Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was convicted of seven felony counts of violating federal ethics laws and unrepentant to the point of trying to retain his Senate seat, which he lost to Democrat Mark Begich. Part of his conviction was based on the underwriting of $250,000 in home renovations by an oil-services company owner and Alaskan power broker. Stevens' blatant corruption is therefore directly related to his former official position.
Regardless, the Senate saw fit to pay tribute to Stevens and give him a standing ovation. Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada was among those who sang his praises. Does it reflect well on the Senate to give this respectful farewell to someone who so clearly disgraced the institution?