Let's Talk Sense...
Monday, December 16, 2002 Volume XXVII, No. 8
Roswell, New Mexico
Readership, this date:
In this issue:
"Dean of the Senate"
"West Virginian of the 20th Century"
----Bobby Byrd's Lifetime of Racism and Stupidity
----Byrd as a 30-year old Kluxer
----Draft Dodger Byrd: "Won't fight with Negroes"
----Byrd Says "No Black Jurist Need Apply"
----Democrats Thrilled Silly with Byrd's "Leadership"
----Former Klansman: 3rd in Line to the Presidency
----Adoring Daschle: Byrd, "larger than life"
----Mississippi Election Returns
"Dean of the Senate" (he brags on his web site)
"West Virginian of the 20th Century" (he also brags on his web site)
[Editor's note: We know of no one who alleges that the senator is modest. And we found no references to such a description.]
Background on Robert Byrd:
June 10, 1964 (US Capitol)
Civil Rights Filibuster Ended
At 9:51 on the morning of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert C. Byrd completed an address that he had begun fourteen hours and thirteen minutes earlier. The subject was the pending Civil Rights Act of 1964, a measure that occupied the Senate for 57 working days, including six Saturdays. A day earlier, Democrat Senator Hubert Humphrey, the bill's manager, concluded he had the 67 votes then required to end debate. Byrd, one of the leading opponents of civil rights, gave up his filibuster. [Editor's note: Hannity and Colmes among others, have repeatedly made reference to Byrd's "support" of the Civil Rights Bill. They have it wrong---very badly wrong.]
March 6, 2001 (Fox News Sunday)
Ex-Klansman Senator casually uses racial slur
"There are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I'm going to use that word. We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much," said West Virginia's Senior Senator, and former Ku Klux Klan member, Robert Byrd.
Columnist Michelle Malkin, two days later, had this to say about the incident:
"Enraged civil rights groups organized a protest campaign against Senator Byrd and demanded that he undergo sensitivity training ... not. The ex-Klansman, you see, is a Democrat. Democrats can join hate groups and utter the ugliest racial slurs and get away with it because they are Democrats. They belong to the party of racial tolerance and understanding. They're paragons of virtue, and the rest of us are bigoted rubes." [Editor's Note: Ms. Malkin does not believe this of course, she is merely noting the irony of the situation wherein ignorant and hypocritical Democrat leaders actually see themselves this way when in fact the Democrat Party's history of racism is perhaps the great historic blight on our nation's history.]
She went on to add:
"The ex-Klansman's admirers praise...the Senate's senior Democrat as the 'conscience of the Senate.' They downplay his white-sheet-wearing days as a "brief mistake" -- as if joining the Klan were like knocking over a glass of water. Oopsy."
Bobby Byrd's Lifetime of Racism and Stupidity
Senator Robert Byrd is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and is currently the only national elected official with a history in the Klan, a well known hate group. More than 30 Democrat members of congress between 1869 and 2002 have been members of the Ku Klux Klan at some point in their careers. That is not to mention more than a thousand state and local Democrat officials who served as active members of the KKK or had been Klan members at some point in their lives. [Key historical fact: There has never been a Republican member of the United States Congress who has ever been a member of the Ku Klux Klan at any time in their lives. Other than David Duke, who had been a Democrat but registered as a Republican in the late 1980s, no known member of the Klan has held any elective office as a member of the GOP. Duke, who was elected to the Louisiana State House of Representatives, ---it should be noted---was immediately denounced and disavowed by the Republican Party, which endorsed his Democrat opponent. There is no known record of any Democrat Party disavowal of a single Klan-member Democrat candidate for any office anywhere among the estimated 1,000 + who have been elected to state and local office between 1869 and today. This contrast is among the most striking in the history of the two major parties.]
Byrd as a 30-year old Kluxer
Byrd was extremely active in the Klan and rose to the rank of “Kleagle,” an official Klan membership recruiter who signed up members for $10 a head. He said he joined because it "offered excitement" and because the Klan was an "effective force" in "promoting traditional American values." Right. Unless of course you happened to be black, or Catholic, or Jewish, or a Republican. (Editor's note: Democrat farm team scout in the West Virginia hinterlands must have written to the DNC, "Whoa, this guy has 'congressman' written all over him. Must send to big leagues immediately.") Byrd's choice of words speak volumes about his bigotry considering the fact that the Klan is a notorious hate group, and the racist "values" it promotes are anything but American.
In 1952 Byrd ran for Congress from West Virginia's 6th District. When Republican candidate Latelle M. LaFollette made Byrd's Klan membership an issue, Byrd claimed to have left the Klan in 1943 (when he was 26, and had been married for eight years. Apparently he was no Frat Boy just having a good time.) In his explanations he stated that:
"during the nine years that have followed, I have never been interested in the Klan."
Byrd was lying, however, as he engaged in correspondence with a Klan Imperial Wizard long after he claims to have ended his ties with the hate group.
In a letter to the Klan leadership in 1946, 3 years after he claimed to have ended his ties with them, Byrd wrote
"I am a former kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan in Raleigh County and the adjoining counties of the state. The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia."
[Editor's note, and this is an extremely important point about Robert Byrd and his motives: West Virginia was created by the Republican Congress in 1863 and admitted to the union as a new state, separated from Virginia. The residents were not slaveholders and had no sympathy for the Richmond government, state or Confederate. They were strong unionists. Therefore, and this is key, since they were never out of the union there was no Reconstruction there, no Freedmen's Bureau, no federal occupation troops, no Republican carpetbaggers and no black elected officials. There was hardly any black population at all. In short, there were none of the excuses Democrats traditionally used in the South to explain the emergence of a strong, defiant, justice-seeking, Democrat-allied Ku Klux Klan. Like a Klan member in Pennsylvania or Ohio, Robert Byrd's racism was a particularly evil strain: It was not motivated even by a misguided claim to rectify past wrongs----it was just motivated by plain old hatred for blacks, Jews, Catholics and Republicans. Sick, very, very sick.]
Byrd continued his racist diatribe:
"It is necessary that the order be promoted immediately and in every state of the Union" and followed with a request for assistance from the hate group's leadership in "rebuilding the Klan in the realm" of West Virginia.
Draft Dodger Byrd: I won't fight with Negroes
Byrd's racism extends far beyond his Klan membership. In a letter he wrote on the subject of desegregating the armed forces, Byrd escalated his racist rhetoric to an appalling level. In the letter, Byrd vowed that he would never fight in an integrated armed services. The ex-Klansman stated he would never fight:
"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."
[Editor's Note: Besides being particularly offensive on many levels, it is hypocritical and stupid because Byrd never served in the Armed Forces at all. Who is he to tell anyone with whom and how he would serve? He was never soldier, sailor, airman or marine.]
Byrd Says "No Black Jurist Need Apply"
Not only did this racist goon don the goofy white robes and wander the hills of West Virginia burning crosses for a number of years long after a mature adult man should know better, he went on in the Senate to vote against scores of Civil Rights measures, including bills, amendments, and procedural motions.
Anytime a black justice was nominated for the Supreme Court, whether it was liberal Democrat Thurgood Marshall, or conservative Republican Clarence Thomas, the old Kluxer voted "No."
In fact, in a style and with an obliviousness matched only by Teddy Kennedy (in all matters involving sexual harassment, violence against women, etc.) he had the gall to accuse Justice Thomas of "injecting racism" into Senate hearings in 1991.
Democrats Thrilled with Byrd's Leadership
In a sickening recognition of Byrd's appalling political career, the national Democrat Party has done nothing but embrace the West Virginia senator with leadership roles and practically every honor imaginable.
To this very day the Democrats call former Klansman turned U.S. Senator Robert Byrd the "conscience of the Senate."
They have embraced him as their party's central pillar in all ways possible. Byrd has been reelected more times than any other Democrat senator in US history, has served as a Democrat in Congress, a Democrat State Senator in West Virginia, and a Democrat State Delegate in West Virginia. Democrats have made repeatedly elected Byrd into their national party leadership and into the U.S. Senate leadership. He became secretary of the Senate Democrat Caucus in 1967, and Senate Democrat Whip in 1971.
The Democrats elected former Klansman Byrd as their Senate Majority Leader from 1977-1980 and as their Senate Minority Leader from 1981-1986. Byrd was again elected Democrat Majority Leader from 1987-1988. Democrats also made Byrd the chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee where he looted the national treasury on behalf of West Virginia.
Former Klansman: 3rd in line to the Presidency
In 1989 the Democrats made Byrd President Pro Tempore of the Senate, 3rd in the line of succession to the presidency after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. He held the position until the Republicans won control of the Senate in November 1994.
Following the defection of Jim Jeffords in June 2001, the Democrats again made Byrd the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and again elected him to the highest ranking office in the Senate: the President Pro Tempore, a position which also put this former Klansman way too close to the presidency. Byrd lost his position when Republicans retook the Senate in late 2002, but continues to serve as one of the highest ranking members of the Democrat Senate leadership today.
Daschle Sees Byrd as "Legend, Larger than Life"
Here is a quote from outgoing Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle:
"Robert C. Byrd is truly a legend in his own time. He stands larger than life, not only for his accomplishments, but also for his principles."
--- Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, 2002
[Editor's Note: Everyone looks larger than life with one of those tall pointy hats on their head.]
What to do about Daschle?
We have no idea what Senator Daschle's could be referring to in this incredibly enthusiastic endorsement of an old racist thug like Robert Byrd. "Legend?" Of Sleepy Hollow? Ghost Stories told by little Catholic, Jewish or black kids in West Virginia? What legend?
Larger than life? How so? Daschle has to go.
The "principles" Robert Byrd has stood for, harassment of fellow Americans who happen to be black, Jewish, Catholic or Republican, are not principles at all. Mr. Daschle should step down, and, since fellow South Dakoka Senator Tim Johnson is his wholly owned subsidiary, he should take Johnson with him.
A Sesquicentennial Moment
[In recognition of the 150th Anniversary of the Republican Party in 2004, Let's Talk Sense...will be presenting key moments in the history of the Grand Old Party.]
"Republicans ignore the fact that this government of ours is founded on the white basis. It was made by the white man, for the benefit of the white man, to be administered by white men. In advocating equal rights for the Negro, Republicans fail to understand that any mixture or amalgamation with inferior races can only lead to degeneration, demoralization and degradation."
Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat-Illinois
Democrat Nominee for President, 1860
[Editor's Note: At least 90 years later, Democrat leaders like Robert Byrd continued to believe the same garbage. 104 years later he and 20 of his Democrat colleagues voted against the most important Civil Rights bill in American history.]
Mississippi Election Returns
Much has been reported recently about the 1948 Presidential Election and Mississippi's vote in that contest. Most of it is highly misleading. The 1948 Dixiecrat Party controversy had nothing to do with the Republican Party at all. The States' Rights Party that nominated Strom Thurmond for president was purely and simply an offshoot of the Democrat Party.
In 1948, for the first time in their 120-year history, the Democrat Party had finally mustered the fortitude and principle to take a stand for civil rights. Led by Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, the Democrat National Convention placed a meaningful civil rights plank in its platform. Many Democrat delegates walked out. The Republican Party had no role in this story. The Republican Party has had a consistent position on civil rights throughout its history. The GOP all but invented civil rights as a public policy issue in America. Strom Thurmond did not join the Republican Party until late 1964.
Here are the election results in Mississippi in 1944 and 1948:
Thurmond did carry Mississippi overwhelmingly, but his votes came from Democrats. If his appeal was racist, it was Democrats who responded, and in droves. Republicans, to the extent they existed in the state, were more or less unimpressed. In fact, the numbers for Dewey went up.