Common Sense

Statesmanship or Showmanship?

I know Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., is an institution. But right about now, I think he should be put in one -- as much for his hypocrisy as his gall.

The West Virginia senator has the right to criticize anyone he wants. If he thinks the president was grandstanding with that speech to the troops and the nation onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, that's his right.

But here's what isn't: Not saying boo when Bill Clinton did the same thing on Bosnia.

Byrd loves to talk about Republicans and their waste. But never says a word about his penchant for pork barrel projects in his own state.

He criticizes ego-craven politicians who like to make themselves look good. But doesn't say diddly about the scores of highways, buildings and bridges that sport the Robert Byrd name back home.

Maybe Senator Byrd can think of a better, more somber forum to talk to our troops. But I think the deck of an aircraft carrier loaded with men and women who've been on assignment longer than any other is a pretty good one.

I didn't mind it and I don't think those very grateful sailors did either.

Anyone is free to criticize anyone else in this country. But be careful.

I'm not going to lecture you on eating a salad. Robert Byrd is the last guy on the planet who should be lecturing anyone on grandstanding.

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