The Ted Stevens Disaster

Back on October 31, 2007, I wrote the following about Ted Stevens:

Setting aside the fact that he’s 84 years and one of the biggest pork pushers in the entire Senate, he’s completely corrupt….If the GOP runs someone this crooked in the general election in 2008, then we deserve to lose the seat to the Democrats.

On July 30, 2008, I wrote,

Simply put: Ted Stevens needs to go. The Republican leadership in the Senate should be saying that, conservative talk show hosts should be saying that, and conservative bloggers should be saying that.

If Stevens won’t do the right thing and resign, then we should raise money for his strongest primary opponent, Dave Cuddy, to help him put Stevens out to pasture.

Well, guess what? As per usual, the GOP’s leadership let us down again. George Bush? John McCain? Mitch McConnell? John Ensign? Not one of them pushed Stevens to resign. Not one of them supported his primary challenger.

Well now, the bill for their political cowardice is about to come due,

Sen. Ted Stevens, Alaska’s dominant political figure for more than four decades, was found guilty Monday of violating federal ethics laws for failing to report tens of thousands of dollars in gifts he received from friends.

The jury of District of Columbia residents convicted Stevens, 84, on all seven felony counts – each with a maximum penalty of five years in prison – that he knowingly failed to list on Senate disclosure forms the receipt of some $250,000 in gifts and services used to renovate his home in Girdwood, Alaska.

Incidentally, his opponent Mark Begich was running a little bit ahead of Stevens even before the guilty verdict, so this should seal Stevens’ fate — and make no mistake about it, Stevens richly deserves to lose.

So, here’s the real question: why didn’t the people in the Republican Party who call themselves leaders have the courage to stand against Stevens when it could have made a difference?

PS: Sarah Palin deserves credit for harshly criticizing Stevens publicly — and that was before she was elected as VP — but even she didn’t call for him to resign at the time or endorse any of his primary opponents.

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