When Senator Robert Byrd died on Monday, I anticipated that the mainstream media would tend to underplay his racist past. Thus I emphasized it in detail in the obituary posted here. In his subscription email that he calls Morning Jolt (subscribe here), NRO/Campaign Spot’s Jim Geraghty writes:
Remember yesterday morning when I told everyone to be on their best behavior about the death of West Virginia senator Robert Byrd? Yeah, sorry about that; I didn’t realize the epic scale of the whitewash we were going to have to endure. I got through about midmorning, but somewhere around the headline “With Byrd’s death, the era of statesmen fades”I found myself unable to resist wondering whether in his honor today all white bedsheets would be flown at half-mast.
I understand not speaking ill of the dead, but the mainstream media pushes it; the career of Robert Byrd may have set a new record for glossing over horrific past views and behavior, and for praising garden-variety corruption. (See Eleanor Clift approvingly note how Byrd would alter the Senate schedule to accommodate his friends’ fundraisers.) Pick your angle: His career’s dawn, unbelievably racist by the standards of today, a long, slow, sad decline into physical inability to perform his duties (falling asleep on the Senate floor, rambling incoherently), and all along, a steady effort to move every last federal dollar back to West Virginia — and, as I laid out yesterday, naming seemingly every last one of those projects after himself in such a relentlessly, ostentatiously egomaniacal manner that even Kim Jong Il would have declared it a little gauche. Sure, he loved history, enough to dress up as a Confederate general and do cameos in movies. Swell.