2023 Man of the Year: Aidan Maese-Czeropski

December 29, 2023

When we envision the United States Senate in all its majesty—the Great Triumvirate of Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun—we picture distinguished gentlemen waxing eloquently from the floor of the main chamber, what the late senator Robert Byrd referred to as "hallowed ground." But it's in the committee rooms where the sausage gets made—and it's often not pretty. For it is here that senators pound out legislation, launch intrusive probes, and try to sneak in backdoor amendments all while climbing that greasy pole.

And woe to the Senate staffers who behind the scenes work tirelessly round the clock. One, in particular, was getting slammed at work. His name is Aidan Maese-Czeropski, who worked on Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin's (D.) staff. On one occasion, Maese-Czeropski and an unidentified male companion entered the Judiciary Room (possibly through a rear entrance) and engaged in what can only be described as a late-night cramming session. We know this because they took a video of themselves, which then got posted online. Needless to say, it was a real eye-opener.

Now there is a twist to this story: Maese-Czeropski also turns out to be the staffer who confronted Ohio Republican Max Miller to say, "Free Palestine," according to the Jewish congressman. But that, in itself, was not the firing offense. What eventually got Maese-Czeropski canned, we are to presume, was his indiscretion in using a Senate hearing room to ram through his own legislation—rather than, say, some storage space deep in the murky bowels of the Hart Office Building.

We could go on, but you get the thrust of it. Not to mention the irony: Had Maese-Czeropski engaged in such activity in Gaza, Hamas would have torn him apart. (No, not in that way.)

So for his cheeky behavior that will likely leave an indelible stain on the U.S. Senate and make that most magisterial of deliberative bodies the butt of jokes for years to come, we crown Aidan Maese-Czeropski as Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.