Obama Laments Kennedy, Doesn`t Mention Byrd
July 03, 2010, 01:27 AM
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By now all of you have probably listened to President Obama's immigration speech, but if you haven't click the Whitehouse website for the video and transcript.

Obama opened his speech by remembering Edward Kennedy:

I want to thank American University for welcoming me to the campus once again. Some may recall that the last time I was here I was joined by a dear friend, and a giant of American politics, Senator Edward Kennedy. (Applause.) Teddy’s not here right now, but his legacy of civil rights and health care and worker protections is still with us.

That was very touching, but Obama never mentioned the deceased Senator Robert Byrd. That's a stunning omission considering Byrd's body lay in repose in the Senate chamber just a few miles away from American University where Obama gave his speech.

There are many reasons that Obama should have shown remorse and respect for Byrd. This list is far from complete but let's ponder a few:

  • Byrd served in the Senate for 51 years after serving 6 years in the House.  Nobody else in U.S. history has served Congress for such a long time.
  • Byrd was the Democratic majority leader twice.
  • Byrd was president pro tempore of the Senate, which put him 3rd in line to the Presidency.
  • Byrd cast more than 18,000 votes in the Senate.
  • Byrd supported Obama's presidential campaign.
  • Byrd was a consistent supporter of unemployment insurance. Recently the Senate couldn't pass an extension because Byrd wasn't there to cast the single vote in favor that the Democrats needed.
  • Byrd supported a national holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Byrd was an excellent blue grass fiddle player.

So, the question is this: Considering nothing is an accident in Washington D.C. — why didn't Obama mention one of the most famous Democrats in American history? Let's ponder again:

  • Byrd was a stalwart against amnesty, calling it "sheer lunacy".
  • Byrd had an excellent record at opposing employment based visas. In 2005 he said that there was: "absolutely no economic justification for expanding the H-1B program".
  • Byrd sponsored a 2005 Amendment (SA 2367) that would have prevented the omnibus spending bill from including massive increases in the number of H-1B visas and EB green cards that could be issued. Obama voted against it; ironically Illinois colleague and ardent supporter Sen. Durbin voted in favor of the amendment.
  • Byrd was a staunch state's right advocate.
  • Byrd filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act for 14 hours.
  • Byrd was a Klansman in the 1940's. He apologized for the "youthful indiscretion" for the rest of his life and described it as an "albatross around my neck".

Of all the reasons that Obama had for the conspicuous snub of Robert Byrd, the most likely motivator was the fact that Byrd and Obama were polar opposites on the issue of amnesty, comprehensive immigration reform, and guest worker importation. Obama must have felt that mentioning Byrd obviated the speech. Kennedy on the other hand got the mention because he was an open-border globalist.

Obama’s omission says something very disturbing about how readily he will throw his friends under the bus if it is politically expedient to do so. Today, at Byrd's memorial in Charleston West Virgina, Obama eulogized Byrd:

"He was a Senate icon. And he was my friend. That's how I'll remember him. Today we remember the path he climbed to such extraordinary peaks."

So, what else was wrong with the speech? Peter Brimelow published a blog that should grab your attention.

But actually Obama’s speech was no laughing manner. For example, it contained this telling line:

"We should make it easier for the best and the brightest to come to start businesses and develop products and create jobs."

That means the Obama legislation, when it materializes, will include increases in legal immigration. He’s going to go the full Bush, in other words — the Open Borders element in Bush’s 2004 amnesty proposal that was so incredible that Republican voters literally didn’t believe he had proposed it.

Just in case Brimelow's statement was too subtle to jolt you, let me restate that last paragraph in starker terms: OBAMA SAID THAT WE NEED TO EXPAND THE H-1B VISA PROGRAM.