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BREAKING: Senator Robert Byrd dead at 92; conservative blogosphere reacts

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BREAKING: Senator Robert Byrd dead at 92; conservative blogosphere reacts

Robert Byrd, the longest serving member of Congress in US history, has passed away. Byrd was 92 when he died.

I’m sorry for his family and friends. I hope they find comfort in this difficult time.

Meanwhile, let’s try to refrain from trashing Senator Byrd too much and stay respectful. This isn’t the Democratic Underground, after all. We’re above that. I will, however, leave you with what I consider to be a fitting quote from the late senator himself. When you’re listening to the fawning media coverage over Byrd’s life, remember this:

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.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Meanwhile, here’s a blogosphere round-up of the conservative reaction to Byrd’s passing.

Don Surber’s got a nice round-up of pictures and video.

Over at Newsbusters, Tim Graham is wondering why the media is labeling Byrd a conservative now — wasn’t he the King of Pork, after all?

Stacy McCain calls Byrd “the best kind of Democrat”.

Jammie Wearing Fool wonders why the media is calling a former Klansmen the “respected voice of the Senate”.

Doug Powers, at Michelle’s place, discussed the W. Virginia Senate seat rules.

Powerline points out that Byrd was one of the last links to the history of the Democratic Party as the party of slavery, segregation, and racism.

Glenn Reynolds encourages everyone to keep a list of the hagiographers in the media who whitewash Byrd’s Klan connection.

Ed Driscoll warns everyone to get ready for the mother of all narrative struggles — MSNBC, after all, is already making the former Klansman out to be a champion of civil rights.

Confederate Yankee says that Byrd is going off to the great Klavern in the Sky.

Moonbattery sums up Byrd’s career well: “From open racism in the civil rights era, to a narcissistic obsession with having things names after himself, to destructive levels of spending in the service of vote-buying, Byrd epitomized much of the worst of the Democrat party’s tendencies.”

Newsreal is covering Byrd’s death as well, noting that not only was Byrd a Klansmen, he even became an Exalted Cyclops of his local chapter.

Gateway Pundit notes that the media is choking on his KKK past.

Chris Cillizza points out that W. Virginia will need to have a special election, but the timing of the race is still an open question.

Ed Morrissey says that its the end of an era.

John McCormack wonders who will replace the longest serving member of Congress.

Q and O questions whether his Senate seat will be rightfully declared vacant today, or if it will be declared vacant on July 3rd.

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  • I’m sure you realize that if a reader works hard enough, throwing Sen. Byrd’s ancient words into his face could be construed as “mean spirited.” By “could be,” of course, what I really mean is it’s definitely gonna happen.

    So just for sake of contrast: You’ll recall former Vice President Dick Cheney was “complaining of discomfort.” Apologies in advance for comparing you to them, Cassy, but here’s the FARK thread where the witty-edgy-college-dorm-set reacts to the news.

    Personally, I think the back-and-forth arguments over which side has a monopoly on wonderful-decent-people, and which side is bogged down with slimy awful terrible sleazebag people, is a stupid distraction; decent wonderful people come up with stupid ideas all the time. But the biased editorializing fascinates me, and the minute someone conservative says something less than flattering about Sen. Byrd I know I’m going to be buried in the coverage of it whether I wish it or not. So it’s a productive exercise to skim through the “progressive” comments about Cheney, to maintain a sense of perspective.

    Regarding Byrd, best wishes to his family. And the harshest thing I’ll say about him is, since he was known to have so much concern over how much dignity or discredit was being brought to the Senate by this-or-that thing, retiring at about age 80 might’ve been a good move for him. Rest in peace.

  • repsac3 says:

    Another way of looking it it, Morgan, is that there are both classy people and assholes all along the political spectrum. Perhaps whether people see you personally as classy or as an asshole isn’t a function of where your politics lie, but what you do and say when a person with whom you disagree politically suffers or dies. One thing that I’m sure of, is this “team” mentality (We’re all “wonderful decent people,” and they’re all “slimy awful terrible sleazebag people”) isn’t serving anyone well. Both kinds of people (and everything in between) appear in both camps. If we was smarter, we’d attack the individuals who misbehave, rather than pretending that the worst among ’em represent all of “them,” and the best among us represent all of “us.” It’s useless fiction.

    I take issue with those who’re attacking Senator Byrd before the body is cold not because they’re conservatives, but because they’re nasty people who’re doing something I find kinda distasteful and inhumane to the people who loved the guy. I feel the same about your “FARK on Cheney” folks, too… Anyone who can’t wait until after the mourners have left the gravesite before ripping into the memory of the deceased are kinda goulish, in my humble… YMMV…

  • Fred Fnord says:

    I was going to respond to the article, but I find Morgan K Freeberg’s comment to be so bewildering that I can’t resist.

    In the first paragraph, you appear to be implying that it isn’t mean or unreasonable to quote something that someone said in 1944, which he retracted, and apologized for, and which reflects an attitude that he spent the entire latter half of his life doing his best to fight against, as the only (or at least most important) comment on his death.

    You then seem to be trying to draw some kind of equivalency between conservatives (who will be, and indeed are, doing exactly that, even right here on this blog) and liberals, who you say… said something potentially mean about Dick Cheney, who is, y’know, not dead, and has never retracted any of the things that liberals dislike him for, let alone actually tried to fix them. Because there’s no difference between someone who did something bad seventy years ago and repented of it and tried to make amends, and someone who is continuing to do something bad every single day and tells people to fuck off if they try to talk to him about it. AND there’s no difference between saying something nasty about someone who is alive to refute/ignore/have them shipped off to a secret prison in a third world country and tortured to death, and saying something nasty about someone who is dead.

    And then you point as evidence of this meanspiritedness to … FARK! The site where they make fun of everybody. (If you do a quick search, you can find 300 Al-Gore-Is-Fat jokes, a bunch of John Kerry photoshops that have everything from him holding a sign with goatse on it to him and Bush having sex, and Jesus don’t get me started on what they did to Kennedy when he died.) Identifying fark as some kind of liberal stronghold that legitimizes anything is like holding up the Onion as a conservative rag because they did a story about how Obama clearly doesn’t care about the oil spill because he has not yet plugged the leak by flying to outer space, getting an asteroid, and dropping it into the gulf.

    Or, to shorten it slightly: “I know that liberals are going to scream when conservatives rape the corpse of Senator Byrd, and so I’m going to visit an essentially-apolitical web site full of twelve-year-olds to gather evidence that the liberals do the exact same thing. Mind you, I’m against corpse-raping, so I’ll just say, best wishes, Byrd, and I hope the corpse-raping doesn’t bother you too much!”

    You know what? You could have deleted those first three paragraphs, just posted the last one, and not have come off as someone with only a very tenuous connection to reality. It would have been classy. I would have respected you for it.


  • AW1 Tim says:

    The headline should have read “Last Surviving Confederate General Passes Away”. Pair it with that pic of him wearing a Confederate General’s uniform from the movie “Gods & Generals”.

    The real fun game in West Virginia is to try and find a public road, bridge, or building NOT named after him or a member of his family. 🙂

  • Kyle Michel Sullivan says:

    At least Sen. Byrd apologized for being a racist jerk earlier in his career because he realized he was wrong, and he tried to make up for it. I haven’t heard anyone from the GOP do that without being yelled at first, and then they only give the weakest of equivocations in place of a truly heartfelt “I’m sorry,” and now they’re using race to tear this country apart. It’s diseased.

  • Smithwick says:

    He was a horrible man. Dying doesn’t change what he was.

    His family and friends however are entitled to mourn in peace. I sincerely hope no one tries to interrupt the memorial service or harass the mourners. That would be completely inappropriate and would accomplish nothing.

    And rather than focus on the past I think conservatives need to focus on retaking West Virginia.

  • Okay fred, so not only do you presume that Byrd is contrite and regretful, but you’re unwilling to entertain any evidence to the contrary; not only do you presume Dick Cheney is a worse person than Byrd ever was, you’re unwilling to entertain any evidence to the contrary; it also appears you’re buying into the “everyone on my side is wonderful and everyone on the other side is awful” which is exactly what I was talking about…and you’re unwilling to entertain any evidence to the contrary…

    Once again, I see my incoherent bloviating brand of writing is incomprehensible — TO someone who isn’t willing to absorb certain things.

    Wow, that just tears me all up inside.

    Know how I’m reading that? “Hey, I’m some stranger on the Internet who can’t be told anything and you just failed to tell me something. That makes you a bad writer!”

    Hey, there are better writers out there I’ll agree. But you’re going to find me strangely unmotivated to take another crack at it to get you to respect me.

  • Instinct says:

    I know why they called him a conservative Democrat. Since he was a member of the KKK that means he MUST have been a conservative.

    ‘Teabaggers’ are racists. Racists are conservative. Byrd was a racist so Byrd must be a conservative.

  • Justin says:

    It always amazes me how quickly liberals leap to the defense of the Grand Cyclops. It’s almost as if all of their cries of racism is just a way to smear political opponents.

    Nah, couldn’t be.

  • brantl says:

    Morgan K Freeberg, you really are a shit writer. When did Cheney ever apologize to anybody? EVER?

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