…to the friends and family of Senator Byrd.

My only immediate thoughts are that while they may miss him, the nation should not. For all of his posturing about his love of the Constitution, he was one of the prime architects of the fiscal ruin that lays ahead, and he served far too long.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related thoughts from Nick Gillespie:

“As the encomia mount like rotting, fly-buzzed piles of the pork-barrel spending he so systematically shoveled back to his West Virginia home, let’s not forget the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s most undeniable legacy: Undermining belief in politicians as little more than self-serving glad-handers on the hunt for more and more taxpayer money for their constituents.”

Perhaps if he’s really done that, he’s done the country a service. We’ll find out this fall.

[Update a while later]

Speaking of this fall, if his seat is declared vacant this week, there will be an election for it, with whoever the (Democrat) governor appoints as his replacement as the incumbent. But if there is (for some mysterious reason) a delay in such a declaration until next week, then the replacement will have the seat until 2012.

Did I mention that West Virginia’s governor is a Democrat?

9 thoughts on “Condolences”

  1. Wonder if they’ll put “Grand Kleagle” (or whatever the hell it’s called) on his tombstone?

    Or maybe “Byrd, our racist Senator – and we were proud of it”?

  2. The king of Pork is dead. There are good things yuo can say about him, he renounced his KKK past and later fought for civil rights, strongly advocated the Senate follow its rules, etc. But yes, his true legacy is a the ability to shovel tens of billion into his district without any sign of embarrassment or sense he was doing any wrong. He shoveled something like 20% of highway construction funds, demanded (behind closed doors) that virtually every agency move some major facility to West Virginia if it wanted its budget to come up (NASA had to construct a big useless data center there to get station funding no the table). He was the standard barer for this point of view that others in the Senate and congress modeled themselves on. Especially given he won every election.

  3. Byrd once said he would only support the space station if it were assembled in West Virginia.

    “But Senator, the whole point is to assemble it in space!”

  4. I believe that, even as a prime porker, Senator Byrd failed West Virginia. Although he died before the entire state was paved, his legacy is an inordinate number of underused highways which will need maintainance forever. Pork invested in a technology park, or an advanced manufacturing facility, or something which would create jobs, would have had a long term beneficial effect.

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