With a 59-41 advantage in the U.S. Senate, Democrats continue to push an aggressive agenda before the November midterm elections. There is even talk that a defeated, lame-duck Congress would pass wildly unpopular legislative packages like Cap-n-Trade and Amnesty for Illegal Aliens.
So with massive bills hanging on a single vote in the Senate -- 60 votes are needed to break a filibuster -- one man seems to have curiously disappeared from sight.
That would be Robert ("The Kleagle") Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, a one-time Ku Klux Klan chieftain and leader of the Democrat anti-Civil Rights movement in the sixties (along with Al Gore's poppa). Byrd's 92 years old -- with more than 50 years in the Senate -- and has suffered from a variety of ailments over the last decade.
• Hospitalized for six weeks after a May 2009 infection.
• Hospitalized after a September 2009 fall and infection.
• Has suffered from a debilitating form of Parkinson's Disease for years.
• Had to be wheeled repeatedly onto the Senate floor in December for a series of health care votes and gave a "thumbs up" for aye votes or "thumbs down" for nays.
In his rare appearances, Byrd appears extremely frail and able to only haltingly read a few prepared statements.
The key questions for West Virginians in particular -- and Americans in general:
• Is Byrd physically able to perform his duties as both a Senator and President Pro Tempore of the Senate?
• Is he mentally able to fulfill his responsibilities?
• Does Byrd have free will -- or is he directed to vote and speak based upon the commands of his retinue?
These would appear to be very important questions that require an independent medical assessment. Perhaps one of our beloved reporters in the legacy media -- or an enterprising young new media star like Don Surber -- could pursue these important questions.