Nice to see the Dems have an ex-Klansmen trying to derail the efforts.
Pelosi Defends Ex-Klansman’s Assault on Condi
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi found herself on the defensive Thursday morning over the decision by Senate Democrats to put former Ku Klux Klansman, Sen. Robert Byrd, in charge of efforts to derail the confirmation of Secretary of State-nominee Condoleezza Rice.
“I don’t think that whatever Sen. Byrd is doing has anything to do with his sad past,” Pelosi told WWRL radio hosts Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter.
Instead, said the San Francisco Democrat, the one-time Grand Kleagel was acting out of concern that the advise and consent role of the Senate in presidential appointments was being overlooked.
In a move that was seen by many as an insult to the first black woman ever appointed Secretary of State, Sen. Byrd announced his decision to hold up her confirmation late Wednesday, saying it needed more debate before the full Senate.
Rep. Pelosi insisted that Byrd’s extraordinary move had nothing to do with his long history of public racism, but was instead a reflection of his opposition to the Iraq war.
“They’re confirming a Secretary of State in a time of war. [Byrd’s] views on the war and his opposition to it are well known,” she said.
As recently as 2001, the West Virginia Democrat was forced to apologize after blurting out during a nationally televised interview, “There are white nrs, I’ve seen a lot of white nrs in my time. I’m going to use that word.”
In 1972, Byrd pushed to have the Senate’s main office building named after Dixiecrat Sen. Richard Russell - a leading opponent of anti-lynching legislation who Byrd called “my mentor.”
Byrd filibustered the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act for 14 straight hours.
Three years after he said he’d left his white-sheeted brethren behind, he wrote to Georgia’s Grand Imperial Wizard urging: “The Klan is needed today as never before.”
Sen. Byrd was also a fierce opponent of desegregating the military, complaining in one letter .“I should rather die a thousand times and see old glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again than see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen of the wilds.”