Infamous around the beltway for his fire, the always-cantankerous Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) outdid himself on the Senate floor Thursday by saying he'd send a man involved in dogfighting to his death. Byrd, 89, said he'd witnessed one execution in his life—a man put to death in the electric chair. "It's not a beautiful thing," he said. "I could say I could witness another one if it involves long pause ... this cruel, sadistic, cannibalistic, business of training these vulnerable creatures to kill."
The man who drove Byrd to new heights of apoplexy is Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who earlier this week was indicted on felony charges of competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting, and doing it all across state lines.
Byrd outlines what happens in a dogfight, punctuating his speech with shouts of "SHAME! SHAME! How inhuman! How dastardly!" And at one point he declared: "God created the dog to be man's companion."
"The fight can go on for hours," he added and repeated, "The fight can go on for hours. Hear me? Shaking with fury. The fight can go on for hours.... Who are the real animals? Who are the real animals? The creatures inside the ring? Or the creatures outside the ring? Barbaric. Barbaric! May god help those poor souls. Hear me."