Democrats accused Republicans of mistreating the longest-serving member of Congress in history by forcing 60-vote hurdles at awkward times that left even the most robust senators grumbling. Republicans remained unapologetic that Byrd has been forced into dark-of-night and predawn votes, alleging a Democratic rush to approve health care is forcing the nonagenarian into precarious votes.Give me a break! If it weren't for the Democrats' fear that they might lose a vote if they didn't rush it before recess, they could have scheduled a more leisurely vote instead of forcing people to come in at 1 am. Their basic complaint is that the Republicans didn't roll over and play dead. Anything other than that seems to be an affront to their sense of all that is right in the universe.
"I've been worried about Senator Byrd living through the physical trauma of the past few weeks. It is an inevitable thought when you see him rolled into the chamber at 1 a.m.," said Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who has served for 29 years with Byrd. "Compelling Senator Byrd to vote needlessly is a new Senate low mark."
So pardon me if I don't sob for poor Robert Byrd who sounds like he is enjoying his own small role in the week's legislative drama. If anyone understands how to manipulate the rules of the Senate to achieve partisan aims, he surely does.