For those of us who thought that politicians would do anything to get elected and then justify it by saying the end justifies the means, I give you, as evidence the truth of that statement, Bill Clinton.
Clinton, whose only lasting legacy of eight years in the White House is a stain on Monica Lewinsky’s dress, spoke at Robert C. Byrd’s memorial yesterday. He justified the fact that Byrd had joined the Ku Klux Klan by saying he was just trying to get elected, as if that alone makes everything okay.
Byrd, who died last week at the age of 92, was the longest serving member of the US Senate and the undisputed King of Pork. There are more buildings, roads, highways, bridges and what not named after him in West Virginia than any other Congressman or Senator in history in all the other states combined. He turned an office in the Capitol into the epitome of the practice of selling his vote in return for government largesse to his state. And then, to top it off, ensured the result was named after him.
Do anything to get elected, including joining the KKK to get the votes of the good ol’ boys then, once elected, engage in political extortion, that is the legacy celebrated by Bill Clinton and the Speechmaker-in-Chief Barack Obama yesterday.
Have these people no shame?
Sorry, stupid question. But really, how could the supposedly liberal, big tent party leaders like hopey-changey Obama and their eminence grise, Clinton, support a man who was an unequivocal racist? According to Clinton, in referring to Byrd’s early tryst with the Klan, it is explained simply: “I’ll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollers of West Virginia, he was trying to get elected. And maybe he did something he shouldn’t have done, and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that’s what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There are certainly no perfect politicians.”
Just trying to get elected Bill? I’m not sure that is quite true. In fact, Byrd organized 150 or so of his nearest and dearest to start a chapter of the KKK. He held first the title of “Kleagle”, chief recruiter and then was elected “Exalted Cyclops”, the head guy in his chapter. This was far from a flirtation.
In 1944 Byrd wrote to a segregationist Senator in Mississippi on the issue of Blacks in the military. It seems he held some pretty strong views.
“I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds,” said Byrd to Senator Theodore Bilbo.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds suspiciously like the guy really believed in white supremacy.
And oddly enough, he was the only Senator who voted against the nominations of both Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Any guesses what they had in common? Just the colour of their skin.
Neither Clinton, who proclaimed himself the first Black President nor Obama, the actual first Black President, distinguished themselves yesterday at the Byrd memorial.
The hypocrisy is palpable.