Ted Stevens’ conviction has been thrown out, due to prosecutor malfeasance. I feel sorry for “Uncle Ted”, who has been a leader of Alaska since the beginning. He was instrumental in Alaska becoming a state. But neither he nor I are the tigers we used to be. At 85 years old, maybe it is time for Senator Stevens to relinquish the mantle and allow a younger generation of tigers to rule. The glow of a job done well is warmth enough in the twilight of our years.
From the few conversations I have had with Senator Stevens, he did not strike me as the sort of person who would look back and mutter “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve”. Like him or not, agree with him or not, he was not one to bitch about spilt milk. Like the state motto, he always seems to be looking “north to the future”.
If only the same could be said about the state Republican Party and it’s de jure and de facto leaders, Randy Ruedrich and Sarah Palin.
I first met Randy Ruedrich when he was a Commissioner at AOGCC, along with Sarah Palin. I can’t say I know him well at all, although I have seen him in action. What I saw were the actions that got him in hot water with the ethics police (using state offices and his state job to conduct political party business on state time). He has called for a special election, saying that Senator Stevens would’ve could’ve, should’ve won re-election except that “a few thousand Alaskans thought that Senator Ted Stevens was guilty of seven felonies”. As if there were no other issues involved, and Senator Begich was irrelevant to the election.
Sarah Palin is supporting Randy Ruedrich, who she outed to the ethics committee while she was at AOGCC and who also led an abortive charge to oust Ruedrich from his party chairmanship, in calling for a special election. Last fall she was calling for Senator Stevens to resign. I am reminded of Captain Louis Renault in “Casablanca”:
“I have no convictions … I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy.”
Senator Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young seem to be the only Alaska Republican leaders who understand the issue. Perhaps it’s because there is no political gain to be made from the situation for them.