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Ted Stevens's Offense

Here’s a letter that I sent on Wednesday to the Washington Post:

Re Michael Crowley’s “Stevens’s Payback Moment” (July 30): I’m
delighted to see Sen. Ted Stevens face jail time for crimes he committed while
in office.  To charge him with concealing gifts totaling $250,000,
however, is the equivalent of charging a confessed mass murderer with
jaywalking.  If that’s the only way to bring the criminal to justice,
fine.  But Sen. Stevens’s most significant misdeeds – ones of which he
boasts! – are his decades-long success at directing billions of
taxpayer dollars to special-interest groups for no reason other than
the fact that he possessed the power and position to buy himself even
greater security in office by doing so.

Of course, punishing all the criminals guilty of that offense would depopulate Capitol Hill.