Robert Byrd, RIP

posted at 8:48 am on June 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The longest serving Senator in history has passed away overnight.  Robert Byrd (D-WV), a controversial figure and third in the line of succession in the current government, died at the age of 92 after a final hospitalization yesterday:

The Senate has lost one of its legends with the death of Robert C. Byrd, an orphan child who married a coal miner’s daughter and rose from the hollows of West Virginia coal country to become the longest serving senator in U.S. history.

He died around 3 a.m. Monday morning after being admitted to the hospital last week for dehydration, yet his condition worsened over the weekend and he became critically ill. Byrd was 92. …

It’s not a stretch to say Byrd wrote the book on the U.S. Senate — he authored a four-volume history of the upper chamber — which is why so many of his younger, more energetic colleagues continued to defer to him when it came to Senate rules and procedures.

Byrd had been hospitalized on and off over the past two years, including an extended hospitalization back in March. He was rarely seen in the Senate in recent months, yet he made it to several key floor votes over the past year.

The timing of Byrd’s death creates the need for a special election, as Nate Silver explained before Byrd passed away:

Byrd’s current term expires on January 3, 2013. Under West Virginia state law on handling Senate vacancies, “if the vacancy occurs less than two years and six months before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to fill the unexpired term and there is no election”. Otherwise, Manchin would appoint an interim replacement, and an special election would be held in November to determine who held the seat in 2011 and 2012.

In other words, we are within a week of the threshold established by West Virginia law. If a vacancy were to be declared on July 3rd or later, there would not be an election to replace Byrd until 2012. If it were to occur earlier, there could potentially be an election later this year, although there might be some ambiguities arising from precisely when and how the vacancy were declared.

Manchin, a Democrat, reportedly wanted a shot at the seat himself when Byrd left the Senate.  That would be a difficult maneuver now, at least in terms of the interim appointment.  Had Byrd died a week later, Manchin could have appointed himself to what would have been a two-year term and hoped to ride Barack Obama’s coattails, such as they will be, into a full term in 2012.  Now the election will have to be held this year in a midterm cycle poisonous to Democrats, especially in coal country while the Senate attempts to revive cap-and-trade.

As for Byrd, his death does mark the end of an era and removes a continual flashpoint for controversy.  Byrd’s history as a KKK recruiter and the man who filibustered the Civil Rights Act was routinely cited by Republicans and excused by Democrats.  Ironically, he was the last member of the upper chamber from those days.  Byrd also attracted controversy as one of the biggest practitioners of pork-barrel politics in Congress, which endeared him to many West Virginia voters but made him the scourge of clean-government and fiscal-responsibility activists.  The media treated him with a bit of amnesia regarding the earlier portion of his career, focusing mainly on his self-described expertise on the Constitution and his work as a historian of the Senate.  Only in this past year did media reports focus on his declining health and ability to serve, as Democrats finally removed Byrd as chair of Appropriations when it became clear that he wasn’t able to keep up with the task.

Our prayers are with the Byrd family and with the people of West Virginia.

Update: ABC News reports that the law in West Virginia says that the governor has to declare the seat vacant — and Manchin could wait to do that, apparently.  We’ll see whether West Virginians will demand immediate action.  However, the longer Manchin waits, the longer Harry Reid has to have one less vote for breaking filibusters, too.  I’m guessing that little will get done this week.

Update II: John McCormack has more thoughts.


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I don’t really think that’s the tone we should see here. If you have nothing nice to say then you can opt to not post.

RIP Senator Byrd

Benaiah on June 28, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Indeed, he will rest in peace…but that doesn’t matter, because he left us with a legacy of destructive policy.
While he is “resting” we are fighting what he has “sown”.

right2bright on June 28, 2010 at 10:32 AM

OK, seriously, any chance that this seat might go Republican?

SC.Charlie on June 28, 2010 at 10:35 AM

The sheeple are ultimately to blame. None of these clowns are in power (so far anyway) through force, but by the ballot box.

That is true, but that does not excuse the actions of corrupt politicians. Their failings should be pointed out clearly and often in order to educate the public in order to stop these people and others like them from being re-elected.

echosyst on June 28, 2010 at 10:37 AM

I don’t care what any of the others of you say, this really is a time to be respectful. Will the Donks ever be respectful of our leaders? Nope! It doesn’t much matter though. Throw any fair critisism at them you want while they’re alive, but after they pass I say just let them rest in peace.

RIP Senator Byrd and prayers to the ones who loved you.

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:31 AM
—–
Pathetic.

Dave Rywall on June 28, 2010 at 10:38 AM

SC.Charlie on June 28, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Only if there is a special election.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 10:38 AM

“Byrd’s current term expires on January 3, 2013. Under West Virginia state law on handling Senate vacancies, “if the vacancy occurs less than two years and six months before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to fill the unexpired term and there is no election”. Otherwise, Manchin would appoint an interim replacement, and an special election would be held in November to determine who held the seat in 2011 and 2012.”

To which he links to the SoS’s explanation:

“If the vacancy occurs two years and six months or more before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to serve until the unexpired term is filled at the conclusion of the next candidate filing period, Primary Election, General Election and certification.”

And if you look at the election procedure, it describes, as far as I can tell, a procedure whereupon the next Primary Election (§3-5-1) is in May. They only have General Elections every two years.

They missed this one. Why is the 2.5 years out of step with the election timeline, putting the next Primary Election in May of 2012?

Dusty on June 28, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Dave Rywall on June 28, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Free speech.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 10:40 AM

The Lord finally did what the voters of West Virginia were too servile and sheepish to accomplish over the past decades’ election cycle.

Solly on June 28, 2010 at 10:40 AM

I pray for his soul.I am sorry for his family but what this man stood for i am glad it’s over and hope it never comes back to the U.S. Congress.

thmcbb on June 28, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Cindy Munford: I like your balanced reasoning in re to Byrd.

onlineanalyst on June 28, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Dave Rywall on June 28, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Pathetic? Really? Why? I mean, other than the fact you’re rationalizing the tener of your comments next time a conservative dies.

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:42 AM

He took of his sheet and tried to do better.

R.I.P.

profitsbeard on June 28, 2010 at 10:45 AM

of his = off his (of course)

profitsbeard on June 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

onlineanalyst on June 28, 2010 at 10:40 AM

I have a soft spot for old people and all I have to do is look at the changes society has made in my life.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Dave Rywall on June 28, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Pathetic? Really? Why? I mean, other than the fact you’re rationalizing the tener of your comments next time a conservative dies.

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:42 AM
——-
It’s pathetic when people sh*t all over horrible public figures for their entire careers (public figures who deserve it) and then once they die, everybody is suddenly all “if you can;t say something nice etc etc”, which is garbage.

Ted Kennedy got away with murder. Guy should have died in jail. He didn’t. So fu*k him. Byrd was racist scum. So fu*k him. Nothing about either of those two has changed now that they’re dead.

Dave Rywall on June 28, 2010 at 10:48 AM

He lived a long, full life. Going to miss his eloquent prose on the floor. Laura Ingraham will probably devote lots of time to him this morning.
carbon_footprint on June 28, 2010 at 9:00 AM

This eloquence? Let’s not whitewash it, ok?

In this case I’ll just say, Requesant In Pace Sen. Byrd.

Branch Rickey on June 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Reading his obit though Cindy, I learned something that surprised me. He was a welder during the war and didn’t serve. He would have been what 22-23 during the war?

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM

SC.Charlie on June 28, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Remember “Ted Kennedy’s Seat”? I’m sure the governor of WV doesn’t want an election, but Byrd hasn’t physically been at the Senate in some time. The GOP needs to haul the Governor’s butt to court if he screws around.

dogsoldier on June 28, 2010 at 10:51 AM

RIP Senator Byrd and prayers to the ones who loved you.

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Thanks hawkdriver.I knew the man. Quite a gentleman.

katy the mean old lady on June 28, 2010 at 10:51 AM

The man is dead. We’ll all be joining him soon enough.

jarodea on June 28, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Where is the real Dave?

angryed on June 28, 2010 at 10:31 AM

On this thread? Today? He’s a “conservative” drumming up talking points for LGF.

Skywise on June 28, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Dave Rywall on June 28, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Dave, I have enjoyed reading your comments before and I don’t entirely disagree with you about the character and actions of these people when they were alive. But, there is a bitter side to what you write here these days that just makes you sound, God, I don’t even know how to describe it. I suppose that’s my problem though. Most of the time, I just pass over your comments anymore; unless you directly address one of mine.

But, all I’m saying is that for most people, there should be a time to just be respectfully quiet. Rejoin when some real villain of the world gets his? Sure. But we’re talking about fellow countrymen.

Hell, I’ve admired men I’ve killed for the way they died. I think I can muster a bit of reserved respect for a politician than many of my fellow Americans admired.

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

That POS ruined millions of Americans lives. May he burn in hell with his buddy Ted Kennedy.

Why would we allow a senile old man of 92 to make key decisions for America? My Dad’s 84 and I wouldn’t let him pick where we’re going to dinner.

What the heck did that POS care about OUR healthcare?

It’s about TIME this terrible and despicable excuse of a man finally burns in hell. Have fun.

As for his supports, I hope you get to join him real soon. :)

griv on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I have a soft spot for old people and all I have to do is look at the changes society has made in my life.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

That is the conclusion that I have come to, as well.

That being said, perhaps out of respect for the well-being of our country, Congress should adjourn until January of 2011. No further legislation or spending bills are necessary to send the nation into an economic death spiral. Votes made out of sentimentality have no place in determining the direction of the US.

Congresscritters can go home for the next several months and get to know the concerns of their constituents and maybe even learn who those constituents are. Special sessions can be called if ObaMao decides to trample the Constitution further.

onlineanalyst on June 28, 2010 at 10:59 AM

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM

That’s interesting. I’ll need more information before assuming that it is just another thing that a liberal got a pass on while conservatives are pilloried.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Who is now the Senate President Pro Tem? And how is that decided?

UnderstandingisPower on June 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

When an enemy dies in valiant combat against you, that’s one thing.

When a Klansmen dies, and has been collecting his pay from you for years, while deigning to call you racist and bigoted from the throne of utter hypocrisy, there is no respect to be had.

MadisonConservative on June 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

‘rejoice’ is what that word should have been…

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

I see God has a sense of humor in that the Death of a Klansman may lead to the skuttling of the Socialist agenda and stoppage of the First Black Marxist Resident,… Pinnochio!

dhunter on June 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM

onlineanalyst on June 28, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Now you know that’s not going to happen. I am just going to sit back and watch the Dems in the Senate and the governor of West Virginia act like the Keystone Cops.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM

griv on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Incendiary troll alert! Ed, clean up on aisle 10:58 AM please.

onlineanalyst on June 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Who is now the Senate President Pro Tem? And how is that decided?

UnderstandingisPower on June 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

A duel at three paces I hope!

dhunter on June 28, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Is it appropriate to wear a hood to his funeral?

skanter on June 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

MadisonConservative on June 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Again, I don’t disagree. But for me, and I mean “me”, not that anybody else in the entire world needs to give a single thing I say a second thought, but for me, I’ll just give a little time to those who would mourn him and again, be respectfully quiet in my opinion.

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

dhunter on June 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM

LOL! I have been reluctant to mention divine intervention.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

onlineanalyst on June 28, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Can you email it to ed@hotair.com? It works better.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Why does death wash away guilt and evil in dead Democrats and no one else? Ted “Chappaquidick” Kennedy and Robert “Ku Klux Klan” Byrd(turd) are prime examples. Even if they hadn’t respectively left an innocent girl to drown and advocated the lynchings of black people, both espoused socialistic change that will do far greater damage to our country’s future than a whole army of Bin Ladens.

If it were suddenly discovered that Osama Bin Laden had died, would we be writing bilious eulogies containing nauseating platitudes such as he “lived a long, full life” or “may he rest in peace”. Of course not.

MaiDee on June 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

To which he links to the SoS’s explanation:

“If the vacancy occurs two years and six months or more before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to serve until the unexpired term is filled at the conclusion of the next candidate filing period, Primary Election, General Election and certification.”
And if you look at the election procedure, it describes, as far as I can tell, a procedure whereupon the next Primary Election (§3-5-1) is in May. They only have General Elections every two years.

They missed this one. Why is the 2.5 years out of step with the election timeline, putting the next Primary Election in May of 2012?

Dusty on June 28, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Dusty, I also think the article is wrong. Here’s the statute from the Sec of State website. The successor has to be nominated at the next primary election (2012).

Any vacancy occurring in the office of secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, United States senator, judge of the supreme court of appeals, or in any office created or made elective, to be filled by the voters of the entire state, or judge of a circuit court, shall be filled by the governor of the state by appointment. If the unexpired term of a judge of the supreme court of appeals, or a judge of the circuit court, be for less than two years; or if the unexpired term of any other office named in this section be for a period of less than two years and six months, the appointment to fill the vacancy shall be for the unexpired term. If the unexpired term of any office be for a longer period than above specified, the appointment shall be until a successor to the office has timely filed a certificate of candidacy, has been nominated at the primary election next following such timely filing and has thereafter been elected and qualified to fill the unexpired term. Proclamation of any election to fill an unexpired term shall be made by the governor of the state, and, in the case of an office to be filled by the voters of the entire state, shall be published prior to such election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be each county of the state. If the election be to fill a vacancy in the office of judge of a circuit court, the proclamation shall be published prior to such election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be each county in the judicial circuit.

Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

You’re a man of honor, my friend.

MadisonConservative on June 28, 2010 at 11:15 AM

You’re a man of honor, my friend.

MadisonConservative on June 28, 2010 at 11:15 AM

And I’d still vote for you if you ran for his seat.

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

While I have sympathy for his family, I refuse to shed a single crocodile tear, for the passing of this enemy of our republic.

Slowburn on June 28, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Any currently serving Senator or Congressman who says anything nice about Senator Byrd’s works regarding civil rights should resign at once.

portlandon on June 28, 2010 at 11:24 AM

This may have been mentioned, but it bears repeating: Whatever Senator Byrd’s other virtues and faults, he was a passable old-time Appalachian fiddler, and in 1978 recorded an album for County Records, U.S. Senator Robert Byrd: Mountain Fiddler:

http://www.lib.unc.edu/blogs/sfc/index.php/2009/11/18/u-s-sen-robert-byrd-mountain-fiddler/

I’ll be playing a tune or two from that album on “Hillbilly at Harvard” this Saturday (WHRB-FM, Cambridge, MA, Saturdays 9 AM -1 PM, streaming at http://www.whrb.org ).

MrLynn on June 28, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Byrd’s dead? You mean just now? I could have sworn he was dead already. Hmmmmm.

Maybe that was Harry Reid I was thinking of.

44Magnum on June 28, 2010 at 11:26 AM

lm10001 on June 28, 2010 at 8:54 AM

This. And yes, when the third in line to succeed the POTUS is of questionable heath, maybe the Constitution needs to be relooked at as well.

itzWicks on June 28, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Sorry, I can’t think of anything really nice to say. He was an arrogant blowhard; spent way too much time finagling money for his state on projects to be named after him.

Someone mentioned on this thread they knew him; he was a gentleman. Should I place a bet as to your race? Probably not. It’s funny. Simply disagreeing with the President’s agenda will get you labelled a racist, whereas someone like Robert Byrd, who proved several times over in his career that he was a racist, never really had to suffer for it like so many do in the GOP who simply have different opinions from those throwing the term around. I won’t miss him.
Other than that, I’m sure he cared his for his family well and life will go on.

austinnelly on June 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM

So this gives others an excuse to be nasty? Sorry, not in my world.

katy the mean old lady on June 28, 2010 at 9:35 AM

No, his habit of recruiting for the Democratic party’s enforcement wing who actively worked to murder black people gives me every excuse I need to be as nasty as I want to that evil old racist.

Isaiah 14:19-20

But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. [20] Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

fronclynne on June 28, 2010 at 11:34 AM

I have fond memories of Sen. Byrd. I’ll never forget his twirling little jigs and dances at his seat in the Senate while he moaned and groaned in non-stentorian tones about something he felt strongly about. No one belied the pomposity of the Senate better than Robert C. Byrd, since he was often an embarrassment and a clown show at the same time.
.
RIP, Robert C. Byrd. See YOU at the rapture.

ExpressoBold on June 28, 2010 at 11:35 AM

And I’d still vote for you if you ran for his seat.

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Thanks, but I don’t know that I’d want to represent people who kept him in office.

MadisonConservative on June 28, 2010 at 11:40 AM

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

+1 I agree.

d1carter on June 28, 2010 at 11:42 AM

When an enemy dies in valiant combat against you, that’s one thing.

When a Klansmen dies, and has been collecting his pay from you for years, while deigning to call you racist and bigoted from the throne of utter hypocrisy, there is no respect to be had.

MadisonConservative on June 28, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Well said, MC. I’ll not comment on Byrd here today.

Jaibones on June 28, 2010 at 11:42 AM

[Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM]

Yup. In addition, Jimbo3, I don’t think the governor has the power to alter when the vacancy occurred. The sentence after the one you bolded states his authority:

“Proclamation of any election to fill an unexpired term shall be made by the governor of the state, and, in the case of an office to be filled by the voters of the entire state, shall be published prior to such election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be each county of the state.”

Nothing I’ve found, suggests the Governor has the power to declare “when” a vacancy occurred, and the law describes vacancies everywhere I’ve seen (with the exception of appointed offices) as “occurred”, and not ever as ‘Governor declared’. Vacancy of this elected position occurred today, when it became unfilled by Byrd’s death.

In addition, and here’s the neat thing wrt filling this vacancy, if this stand is pushed that it occurred before the 2.5 years — I think the governor, by law, will have to proclaim an election this November and the candidates will be chosen by the parties without a primary election.

Dusty on June 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM

The Senate has lost one of its legends with the death of Robert C. Byrd, an orphan child who married a coal miner’s daughter and rose from the hollows of West Virginia coal country to become the longest serving senator in U.S. history.
It’s not a stretch to say Byrd wrote the book on the U.S. Senate — he authored a four-volume history of the upper chamber — which is why so many of his younger, more energetic colleagues continued to defer to him when it came to Senate rules and procedures.

No matter what anyone may think of his long political career and the influence it may have had on our republic, it is pretty darn amazing that an orphan from the hollows of West Virgina grew up to enjoy the opportunity to have that record-setting & influential political career.

Only in America.

May the family, friends & constituents who loved him find comfort thinking about that amazing achievement.

leilani on June 28, 2010 at 11:48 AM

..somewhere there are a few bedsheets with holes in them who are missing an owner.

The War Planner on June 28, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Quite frankly, I won’t miss the old bastard. I’m not going to be like the liberals (i.e.: Narutoboy, crr6, etc.; libs) and simply castigate the guy, just on the basis of being a member of the DNC. No, I despised him on the basis of being a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a member of a party that, to this day, still supports racism and slavery. He was a card-carrying general in an army dedicated to the murder and forced-relocation of ethnic minorities, and to the ersatz premise of white supremacy, something the democrats seem to still embrace. He was a pathetic, petty bureaucrat, and the people of his state should be ashamed of voting him into office, and keeping this anti-American racist there. I do not wish him a peaceful rest, and critically doubt his soul was right with Jesus Christ, after listening to his language in his allegedly ‘post’ KKK days, which have finally come to an end. I think that when we see Byrd, again, it will be in the Resurrection of the Damned.

As for his state’s laws, they are seriously flawed, as are the laws of similar states. I even consider them in violation of the Constitution. ANY time something happens that results in a bureaucrat vacating a seat, the government should not have the power to “appoint” people to fill it. This is the height of hypocrisy, considering the crap people talked about former president George Bush being “selected, not elected”. How many liberal democrats are in congress that match that description? If that damned governor does violate the good of the people by installing another destructive liberal in Congress, that governor needs to be recalled, just like former governor of California Gray Davis. Blanket reform needs to be instituted, and those that are in Congress, already, that were un-Constitutionally installed need to have special elections called against them, right now.

Virus-X on June 28, 2010 at 11:59 AM

..somewhere there are a few bedsheets with holes in them who are missing an owner.

The War Planner on June 28, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I wonder if there will be a white sheet or American flag covering his coffin?

As a person of color, I find it offensive that Senator Byrd is being remembered for anything other than a Klan stooge whose racism was carried into an era of supposed equality.

The passing of any old time racist Dixiecrat should be met with applause.

portlandon on June 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM

While not knowing him on a personal level, I’m sure his family and friends are quite upset over his passing.

On a political level, good riddance. He shouldn’t have been in the Senate for the last couple of years. Just to wheel him in for a vote, not being a part of the debate and then to wheel him out afterward was a slap in the face to our Republic.

But, he’s an example of corrupt power. Holding office was not about serving the people in his state, it was about holding onto a position of power for himself.

Now let’s hope WV can get a conservative in that seat.

ButterflyDragon on June 28, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Reading his obit though Cindy, I learned something that surprised me. He was a welder during the war and didn’t serve. He would have been what 22-23 during the war?

hawkdriver on June 28, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Many highly skilled people were not allowed to serve. My uncle worked at Ingalls Shipyard and they would not let him enlist in the navy. The shipyard launched a ship almost every week.

I won’t hold this against him, nor will I hold his Klan membership against him. But I will loudly criticize all who praise his leadership.

barnone on June 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Dusty on June 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM

I also don’t see any legal way for him to declare that the vacancy didn’t occur this morning. The statutes for similar vacancies allow the governor to delay issuing proclamations, but don’t seem to allow for delay in saying when the vacancy occurred.

But I think the much better reading of the statute is that no election has to be held until 2012. I’d be surprised if a court would order an election to be held this year based on the “primary” language in the statute.

Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Had Byrd died a week later, Manchin could have appointed himself to what would have been a two-year term and hoped to ride Barack Obama’s coattails, such as they will be, into a full term in 2012. Now the election will have to be held this year in a midterm cycle poisonous to Democrats, especially in coal country while the Senate attempts to revive cap-and-trade.

I think you may be mistakenly assuming that democrats will follow a law. I’m betting that they try to go around it.

Vashta.Nerada on June 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM

No matter what anyone may think of his long political career and the influence it may have had on our republic, it is pretty darn amazing that an orphan from the hollows of West Virgina grew up to enjoy the opportunity to have that record-setting & influential political career.

Only in America.

May the family, friends & constituents who loved him find comfort thinking about that amazing achievement.

leilani on June 28, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Yeah. I’m amazed. I’m equally amazed at the fact that he was a ‘man’ that would have loved to see ethnic minorities denied those same opportunities, if not denied life. His family, friends & constituents who loved him, the Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, are of no concern to me, especially if they turned a blind eye to the ‘conscience of the senate’, the pride of America’s premier white supremacist terrorist organization, and paramilitary arm of the DNC. Yeah, only in America can a murderous, domestic terrorist become the ‘conscience of the senate’. I think it’s time we brought the KKK in on the War on Terror. Reaper drone strikes on skinhead and Klan rallies would be some good watchin’.

Virus-X on June 28, 2010 at 12:13 PM

I wonder if there will be a white sheet or American flag covering his coffin?

As a person of color, I find it offensive that Senator Byrd is being remembered for anything other than a Klan stooge whose racism was carried into an era of supposed equality.

The passing of any old time racist Dixiecrat should be met with applause.

portlandon on June 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Watch some ‘vandal’ drape a white sheet over his tombstone.

Virus-X on June 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

It’s about TIME this terrible and despicable excuse of a man finally burns in hell. Have fun.

As for his supports, I hope you get to join him real soon. :)

griv on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Don’t be so quick to wish people to hell. God doesn’t judge on a curve but demands perfect obedience to the law. With that in mind we all deserve to join him.

shick on June 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM

griv on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I hope you enjoyed your time here at HA because I think it’s coming to an end.

As destructive as his voting policy tended to be and the horrible personal choices he made in life (KKK), he was a human being with a family so if only for the sake of the family, show some compassion.

Yakko77 on June 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

As for his supports, I hope you get to join him real soon. :)

griv on June 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

You are either an idiot, or an idiot, I can’t decide, you choose…

right2bright on June 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

But I think the much better reading of the statute is that no election has to be held until 2012. I’d be surprised if a court would order an election to be held this year based on the “primary” language in the statute.

[Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM]

Jimbo, read 3-5-19 (7),((b) here. This addresses when a vacancy occurs wherein an election should take place in the next General Election but the Primary Election has passed.

Dusty on June 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Virus-X on June 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Whoops. Wrong button.

Virus-X on June 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

nor will I hold his Klan membership against him. But I will loudly criticize all who praise his leadership.

barnone on June 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Too bad…he “changed” his heart, when he realized he wouldn’t get elected with his racist beliefs…he wasn’t just a “member” he was an organizer, a leader, he embraced it, lived it, and along with that comes the responsibility of the harm he did…harm that he never took responsibility for.

right2bright on June 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Gone to the GREAT KLAVERN IN THE SKY…
Do they have fiddles where you’ve gone? Give us a redition of Turkey in the straw.

We will miss you Exaulted Cyclops…

Kuffar on June 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

When a Klansmen dies, and has been collecting his pay from you for years, while deigning to call you racist and bigoted from the throne of utter hypocrisy, there is no respect to be had.

Agreed.

This threads are always strange anyway. You get the people with the standard, generic “We should all set aside our differences and show respect” posters. The poters looking for something to be outraged over. The posters looking for attention by saying something over-the-line, etc…

I think it’s a good chance to examine why we let folks continue to hold office when they are that old or it’s obvious they can not finish their terms. It just creates more problems for everyone with vacant seats / appointments / special elections and such.

It’s also a good chance to examine why certain “sins” can be forgiven if someone votes the right way. Pathetic, if you ask me.

Oh and it’s also funny that someone can be considered good at what they did, just because they did it for a long time.

reaganaut on June 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Even King David, whom God called a man after His own heart, prayed frequently for God to kill and destroy his enemies.

And count me in as one of those who is glad to see evil punished. No, we probably shouldn’t want anybody to go to hell in reality, but I’m not perfect. When a man like Byrd uses his power to take away my freedoms, I take that very personally.

fossten

If you want to pretend you know the first thing about Christianity then perhaps you could start by looking up my name before you start attacking me.

Look at the responses you’ve given. Are they Christ like in any way?

I didn’t like Byrd or his policies but I’m certainly not going to dance on his grave. I’m also not going to wish that he “burn in hell”. Give me a break folks.

Benaiah on June 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

KKK.

Tim Burton on June 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

I’m all for respect towards those who have passed, but when the accolades start pouring in and people begin to praise Byrd and his “achievements”, then I think some balance is required.

PackerBronco on June 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

He didn’t die after July 3rd, so its pretty simple.

If the vacancy occurs less than two years and six months before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to fill the unexpired term and there is no election. If the vacancy occurs two years and six months or more before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to serve until the unexpired term is filled at the conclusion of the next candidate filing period, Primary Election, General Election and certification. The winner of that General Election fills the balance of the unexpired term. The election for the full term will be held as scheduled regardless of the date of the vacancy.

Too bad the old coot couldn’t have “been alive” for a few more days. I just think the powers that be got their math wrong. He’s probably been dead longer than this.

lorien1973 on June 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

If you want to pretend you know the first thing about Christianity then perhaps you could start by looking up my name before you start attacking me.

Look at the responses you’ve given. Are they Christ like in any way?

I didn’t like Byrd or his policies but I’m certainly not going to dance on his grave. I’m also not going to wish that he “burn in hell”. Give me a break folks.

Benaiah on June 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

While, I’m not dancing on his grave, the fact is that David did call for destruction on his enemies. Go read some of the Psalms written by your namesake’s leader.

Tim Burton on June 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

right2bright on June 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM
Yakko77 on June 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Get over yourselves.

I’m sure Griv was talking about the supporters of that scumbag that are like-minded. I have no sympathy for them, either, and when they’re dead and bunking up with that racist, I won’t miss them, any more than I do Byrd. I personally won’t miss any dead racists, be they his relatives, or Jessie Jackass or Al not-so-Sharpton. A racist-is-a-racist-is-a-racist, and they all go to the same place: HELL. Griv did not wish harm on people, ‘just because’. If you want that, go back to the Daily Kos and HuffPo. We don’t do that crap, here.

As for crying and beating your chest about him being such a “Human Being”, maybe he — your hero the Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan and the Democratic Party — should’ve realized the people that he may’ve had a hand in murdering were people, too. The Ku Klux Klan is a domestic terrorist organization (started by the democrats), no better than HAMAS or Hezbollah, that wants blacks and other ethnic minorities exterminated or forcibly deported from “their” nation, and is well-noted for memberships that include serial killers.

Maybe if your skins were a different color, you wouldn’t be crying a river and clutching the tombstone of the Exhalted Cyclops.

Virus-X on June 28, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Kuffar on June 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Don’t you mean the great klavern in the ground?

Virus-X on June 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

I hope you enjoyed your time here at HA because I think it’s coming to an end.

As destructive as his voting policy tended to be and the horrible personal choices he made in life (KKK), he was a human being with a family so if only for the sake of the family, show some compassion.

Yakko77 on June 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

So was Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Herod the Great, etc. Doesn’t mean I think everyone is burning away as we speak.

Tim Burton on June 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

So was Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Herod the Great, etc. Doesn’t mean I think everyone isn’t burning away as we speak.

Tim Burton on June 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Tim Burton on June 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Waitaminute -

If dead people can vote, why can’t dead Senators hold office?

/Mel Carnahan

cane_loader on June 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Update: ABC News reports that the law in West Virginia says that the governor has to declare the seat vacant — and Manchin could wait to do that, apparently

Cool! Democrats only vote after they’re dead, they hold office after they’re dead!

And Republicans think they have the God vote sewn up…

elfman on June 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Jimbo, read 3-5-19 (7),((b) here. This addresses when a vacancy occurs wherein an election should take place in the next General Election but the Primary Election has passed.

Dusty on June 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Dusty, isn’t there an argument that Section 3, Article 10-3 provides for a different process for Senators (thanks for the link and analysis, btw)>

Except as otherwise provided in article ten of this chapter, if any vacancy occurs in a partisan office or position other than political party executive committee, which creates an unexpired term for a position which would not otherwise appear on the ballot in the general election, and the vacancy occurs after the close of candidate filing for the primary election but not later than eighty-four days before the general election, a nominee of each political party may be appointed by the executive committee and certified to the proper filing officer no later than seventy-eight days before the general election.

Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

He didn’t die after July 3rd, so its pretty simple.

If the vacancy occurs less than two years and six months before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to fill the unexpired term and there is no election. If the vacancy occurs two years and six months or more before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to serve until the unexpired term is filled at the conclusion of the next candidate filing period, Primary Election, General Election and certification. The winner of that General Election fills the balance of the unexpired term. The election for the full term will be held as scheduled regardless of the date of the vacancy.
Too bad the old coot couldn’t have “been alive” for a few more days. I just think the powers that be got their math wrong. He’s probably been dead longer than this.

lorien1973 on June 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Read the actual statutes that Dusty and I have been discussing. You’re reading a summary.

Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM

From Wikipedia:

Melvin Eugene Carnahan

Political party Democratic

Melvin Eugene “Mel” Carnahan (February 11, 1934 – October 17, 2000) was an American politician. A Democrat, he served as the 51st Governor of Missouri from 1993 to 2000. He died in a plane crash on the Pevely and Hillsboro, Missouri border during a campaign for the U.S. Senate, after which he was elected posthumously to the office.

In 2000, Mel Carnahan ran for U.S. Senate, opposing the incumbent Republican, John Ashcroft. It was a heated, intense campaign in which Carnahan traveled all over the state to garner support in what was a very close race. Early on October 17, 2000, just three weeks before the election and the night before a presidential debate to be held at Washington University in St. Louis, the twin-engine Cessna airplane piloted by the Governor’s son, Randy, crashed on a heavily forested hillside during a rainstorm and foggy conditions near Goldman, Missouri, about 35 miles south of St. Louis. All three occupants of the plane – Governor Carnahan, his son Randy, and Chris Sifford, campaign advisor and former chief of staff to the governor – died in the crash.

Shortly afterward, Lieutenant Governor Roger B. Wilson succeeded Mel Carnahan to fill the Governor’s office until January 2001. Because Missouri election law would not allow for Mel Carnahan’s name to be removed from the November 7, 2000 ballot, Jean Carnahan, his widow, became the Democratic candidate unofficially. Governor Wilson promised to appoint her to the senate seat if vacant as a result of Mr. Carnahan’s being elected, and the campaign continued using the slogan “I’m Still With Mel.” A Senate first, the deceased Carnahan won by a 2% margin. Mrs. Carnahan was then appointed to the Senate and served until, in a special election in November 2002, she was narrowly defeated by James Talent, a Republican.

Carnahan is not the only candidate to have died during a U.S. Senate race in recent decades. Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was killed in a plane crash in 2002, 11 days before his U.S. Senate election. Representative Jerry Litton, also of Missouri, died in a plane crash in 1976 on the day he was nominated by his party. Richard “Dick” Obenshain of Virginia died in a plane crash in 1978 shortly after receiving the Republican nomination.

cane_loader on June 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Sooo…. the question really is:

Hold long may a Senator be dead before his office is vacant – i.e. how long may a dead man occupy the office?

This is the long and short of what the Dems would be arguing if they try “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

cane_loader on June 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Sooo…. the question really is:

Hold long may a Senator be dead before his office is vacant – i.e. how long may a dead man occupy the office?

This is the long and short of what the Dems would be arguing if they try “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

I mean… an office is either:

1. OCCUPIED
2. VACANT.

If vacant, then a special election in WV.
If occupied, then yes, a dead man may occupy an office.

cane_loader on June 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM

I’m betting big money Byrd has been dead for a while now. The democrats just wanted to get their strategery together before announcing it.

SouthernGent on June 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Biggest porkster in Senatorial history, and incontinent man, dies. He is the antithesis of what the founding fathers had in mind with “politicians”.

Shamefully, some never know when to retire with some semblance of decency.

Liberals make the laws, as they need them. See Gov. of WV in the next few days.

Only good thing about Byrd – he did love the constitution and tought about it, even if to milk the rest of us.

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Jerry Lon Litton (May 12, 1937 – August 3, 1976) was a DEMOCRATIC U.S.
Representative from Missouri
———–

“Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, a former college professor who became a
leading liberal voice among Senate DEMOCRATS, was killed Friday in the crash of
a …”

————-

Melvin Eugene “Mel” Carnahan …. A DEMOCRAT … was elected posthumously to the office.

————-

Richard “Dick” Obenshain of Virginia died in a plane crash in 1978 shortly AFTER receiving the REPUBLICAN nomination.

“Former Secretary of the Navy John Warner made it official Wednesday, declaring
his candidacy to replace the late Richard Obenshain as Virginia’s Republican …”

————–

Sooo… the Republicans hold elections after their man dies.
The Dems elect their guy anyway.

cane_loader on June 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Correction: tought s/b taught

Schadenfreude on June 28, 2010 at 1:09 PM

cane_loader on June 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I don’t think you can look at it like that, since the states make these rules individually. Although I will watch with interest to see exactly when the seat is certified as vacant.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 1:11 PM

cane_loader on June 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Each state has its own laws about when and how elections are held.

Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 1:14 PM

The man made inexcusable errors in life. Still death absolves us of living in the sin that we each deal in daily. Death is the end. If you can’t rest then what was the point of living?

Pathetic.

Dave Rywall on June 28, 2010 at 10:38 AM

That’s probably a similar sentiment to the one your family feels about you.

RIP Senator Byrd

The Race Card on June 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

By the by did anybody catch the death wishes for Dick Cheney over at Wonkette? This is one of the most glaring differences between the right and the left — the right does not collectively gloat over the death of liberals, not openly at least.

The Race Card on June 28, 2010 at 1:18 PM

I’m betting big money Byrd has been dead for a while now. The democrats just wanted to get their strategery together before announcing it.

SouthernGent on June 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM

You’ve been pushing that but have no proof. What’s your sourcing?

The Race Card on June 28, 2010 at 1:19 PM

I won’t hold this against him, nor will I hold his Klan membership against him.

Well, that’s odd.

The Race Card on June 28, 2010 at 1:21 PM

The Race Card on June 28, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Very interesting take on this from you.

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 1:32 PM

By the by did anybody catch the death wishes for Dick Cheney over at Wonkette? This is one of the most glaring differences between the right and the left — the right does not collectively gloat over the death of liberals, not openly at least.

The Race Card on June 28, 2010 at 1:18 PM

–Are you putting alot of emphasis on the words “collectively” and “gloat” in your sentence? Some people here sure hated the old guy and aren’t distressed about his death in the least.

Jimbo3 on June 28, 2010 at 1:33 PM

I don’t think “longest serving Senator in history” is a title to be proud of.

Unless it is sudden and unexpected, I don’t think people should be dying in office

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 28, 2010 at 1:34 PM

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