Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Monday, November 17, 2008

GOP torn on Stevens

Ted Stevens has been convicted on seven counts of failing to report gifts he received. The race for his seat in the Senate seemed to be going smooth until his opponent, Mark Begich, jumped ahead in the vote counts. Now the GOP seems to be at a crossroad as to what they should do with him. Martin Kady at the Politco's Crypt blog wonders if the expulsion vote for Stevens will go forward especially if Stevens loses his race:

As Ted Stevens' vote deficit widens in Alaska, the chances diminish that Senate Republicans will bother to expel him from the GOP conference in a secret ballot on Tuesday.

Some GOP aides say Republican senators might not be in a mood to oust Stevens from their conference if it looks more and more likely that Stevens won't close the gap with Democrat Mark Begich, who now leads by more than 1,000 votes in the ongoing Alaska election recount. Vote counting will continue Tuesday in Alaska.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has been very public about his proposal to ask Senate Republicans, at a 9:30 meeting Tuesday morning, to formally vote on expelling Stevens from the Republican Conference, which would strip Stevens of all his committee seats, take away his seniority and essentially leave him without a party. Stevens would still be a senator, of course, but this conference expulsion would send a strong signal that expulsion from the Senate itself is a likely next step.

But the Alaska recount has thrown DeMint's plans into jeopardy, because Republicans might not want to be on record expelling someone who just might lose the election anyway.

"Sen. DeMint can raise it, but members might not be in any mood, especially since the election won’t be settled by then [Tuesday]," said one Senate Republican leadership aide. "I just don’t know what will happen."

A DeMint aide was quoted, saying that the vote will still go forward, and it should. Look, we're Republicans, but this is something that helped damage our side in the Congress. Those tied to Jack Abramoff, the Mark Foley and Larry Craig scandals, and now this. The Republicans in congress damaged themselves in letting these sorts of scandals slide, or they attempted to sweep them under the carpet.

The base is wondering how to restore the integrity in the party, and the expulsion of Stevens could be the first move. He's a convicted felon, and that stigma is just as bad as the Democrats having a former Grand Kleagle in the Senate. (For those unaware, that'd be Robert Byrd, and it doesn't really matter to us that he walked away from that decades ago. He was still in the Klan, and that should be a stigma for their party, but it's clear the Democrats will excuse almost anything.)

Stevens needs to be expelled, regardless of the outcome of his reelection bid. I know that we can ill afford to lose a seat in the Senate, but at this point there's really nothing that we can do about that. We believe that Coleman and Chambliss will be the firewall in the Senate. When and if Stevens is expelled, it will fall to Sarah Palin to schedule a special election to fill his vacant seat.

We firmly believe that this has to be done. And we hope Senator DeMint isn't swayed by those in his caucus to simply shelve this until it's known whether or not Stevens will win his race. The GOP needs to take a stand right now and show the base that they're capable of doing what's right.

Publius II

1 Comments:

Blogger knowitall said...

The GOP is not as torn as everyone wants them to be. Not as torn as the left-wing illuminati are. They won't even go to save their friends running for the Senate.

December 1, 2008 at 1:51 PM  

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