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March 18, 2005
Barbara Boxer: Ex-Klansman "Love Of My Life"

One would think that after watching Trent Lott self-destruct while toasting former Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond on his 100th birthday, politicians would take care with their public statements supporting fellow party members with shady pasts. Barbara Boxer apparently didn't take any lessons from Lott's fall from grace, as she described former Klan member fellow Democrat Robert Byrd as "the love of my life" at yesterday's MoveOn appearance:

Finally, Boxer made a strong effort to address the uncomfortable fact that she once, in 1994, opposed the filibuster, back when Democrats controlled the Senate and were less concerned about minority power. Now, like Byrd whom she called "the love of my life" she has had a change of heart and believes the filibuster is vitally important. "I thought I knew everything," Boxer confessed. "I didn't get it."

"I'm here to say I was wrong," she continued. "I'm here to say I was totally wrong."

I understand that colleagues want to express support for each other, especially in public venues. However, the incongruity of a liberal Californian describing an ex-Klan recruiter -- a man who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- as the "love of her life" goes way past polite respect to a butt-kissing gush that Californians should find repulsive. That filibuster came when Boxer was 24 years old, certainly old enough to have heard about this. Did Boxer oppose civil rights then as well? When exactly did Byrd become the "love of her life"? Could it have been in 1977, or 1979, or 1980, or 1987, when Byrd himself changed the filibuster rules in the Senate when he was in charge?

Boxer, of course, has no leadership position in the Senate to lose. However, she continues to compete for the dubious honor of being the most foolish Senator. With remarks like this, she's starting to lap the competition.

UPDATE: Peter Cook at Slublog was inspired by the MoveOn spectacle to channel his inner Warren Zevon. Check it out if you need a laugh today, which I think we all could use.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 18, 2005 5:41 PM

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