Stevens Might Have to Jump Off a Bridge

Senator Ted Stevens (R.-Alaska) has an interesting dilemma. He now has to consider voting against his “bridge to nowhere.”

Liberal Republicans have stripped plans to permit oil drilling in ANWR in order to support the budget bill that is working its way through Congress.

Senator Stevens has clearly indicated how important ANWR drilling is to him. He refers to himself as “an old bull” in a recent press release that passionately articulates his position regarding oil drilling in ANWR. Today’s Washington Post says the Senator “will not agree to any final measure that does not include Arctic drilling.”

Senator Stevens also called himself “an old bull” when he had is tantrum regarding his “bridge to nowhere.” His position that day was that he would resign from the Senate if his bridge were stripped out of the bill.

Now the bill has his bridge in and ANWR drilling out. What will the Senator do?

Keep in mind this is the same bill that prompted more than a dozen Republican Senators to issue press releases bragging about the pork they loaded into it. What will they do?

Anyone else think this would be a great time for President Bush to veto a bill? His position could be simple; drilling in and pork out, or go find the votes to override my veto. If he did that while taking a hard line at the Republicans who deserve it, he would rally conservative support. More importantly, he would take control of the news cycle in a way that could only increase his popularity.