Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Crabbed Age and Youth

Ted Stevens (R-AK) has figured out what's to blame for his political woes, and you better believe it's not his own corruption and poor judgment.

"Why would I take personal responsibility for that?" he told reporters at a 70-minute news conference Monday....His measures, he said, were "the target for that extreme taxpayer's [sic] union on the one hand and the environmentalists on the other."
Is Stevens attacking the National Taxpayers Union? This conservatarian anti-tax group did indeed oppose Steven's "Bridge to Nowhere." They also called on Stevens to resign his chairmanship of Senate Appropriations Committee following evidence that he was using the post to feather his own nest.

NTU is funded by the Scaife and Olin foundations - and its alumni include Grover Norquist, David Keating, and Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell - so it's quite reasonable to call it "extreme." (Unless, of course, you're Ted Stevens, in which case it'd be a slur on your party and its most cherished principles.)

More likely, Stevens is referring to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a moderate and generally nonpartisan group that also objects to Stevens' corruption.

But really, who knows? Stevens lashes out so frequently, and so blindly, that it's hard to keep track of all his emnities. Although it was moderate Republicans who shot down his most recent scheme for drilling in ANWR, Stevens has now decided that Senate Democrats, by their treachery, have forfeited their right to join him in his subaqueous frolics:
"I'm not traveling with them anymore, and I'm not going to play tennis or swim or do various things with them."
It seems to me that not having to run the risk of sharing a swimming pool with Ted Stevens is a privilege most people would pay a great deal to enjoy, but I suppose Stevens knows his colleagues better than I do.

To his credit, Stevens' has tempered his harsh frontier justice with mercy in the case of Robert Byrd. Apparently, the 82-year-old Stevens is too concerned about the sanity and stability of his 88-year-old friend to subject him to the full brunt of his displeasure:
"Sen. Byrd has been a friend for a long time. It's a little tough to take what he said at the last minute, I told him that." Stevens paused, then added, "His age and his situation is a very difficult one."
Isn't that touching? And people say that kids today don't have sufficient respect for their elders.

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