Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), frustrated by President Reagan's repeated attacks on the Democratic-controlled Congress, responded yesterday by accusing the president of using "the reckless politics of confrontation" to make Congress the "fall guy" for his own failures.

In what was billed as a major response to Reagan's assaults, Byrd took the floor of the Senate to denounce the White House, particularly its conduct in the Iran-contra affair and its veto threats, in some of the strongest terms heard thus far from a Democratic leader.

As a result of what he called "the great national debacle" of the Iranian arms sale, Byrd said:

"The White House became a haven for a conspiracy of silence and cover-up fundamentally at odds with our constitutional system of openness and checks and balances. The rule of law was flagrantly disregarded, and habits of power inherently undemocratic were fostered and encouraged.

"A culture of lying, a willingness to deceive even the secretary of state, followed by an epidemic of amnesia, led to the wholesale diminishment and corruption of the public estate. Yet . . . a denial of democracy in so-called defense of democracy is no virtue."

Noting White House threats of "veto after veto after veto," he said Reagan was seeking to "polarize {the country} in order that he may once again be perceived as the 'top gun.' The Congress is supposed to be the next 'fall guy.' " This not only hinders restoration of the president's credibility with Congress and the public, Byrd said, but also "cuts this president off from his own established record of success."

In a relatively low-key response, Minority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) said Reagan has "extended himself and gone the extra mile on many, many occasions" in his relations with Congress. But Congress cannot expect Reagan to "play dead" in disagreements with them just because Democrats now control the Senate as well as the House, said Dole, a prospective candidate for the GOP presidential nomination next year.

"President Reagan is not going to be a 'fall guy' for Congress, and I don't believe we are going to be a 'fall guy' for the president," he added.

But Dole agreed with Byrd that Reagan could avoid problems by consulting more with congressional leaders. "There are only four congressional leaders {Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate}, and if we can't be trusted we're in bad shape," said Dole. Presidents would "save themselves a lot of grief" if they consulted the four before embarking on major ventures, he said.

Byrd had suggested that Reagan's most serious difficulties came when he ignored the advice of cabinet members and military leaders as well as lawmakers. It was his "adamant refusal to listen to the alarm bell of the Congress regarding aid to the contras {that} led his advisers, even if he did not know, down the dark road of covert and illegal aid," Byrd said.

Byrd's counterattack on the White House reflected mounting frustration at Reagan's high-visibility assaults on Congress, including a photograph, prominently displayed on the front page of The Washington Post, that showed Reagan applying oversized scissors to a large credit card labeled "Congressional Excess."

This frustration is exacerbated by a slowdown of the Democratic agenda in the Senate, where Republicans have stalled major initiatives with delaying tactics, reinforced by veto threats from the White House.

But Byrd contended that "more often than not" it has been Congress rather than the White House that has taken the initiative and forged the legislative agenda of the nation. He said major achievements such as tax-law revision, Superfund refinancing and overhaul of immigration laws, along with trade legislation and other measures before Congress, are "strong indications of congressional initiative."