Monday, June 28, 2010

'Respected' Former Klansman Dies

One wonders whether the New York Times would call a Republican a "respected voice of the Senate" if he were a former Klansman.

I doubt it.
Robert C. Byrd, who used his record tenure as a United States senator to fight for the primacy of the legislative branch of government and to build a modern West Virginia with vast amounts of federal money, died early on Monday. He was 92.

He had been in failing health for several years.
To be fair, they at least mentioned his membership in the KKK.
Mr. Byrd’s political life could be traced to his early involvement with the Ku Klux Klan, an association that almost thwarted his career and clouded it intermittently for years afterward.

In the early 1940s, he organized a 150-member klavern, or chapter, of the Klan in Sophia, W.Va., and was chosen its leader at a meeting. After the meeting, Joel L. Baskin, the Klan’s grand dragon for the region, suggested that Mr. Byrd use his “talents for leadership” by going into politics.

“Suddenly, lights flashed in my mind!” Mr. Byrd later wrote. “Someone important had recognized my abilities.”

Mr. Byrd insisted that his klavern had never conducted white-supremacist marches or engaged in racial violence. He said in his autobiography that he had joined the Klan because he shared its anti-Communist creed and wanted to be associated with the leading people in his part of West Virginia. He conceded, however, that he also “reflected the fears and prejudices” of the time.
When Strom Thurmond passed away in 2003, he wasn't noted as a "respected" member of the Senate, rather a foe of integration.

Ex-Klansman is "respected" while a man who never was one was a "foe of integration."

Byrd's death could scuttle the current financial "reform" legislation.

Silver linings, folks.

Worth noting is the current West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin is a Democrat, so forget about a Republican assuming Byrd's seat for now, although a special election would be held in November to fill out the final two years of Byrd's term.

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