How the mighty have fallen:

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was convicted today on seven counts of failing to report more than $250,000 in improper gifts he received from 1999 to 2006, a stunning blow to a political career that has lasted more than 40 years and marked Alaska’s entire history as a part of the United States.

Stevens, 84, now faces a question over whether he will resign, and if he does not, whether he can win reelection Nov. 4 in an already tough race. At first, Stevens showed no emotion, holding his stomach as verdict was read. But a few minutes later, it seemed to sink in as Stevens sat quietly, hunched over with his hands covering his face. Stevens, visibly shaken, did not take any questions as he quickly slipped out a side door of the federal courthouse and left in a white van.

Stevens could also be sentenced to as much as five years in federal prison, although considering his age and lack of previous convictions, is unlikely to receive anywhere near the maximum sentence. Stevens’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25, and Stevens’ attorneys have already told Judge Emmet Sullivan they would file motions to overturn the verdict by early December.

Stevens could also appeal the decision, but would likely to have to pay a heavy political price for such a move. Alaska’s Democratic Party has already called on Stevens to resign.

Stevens exemplifies what’s wrong with the Republican Party — they became addicted to power and control. The Democrats aren’t fairing much better.

Oh, and perhaps the Republican Party should call on Stevens to resign.