Thursday, October 30, 2008

On the Other Hand...

I posted below about the Alaska Republican Party's continued support for Ted Stevens' re-election bid. Party leaders hope he'll keep the seat Republican so they'll have time to find a candidate for a special election if he resigns. Or gets the boot or goes to the Big House -- not that they mention those last two.

Turns out Stevens isn't getting the love from Republicans on the national stage.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling on Ted Stevens to resign from the Senate – and warning that the longest-serving Republican senator in history will face certain expulsion if he doesn’t leave on his own first.

McConnell, locked in a tough reelection fight in Kentucky, did not call for Stevens’ resignation in his initial statement on the Alaskan’s conviction on seven federal felonies Monday.

But Republican Sens. John McCain, Norm Coleman, Jim DeMint, John Sununu and Gordon Smith and Democrat Barack Obama all called on Stevens to resign Tuesday.

And by the time a reporter from the Lexington Herald-Leader put the question to him at a campaign stop Elizabethtown, Ky., Tuesday night, McConnell was ready to say that Stevens must go, too.

"I think he should resign immediately," McConnell said. "If he did not do that ... there is a 100 percent certainty that he would be expelled from the Senate.”

Make that Republicans on the national stage who are locked in tight election races.

GOP Senate aides make it clear they hope the voters take care of the problem on Tuesday, putting themselves in the odd position of hoping for a Democratic victory in Alaska.
"Voters will determine Ted Stevens' fate much more quickly than the Senate could at this point," said one Senate Republican aide. "Should he be reelected, however, he will most certainly face serious and immediate consequences in the 111th Congress."

Another top GOP aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that “the voters in Alaska will be the judge and jury” in deciding Stevens’ fate at this time, not his Senate colleagues.

Democrats are, for the most part, keeping mum about resignation or expulsion, preferring, along with the GOP aides, to let the voters speak. Assuming the voters don't say, "Screw you!" to the judge and jury that convicted Stevens.

Meanwhile, NPR reports this morning that Stevens is back on the campaign trail in Alaska, trying to make up for lost time.

Del speculates in the comments at my place that a Stevens win and subsequent resignation could give us Sen. Sarah Palin. That could be fun. C-Span 2 would become must see TV if she started taking to the floor to accuse her colleagues of palling around with terrorists. Maybe she and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-wingnut) could team up to investigate their fellow Congress members' anti-American views.

Or not. Palin herself might get caught up in that McCarthy-esque patriotic purge: