"Having spent months manufacturing procedural delays or conjuring political melodrama, Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday could no longer stave off the inevitable: Italy’s senate stripped him of his parliamentary seat, a dramatic and humiliating expulsion, even as other troubles loom on his horizon. In the hours before the vote, Italian senators read speeches for or against Mr. Berlusconi, the once-powerful former prime minister. Mr. Berlusconi responded with an outdoor rally in central Rome, transforming the day into a televised, split-screen standoff: on one screen was the former prime minister, declaring himself a victim of persecution and pledging to remain a political force; on the other, the Italian senate, with a majority of rival politicians, who finished their speeches and lowered the boom." This would also strip him of the immunity that most lawmakers have, setting him up for a long legal battle that will likely consume the twilight years of his life. How poetic.