Sen. Robert Byrd (D -WV) (search) spent much of last week defending the filibuster, even suggesting that a move to cut off unlimited debate in the Senate might bring us closer to Nazi Germany.
But Sen. Byrd’s hometown newspaper just dug up a controversial incident from the senator’s own use of the filibuster — a 14-hour speech he gave on the floor of the Senate in 1964, designed to kill the pending Civil Rights Act (search). At the time, the president of the local chapter of the NAACP (search) had this to say about the Senator’s filibuster:
"The one-man talkathon staged by Sen. Byrd for 14 hours last night and this morning indicates the extent to which a mind warped with hate and prejudice will go — even in the hallowed halls of Congress.
Sen. Byrd has not only done his state and our nation a great disservice, but has in addition exposed his family and friends to great embarrassment. The shame and stigma that attaches to his continuing acts against civil rights legislation is positive evidence that he is still a present-day advocate of the principles of the Ku Klux Klan.
The sooner he is removed from the public and political scene, the better chance democracy will have to survive in America and the free world."
Of course, the move by southern senators to block the 1964 Civil Rights Act failed, and it soon became the law of the land.
And that’s the Asman Observer.
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