I haven't much to say about the passing of Senator Byrd. I wish I was moved to eloquence and could touch with some kind of authority on the journey of a man who apparently moved from being nestled within the bosom of the Klan, to one day endorse the man who has become our first African-American President.
But I'm not. I am not, because he changed with the times, and I can not tell how much that change was with him, or how much it was to continue serving the people.
I could remark on the passing of time, on his longevity in office, on his passionate stand against the Iraq war.
But that doesn't move me as it should either. Other men have lasted a long time in office--Strom Thurmond, Ted Stevens. Other senators at other times have taken noble but ultimately futile stands--and sometimes it's necessary. Oh hell, yes, it is.
It strikes me cold that the passing of one public service should--strike me so cold. That the only thing I can really feel moved to say definitively is that, after a period of time, no Republican will even bother saying, "But Democrats have Senator Byrd, who was in the Klan..." as if that somehow shifted everything in history upon a fulcrum, where the support of segregation for too many years by the sophisticated Buckley Republicans, and the Jew-counting of Nixon, Fred Malek, et als, the suburban bigotry of Pat Buchanan, and the Bircherite "boy"-calling flat-headed stupidity of Jeff Sessions, weren't all supposedly called into balance by one frail old dude who used to be in the KKK when he was really young and dumb.
Yes. Just like I found myself cursing myself out that at least Chappaquiddick died with the late Lion. That's our political discourse.
Not that I don't pitch lowballs myself, and all, but still....