While we have said little about Ted Stevens on this blog, with Bruce offering one mocking post, noting the number of projects named for Alaska’s senior senator he discovered when he visited Anchorage, we have not hesitated to criticize members of our party for continuing to push pork-barrel projects. Â I took on then-Senator Trent Lett on his penchant for pork here and addressed the problem of Jerry Lewis, then-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, in this post.
And Stevens, famous for seeking an earmark for the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” has long been the king of Pork.
The pork-barreling ways of such Republican leaders are one reason Lewis and many other House (& Senate) Republicans are now former committee chairmen. Â Had Republicans stayed true to our party’s fiscal principles and not adopted the spendthrift ways of such legislators as Stevens, Lewis and Lott, the GOP might still have its congressional majorities.
Thus, I’m not shedding a tear for the Alaska Senator’s latest woes. Â He seems to think his forty year-Senate exempts him from the normal Senate disclosure rules. Â Maybe it’s that he’s never “had a close election race since being appointed to the Senate in 1968.”
If he were a decent man, he would say that, after his long career, he wants to leave politics with his good name intact. Â Thus, he will withdraw from the current Senate campaign in order toÂ focus all his efforts on defeating the charges against him. Â
Personally, I think he should have retired long ago. Â And Glenn Reynolds has been publicly calling for his retirement for at least a year.
Ted Stevens really represents one of the greatest problems of the GOP in recent years. Â Many of our leading politicians subscribe only to the principles of power and pork and not the conservative ideas which have proven successful for Republican candidates in any number of elections over the years. Â No wonder that while the Democrats currently enjoy an edge in party identification, more Americans identify as conservative than as liberal.
This “ideology gap” could help he GOP if our elected officials stayed true to their principles. Â But, alas, all too often, we’re saddled with unprincipled politicians like Ted Stevens.