert Byrd knew and worked with many of the greats of the United States Senate. Because of his enduring virtue, he will be remembered as one of them. Senator Byrd dedicated every single day of his Senate service to strengthening the institution, state and republic that he loved so dearly. There will never be another like him.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):

Sen. Byrd combined a devotion to the U.S. Constitution with a deep learning of history to defend the interests of his state and the traditions of the Senate. We will remember him for his fighter's spirit, his abiding faith, and for the many times he recalled the Senate to its purposes. Generations of Americans will read the masterful history of the Senate he leaves behind, and they will also read about the remarkable life of Robert Carlyle Byrd.

(Photos from throughout Sen. Robert Byrd's life)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.):

No Senator came to care more about the Constitution or to be a more effective defender of our constitutional government than the senior Senator from West Virginia. He was a senator's senator.

Others will speak of his records for time served in the Senate and in Congress and for the number of votes he cast. I know him as a mentor and a friend. I was honored to stand with him and fight against assaults on the Constitution and against an unnecessary and costly war in Iraq.

He was a self-educated man who learned much throughout his life and had much to teach us all. He was a symbol of West Virginia, he was an outstanding senator, and he was an extraordinary American.


Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.):

Day after day, Senator Byrd held forth on the floor of the Senate not just on the issues of the moment, but by providing an institutional and historical context for our deliberations. He was not just the President pro tempore of the Senate, he was also the Guardian of the Senate and our connection with the 'mystic cords of memory.' His distinctive voice elevated our contemporary debates and tied our work to the history of humankind. His knowledge of the Bible and of the classics was extraordinary and moving.

Former President Jimmy Carter:

Sen. Robert Byrd and his wife Erma were our personal friends, and he was my closest and most valuable adviser while I served as president. I respected him and attempted in every way to remain in his good graces. He was a giant among legislators, and was courageous in espousing controversial issues.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Senator Byrd took pride in his status as Congress' foremost scholar on the Constitution, on the Senate, and on the institutions of our democracy. He never hesitated to speak truth to power. He was a voice of reason during times of war and economic hardship. He was always a gentleman, capable of charming any friend or foe. And he always stood on principle, even when others did not.


Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.):

He was a great patriot. He loved the Senate, no doubt about it. I remembered how he railed against textbooks one time. He said they contained 'touch, feely twallow.'

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.):

I had the good fortune of having the seat next to his in the Senate chamber, where I would sit for the last 25 years, receiving his wisdom and hearing the fascinating tales that Senator Byrd shared with all of us.

Senator Byrd was an iconic figure, who will be missed by the people of West Virginia, the Senate, and America. He never stopped growing as a public official, and was a man who learned from his mistakes. He was more than a friend and colleague--he was a mentor to me and literally hundreds of legislators with whom he served over the past five decades. A copy of the Constitution he gave me many years ago still sits in my pocket every day.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska):

A giant of the Senate, he was a staunch protector of its constitutional role and prerogatives and always kept a copy of the United States Constitution in his breast pocket, closest to his heart. A son of the depression, growing up in impoverished Appalachia, he understood and empathized with the isolation and third world conditions that plagued our Alaska Native people of rural Alaska. Because of his long standing relationship with Ted Stevens on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Byrd came to know and understand the needs of our state. Our Denali Commission is closely modeled on the Appalachian Regional Commission, which Senator Byrd championed during his decades of service to our Nation.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Robert Byrd led by the power of his example, and he made all of us who had the honor of serving as his colleagues better public servants and better citizens.

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.):

He was a defender of the Constitution, a champion of the Senate. He was West Virginia'a greatest ally, her faithful son, a source of tremendous pride, and our Big Daddy. He was a mentor, a teacher, a leader, a constant source of inspiration.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

The United States Senate has lost an icon, and the people of West Virginia a beloved son who was woven into the very fabric of our state. Senator Byrds mastery of the Senate will be remembered for the ages, but those who knew him best realize his legacy will be one of love for the West Virginians he served for nearly 57 years.

Gov. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.):

Sen. Byrd was a fearless fighter for the Constitution, his beloved state and its great people. He made a significant mark as a member of Congress in both our state's and the nation's history. His accomplishments and contributions will define history for eternity.

Rick Thompson, West Virginia speaker of the House (D):

Senator Byrds passing is an unspeakable loss, first and foremost to West Virginia, but also to Congress and the country as a whole. He is a giant in the United States Senate, for his unmatched dedication to public service, incredible Constitutional scholarship and above all, his reverence and respect for the democratic process. He is the most important public servant in West Virginias history our states biggest advocate and protector.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.):

Senator Byrd was the keeper of the flame here in the Senate. He believed in the Senate as an institution. He believed in the constitutional role of the Senate not to be a rubber stamp for the president and he believed fiercely in his state and his constituents there.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.):

Senator Byrd carried a copy of our Constitution close to his heart every day. It was a constant reminder of his life's mission to honor the values which gave us this great nation.

No one in the history of the Senate could match Byrd's thunderous oratory; his sense of history; his determination to teach every President the limits of his power and his lifelong passion to fight for West Virginia.

Daniel Webster, set another chair at Heaven's table, Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia has arrived.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.):

In the annals of Senate history, Robert C. Byrd was one of the last and one of the best of the old school. I had the privilege to hear him at one of his last appearances when he came before the Senate Rules Committee to discourse on the filibuster just one month ago. As always, his statement was passionate, erudite, balanced and electrified the room. It's a moment no one who was there will forget. No member knew the Senate rules better or loved the body more than Robert C. Byrd. We miss him already.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.):

I will always be grateful for Senator Byrd's strong support for California - especially when our state was suffering through natural disasters - as well as his deep conviction to bring our troops home from Iraq.

Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.):

They really don't make them like him anymore.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.):

The laws of the United States and the rules of the Senate would not be what they are without Robert Byrd's skill and his strong desire to do what was right for his nation. His working knowledge of the Senate and its procedures will be missed. Senator Byrd leaves with us a legacy of service that bore witness to some of the great changes which have come to redefine our nation. He was a tenacious defender and advocate for the working class, as well as an astute and thoughtful voice.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), via Twitter:

Bob byrd's passing is the end of an era in the senateHe and ted kennedy were the two lions of the senate and now both are gone

Byrd's four volume history of the senate will remain a monumental achievementHis toughness and determination were the stuff of legends

Colleen Kelly, president of the National Treasury Employees Union:

Over the course of his long and extraordinary career he was a steadfast supporter of our nation's federal employees. Sen. Byrd respected and championed all those throughout the government who carried out its essential missions. He had a great regard for public service and the federal employees who dedicate their careers to serving our country. He understood that all Americans depended on their daily efforts and he worked hard to ensure that federal workers had the tools and resources they needed to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

By Matt DeLong  |  June 28, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Excerpts from Sen. Leahy's opening remarks

Comments

Since I don't live in West Virginia, I can't really appreciate his total dedication to the people of his state, and to the United States Constitution, for which he never yielded. Yet, I truly don't believe that Vice President Biden, if asked, would give the same "heart-felt, soul-rendering" eulogy that he did for Sen. Mathias some months ago at the National Cathedral, as Politicians do, indeed, have differences in true character. Hot Air vs. Substance, I guess...but then, I'm not a politician.

Posted by: ageewhizzy | June 29, 2010 3:34 AM | Report abuse

VirginiaConservative" I imagine that it won't just be liberals that eulogize
Sen. Byrd, but also conservatives who respected him although not always agreeing with him. Sen. Byrd said in an interview that he knew that after he was gone that some would be saying exactly what some of you are saying about him as far as the KKK, etc. He seemed to face that reality of that part of his legacy.
I am a believer in the old American proverb of "Speak no evil of the dead" because he/she is not here to defend themselves. I see some of you do not believe in that saying. I wonder what some will say about you when you are gone? Ever wonder about that? Sen. Byrd obviously knew. So I say, Sen. Byrd, "Rest in peace."

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | June 28, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

VirginiaConservative" I imagine that it won't just be liberals that eulogize
Sen. Byrd, but also conservatives who respected him although not always agreeing with him. Sen. Byrd said in an interview that he knew that after he was gone that some would be saying exactly what some of you are saying about him as far as the KKK, etc. He seemed to face that reality of that part of his legacy.
I am a believer in the old American proverb of "Speak no evil of the dead" because he/she is not here to defend themselves. I see some of you do not believe in that saying. I wonder what some will say about you when you are gone? Ever wonder about that? Sen. Byrd obviously knew. So I say, Sen. Byrd, "Rest in peace."

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | June 28, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect to the Grand ole' Wizard.

His care the last 15-20 years is a prime reason that there should be mandatory AGE requirements for retirements.

Having individuals in Congress wheeled into a session in a wheel chair or on medical equipment just to nod to pass a bill.

Is not democracy.

All those Democrats that used this gentleman on his death bed to pass their idea of America should be ashamed of themselves. And voted out of office.

And that includes Obama the Messiah.

Posted by: miller515501 | June 28, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's not go overboard with congrats. He hated gays and other minorities (hiring a couple when it was opportunistic), started a chapter of the KKK, and viciously opposed equal rights. Ok, he carried a copy of the Constitution. Too bad he worked so hard most of his life to drive it into the dirt.

Posted by: rlcjr | June 28, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"
Maybe one-term for West Virginians and Kentuckians.

Ah, toss in Mississippians, Alabamans, Floridians, Texans, Carolinians, Virginians, Tennesseeans, and Arkansans, too!

Posted by: perryneheum | June 28, 2010 10:15 AM
"

How about 0 terms? We secede. We are whites only and you take the rest.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | June 28, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if we should apply this same standard of using selected chapters of a public servant's career to render a verdict on their entire life.

To that end, should we only remember Richard Nixon for is abuses of power in Watergate?

Or should we remember Reagan for HIS abuses of power with Iran Contra?

Perhaps we should remember George H.W. Bush for violating his "no new taxes" pledge.

Or should we remember his son, George W. Bush for going AWOL from the Alabama Nationla Guard, thus avoiding Vietnam?

Should we remember DICK Cheney for using not one, not two, not even three, but five deferments to get out of Vietnam? Or telling Senator Leahy, ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE, to f-ck off?

We can remember Mitch McConnell, as self-proclaimed small government hypocrite for helping George W. Bush oversee the greatest expansion in the national debt since, well, anyone.

Or no, I've got it, let's remember Newt Gingrich for serving his first wife with divorce papers while recovering from cancer surgery.

Or how about most of the Republicans, like Mark Sanfors, who castigated Bill CLinton for having an affair, while having affairs of their own.

Posted by: vwoobah3803 | June 28, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The gibberish, drivel, and drool from the resident rightwingnuts and tea tards is really surprising....NOT

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 28, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Byrd's KKK involvement was the pinnacle of his career.

And his life was never nobler than the giving up of it.

Raise your torch if you're for two-terms-and-out for U.S. senators.

Maybe one-term for West Virginians and Kentuckians.

Ah, toss in Mississippians, Alabamans, Floridians, Texans, Carolinians, Virginians, Tennesseeans, and Arkansans, too!

Posted by: perryneheum | June 28, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse


"There are white n-ggers. I've seen a lot of white n-ggers in my time."

Robert Byrd, May 2, 2007

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

It astounds me how the Republicans in here are frothing at the mouth about Byrd's KKK affiliation, but not taking a hard look in the mirror and thinking about what policies they support to this day, and what bad behavior they overlook from allies who are clearly racist (birthers, tea partiers who are incapable of coming up with any objection to the President beyond his middle name, etc.)

I certainly don't think Byrd's racist past should be swept under the rug, and I too would like to see current information about whether or not he truly repented. But I deem it deeply hypocritical if people who say Democrats are KKK-lovers for this are not similarly profoundly committed to weeding out the racist Tea Partiers and others from their own party.

Posted by: amm72 | June 28, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Not only was Byrd a Klansman he recuited 150 other members into the Ku Klux Klan.

Only a few years ago Byrd was using the term "white n-ggers" on national TV. TWICE.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Rest in peace, Senator Byrd. I am African-American, but I long ago forgave Mr. Byrd for his KKK past because it was apparent to me that he had redeemed himself. I am the daughter of a Christian minister who did not shrink from preaching to people who were of a KKK mindset. He converted a few of them also. As Jesus would have it, redemption is vastly superior to perpetual condemnation. I applaud Senator Byrd for turning his life around.

Posted by: Artisan1 | June 28, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

“ 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. ”
— Robert C. Byrd,

Posted by: vwoobah3803 | June 28, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that Robert "Sheets" Byrd, liberal icon, and recent user of the "n-word" was also Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.

"I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."
Robert C. Byrd, in a letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), 1944

In 1946 or 1947 he wrote a letter to a Grand Wizard stating, "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_byrd

Byrd joined with other Southern and border state Democrats to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1964, personally filibustering the bill for 14 hours...

Byrd is the only Senator to have voted against the nominations of both Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas to the United States Supreme Court, the only two African-Americans to have been nominated to the court.

Ah yes, the Dean of the Senate was quite a man.

Let us hope he rests in peace and may God have mercy upon his soul.

Posted by: JohnMD1022 | June 28, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse


Washington Post, 2005:


"In the early 1940s, a politically ambitious butcher from West Virginia named Bob Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to form a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. After Byrd had collected the $10 joining fee and $3 charge for a robe and hood from every applicant, the "Grand Dragon" for the mid-Atlantic states came down to tiny Crab Orchard, W.Va., to officially organize the chapter. "

"Despite his many achievements, however, the venerated Byrd has never been able to fully erase the stain of his association with one of the most reviled hate groups in the nation's history. "


Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

the other lifer rocky just inherited WVA.any serious thoughts of TERM LIMITS?

Posted by: pofinpa | June 28, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

screwjob,
I think you just contradicted your own point.

Posted by: vwoobah3803 | June 28, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse


Byrd was a racist to the bitter end. It was only a few years ago that Byrd, unsolicitated, used the phrase "White N-ggers" on live national television. He used the phrase twice, about a minute apart, so it was not a slip of the tongue.

WaPo is trying to sanitize Byrd the KKK leader. These WaPo hacks must think they can whitewash anything.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

t is impossible to get a rise out of me, because I do not read other people's posts.Posted by: screwjob16 |

--

Or anything else for that matter.

Posted by: twm1 | June 28, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse


The main-article's message board has reappeared after a 35 minute "gap" from 8:04 to 8:41 corresponding to the time the WaPo hacks made the board disappear.

Must we shame these WaPo lefist fascists into playing it straight, hmm? Apparently so. If they want to practice censorship, make them squirm. But now the board is back.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I see the Klan is ignobly subjecting the dead to one last indignity. Its to be expected. The KKK has hated the Democrats and Robert Byrd since Byrd and the Democrats repudiated the KKK and its white supremacy design for America.

Let them rant. They simply show themselves to be the petty irrelevant sub-humans that they are.

America needs a year round open season on the rabid little creatures that hide under pointy white hoods.

Unfortunately, in part to appease the Klan and in part because to many in the Democratic Party leadership still hold racist ignorance, the insane ranting of the Klan ends up appearing as no more than a half lies to too many Americans who are ignorant of the actual political history.

The DLC/Dixie-crats, still today, hold so much power in the Democratic Party that Jim Crow Joe Biden is VP egging on Barack Obama to forever escalate and militarize the Jim Crow Drug War. The Drug War, America's longest civil war. A policy that is destroying and disenfranchising urban, poverty oppressed and minority America. A war that is killing thousands of our Mexican neighbors.

I quit the Democrats in 1996 due to the control that these racist Democrats have over the Party. The racists who control the Democratic Party do not reflect or respect my social justice, civil liberties and human rights constitution based values.

Posted by: aahpat | June 28, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Thank you to ArchieHaase and the other respectful commenters for your decency and understanding. It amazes me that there are so many (unemployed?) commenters who find time to spew their venom denigrating someone who just died today. I give thanks every day that I don't have to live in their hate-filled universe (their own minds!) and see through their narrowed eyes.

Posted by: wyatt3 | June 28, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

When Dick Cheney was admitted to the hospital, the Washington Post allowed comments on that article. That was not a poltical or a policy issue. They did it to give their hate-filled liberal friends a forum to spew their bile. Now, a Democrat with a despicable history of racism passes away and WaPo allows no comments on the main article. This is even more proof of the corruption of the media and the moral bankruptcy of the progressives.

Posted by: tulsadave | June 28, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

There was something rather endearing about the man. We all make mistakes. RIP.

Posted by: hipshot | June 28, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse


"The First Amendment only protects leftist speech."

Your Editorial Staff

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse


"The First Amendment only protect leftist speech"

Your Editorial Staff


Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Sen Robert Byrd fought for white civil rights. That makes him rare indeed in a Congress that ethnically cleanses whites.

"I am very concerned that an open immigration policy only makes it more difficult to adequately meet the needs of our Nation."

-- speech on the floor of the Senate, July 23, 2001

Continued race replacement immigration with the large unemployment of white men in this jobs depression shows how Congress has turned its back on whites.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | June 28, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I learned a long time ago people who clog up blogs with crazy talk. (Scew Job) The only people who listen to you are people who already think like you.

Calling Obama disparaging names will not go far and only embarrass yourself. Certainly not change any thinking.

I think you made your point you do not like Byrd. I think you said what you think. Anymore talk will only convince more people you are acting crazy.

Posted by: ArchieHaase | June 28, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

This is a message board not a chat room. I am not having a conversation with any of you.

It is impossible to get a rise out of me, because I do not read other people's posts.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse


"Robert Byrd may be a racist Ku Klux Klansman, but he is OUR racist Ku Klux Klansman."

Your Editorial Staff

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

The truth is that the democrats are a foul party....

From starting the last civil war thru Jefferson Davis (D) Confederacy to Robert Byrd (D-KKK) in hell as you read this..........

American Recovery begins in November.....vote every democrat out of office for America

Posted by: georgedixon1 | June 28, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Leftist facist WaPo hacks censor your own message boards en masse. Have you hacks learned nothing from the Dave Weigel debacle of last weekend? Apparently you have not. Think you can make Byrd a saint by sanitizing all reader comments? Now you are trying to rehabilitate Byrd the Ku Klux Klan leader by censoring all opposing viewpoints? Hmm?

SHAME SHAME miserable WaPo hacks.

Posted by: screwjob16

---------------------------------------------------------

Want some cheese to go with that whine?

Posted by: washpost18 | June 28, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Rest in Peace Senator Byrd.

Republicans have poisoned this and every other forum on the net. Your behavior is obscene. You should be ashamed but are proud.

Posted by: aartmann112004 | June 28, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse


Only a few years ago Byrd the Klansman used the term "White N-ggers" on live national television. TWICE.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FIBJt-c2o0

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

a racist, KKK member, and democrat all rolled into one.

Posted by: barrysmith1 | June 28, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds." - Robert Byrd

Posted by: mbjohnson | June 28, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

"ALLAH AKBAR"-Barack Hussein Obama

Posted by: cschotta1 | June 28, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse


Leftist facist WaPo hacks censor your own message boards en masse. Have you hacks learned nothing from the Dave Weigel debacle of last weekend? Apparently you have not. Think you can make Byrd a saint by sanitizing all reader comments? Now you are trying to rehabilitate Byrd the Ku Klux Klan leader by censoring all opposing viewpoints? Hmm?

SHAME SHAME miserable WaPo hacks.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

If Ted Kennedy was the lion of the Senate Byrd was the Tiger.

West Virginia will miss him. The US will miss him. Even those who garbage his name with miss his balance.

It is not bad to grow up poor. It is bad to grow up and never learn from your surroundings. He was learning until this morning.

Here is a man who belonged to the KKK in his early life who later on became a supporter of black equality who felt as comfortable with Catholics as he was with right leaning Protestant evangelicals.

Here is a man who stood against the Iraq war. Here is a man who spoke for balance and reason. Here is a man who brought jobs to his state. What will they do now?

They in West Virginia will vote for an extremist republican who has no ears for those that vote for him.

West Virginia's new Senator will instead move on the side with global Wall Street business and banking interests.

In this case West Virginians are not as good as the man that loved them (Senator Robert Byrd)

Yes Senator Bryd brought West Virginia bread, jobs, and dignity. He did it with class.

Posted by: ArchieHaase | June 28, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

The Grand Wizard, white sheet wearing, KKK memeber racist Bob Byrd finally kicked the bucket. This is excellent news for all the african-americans he disenfranchised over the years.

Posted by: knight1977 | June 28, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse


Democrat

KKK Leader

Fought Civil Rights

Posted by: ItsOver2 | June 28, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The entire State of West Virginia is in total shock at the loose of all the pork that they will now have to give up but there is a chance that strip coal mining might be stopped.

Posted by: KBlit | June 28, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps, much ado about nothing?
Perhaps but with all his faults and foibles
he was human. RIP.
Only nearest the very, very end of a lifetime of exclusionary thinking did he
finally see the light, ay?
God wiill bless him for that I believe,
no matter what misery he caused along his
obstructionist career path.

Posted by: huckstered1 | June 28, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 7:48 AM |

WaPo hacks just censored the entire message board on the main story "Sen. Robert Byrd dead at 92; West Virginia lawmaker was the longest serving member of Congress in history "

--

Thanks to certain vicious partisan hacks who have no sense of decency and take advantage of the passing of a public figure to vent their mindless venom. These people are losers.

--

My condolences to Robert Byrd's family and friends.

Posted by: twm1 | June 28, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Most aptly self-named screwjob, you are a perfect case in point. You and your fellow screwjobs are the very ones responsible for the WaPo "rolling up their sidewalk". That's not censorship, just decency -- a word not in your lexicon.

Don't like it? Tough. Start your own blog and go spit on your own sidewalk.

Posted by: laboo | June 28, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

A brief history with the KKK???

West Virginia's Democratic Senator Robert Byrd was a recruiter for the Klan while in his 20s and 30s, rising to the title of Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops of his local chapter. After leaving the group, Byrd spoke in favor of the Klan during his early political career. Though he claimed to have left the organization in 1943, Byrd wrote a letter in 1946 to the group's Imperial Wizard stating "The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia." Byrd defended the Klan in his 1958 U.S. Senate campaign when he was 41 years old


Posted by: RB1019 | June 28, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

woohoo - I win $20 in the office pool! I bet on the, "rightwingtards will descend en mass to offer nothing but KKK references and defend their own deep-seated bigotry" box. Thanks, you predictable little rascals!

Posted by: washpost18 | June 28, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Good riddance to a supporter of the KKK.

Posted by: ObamasGulfResponseIsMuchWorseThanKatrina | June 28, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I was pleased to see on the AOL version of this story, that they allowed comments but moderated them first. Normally I'm not much of a fan of moderation, but some of the comments above (and I'm sure many of those to follow) are convincing evidence that the WaPo needs to go the same route. No censorship of opinions, but moderation of hate-spewing verbal incontinence.

It's akin to a free society where people are welcome to chaw whatever brand of chewin' terbaccy they like, but have no right to splatter their spit on the public sidewalk. Let 'em start a blog and then they can spit on their own sidewalk as much as they like.

Posted by: laboo | June 28, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse


Sure enough, and as I predicted, WaPo hacks eliminated the entire message board:

Comment on: Sen. Robert Byrd dead at 92; West Virginia lawmaker was the longest serving member of Congress in history at 6/28/2010 7:40 AM EDT

Watch the WaPo hacks censor or eliminate this message board. You just watch.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse


WaPo hacks just censored the entire message board on the main story "Sen. Robert Byrd dead at 92; West Virginia lawmaker was the longest serving member of Congress in history "

Just made it vanish.

Fascist lefist censorship at its finest.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse


WaPo hacks are working overtime to try and rehabilitate Byrd the vile racist Ku Klux Klan leader.

Pathetic WaPo hacks.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 28, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

The man had a full productive life and did things his way. He did what he thought was best for his state and the people who he represented. For that the people of his state should appreciate, be thankful for his service and give him a great send off.

But for the last several years as the member of the most dysfunctional, inefficient unrepresentative US Senate, he was just a fixture doing the bidding of his party in this rotten to the core two party system. His colleagues will sing his praises pay tributes and at US taxpayers expense erect memorials as if W. Va does already have enough.

In this time in the history of this nation that is economic terror besieged, ideologically divided, polarized and on a fast track of self destruction from within, one had hopped that he would have retired ten years ago.

Now the conservative republican menace with their malignant narcissism, perversity of inequality, rights only of their kind, their chronic scapegoating, uncorrectable grab bagging will use one less vote for the democrats to delay, filibuster long needed reforms to get this nation on the right path.

To that end one can only conclude that the man is living the country in a bind just as when he arrived to be the West VA representative.

Posted by: winemaster2 | June 28, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Senator Byrd's greatest achievement was the evolution of his stance on civil rights, from the backward attitudes with which he was raised (not his fault) to his eventual views.

He also played a mean fiddle!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 28, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

R.I.P.

That said, only a Democrat could be an "Exalted Cyclops" in the KKK and remain in office until the bitter, very bitter, end. Strom Thurmond was no KKK guy, merely a Southern Republican, and Trent Lott was ruined for a birthday party compliment. On that basis, I'll be curious to see how many Democrats the press ruins for compliments to the KKK guy. It will be a short list, I'm sure.

Posted by: JamesChristian | June 28, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

jesus christ, you fool.....

Posted by: OldSalt8 | June 28, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

This will be hilarious kabuki theater. Watch the liberals and owners of the race card trip over themselves eulogizing the guy who spearheaded the filibuster against he CRA. The former KKK official.

Oh, his career made an "amazing" arc say another article.

You durn tootin its amazing. It is amazing to see the leftist media drool all over a real, in the flesh, dyed in the wool, cross burning, hood wearing racist - while they hyperventilate over make believe racists.

No wonder the socialists want the internet shut down.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | June 28, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

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