Sen. Robert Byrd, 1917-2010


Truly, the end of an era.

Update: Thanks to everyone who corrected the date in the earlier headline. I had the senator dying at the age of minus seven.

I may have heard that the Senator could play the fiddle, but I never heard him play. Here is the Senator performing “Cumberland Gap.” I’ve heard it sung better, but it’s real decent fiddlin’. (h/t Ezra)

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 28, 2010 @7:46 am

    Robert Penn Warren could not have created a fictional character like Sen. Byrd. He was one of a kind. From KKK to champion of Civil Rights. And old dog CAN learn new tricks.
    Every “Blue Dog” in both houses should be required to read his biography. Maybe they can learn some ‘blue’ tricks

  2. CF2K  •  Jun 28, 2010 @8:35 am

    RIP to Senator Byrd, a man whose fourth and fifth acts greatly improved on his first three.

  3. jugheadjack  •  Jun 28, 2010 @9:14 am

    Well, now im realy confused. At the very start of the article it touts him as being conservative. and then later on in the artical it touts him as being a democrat. Which was he?

  4. paradoctor  •  Jun 28, 2010 @11:29 am

    Ooops! Nineteen-seventeen to… _nineteen_-ten?! You mean Byrd lived negative seven years?

    I know, I know, we refugees from the Twentieth Century show these little quirks from time to time.

  5. Jean  •  Jun 28, 2010 @11:29 am

    Dates wrong in the title says 1917-1910…

  6. Swami  •  Jun 28, 2010 @5:34 pm

    He certainly knew how to bring home the bacon for his constituents. All and all a decent guy. Especially when you consider all the mutts that inhabit the halls of Congress these days. I was always torn with Robert Byrd..Does a politician have an obligation to just serve the people in his district or to look out for the overall benefit of the nation?
    Good fiddling, and his singing weren’t bad either! Fitting for the song.

  7. Matt Wion  •  Jun 28, 2010 @5:47 pm

    This is truly a sad day. He lived long and, despite many loud failings, transformed himself and, in the end, did well. His prescence will be missed. RIP Sen. Byrd!

  8. bill bush  •  Jun 28, 2010 @6:51 pm

    I liked his music, and for those who do, I recommend Merlefest, held each year in North Wilkesboro, NC. Byrd was still connected to the roots that are too often cut in our society. And those roots nourish us. Sure he was a pork barrel man, but I can tell you that he was appreciated for it by those who sent him. I sometimes wonder whether that type of spending is any more objectionable than the sausage that results from the “normal” process of appropriations. At least it usually results in something you can see. And if a pork project doesn’t work out, somebody will usually raise a stink if it is something a group or community has been working on. That is a form of accountability. What a character!

  9. erinyes  •  Jun 28, 2010 @7:05 pm

    Sorry to see the old gent go, but he busted the 90 yr. mark, which is spectacular.
    I’m wondering where my expiration date is stamped, and I hope I’m around till at least 90, so long as I can take care of personal hygene issues and form a complate sentence.
    Good comment, Swami.