The IRS and FBI have raided the home of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the man (in)famous for the “Bridge to Nowhere” earmark and “series of tubes” speech. Sen. Stevens has proven himself to be an embarrassment to the Senate, and it’s not all that surprising that one of America’s worst politicians would be at the receiving end of a corruption investigation.
Politically, this is not good for the GOP, as Larry Kudlow points out. The GOP lost in 2006 largely based on the corruption issue, and keeping someone like Stevens around continues that liability. Stevens should have a fair chance to defend himself, but if there’s any evidence of official corruption, Senator Stevens should be cut loose.
The GOP needs to clean house before 2008 — it’s not good enough that the Democrats are every bit as bad, if not worse. The GOP needs to return to its roots as a party of limited government and fiscal discipline, and that requires ensuring that every member of Congress strongly supports those values. Sen. Stevens has amply demonstrated that he does not, which is why the GOP should fully and completely support any investigation that results and ensure that the rule of law trumps any political considerations. The GOP should have learned their lesson from the handling of the William Jefferson affair — supporting politics over the rule of law invokes the wrath of the voters, and it well should.