Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sen. Byrd Is No Fan Of Mike Vick

I had the honor of meeting the distinguished Senator from West Virginia, Mr. Robert Byrd back in 2000. I was hanging with a Congressional staffer (I used to be a pretty big deal) when he ran into a buddy of his who worked for Byrd. He brought us in to talk to the elder statesmen (he was old as hell back then!) and he gave us a LENGTHY dissertatoin about the history of the Capitol building and the underground rail system as well as some highlights of some crazy events that have occurred during his tenure. That day me and about 6 other kids my age sat around and listened to Byrd wax historical for about 2 hours NON-STOP. He had a very similar oratory style to the above style even then. I remember getting out of that room and breathing a sigh of relief as it's hard to continue to remain attentive and respectful in the presence of someone whose oratory manner includes 10-15 second pauses that can be (and are) confused as a termination of the conversation. He was very generous with his time and it remains one of my most distinct memories from my brief stay on "the Hill" (the other being the time I rode the underground Congressional rails with Jesse Helms. Helms was seated on a Rascal and I and two friends had to assist he and his motorized scooter into the "subway car." About 2/3rds of the way through the ride, Helms broke the deafening silence by looking up and saying, "Christian?" We stammered a bit and I muttered a "ummm, no" (I'm not Jewish or anything, I'm just not, well, anything. But that's another story for another day...). Helms smiled at us and began whistling what I can only assume was a hymn. It was a bizarre encounter. But I digress...). It's because of my personal encounter that I was hesitant to post this video as it is not the most flattering depiction of the now 90 year-old statesman from WV. In Byrd's defense, he's a dyed-in-the-wool animal lover (he's probably owned 50 dogs in his 90 years) and his passion is genuine even if his presentation is a little uncomfortable. Still, the video is worth seeing if you haven't seen it and it is actually just a one minute snippet of a 30 minute dissertation on the subject in which Byrd exhudes this type of passion throughout (those videos can be found on youtube.com with any combination of "Byrd," "Vick" and/or "barbaric"). It's actually kind of remarkable that he's able to remain this lucid and upright for so long considering his age. So while I admire your passion, Senator Byrd, your time may be better served drafting legislation rather than getting caught on the TV doing this.

No comments: