Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Geriatric Douchebag Indicted


I'm not really one to take joy in the misfortune of others, even when said misfortune is self-inflicted, and well deserved. Having said that, upon hearing that Senator Ted Stevens had been indicted by the justice department, my first thought was that it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Senator Stevens is something of a douchebag's douchebag. He's a jackass that stands out, even in the grand cavalcade of jackasses that is the Congress of the United States of America.

The first thing that you should know about Ted Stevens is that he's older than dirt. You know John McCain? Ted Stevens makes him look young and spry. How old is Stevens? Well, the same year that he was born, Vladimir Lenin was the leader of The Soviet Union, Calvin Coolidge became President of the United States, and a scant ten days before Stevens was born, a former corporal in the German army named Adolph Hitler attempted to seize power in Weimar Germany by leading a gang of thugs to a Munich Beer Hall. Stevens served actively in World War II. World War freaking II! Guy flew planes against the Japs, and he's still serving in Congress!

To give you another idea of just how ancient he is, Stevens was a major player in the Alaska statehood movement. After a buddy got him a job as legislative counsel at the Department of the Interior of the EISENHOWER ADMINISTRATION!, his main job became to lobby for Alaskan statehood. I won't bore you with the details, but it was a pretty impressive operation, and the whole thing was run from Stevens' office at the Interior department. Nevermind that lobbying form the executive branch is a serious legal and ethical breech...

In case you're not familiar, Ted Stevens was the grand champion of the Bridge to Nowhere, who pitched a fit when it was suggested that 398 million dollars might be better spent on Hurricane Katrina relief than on a Golden Gate Bridge style pork barrel project connecting the mainland of the most sparsely populated state in the union to an island that nobody has ever heard of. Stevens, God bless him, was also the luminary who, while battling against network neutrality, delivered a staggeringly incoherent speech in which he helpfully explained that the internet was not "a big truck", but was instead a "series of tubes", thus launching one of the great internet memes. Thanks Ted. In the same speech, by the way, he complained that "an internet was sent by my staff", which was delayed by 5 days because of network congestion. Right.

To be fair, Stevens isn't completely without merit. He's a moderate on abortion and global warming, which is to say, he is an occasional believer in science. Sadly, however, his main business seems to be acting as a money funnel to his home state. He's pretty good at it, which isn't a crime in itself, but when there's that much free money sloshing around, there are bound to be problems. A bunch of his friends and former aides are under investigation for enriching themselves on Stevens' pork barrel projects. They got Stevens himself for $250,000 in home improvements that it looks like he never had to pay for.

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