Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Senate's Grumpiest Old Man Faces Charges

The proponent of the "Bridge to Nowhere" may be going somewhere after all. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was indicted on seven counts of corruption today involving doubling the size of his home at the expense of lobbyist friends.

They literally raised the roof of what is called Stevens' chalet by lifting the building onto stilts and putting an entirely new first floor under it.

For someone of my generation, the decline and fall of the irascible 84-year-old is a sad reminder that aging is no protection against self-destructive behavior.

Stevens started out as a World War II pilot who received the Distinguished Flying Cross for two years in the China-India-Burma Theater, supporting the "Flying Tigers" and Chinese combat units behind enemy lines.

Now, after 38 years in the Senate, during which he has grown increasingly ornery in pursuit of pork for his constituents, the Alaska Senator will be going on trial for making false statements on his Senate financial forms.

Long before he faces a jury, those constituents will be rendering a verdict on Stevens' continuing in the Senate in November.

While West Virginia's Robert Byrd, who turns 91 that month, is still going strong, the Stevens indictment raises questions about term limits in the Senate. Maybe 40 years is enough.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh frabjus day!