Poet T.S. Eliot postulated that the world would go out not with a bang but with a whimper. That’s how Alaska Senator Ted Stevens’ political world ended two full weeks after the election, when Anchorage absentee ballots gave Democrat Mark Begich an insurmountable lead over the longest serving Republican in today’s Senate.

To whimper is hardly Ted’s style. So far he has said not a word about his defeat, nor has he called to congratulate Begich. When he does, let’s hope his tone is more conciliatory than outraged. The Associated Press reports his combative attitude sealed his fate in court. Apparently he’s one of the many defendants who are better off not taking the stand in their own defense.

Ted’s legacy doesn’t need to end with a whimper. A memoir reflecting on his years in Congress, assessing his triumphs and follies, would have a whole lot more substance than a Sarah Palin memoir. He might not get a seven million dollar advance, but writing it would be good for the soul.

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