Anti-War Byrd

This past Wednesday on the Senate floor, Senator Robert Byrd — Democrat of West Virginia, reformed KKK member and self-styled ‘Dean of the Congress’ — made an impassioned, powerful speech against the impending war on Iraq and the generally disastrous policies of the Bush Administration. It’s the speech that I’ve been waiting to hear for months and months, and yet it’s also the speech Democrats have avoided with determined obstinance, like schoolkids afraid of getting ostracized by the cool crowd.The entire transcript is a compelling, stirring read, but two paragraphs in particular finally cut to the quick in a way that no one else seems to be willing to do:

“One can understand the anger and shock of any President after the savage attacks of September 11. One can appreciate the frustration of having only a shadow to chase and an amorphous, fleeting enemy on which it is nearly impossible to exact retribution.

“But to turn one’s frustration and anger into the kind of extremely destabilizing and dangerous foreign policy debacle that the world is currently witnessing is inexcusable from any Administration charged with the awesome power and responsibility of guiding the destiny of the greatest superpower on the planet. Frankly many of the pronouncements made by this Administration are outrageous. There is no other word”

That this speech has been much blogged while at the same time receiving virtually zero press coverage (a search on Google News for ‘Robert Byrd’ returns only a scant few relevant articles — one of them from New Zealand’s Scoop) is both sad and a testament to the powerfully conservative bent of traditional news media. Don’t let Bill O’Reilly tell you any different.