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The End Of Don Young?

Over at The Fix, you can check out the details on the first DCCC ad buy of the '08 House campaign. Not a lot of surprises there --  they're planning to play very heavily in southwestern and midwestern states like New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and aren't dumping money yet into some of the tight New York races (like Democrat Dan Maffei's in Syracuse) possibly on the theory that these northeastern seats are more likely to just flip themselves on the demographics -- but there is one buy that should excite you: $586,000 in reserved air time against Alaska GOPer Don Young.

Of all the possible downticket upsets that could happen on November 4 while everybody's watching the presidential map -- Wyoming's House seat (formerly held by Dick Cheney!); the Kentucky Senate seat held by Mitch McConnell -- I'm most looking forward to the possible ouster of Young and his fellow Alaska porker, Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens, who's also endangered. I know, I know, guys like this make Congress fun, what with their total shamelessness: Who will taunt anti-earmarkers by chanting "You want my money, my money"; wave around a walrus penis bone on the House floor; or call environmentalists a "self-centered bunch of waffle-stomping, Harvard-graduating, intellectual idiots" who "are not Americans, never have been Americans, never will be Americans" if there's no more Don Young? Who will provide the instant YouTube classics if there's no more Ted Stevens?

But it'll be even more fun to watch Don and Ted pried, digit by desperately-clinging digit, from the seats they truly believe are their God-given birthrights. The removal of Don Young would be one for the civic textbooks, an illustration of the principle that you can't buy a seat in Congress forever, even in Alaska. If there's one House turnover that's worth pumping money into for its symbolic value, Alaska-At Large might be it. 

P.S. Sensing the symbolic value in a Democratic win over Young, the Republicans are also trying to boot him, running Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell against him in the August 26 GOP primary. Obviously, Parnell -- who gets to bask in the glow of popular reformer governor Sarah Palin -- wouldn't be nearly as delicious an opponent for Democrats. But don't bet old Don will go gentle into that good night. "I beat your dad," he sneered at Parnell at the GOP convention earlier this year, "and I'm going to beat you."

--Eve Fairbanks