The indictment of crooked, pork-barreling Senate Republican eminence grise Ted Stevens, of “Bridge to Nowhere” fame, is grounds for much rejoicing. But even better, Stevens’s top opponent in the six-candidate Republican primary set for Aug. 26 , Dave Cuddy, is a limited-government conservative who wants to bring the troops home from Iraq, not keep them there for a hundred years. A friend of mine who’s following the race closely thinks that Cuddy is a real hope for the right. I’m skeptical — Cuddy’s answers to foreign-policy questions in this interview with the Six Meat Buffet blog are wishy-washy, to say the least. But he’s better than Stevens, no question, and judging from his campaign website, he seems to be against the Patriot Act and Real ID. (You have to look under “Real ID” to find his opposition to both — his Patriot Act page actually leads to an evasive national defense statement.)

Here are a few excerpts from the Six Meat Buffet interview:

I more authentically represent the Republican philosophy of reform, limited government, and personal responsibility and have done so throughout my 28 years of public service. In the general election, I should better be able to attract the Libertarians, Alaska Independence Party, and Pro Life votes which will gravitate to the Third Party Candidate (AIP) Bob Bird if Stevens is the Rep candidate, and I’ll keep non partisans and Independents, which is where this election will be decided

You would have opposed sending troops to Iraq. Please explain why you would be opposed and how you feel about the current occupation/rebuilding efforts there. Is there a compelling reason to maintain, even minimally, a presence there?

It is easy to play “Monday morning quarterback” and see that our invasion of Iraq was a bad move for America. I would like to think I would have seen this as a bad move, but given the information at the time, I can’t be sure I would have seen through the faulty assumptions and bad information. Looking back, there is no question that the war is causing major trauma to our economy, our dollar, the price of oil, loss of life, and loss of image worldwide. But now that we are there, we can’t withdraw overnight. We have supporters within Iraq we must consider. We have made some progress in delivering Iraq to be a more democratic nation, and, having spent so much; it would be a shame to withdraw and lose everything we have done. I believe that “partition” is a possible method to speed our withdrawal.

Cuddy’s no Ron Paul or Walter Jones. But he’s no Ted Stevens, either.