Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bye, Bye Byrd-ie

West Virginia, home of Senator MethuselahHey, people in West Virginia! What is the matter with you? What is the dealio with Senator Robert Byrd?! He has been a Senator since 1959 and by all calculations is approximately 148 years old. (148, yes, that is correct.) Why do you people continue to elect this man? He does not appear to be completely cognizant (if at all cognizant) of his surroundings and of the procedures going on around him. He seems to ramble, get lost in his own words, and his latest lapse into a world much different from those of the able minded included shouting out to his late wife Erma while speaking on the floor of the Senate!

Senator Robert Byrd out for a stroll with his 10 assistants. I could delve into the whole "Why are you continuing to re-elect a guy who was a Klansman?" angle of this thing, but I'll just go with "It's the South" and leave it at that. This is the freaking US SENATE!! This man, this babbling elderly gentleman, this is who is governing and enacting the rules of this country! WHY?!?

I feel bad for his aide or his assistant or his bellhop or whoever the guy is next to him in the clip below. The poor guy has clearly worked for this man for more than just a week. Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe he has only worked for him for just a week and that is why he always has this pained, afraid, oh-my-God-what-is-he-doing-now look on his face the entire time. I don't blame him. There has been more than one instance where I was seriously afraid that Senator Byrd might have had a stroke standing up there when talking. He would pause for long periods of time and then just look around with this expression that seemed to say, "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore." He also gets this look on his face (at least two or three times whenever he's speaking) as if he has just discovered a conspiracy amongst his peers. He just glares and stares as if he's thinking, "Ah-ha! Gotcha!"

Below is a clip that goes for approximately four painful minutes. It is of Senator Methuselah Byrd giving Ted Kennedy's eulogy. Wait. What? Ted Kennedy's not dead? Are you sure? Because the way this guy was going on and on, you'd have thought that he was currently among the dearly departed. Perhaps it was all of the weeping that had me wondering about Senator Kennedy's current mortality status. Yes, "the weeping". The weeping combined with the cries of "Ted! Ted!" also had me thinking maybe Ted had taken a turn for the worse, perhaps when I wasn't paying attention. But no, not so much. It's after calling out to Ted that he calls out to Erma. Who? Erma. You know. His deceased wife. It's toward the end that you get a sense of how difficult it is for Senator Byrd to act in the capacity of which is expected of a US Senator. (That is, in case you hadn't caught on to that somewhere after "Ted!" and somewhere before "Erma".) That's when he leans to his nervous aide and whispers, "Do I do this part now?" :::sigh::::

The US Senate sign is blue and white, just like those handicapped parking signsLook, I'm not bagging on the guy just because he's old. Everyone gets old. Everyone loses a step or two. It's how it works. (I think it's done that way so that death doesn't come as a total shock to us. Otherwise, if we were always all healthy and fine all the time and then one day we wake up dead, we'd be pretty pissed about it. The way it works now, though? When we wake up dead we're probably inclined to think, "Well, I guess I had a pretty good run. Could have been worse.") But continuing to serve as a US Senator is NOT how it works.

Come on, West Virginia people! Use your votes for something productive. Do you really think that everything that is supposed to be getting accomplished is even coming close be being accomplished when there are people like the Senator that YOU continue to elect time and time again, still serving in what is clearly a very limited capacity (at best)? When was the last time he did anything very Senator-y-ish? I don't know either. But it's a waste of a Senate seat if you're asking me. The Seal of the US Senate.

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