The Ballad of the Yodel and the Fiddle


From the NYT's Carl Hulse, a little picture of how aging Senatorial porkmeisters stay so close.

"I am going to miss you," Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, who has seen scores of senators come and go during his half-century in office, assured Senator Conrad Burns, Republican of Montana, as they bumped into each other in a hallway just off the chamber.

Mr. Burns, who showed flashes of temper upon his return to Washington after his defeat, was nothing but gracious with Mr. Byrd, with whom he served on the Appropriations Committee. "I appreciate all your courtesies," he told Mr. Byrd.

Mr. Byrd then asked Mr. Burns, a professional livestock auctioneer, to regale him with one last yodel, and Mr. Burns obliged, in expert fashion.

"Almost as good as the fiddle," Mr. Burns said, referring to Mr. Byrd's instrument of choice. "Almost," responded the Democrat.

Only one of them lost. Pity.

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  1. The Devil was on his way to Georgia to play a little fiddle tune. Instead he got held up in WV and elected to the Senate. Life is funny like that.

  2. From my newspaper column about Montana’s Burns/Tester race:

    So Burns and Tester both say they DELIVER better than the other. It’s like they want you to be-lieve they tool around the state in Humvees stuffed full of wadded up $50s, tossing around cash like a drunken Irishman with green saltwater taffee in an Irish pride parade.
    “Hi, I’m Jon Tester, and I’m out DELIVERING for you! See, I was just out there tendin’ to my crops, when suddenly I slipped into this giant pit full of money. Well, golly-be, Jon Tester, you’re a lucky guy, I says. So I’m out doing my rounds, and noticed you could use some cash to fix up that there school. Here ya go! And, ahem ? you know, it’s polite to tip.”
    “Deliver” means only one thing in the political context: “Moving taxpayer money from one place to another.” That’s it. Whether they’re redistributing wealth or buying big-ass bombs, politicians just move cash. Ain’t no big secret to it – and there’s nothing to be proud of about it either. In fact, it all just kind of sucks.

  3. Robert C. Byrd; the Willie Brown of West Virginia.

  4. I don’t know. Sounds like the committee just needed a pedal steel player and someone on upright bass and it would have sounded pretty great.

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