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 at about 3 a.m. Monday, his office said. He was 92.Robert Byrd produced nothing during his entire long criminal career. Where, then, did he acquire the resources to provide West Virginians with "billions of dollars for highways, federal offices, research institutes and dams"?
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.”
He lived that poverty growing up in mining towns, and it fueled his ambition. As he wrote in his autobiography, “Robert C. Byrd: Child of the Appalachian Coalfields” (West Virginia University Press, 2005), “it has been my constant desire to improve the lives of the people who have sent me to Washington time and time again.”
“I lost no opportunity,” he added, “to promote funding for programs and projects of benefit to the people back home.”
That attention brought the state billions of dollars for highways, federal offices, research institutes and dams.
He stole them from others, who did produce goods and services. This man's achievements, which the NYT is heralding and paying respect to, are nothing more than a police report on the aftermath of a burglary. The guy is a crook, and a proud one at that!
What's more impressive, we are led to believe by the NYT, he's a self-educated crook:
Mr. Byrd was the valedictorian of his high school class but was unable to afford college. It was not until he was in his 30s and 40s that he took college courses. But he was profoundly self-educated and well read. His Senate speeches sparkled with citations from Shakespeare, the King James version of the Bible and the histories of England, Greece and Rome.Sounds like Mr. Byrd, like every other politician before him, enjoyed an extremely selective reading of history whereby he took away all the lessons that bolstered his particular agenda and ignored all the others which, were he a more honest man, may have given him pause before setting out on his campaign of mass expropriation and redistribution of wealth.
As a champion of the legislative branch, he found cautionary tales in those histories. In 1993, as Congress weighed a line-item veto, which would have given President Bill Clinton the power to strike individual spending measures from bills passed by Congress, Mr. Byrd delivered 14 speeches on the history of Rome and the role of its Senate.
Good riddance, Mr. Byrd.