Robert Byrd is 91 and quite unwell. Ambulances raced to his house today because he got up too fast. Democrats may gain one seat in Massachusetts by the end of the week if the appointment law goes through, but Byrd has been in and out of hospitals for months and is rarely seen on the Senate floor.
Nobody wants to tell Robert Byrd to retire - he's been in the Senate since 1958 and he probably wants to die right there on the Senate floor. But for the good of the country he ought to resign and not have his illness affect the quality of life for millions of Americans. West Virginia allows for a temporary appointment, Governor Joe Manchin is a Democrat, and within a matter of days the Democrats could have 60 able-bodied members. But instead of that, and instead of coming up with a process where Byrd can vote by proxy, we are hampered with endless filibusters based on Robert Byrd's physical health, which I don't think was the founders' intentions.