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THE EX-KLANSMAN FROM W. VA.

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 7, 2004 02:13 PM

Well, I see Sen. Robert “Kleagle” Byrd has a book coming out later this month, and the reviewers are already lavishing praise on the old pork-monger. Publisher’s Weekly writes: “This volume is a searing criticism, informed by Byrd’s knowledge of history, leavened with his vast experience and written with his legendary rhetorical flourish.” Amazon.com reviewer John Moe genuflects: “[Byrd's thoughts] are well earned, compellingly expressed, and come from a politician much more experienced than most.”

As Sen. Byrd prepares to vault onto the best-seller list and spin his windy tales on Larry King, here’s a small reminder of the august senator’s unforgettable experience…in the KKK.

Oh, and a taste of that “legendary rhetorical flourish” that you won’t read in the New York Times review:

Sen. Byrd, 1947: “[I would] never submit to fight beneath that banner (the American flag) with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

Sen. Byrd, 2001: “There are white niggers. I’ve seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I’m going to use that word. We just need to work together to make our country a better country, and I’d just as soon quit talking about it so much.”

“Compellingly expressed,” indeed.

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