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Ear to the Ground

Byrd Dies After 57 Years in Congress

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Posted on Jun 28, 2010
U.S. Senate

Sen. Robert Byrd, who died at 92 early Monday morning, served longer in the Senate and Congress than anyone else in American history—and he witnessed a good chunk of it.

The New Deal Democrat was also a Dixiecrat who, as a young man, joined the Klan. Byrd would go on to apologize a thousand times, in his words, and will be remembered by many as one of the few and finest voices resisting the Iraq war.

New York Times:

Mr. Byrd served 51 years in the Senate, longer than anyone else in American history, and with his six years in the House, he was the longest-serving member of Congress. He held a number of Senate offices, including majority and minority leader and president pro tem.

But the post that gave him the most satisfaction was chairman of the Appropriations Committee, with its power of the purse — a post he gave up only last year as his health declined. A New Deal Democrat, Mr. Byrd used the position in large part to battle persistent poverty in West Virginia, which he called “one of the rock bottomest of states.”

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By rollzone, June 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

hello. Sen. Byrd sems to have been in the right place at the right time. he got wealthy hiring immigrants to dig him money, at a time when immigrants were flowing out of NYC and heading west. then he managed to bring West Virginians literally out of the mountains, and began connecting them to America. it was his tenure and position that enabled him to bring West Virginians closer to sophistication, and it has been West Virginians that hold onto traditional teachings better than most Americans. the balance is between shuffling the fiddle on a porch with Mountain Moonshine on your breath, and getting a good signal reception. he did it well.

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By ralph, June 29, 2010 at 7:23 am Link to this comment
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Byrd, like all Congressmen, would do anything to stay a lifetime in office for the power, pay, privleges, perks, prestige,( and maybe eventually pension). To do it he cheerfully looted the Treasury to pay off his constituents in return for their votes. That done, he was uninfluenced by the lobyists for the military, Israeli, and other PACS, and acted very often in the best interests of the public.

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By eir, June 29, 2010 at 3:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America has lost a true friend.

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