Thursday, April 15, 2004
Lo and behold, Fox News was the only place where I read today that Senator Christopher Dodd apologized for remarks he made concerning the career of Senator Robert Byrd. The media has either largely ignored or was slow to report about the controversial comments but there have been many forums discussing Dodd's words. Instapundit provided some links, and discussed the media's reluctant involvement. Right Wing News compared Dodd's praise with Byrd's segregationist words from 1944. While Counterspin excused Dodd's words because Byrd was a KKK member before becoming a senator, Reason pointed out that Byrd voted against the Civil Rights Act. Insults Unpunished had extensive words on the matter and Croooow Blog had extensive coverage when it broke on April 5.
Dodd, D-Conn., has been criticized by some conservative commentators for saying April 1 that Sen. Robert Byrd (search), D-W.Va., would have been a great senator and leader at any time in history, including the Civil War (search).
Byrd, who at one time was a member of the Ku Klux Klan (search), opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act (search). He has repeatedly apologized for his brief KKK membership and said his vote against the civil rights vote was one of only two votes that he regrets having made during his 45 years in the Senate.
"Words can sting and hurt," Dodd told The Associated Press Wednesday. "If in any way, in my referencing the Civil War, I offended anyone, I apologize."
Robert Byrd's Senate website's "About Me" section makes no mention of his KKK membership but does say, "At war's end, he returned to West Virginia with a new vision of what his home state and his country could be."
Update: Counterspin seems to say that there are good racists and there are bad racists. His argument's moral relativism says that Trent Lott should be held more accountable for his words and Christopher Dodd should not be equally vilified. Curiously, while Counterspin previously cheered the fact that Lott lost a senior position, Robert Byrd still enjoys prominent leadership positions amongst fellow Democrats. Byrd's membership in the KKK is, by far, the most galling background of any Senator serving in Congress today. In his April 4 post, Counterspin said Dodd, "is ignorant or simply sloppy in his knowledge of Senate history, and Byrd's actions in the Senate during the Civil Rights era." Unfortunately, Counterspin's lack of knowledge on this aspect precludes him from realizing that Dodd replaced his own father, Thomas Dodd, in the Senate. If Christopher Dodd is somehow ignorant of his father's and his own colleague's past, that is quite an indictment on his own intellect. Either that, or Counterspin is way off the mark.
Others who noted the Dodd apology for his racially insensitive remarks include, QandO, Filtrat, Mark Kilmer, and Instapundit. While Captain's Quarters points out the curious lack of diversity on the Kerry staff.
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