Steve G.

The Fall of Ted Stevens

In Libertarian on November 18, 2008 at 10:56 pm

The word is out, and it seems official. Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens has lost his re-election bid after serving since 1968. This is pretty implosive for the Republican Party. Even if he won, it would have been the closest win for him. One would have to note how surprisingly close it was after he became a convicted felon not long ago.

I will not focus on the federal conviction, the man, or his corruption. I will instead focus on the dawning of a new political era. I don’t say this as a good thing, being a Libertarian stuck in the perpetual election ditch. Let me try to explain what I’m getting at.

In the past few years, We’ve had the same old, crotchety Senators filling in the role of leadership of the party in control. This being the position of President pro tempore. History buff’s, or idiots with a computer (Comrade Theodore), will know that President pro tempore is the highest official position in the Senate, right under the now-legislatively defunct Vice President. This is the order since 1981:

Strom Thurmond

John C. Stennis

Robert Byrd

Strom Thurmond

Robert Byrd

Strom Thurmond

Robert Byrd

Ted Stevens

Robert Byrd

Anybody notice a pattern? Now Strom Thurmond and John Stennis are dead, Stevens is facing prison time, and Byrd is 91.

The question isn’t what will happen now, but what will happen in the future. As the old guard passes on, who will the two parties choose as their standard bearer? The GOP lacks seemingly sane or sensible leadership and the Democratic Party (in the Legislative Branch at least) lacks guts or purpose.

These parties lack leadership, and they lack ideas that attract people to them. The next few months and years will shape how these parties will work and operate in the future. They will either thrive or fall. Either way, My Fellow Libertarians, this is the time to be on our toes.

Thanks for Reading,


  1. The President Pro Tempore is in the line of presidential succession and can rule on points of order in the absence of the Vice-President, but otherwise it is a figurehead position. The majority leader of the Senate is the true Senate leadership as far as setting the legislative agenda. In no way is the President Pro Tempore the leader of the party in power.

  2. Yes, Chuck, but figureheads demonstrate the image of the day.

  3. Typically the President Pro Tempore is the oldest sitting member of the party in power. These Senators usually do wield a good deal of power based completely on their seniority and because they’ve been around long enough to chair important committees. However, their position as President Pro Tempore is completely meaningless. Harry Reid is the real leader of the Democrats in the Senate. Robert Byrd? He’s the crazy uncle they made King of the Family Reunion so that he’d shut up.

  4. I didn’t realize an aircraft carrier was President Pro Tem at one point. Must’ve been awful hard to maneuver in the chamber…


  5. Not to mention do flight operations…

  6. I was surprised they named them after Senators and what not.

    Chris, I’m not saying it’s a leadership position, but it is an image of the “old guard” of the day. As they begin to die off (or rarely lose election, as is this case) we all wait to see what generation will come out as the old guard.

  7. That one and the USS Carl Vinson, named after the Georgia Congressman, but both were because of their roles in shaping the modern Navy.

    The current carriers in operation or in work, class, and year built:

    USS Kitty Hawk, Kitty Hawk, 1961, to be replaced by USS George H.W. Bush in 2009
    USS Enterprise, Enterprise, 1961, to be replaced by NCC-1701 in 2245 (just kidding!)
    USS Nimitz, Nimitz, 1975, planned to be replaced by unnnamed Ford carrier in 2019
    USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nimitz, 1977, planned to be replaced by unnamed Ford carrier in 2023
    USS Carl Vinson, Nimitz, 1981
    USS Theodore Roosevelt, Nimitz, 1986
    USS Abraham Lincoln, Nimitz, 1989
    USS George Washington, Nimitz, 1992
    USS John C. Stennis, Nimitz, 1995
    USS Harry S Truman, Nimitz, 1998
    USS Ronald Reagan, Nimitz, 2003
    USS George H.W. Bush, Nimitz, 2009 (under construction)
    USS Gerald R. Ford, Ford, 2015 (under construction)

  8. I am thrilled that Ted Stevens was indicted, convicted, and that he lost the Senate race in Alaska.
    Good riddance.
    I have lived in Alaska.
    Face it, Stevens was a crook, and should have been indicted 20 years, ago.
    He takes taxpayers money, and passed it out by the trillions, and made your sons, and daughters, and their grand kids, serfs, to his uncotrolled greed.(Corporate greed at the core of the scams, and the PAC games.)
    To be honest with you all—–I testified against Ted Stevens in Federal Court(in AK in another matter)
    I would just like to say thank you to the Dept of Justice, hard working public servants who indicted Ted Stevens, we all owe you a debt of gratitude.
    Job well done.
    However, the let the crooks loose crowd will be crying for the Stevens convictions to be over turned on appeal, and that he never serve a day in prison.
    Lets hope that is fought every step, despite Stevens being 85, he needs to do about 10 years in the slammer, to get what it feels like for ordinary citizens, who he has impovershied for over 40 years.
    Let them eat cake was the Stevens battle cry, Ted’s cup is running over, now
    If you are ever in Alaska eat at the Double Mucky Inn,(GIRDWOOED) best food in the world, and it was near Stevens shake, the one at the center of the indictments.
    If my IP is tracked, it is because the Party of Ted is still in heat to get my hide to nail to its AK WALLS..
    But, he appointed Kozinski to the court, so more to come. Amigos.

  9. Ooooops, A typo, It should be the:
    Double Musky Inn, in Girdwood Alaska.
    Hands down, it is the best food in the World,
    Stevens has eaten there a few times, It was close to his Girdwood shack.
    Yes, the old guard is going, and it is none too soon.

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