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A call to prayer… ain’t religion great?

I watched all this yesterday on C-Span 2 and, frankly, I was as outraged as Dick Durbin (D- IL) who said: “This statement goes too far. We are becoming more coarse and divided here … When it reaches a point where we’re praying, asking people to pray, that senators wouldn’t be able to answer the roll call, I think it has crossed the line.”

Here’s a clip from the HuffPo article:

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On Sunday afternoon, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) appeared to propose a prayer for Robert Byrd’s death so that health care reform would not pass. Dana Milbank reports at the Washington Post:

At 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon — nine hours before the 1 a.m. vote that would effectively clinch the legislation’s passage — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) went to the Senate floor to propose a prayer. “What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight,” he said. “That’s what they ought to pray.”
It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) who has been in and out of hospitals and lay at home ailing. It would not be easy for Byrd to get out of bed in the wee hours with deep snow on the ground and ice on the roads — but without his vote, Democrats wouldn’t have the 60 they needed.
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Durbin called on Coburn to explain the seemingly malevolent call to prayer:

And Politico commented on making the ill Senator Byrd be wheeled in at 1:00 AM:

That followed a 1 a.m. vote Friday morning — and another round of nastiness. At least three Republicans had signaled their intention to vote to end debate on the Pentagon budget, but GOP leaders pressured them to withhold support as a way to gain leverage over the health care legislation.

That decision forced the 92-year-old Byrd to leave his Virginia home and travel to the Capitol to cast the decisive vote. Once he’d done so, the three GOP senators voted to advance the measure — including Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who was greeted by catcalls on the floor when she voted “aye” after Byrd had been wheeled in to vote.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the third-longest-serving senator, called the GOP leadership’s move “inconceivable” and said the incident wouldn’t have happened in the past.

Here we are… the Government Of the People, By the People and For the People… and it is slowly vanishing from the Earth.