People are fascinated by coincidences — usually misidentifying them as irony — such as the convergence of fate that saw former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska perish in a plane crash less than 48 hours ahead of the death of former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois. Stevens, a Republican, and Rostenkowski, a Democrat, were polar opposites on most issues. Yet they shared a love for and an expertise at operating Washington’s money-allocating machinery. Stevens chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee for more than six years. Rostenkowski was top dog on the House Ways and Means Committee for 13 years and one of the best deal-makers ever to set foot in Congress. Both were driven from office by accusations of wrongdoing, becoming symbols both of power and its corrupting influences. In a two-day span both are gone, a reminder of the truth spoken by the prophet Isaiah — all men are like grass that withers and their glory like flowers in a field, which fall.