In 2008, during his sixth term as a Republican senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens was indicted for failing to report a number of gifts, mostly in the form of renovations to a small house he owned. Stevens was convicted in October. Two weeks later, he lost his senate seat to Democrat Mark Begich by fewer than 4,000 votes out of more than 300,000. Nothing in history is quite certain—except this: If Stevens hadn’t been convicted, he would have won. And, had Stevens won, then, in the critical Senate vote of December 23, 2010, he would have denied Harry Reid and Senate Democrats the sixtieth vote they needed to move cloture—and enact Obamacare.