Monday, October 23, 2006

How much is loyalty worth?

Note: I wrote this post last week, but had not published it as I was considering adding a little more. But I've since gotten lazy. So here it is, take it for what it's worth.

How about 36.4 million dollars for a BioDiesel research facility at Marshal University? 10+ million for a new facility to house the nursing education program at Shepherd University? A few million for that, a few million for this?

This is the debate all West Virginians face when they go to the polls in November. Do we reelect Robert C. Byrd because he is the self-proclaimed "big-daddy," or do we send him packing because he does NOT represent West Virginia values? My vote stands solidly in the "send him packing" camp.

One of my professors and I had a little discussion about this on Monday. He's an interesting guy who, by his own account, is one of the more "conservative" profs on campus. Usually we get along and we're right there together on the issues. On this particular issue, though, we are a world apart. The following dialogue ensued (I will quote as accurately as I possibly can):

Prof: Jeff, you know me, I'm a pretty conservative guy, but have you heard these new radio ads by John...Rainie I think it is?

Jeff: It's Raese, but no, I haven't heard them. Why? What does he have to say?

P: Well he basically paints Byrd as a racist. He says he hasn't done any thing to develop West Virginia. Byrd's a liberal guy, but that doesn't always mean bad things...

J: Well Dr. ****, I don't really think that Raese is too far from the truth. I mean, Byrd was a member of the KKK for a long time. He did vote against the civil rights bill--he tried to filibuster it.

P: Yea, but....

J: And as far as development is concerned, what has he done to develop WV?

P: How can you question that? Walk through the campus. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, the library addition, the new nursing facility. He's done a lot.

J: Is that how you measure development? Whether we get some 'goodies?' I don't measure whether my US Senator is doing his job in terms of how many goodies I get. What has he done for the state in terms of real development? Very little when we consider he's been in the Senate for ever.

P: Well I don't know. We can't really blame Byrd for that, can we?

J: I think so. At least partially. I mean it can also be give up to the fact that the Democrats have had a strangle hold on Charleston, but Byrd and Manchin--those two names have been here for the past 50+ years, and very little positive has been said about WV in that time.

P: We'll see how this pans out I guess.

Some people--even a smart guy like this--just don't get it. It all goes back to the old proverb: "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime." Well Byrd throws us another fish ever 6 years or so. What about when he dies? How are we going to eat then?

Robert C. Byrd has grown more and more arrogant in his old age. In a speech at Marshall University, Byrd declared himself "Big Daddy." Big Daddy!! Here's the link.

Better still, though, was Raese's response radio response.

Raese doesn't stand a chance. I read a poll today that showed Byrd peaking at 62ish% to Raese's 30ish%. It's a damn shame, because John Raese is the kind of conservative we could use. Maybe he'll run against Rockefeller?



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