Ted Stevens (R-AK) claims to be clinically depressed over his ongoing inability to turn ANWR over to big oil:
"I'm seriously depressed, unfortunately, clinically depressed," he said. "And I've been told that's because I've been at this too long."Stevens' self-diagnosis of mental illness does a great deal to explain his obsessive, unethical bullying on ANWR, though I suspect that depression is actually the least of his problems.
The media love to portray Stevens as "wily" and "shrewd"; these are perhaps not the best words to describe a man who's spent most of his career trying unsuccessfully to force a wildly unpopular and costly act of ecological vandalism down the public's throat. "Sociopathic" would be more appropriate, as would "criminal."
Stevens' current strategy, which ties ANWR drilling to defense appropriations, is a typical symptom of this unpleasant old man's monomania, to which he's willing to sacrifice anything and everything. In describing Stevens' derangement, however, the WaPo finds itself getting a bit dewy-eyed:
Known for his "Incredible Hulk" necktie, Stevens famously described himself as a "mean, miserable SOB." But his growling delivery masks a deep, emotional commitment to Alaska -- a vast, distant and sparsely populated state that typically leads the nation in federal pork.I don't know what sort of telepathy WP staff writer Shailagh Murray used to ascertain that Stevens' "deep, emotional commitment" is to Alaska itself, rather than to the money he's made for himself and his cronies by sucking with vampiric fixity at the federal teat. Stevens' willingness to buy votes in Alaska with money extorted from taxpayers in other states requires nothing more noble than greed and immorality, and one suspects that strutting vanity and callous self-enrichment would be his métier no matter which state were unfortunate enough to be encumbered with him.
As regards ANWR, Stevens isn't just greedy and immoral; he's also a hypocrite. Courtesy of Gristmill, here's a 1977 quote from Stevens:
These people would snake a pipeline across one of the great landscapes of the world, the Arctic National Wildlife Range. Some have appropriately compared splitting the Arctic National Wildlife Range by a 48-inch pipeline and haul road with slicing a razor blade across the face of the Mona Lisa.Regardless of how one feels about drilling in ANWR, the anti-democratic maneuvers that Stevens and Frist have cooked up in order to make it "legal" should be opposed on principle.
Write or call your congresspeople, and make sure that Stevens remains clinically depressed until he's relieved of office by the one term limit that even Republicans can't override.