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RIP Sen. Robert Byrd

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Point of Order, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Dead at 92 according to a NYT tweet.

    Who will give all the freshman senators their Senate history lesson?
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I guess heaven needed a new prince of pork.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    “ 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
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Sen. Byrd got too much of a pass on his racism. Maybe the KKK will show up at the funeral.
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure Byrd was evil. I always saw him as a product of where he was at any given time. The guy was more of an opportunist than an ideologue. He was a member of the KKK, because in whatever coal-mining hell he came from, all the poor whites were members of the KKK. In more gentile Washington D.C., he changed his stripes to adapt to what was socially acceptable in those surroundings. I think we all do that to some extent.

    I also always thought Byrd was more about the fight than the principle. Generally it came down to dollars and cents with him, or about party politics, not any sort of moral conviction. It's how he could oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and later become something of a civil rights advocate. He could be a staunch supporter of the Vietnam War but be one of the biggest critics of Iraq, because it was the war of another political party. He lived to wield power and make government relevant through the power of taxation, with him controlling as much of those billions of dollars as possible. He loved having the power of the purse, and in lots of ways our trillion dollar government can be attributed to Robert Byrd and what the Senate became over a few decades when he was in it.

    All of that said, as a man, he was pretty remarkable. He was able to change his stripes, as people on here have pointed out, and somehow still convince people he was credible. He was also self educated and in a way his life is a vivid depiction of why the U.S. is generally regarded as being a place of opportunity -- Byrd went from being born to the worst poverty in West Virginia to the coal mines to the longest-ever tenured U.S. Senator and a guy we're talking about today. He was also the only U.S. Senator, I believe, to ever put himself through law school while he was in office, which is impressive.

    He is probably the last of the old-school machine politicians. Maybe Boss Tweed, Huey Long and Byrd are having a drink somewhere right now. RIP.
  6. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member



    Unless you're trying to make some other point.
  7. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    How about we just don't be the self-appointed moderator who pipes in on every thread with "No politics!"? Of course we keep getting some variation of that post from three or four of the same people who caused a politics board to be made verboten on here in the first place. We can't have politics on the board because some people can't behave like adults. If a thread on Robert Byrd -- the longest-tenured Senator ever -- dying, makes its way on here because it is news, his career in politics is going to enter into the discussion. My suggestion is that you deal with it, or don't post. If people want to derail the discussion and cause the thread to be locked, the ACTUAL moderators -- FHB, Moddy, Gutter, Playthrough, etc. -- will handle it. You can choose to participate on this board like an adult. Or you can choose to start yelling and cursing and lobbing insults, as some people do on threads they can't handle. Or you can choose to be the self-appointed moderator who yells "no politics!" because it's so damned clever. Your lecture of me, and your particular contribution to the thread was just noted. Thanks.
  8. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    For the record, Ragu's post was clearly started before I deleted a post. He just saw it before me and responded, and I definitely agree with him.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Yes, and they will.
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I wonder how his Senate seat will be filled...
  11. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I'm sure he'll be wearing white at his funeral.
    RIP to a former Klansman.
  12. CR19

    CR19 Member

    I'm young, and I don't know a lot about Byrd's political record. For the time I actually paid attention to politics, I just knew he was a long-time senator from some state. However, I'm not sure how you can appreciate a guy's work after he took part in a radical group such as the KKK. I know that you can correct your mistakes later in life, but something like the KKK isn't an easily-correctable mark on your reputation.
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