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Sen. Byrd, Tangled Up in Tubes

Maybe you've had enough of Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) and his now famous Michael Vick-Barbaric speech on the Senate floor. But sorry, we haven't!

Nor have the remix masters of YouTube, who have managed to make Bobby Byrd almost as big an octogenarian YouTube sensation as Sen. Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens (R-Alaska).

According to the hit counters on YouTube, the original C-SPAN video of Byrd's speech railing against the dog fighting controversy is surpassing 50,000 page views. OK, so it pales in comparison to the 1.4 million views that this masterfully remixed version of Ted Stevens' famous rant on net neutrality gets. But still, come on, it's Robert Byrd - the antiquated pocket-watch and three-piece suit wearing senator from West Virginia; the theatrical, oratorical master of a long ago bygone era who quotes extensively from the Bible and his own poems - taking the Internet by storm.

And now comes this orchestral remix version of Byrd's tirade against Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback, whose soul, Byrd indirectly suggests, will spend eternity in the "hottest places in hell" if he is guilty as charged of animal cruelty.

As our colleague Paul Kane alluded to in his blog posting, Byrd's anger over the dog fighting charges is personal. He called his late Maltese, Billy, who went on to his reward in 2002, "one of my best friends." And he adores little Trouble, his Shih Tzu.

But it is Byrd's great passion that is making him the Internet phenom. And, with all the cross-linking from other blogs, Byrd's video is going "viral" on that great Series of Tubes.

Speaking of which, Ted Stevens seems to be tangled up in more than just tubes at the moment, what with that federal raid Monday on his home in Alaska by FBI and IRS agents.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  July 31, 2007; 3:10 PM ET
 
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Comments

Somewhat hypocritical of Sen. Robert K.K.K. Byrd to speak of outrage over cruelty to animals. Afterall, he was a former Grand Kleagle and top recruiter for the Klu Klux Klan in the 1940s and 1950s, and no doubt witnessed at least a few lynchings of blacks. He also wrote a famous letter stating how he would rather die a thousand deaths than to ever serve with a black soldier in the army. But since he is a liberal favorite, this hypocrisy will never be widely reported.

Posted by: norgefar | July 31, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Ask senator Byrd what part of hell will he and his southern gentleman occupy in hell for the countless blacks they enslaved or killed. Ask him about his support of Jim Crow. Is he a vegetarian, he eats meat which comes from animals? Yes dog fighting is wrong but how different is it than an animal slaughter house? The end result is animals are KILLED. Again, I wish he would have outrage against the number of HUMANS who are killed on a daily basis and go to be hungry each night. Faked indignation--in the bible they were called Pharisees.

Posted by: ATL24 | July 31, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I cringed when I saw the Senator on C-Span
and recalled our government, through the US
Marine Corps as they do today, taught me
to kill human beings in numerous ways. So
should our government including the senate
carry the same penalty he suggested for
the Quarterback?

Posted by: George Weber | August 1, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Senator Robert Bird has long since apologized for opposing civil rights in his youth, but Markos Moulitsas (DailyKos) has yet to acknowledge the damage done by his early anti-gay activism and apologize for it.


"Military Right," by Markos A. C. Moulitsas

An online biography of Markos Alberto Moulitsas Zúñiga says:

After leaving the Army, he [Moulitsas] attended Northern Illinois University and wrote for, and eventually managed, the Northern Star college newspaper. Eventful.Com

While at Northern Illinois University in 1993, during the period when President Clinton was endeavoring to implement a new policy that would allow gays to serve openly in the US military, Markos A. C. Moultisas published an essay in the Northern Star, opposing the service of gays in the military. This essay, entitled "Military Right," was among the more than three dozen pieces he published in his role as "staff reporter" for Northern Illinois University college newspaper.

Clinton's 1993 initiative for gay rights was defeated. Markos A.C. Moulitsas' 1993 essay opposing Clinton's gay rights initiative is reprinted below, verbatim, in its entirety.

Markos C.A. Moulitsas wrote:

Military Right

Published on: Monday, January 25, 1993

It's truly disturbing how much ado has been made over Bill Clinton's campaign promise to lift the ban on homosexuals from the U.S. military. It's ironic how it has taken a president who has never served in the military to make a promise that affects the military in such a negative manner.

Those who have served in the military, such as myself, understand the demands and pressures of military life are incompatible with allowing integration with homosexuals. I'm neither socially conservative or prejudiced, and neither is liberal columnist Mike Royko, Gen. Colin Powell, and influential liberal Democrats Sam Nunn and Les Aspin, all who've come out against lifting the ban.

Under military circumstances, as much has to be done as possible to focus the unit's mission and keep disciplinary problems to a minimum. Worrying about whether the known homosexual sleeping next to you is watching as you change your underwear may seem trivial as you read this, but to the soldier who's short-tempered after three weeks in the field and four hours of daily sleep, it becomes a matter of great importance to his pride and sensibilities. And in any case, there aren't many people who would change clothes in a group of co-workers if members of the opposite sex were in the same room watching. There is something inherently uncomfortable about it.

Such fears would go a long way in disrupting efficiency and morale in a unit.

MARKOS C.A. MOULITSAS

Undecided

Freshman

Northern Star


John M. Shalikashvili, a retired army general, was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1993 to 1997. Explaining historically why gays are not allowed in the military today, Gen. Shalikashvili said this year in a New York Times Op-Ed piece,

In the early 1990s, large numbers of military personnel were opposed to letting openly gay men and lesbians serve. President Bill Clinton, who promised to lift the ban during his campaign, was overwhelmed by the strength of the opposition, which threatened to overturn any executive action he might take.

Markos A.C. Moulitsas Zúñiga (MAMZ) was one of the ex-military whose vocal opposition to gays' participation in the media made it politically impossible for Bill Clinton to make good on his campaign promise to allow gays to serve in the military.

The irony of Markos A.C. Moulitsas' political career is that if he had not been so successful in his Republican activism as a youth, then much of what is wrong with America today would never have come to pass. For example, without the Republican activism of military people like Markos A.C.Moulitas, gays might be serving openly in the military today, instead of waiting until some time in the future.

While President Clinton and his wife Hillary were taking hits from Republicans because they were trying to open the military to service by gays, Markos A. C. Moulitsas was siding with the Republicans and criticizing equal rights for gays.

Now, MAMZ accuses the Clintons of being too conservative! MAMZ accuses the Clintons of selling out progressive values, but this essay shows who the real enemy of progressive values is. When the Clintons were providing leadership for gay rights, Markos C.A. Moulitsas stood up and opposed the Clintons. And the homophobic anti-gay policy that Markos C.A. Moulitsas successfully championed in 1993 is still in place today.

I can't trust MAMZ to fight for gay rights. I can't trust MAMZ to fight for Blacks' rights. I can't trust MAMZ to fight for women's rights, and I don't want MAMZ running the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Francis L. Holland | August 1, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to everyone who brings up Bob the Racist Byrd's background. Terrible terrible man. This whole recognition of Byrd is almost as sickening as the way Strom Thurmond became some kind of folk hero when he finally, at long last, took his last breath. Anyone who makes these guys into heros is doing two things--honoring men with no honor, and changing real history.

Posted by: Sheldon Green Cleveland, Ohio | August 2, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to everyone who brings up Bob the Racist Byrd's background. Terrible terrible man. This whole recognition of Byrd is almost as sickening as the way Strom Thurmond became some kind of folk hero when he finally, at long last, took his last breath. Anyone who makes these guys into heros is doing two things--honoring men with no honor, and changing real history.

Posted by: Sheldon Green Cleveland, Ohio | August 2, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Who amoungst us that have not sinned, let him cast the first stone. Sen. Byrd is an honorable man that has devoted his life to carrying, in his pocket, a copy of OUR US Constitution, and has never been afraid to pull it out and read it to the members of the US Senate or to the Presidents of these United States, regardless of party. No, he is not perfect, and yes, he has skelton's in his closet, but who are we to judge? The voters of "By God" West Virginia have returned him time and time again to uphold the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and act of thier behalf. He, like ole Strom, has served our country well and will surely be favored by history, and likely by our maker.

Posted by: angryfromthecross | August 2, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

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