This is government, right?

Here's how Senator Robert Byrd appeared over a year ago, crying about Ted Kennedy and saying.... something. (It's so incomprehensible I can't really make out the details.)

While it's sad for anyone to have be in such a deteriorated mental state, because Byrd is a powerful man with enormous responsibility, it's also a bit scary.

The man could barely talk.

Yet somehow, today, 15 months later, he is reported as having "issued the following statement upon learning of the passing of his dear friend Senator Ted Kennedy." The full statement follows, with the quotes in original:

"I had hoped and prayed that this day would never come. My heart and soul weeps at the lost of my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend, Ted Kennedy."

"Senator Kennedy and I both witnessed too many wars in our lives, and believed too strongly in the Constitution of the United States to allow us to go blindly into war. That is why we stood side by side in the Senate against the war in Iraq."

"Neither years of age nor years of political combat, nor his illness, diminished the idealism and energy of this talented, imaginative, and intelligent man. And that is the kind of Senator Ted Kennedy was. Throughout his career, Senator Kennedy believed in a simple premise: that our society's greatness lies in its ability and willingness to provide for its less fortunate members. Whether striving to increase the minimum wage, ensuring that all children have medical insurance, or securing better access to higher education, Senator Kennedy always showed that he cares deeply for those whose needs exceed their political clout. Unbowed by personal setbacks or by the terrible sorrows that have fallen upon his family, his spirit continued to soar, and he continued to work as hard as ever to make his dreams a reality."

"In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American."

"God bless his wife Vicki, his family, and the institution that he served so ably, which will never be the same without his voice of eloquence and reason. And God bless you Ted. I love you and will miss you terribly."

"In my autobiography I wrote that during a visit to West Virginia in 1968 to help dedicate the "Robert F. Kennedy Youth Center" in Morgantown, "Senator Kennedy's voice quivered with emotion as he talked of his late brothers and their love for West Virginia. 'These hills, these people, and this state have had a very special meaning for my family. Our lives have been tightly intertwined with yours.'"

"I am sure the people of the great state of West Virginia join me in expressing our heartfelt condolences to the Kennedy family at this moment of deep sorrow."

Considering Senator Byrd's pathetic condition as evidenced by his near inability to talk over a year ago, I think there are some serious credibility problems with the above "statement." I realize that it was "issued" by his "office," but since the man's ability to speak is in serious doubt, have the words ever been confirmed as actually having been uttered by him? If he did not say them, then did he write them? How can we be sure?

Especially considering that one of the principle objections to the health care bill is that it's "authors" have never read it, I think verifying the authorship of "Byrd's" "statement" is highly relevant. And what if it turns out that he didn't say it or write it. Can we even be sure he even read it?

I seriously doubt it.

What is going on?

A bill that no one ever read is "renamed" by a pathetic dodderer who issued a "statement" he didn't write and cannot read, but who knows how to run the medical profession?

This is a joke, right?

posted by Eric on 08.28.09 at 01:23 AM


3rd in line of succession, having Pelosi 2nd, and Biden 1st is bad enough.

Has any president had better assassination insurance than those three?

XWL   ·  August 28, 2009 1:36 AM

I'm guessing senators like Byrd are less about doing actual legislating, and really are more of a brand name. It's the Senator Byrd(TM) committee.

And the Byrd(TM) Brand committee just released a statement about the founder of the Ted Kennedy(TM) Brand committee.

silvermine   ·  August 28, 2009 2:19 AM

Exactly silvermine.

When people say, "Bush had Kennedy write his No Child Left Behind deal", I always say, "No, Bush let Kennedy's staff write NCLB".

Eh, unless we institute term limits it's what's gonna happen.
While I think term limits are a good idea, I'm against them for two reasons.

One, you can't protect people from themselves and if you try, well, that way lies the nanny-state.

Two, it's not in the Consititution (except for Presidents).

I like the Consitution, it was written by people smarter than I who really looked into what they were doing.

Veeshir   ·  August 28, 2009 11:38 AM


The limits on serving as President wasn't enforced until the passing of the 22nd amendment in 1951. Whether by that time the people were actually smarter than you can be questioned. Before then, it was merely decorum, set by Washington, to only serve two terms.

I'm personally for term limits, though I woud probably give Congress a bit more leeway (about 18 years or so). There are also downsides to term limits, given the gold-plated benefits and pensions they get after leaving office. But new blood keeps things from stagnating, and hopefully keeps our congresscritters from becoming serial grafters.

Anon   ·  August 28, 2009 12:47 PM

Anon, I know that, but it's in the Constitution now. That's the deal. If it's in the Constitution, it's the law of the land. I would have voted against it though.
I'm not in favor of term limits even though I think they probably are a good idea.

Term limits say that we're too stupid to know who to vote for.
Once you decide to save people from themselves, you're on the slippery slope to taking away their glass pints because they can hurt themselves with them.

Freedom is messy and mean, but people get to make their own mistakes instead of having to live with other's.
I prefer that.

Veeshir   ·  August 28, 2009 4:44 PM

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