I few years ago, I sat in the Senate Gallery, and watched Senator Byrd walk up the aisle on two canes. I rarely agreed with his politics, but the man deserves respect. The Senate has lost a great statesman. Perhaps its last.
Back when a filibuster required Senators to actually speak, Senator Byrd did so for fourteen hours, against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He opposed his party's President.
Over the years, I have heard a number of the Senator's speeches. I can't remember a one with which I agreed, but the man had a gift of oratory.
I do not know how he was in backrooms, but he was always publicly respectful of the opposition; civil even in argument.
Would that today's Congress had his talent, his understanding of the rules, and the civility of statesmanship.