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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Giving Women The Byrd

Tell me Robert Byrd, Senator (D) from West Virginia, did not say this on the Senate floor:

"As his colleagues hurriedly tried to give the president a domestic security bill, Senator Robert C. Byrd took the floor this morning to tell them of a "truly great" senator from the first century A.D. named Helvidius Priscus. One day this Roman was met outside the senate by the emperor Vespasian, who threatened to execute him if he spoke too freely.

"And so both did their parts," Mr. Byrd said. "Helvidius Priscus spoke his mind; the emperor Vespasian killed him. In this effeminate age it is instructive to read of courage...."

Emphasis added, because I suspect that women's groups, so keenly tuned to Republican misstatements, might miss this one.

And, as a help to the Senator:

ef·fem·i·nate adj.

1. Having qualities or characteristics more often associated with women than men. See Synonyms at female.
2. Characterized by weakness and excessive refinement.

Next we will hear that "effeminate" has nothing to do with women. Whatever.

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