11/27/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Opportunities That the Ted Stevens Conviction Offer the Democrats

Now that Alaska's senator Ted Stevens has been convicted on all seven counts, the question is, how do the senate Democrats exploit the opportunities it presents?

The most obvious first positive news is in Alaska. Mark Begich, Stevens' opponent in the Alaska senate race will be in much better position to win.

But every other Democratic senate candidate should be using the Stevens corruption conviction to not only tar the Republican senators up for election, but also to challenge those GOP candidates to publicly censure and cast out Stevens.

That means the Democrats in the senate need to initiate an effort to remove Stevens. This will put pressure on Republican senators to either react to a criminal or protect him. Since Stevens has been in the senate longer than any other Republican, this is going to be difficult to do, at least for some of the senators on the GOP side.

The Dems have little to lose with this. If the senate does anything at all to Stevens, it further tars the Republicans. If the Republicans don't jump to participate in any punishment the senate doles out, then they will be vulnerable, primed, ready to be attacked by their Democratic opponents for coddling and protecting a criminal. If they do support the Democratic motion in the senate, then they confirm and amplify the corruption pattern of the Republicans.

There's not much time for the Dems to put this into motion though. They need to make it happen within the next 48 hours.

Crossposted from