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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Thursday, October 16, 2003


DN's Backbone Award: Senator Robert Byrd

posted by Trammell at Thursday, October 16, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I lost this entire post in a blogging accident but I'll do my best to recreate it. Reader's choice is clearly Senator Byrd, if not for previous headliner-options, Senator, you would have (and should have) received this long ago....on the $87 Billion:
"This is a complicated, controversial, and incredibly costly request that has enormous, long-range funding and policy implications. It is not something that this committee should rubber-stamp. We ought to examine this request, line by line, and see if the high-minded rhetoric coming out of the White House matches its proposals."
Just take a look at the Google News on Senator Byrd and Iraq -- he's amazing, and consistent. As Dean National Heath of put it in one of his many, many nominating posts for Byrd:
I nominate the deathly white haired vibratingly old Bob Byrd D-WV for his strength and resolve over the past year in his lonely fight against Bush's gang. He was the only one defending the constitution while gentle John Warner apologetically patronized Byrd's lonely stand in the Senate as he did so.

The decrepit old master of the chamber pleaded with other Democrats to wake up to what Bush's Gang was up to with their visions of endless domination and submission into the future.

He may still go to work in a horse and buggy, but Byrd never puts his principles to bed. Sounds like Dean Spirit and a lot of backbone to me, though he may not be able to keep it working for much longer. Long live Bob Byrd and the work he has done to make up for the bad choices he made in past dark days of segregation.
Fine praise, and true. For some time, Byrd has been the living keeper of the history and tradition of the Senate. When we lose him, I fear that an entire epoch of institutional wisdom will slip into shadow -- but hey, Byrd is going to go down fighting, lecturing, spittle flying, from the well of the floor:
"All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for a lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." Byrd then identified its author: "Herman Goering, founder of the Gestapo, president of the Reichstag, convicted war criminal."
Send Senator Byrd an e-mail from this form -- tell him about the award, send him a link, and tell him you are a Dean supporter.
Byrd said his Washington, D.C. office received 50,000 e-mails and nearly 20,000 telephone calls during the past week [of October 2002]. "I want to thank all those people who took time to contact me. Their words have strengthened and heartened me. These are my heroes....the American people have a better understanding of the Constitution than the people they elected to represent them."
Wowsa, Senator! While we are on the generation of American's who should know better, the Spineless Jellyroll to the Kennedy-Shriver Clan. From Kennedy historian Thomas Maier on CNN:
"Yes, I think a big part of Arnold's win in California was the appeal of the Kennedy family." And the Shrivers? Well.... "Politically, they're the most liberal in the Kennedy clan. Sargent Shriver was the founder of the Peace Corps, and Eunice Shriver is one of the most distinguished in the family with Special Olympics and other notable things. But in times of election, the Kennedys do rally."
Of course they do! However, with Kennedys like this, well, who needs Republicans? Can't believe I lived to see the day that Kennedys -- Kennedys! -- helped overturn the legal election of a Democrat! For a little fun at Lady Maria's expense, see Points West. And while were at it -- why not skip lunch tomorrow and drop a sheckle or two in the basket for Howard Dean?

UPDATE: Telephone contact info for Senator Robert Byrd.Washington D.C. office: (202) 224-3954 and the Charleston, West Virginia office: (304) 342-5855 and his Communications office: (202) 224-3904. Call! The man is a legend!


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.