Lamenting the possibility that a loss in Alaska by Sen. Ted Stevens could pave the way to a 60-seat Democratic majority in the Senate, the conservative blog RedState nevertheless endorsed his opponent Monday afternoon.
For good measure, the blog, never a fan of Stevens, threw Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) on the reject pile, saying that both appropriators "have been a pox on the Republican house for too long - too addicted to the pork barrel, too fast and loose with ethics."
We stand at a perilous moment in American politics, with the real possibility that the Democrats could get to 60 votes in the Senate. This is no time for litmus tests of party loyalty, for abandoning our own. But we must make one exception: good conscience compels us to advise Alaskans to vote for Mark Begich, the Democrat mayor of Anchorage, for the U.S. Senate. And we also endorse Ethan Berkowitz for the at-large House seat in Alaska.
We have no illusions that Begich will be a good Senator (although perhaps he can bring to DC some bipartisan oomph to the need to exploit Alaska's energy resources for the good of the nation), or Berkowitz a good Congressman. But Ted Stevens and Don Young have been a pox on the Republican house for too long - too addicted to the pork barrel, too fast and loose with ethics. Stevens' conviction in federal court today is the exclamation point on an era in Republican politics in general and Alaska politics in particular that needs to end (and which Gov. Sarah Palin has been battling to clean up). Republicans need to clean our own house. Washington cannot too soon see the end of Stevens and Young.