Patterico's Pontifications


Senator Robert Byrd Hospitalized

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 3:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd has been hospitalized in serious condition. He’s 92, has been in ill health in recent years, and it seems his appearances in the Senate are fewer and fewer.

If I were a Democrat or a West Virginian, I might hope for Senator Byrd’s resignation to let someone healthier represent the people of West Virginia. This June 2007 Op-ed in The State Journal goes through the permutations of what might happen if Byrd’s Senate seat were vacant. The author says the State’s Democratic Governor, Joe Manchin II, would name Byrd’s successor until the next election — either in November 2010 or perhaps not until November 2013, depending on how the election deadlines work. In addition, Manchin may want the seat himself, in which case it’s more complicated.

I’m not sure what I want as a Republican, but as a Christian I definitely won’t wish for Senator Byrd’s death and I hope no one here does either.


28 Responses to “Senator Robert Byrd Hospitalized”

  1. I won’t wish for his death either…

    But I will note that the Klan in the hereafter is surely looking forward to the arrival of the Grand Kleagle when Bob’s time does come.

    MJN1957 (6e1275)

  2. generally speaking I think dying in office at the age of 92 is a very dishonorable thing to do so I should prefer it if he resigned

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  3. It is interesting how these lifetime Senators seem to cause problems for their party when they finally do leave their seats. Witness what happened in Massachusetts. I think that when someone holds a prestigious office for decade after decade, sooner or later his younger party members come to believe that there are no immediate opportunities so they move on to other things. This, to use the sports analogy, leaves the bench very thin when the seat finally becomes vacant.

    At the very least, WV is a relatively conservative state so if Byrd is no longer senator the DNC will have to allocate more resources to holding on to the seat which will impact them elsewhere.

    JVW (8aff2c)

  4. “The author says the State’s Democratic Governor, Joe Manchin II, would name Byrd’s successor until the next election — either in November 2010 or perhaps not until November 2013, depending on how the election deadlines work.”

    The Constitution (WV-IV,4-7.) says appointment with an election at the next general election. Checking their election results page indicates general elections occur every two years, so it’s an appointment until 2012 election.

    So, your latter thinking is correct (except for the “2013” typo).

    Dusty (109a16)

  5. Oh, and I hope he gets well; 92 is too young to go.

    Dusty (109a16)

  6. Dusty,

    That may be — I know nothing about West Virginia law and didn’t want to rely on a quick check that might be wrong — but technically it wasn’t a typo because I was quoting the Op-Ed author, Chris Stirewalt.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  7. .

    if you can't say anything nice.... (fb8750)

  8. …but as a Christian I definitely won’t wish for Senator Byrd’s death and…

    It’s probably worth noting that the majority of leftists everywhere won’t be following your lead where their attitudes toward Dick Cheney are concerned…

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (e55c05)

  9. I wonder if the hospital sheets make him look fat?

    PatriotRider (8d9a6f)

  10. Agree on all fronts. Prayers out to Sen. Byrd.

    kyle (9d9e73)

  11. The Emperor was about that old when he died, and it left a terrible power vacuum in the galaxy. It’s really stretching the concept of “elders” for anyone to hold on to office this long. Not to mention “wisdom.”

    In any case, Senator Byrd has lived a very sad life in many respects. I hope that for at least this time of his life he will not be surrounded by toadies and suck-ups, but real people who genuinely care about him. If such a thing is possible these days.

    Wow… I must be feeling really cynical.

    Gesundheit (6acc51)

  12. I hope his doctors and nurses are kind and gentle. I hope he gets the care he needs. I hope he is able to return to health.

    I think he should step down, but that’s unrelated to his health.

    Vivian Louise (643333)

  13. If he was concerned about his constituents in WV, he would have retired long ago when he was unable to attend senate sessions on a regular basis.

    But I wish him no ill will.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  14. With all his past considered, he is still the most ethical Democrat in the Senate right now.

    Mike K (82f374)

  15. Sen. Byrd should have retired. Anyone who saw him in hearings on CSPAN over the past couple years knows he was being propped up in more ways than one. That said, Sen. Byrd loves his country, its Constitution, and over the years he often spoke up when appropriate to try to keep the dignity of the Senate and its rules intact. Also, despite the fact that I philosophically disagree with him on most issues, I will always remember with appreciation how, with his voice breaking, Byrd excoriated Michael Vick and the “sport” of dog fighting on the floor of the Senate and called it what it is–barbaric.

    elissa (7df0ad)

  16. DRJ,

    No problem. Just giving you the reference and my reading of it — it’s a short paragraph.

    Okay, not a typo. A mangled quote: “… when the winner of the November election (me – 2012) would take over the term until it ended in January 2013.”

    Dusty (109a16)

  17. I’ll give Byrd some credit for at least sounding a bit indignant and irritated at Bill Clinton in the late 1990s when his scandal with an office intern came to light. I guess we really are on the road to becoming a full-fledged Banana Republic when an otherwise appropriate response like that — certainly from those associated with the Democrat Party — seems quaint, unexpected and refreshing.

    Mark (411533)

  18. With all his past considered, he is still the most ethical Democrat in the Senate right now.

    Comment by Mike K — 6/27/2010 @ 5:12 pm

    Yes. And the most hard-working for his constituents. Although he never taught them to wear shoes except for church on Sunday. I wish him well.

    nk (db4a41)

  19. I also won’t wish for his death, or even his continued infirmity.

    My religion allows me to wish for his healing, with the understanding that healing is not necessarily the same as a cure.

    Perhaps he should consider reducing the amount of job stress he must have.

    Karl Lembke (c8c485)

  20. I don’t give a sheet.

    Ed from SFV (a70e6f)

  21. My earlier post wasn’t worded well, but I honestly know only bits and pieces about him. I hope he’s comfortable, surrounded by caring family and a good medical team.

    On a side note… they need him on the Senate floor next week. Voting, then the pols go on break for the Fourth.

    I too am glad he spoke out against Michael Vick.

    Vermont Neighbor (5841cd)

  22. Wishing for someone’s death is seriously bad Karma, especially for something as trivial as political differences. I do have to echo those who suggest that holding on to office in Byrd’s condition is a disservice to his constituents and probably to his party.

    As a Republican, I would wish he lived a long life, held onto office but was unable to attend, thereby giving us another vote not cast for cloture.

    Ted Kennedy hung on like this, too, and look what happened. Were I a Democrat, or from West Virginia, I’d be wanting him to resign right now.

    Kevin Murphyr (5ae73e)

  23. Politico:

    If it persists, Byrd’s illness could complicate the financial reform bill’s path to President Barack Obama’s desk. Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, one of four Republicans who voted for the original bill, has said he might vote against the version that emerged from the reconciliation of the House and Senate versions because it adds a $19 billion bank tax.

    Should Brown vote no and Byrd is unable to vote, it would leave the bill one vote shy of the 60 needed to close debate and move to final passage

    elissa (7df0ad)

  24. He’s too cantankerous to just up and die… as a Christian, I pray he has made peace, and then when he goes then it won’t be too early or too late.
    That said, Christianity is interesting because evidently Jesus might be more forgiving to Byrd than the Democrats have been… although if the Catholics are to be believed, Byrd might be in Purgatory sitting up in the Kennedy box seats for a few millenia

    SteveG (11baba)

  25. The long incumbency and even longer life of Senator Byrd leaves me with a certain amount of cognitive dissonance: It convinces me that that God does not exist yet, at the same time, makes me passionately wish that he did.

    Jack (e383ed)

  26. UPDATE: Senator Byrd has died.

    Icy Texan (9f0da0)

  27. A white sheet (no eye-holes) was gently layed upon his body. A c-c-cr-candle was lit to commend his spirit into the next world.
    The president honored him with his signature finger-to-the-ear salute.

    ACORN registered him to vote in the fall election.

    Icy Texan (9f0da0)

  28. Am very sorry to hear that Sen. Byrd died, and happy for him that he renounced his Klan views long before he died. I only wish (for his sake as well as others’) that he’d done the same about his proabortion views.

    no one you know (196ed7)

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