A Byrd, Some Nazis, and a Klansman
From Captain's Quarters:
Senator Robert Byrd, defending the minority's right to filibuster on the Senate floor today, wound up his speech by comparing Republican efforts to eliminate the hijacking of the Senate on the Constitutional duty of confirming federal judges to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Not only did Byrd imply that the GOP equates to the worst mass murderers of the 20th century, he's so proud of doing so he's posted the speech to his own websiteEd goes on to cite the "Nazi" portion of the speech, and there is absolutely no denying that Byrd was drawing a direct correlation. Of course Ed corrects the cherry-picked history Byrd used to make this analogy.
The problem is that Ed is an "extreme right-wing blogger without journalistic credentials," according to the audience Byrd intended his statements to affect. The mainstream press is part of that audience. So those who hear Byrd's words will not see any correction. They'll go on believing they are living in a time exactly like the end of the Weimar Republic (and as someone who has studied the history of that era a bit more deeply than watching Saving Private Ryan, and The Longest Day, might I just take a moment to mock those who consider themselves "educated" and believe this analogy is even close).
Also, the matter Byrd is protesting is not a change of law, but a change of internal Senate rules. And the proposed change is allowed by those very same rules. Why is changing this rule "nuclear" when unprecedented fillibustering of appelate judicial nominations is not? But we'll be talking about this for a while now. Let's focus back on Kleagle Byrd's incindiary comments.
Once again the indefatigable Captain Ed does the heavy lifting here so we don't have to. If Byrd wants to remind us of Nazis, is it not appropriate to remind others what Byrd was doing when the goose-step was all the rage?:
Just a wild guess here Ed, but no. They won't. So let's shine the spotlight on the lovely record of Kleagle Byrd so his allies can feel reeeeeeally good about their inability to disassociate themselves from him, now or ever.
More important is the disgusting and deranged implication of death camps and genocide towards Byrd's political opponents just because they propose to change the Senate's rules -- not laws, just the internal rules -- to allow for majority rule on one particular task. Perhaps this point eludes someone who spent the Nazi years belonging to a group that paralleled the same racial philosophies of Hitler himself, but Byrd should know better than to demean the millions of victims of the real Nazis by invoking them as an insult to people who simply oppose Byrd politically.
Byrd, with his attempted filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is the last person who should be standing in the well of the Senate, calling anyone a Nazi. Why the Democrats have defended this doddering old embarassment for decades is beyond any explanation but the most base and cynical: he votes the right way. Republicans shunned Trent Lott for waxing nostalgic for an old Dixiecrat on his birthday. Will the Democrats do the same for the lunatic who has befouled the political environment with this intellectually, morally, and historically bankrupt foolishness?
It's not that Byrd is so good, you understand. But what choice do they have when Nazis are taking over the government?
UPDATE: Following the advice of Ed in his update, and Stones Cry Out, I read Radioblogger's remarks on this speech. Since I'm in general agreement with his conclusion, allow me to quote:
I didn't participate in Hugh's latest Vox Blogoli about whether to use the nuclear option, because I wasn't convinced about the political effect of the guaranteed blowback by the MSM. Not anymore. Senator Frist, push the button. I'm tired of these relics maliciously spinning history and reality. Let them complain. There's a lot of Senate seats by the Democrats up for grabs, and I don't think either Nelson want this kind of a fight. Maybe the sane part of the Demoratic Party can start to regain control from the hacks.The DNC chair says Republicans are evil. The senior Democrat in the Senate says we're Nazis. And the MSM continue to portray Republicans as the party of "hate." Enough. Their card has been played. We're "Evil Nazis" even before any action is taken, I'm afraid being called "Extremely Evil Nazis" doesn't hold much threat. Take back the Senate from the ravings of Klansmen and give the judicial nominees a floor vote.