There's been precious little good news for conservatives lately, but Monday brought a hint of sunshine. Sen. Ted Stevens, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, was found guilty on all seven counts of corruption by a Washington, D.C., jury.
The longtime pol failed to disclose that he received things of value—notably, construction work on what he calls his "chalet"—from an Alaskan company to which he steered contracts, and for that, he is legally guilty. But in a broader sense, he is also morally guilty for turning the public coffers into a candy jar and corrupting his nominal party.
My old boss Robert Novak is fond of saying that there are three parties on Capitol Hill: the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Appropriators. And while Stevens's conviction will no doubt play to the GOP's disadvantage in the coming week, his exit can serve as a useful and necessary reminder to Republican lawmakers that, in the words of Barry Goldwater, they have worshiped false idols.