01 January 2006

Christmas Present #3: Dems cowboy up, stick it to Ted Stevens' attempted backdoor pillaging of ANWR

For 25 years, Ted Stevens (R-AK) has looked at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge like a pedophile priest looks at the alter boys in his new parish in Saskatchewan. His latest plan to satisfy his burning lust for penetration-by-proxy brought him to a particularly dog-eared page in the playbook: attach formerly unpassable legislation as a provision to a completely unrelated, yet crucial, defense bill, so anyone who dares vote against it can later be smeared as being a limp-wristed, bin Laden sympathizer who hates America and every member of the armed forces.

In an all-too-rare show of backbone, the Dems didn't bite, and openly called "bullshit" on Stevens' pathetic gamesmanship:
“'Our military is being held hostage by this issue, Arctic drilling,' fumed Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader. The Nevada Democrat said the Senate could move quickly to pass the defense bill once the refuge issue was resolved.

'We all agree we want money for our troops. ... This is not about the troops,' said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., a strong critic of letting oil development disturb the refuge in northeastern Alaska."

Reid's comments proved to be quite prescient and, when Stevens and the GOP fell four votes short of the sixty necessary to bring the bill, as written, to a final vote, an ANWR-less version was passed, overwhelmingly, 93-0. Excellent showing by the Dems, for not letting the GOP use defense appropriations to strongarm bill passage by invoking the memory of "Kerry voted against body armor for the troops."

After his attempted end-run was dropped for a loss in the proverbial backfield, Stevens, who recently threatened resignation (presumably while stamping his feet and holding his breath) if the Senate cut his $200+ million pork projects from the latest transportation bill, carried himself with similar maturity:

"Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, battered all week for using the defense spending bill to force through a home-state oil drilling provision, delivered an emotional plea to his colleagues as the Senate prepared to vote on the legislation.

'I ask every one of you, have you ever come to me as chairman of appropriations and tell me you needed help for your state and I have turned you down?' implored the Republican, who led the Senate Appropriations Committee until term limits forced him to step down this year...But last night, when the Senate voted to strike the drilling provision, Stevens did not take it well. 'This has been the saddest day of my life,' he said. 'It's a day I don't want to remember. I say goodbye to the Senate tonight. Thank you very much.'"
The only thing more disgusting than Stevens' attempts to set his opponents up for attacks on their patriotism is his pouting, "take my ball and go home," response when he fails to get his way. We can only hope the senior senator from Waaah-laska makes good on his farewells.

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