An Open Letter to Lisa Murkowski: A Cautionary Tale


Senator Lisa Murkowski
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.

Dear Senator Murkowski:

WC doesn’t know if you are disturbed by President Donald Trump’s actions as president-elect and now president. His obsession with the results in an election he won, his repeated lies and his gag orders on federal agencies that provide critical information to citizens may have given you pause. But WC does offer you a brief lesson from history.

On July 24, 1972, Vice President Spiro Agnew visited Fairbanks, Alaska. Agnew, with his speech writers, William Safire and Pat Buchanan, invented the attack politics that still plagues American politics today and contributed to Mr. Trump’s election. At the Fairbanks event, a local young Republican with a bright future was photographed on stage at the Traveler’s Inn (now the WestMark) shaking hands with Agnew. We’ll leave the name of that bright young politician out of it. The photo made the front page of the News-Miner. At the time, it was seen as a huge success for the bright young politician. Agnew was a hero in Alaska. He supported the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. In fact, as Vice President, he later cast the tie-breaking vote for the enabling law.

A year later, of course, Spiro Agnew plead no contest to tax evasion charges. He’d been taking bribes for years – the bag man was delivering the bribes to him at his office in the White House – and Agnew resigned in disgrace.

And that was also the end of the bright young Republican politician’s career. The photograph with Agnew was a fatal taint. That single photograph was such an albatross around the neck of the bright young politician that he dropped out of politics completely.

WC recognizes that the pressure to hold to the Republican Party line can be immense. But being too closely aligned to a sufficiently vile politician can also end a career. You hold your senate seat today as a consequence of your occasional independent streak. As the new Trump Administration bleeds from its self-inflicted wounds, WC suggests your best interests and Alaska’s best interests are best served by standing at a distance. To borrow the phrase of a disenchanted Republican, as the fecal lahars pour out of Mt. Trump, it would be a good idea to be a considerable distance upwind.

WC suggests it would be prudent to stay away from President Trump and his agenda. Not just because it is the decent, humane thing to do, although that should be reason enough. But also because the taint may prove to be Agnew-esque.

Respectfully yours,

/s/ Wickersham’s Conscience

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