William Kristol claims that Senator Jesse Helms’s departure at the end of his term represents “the end of an era.” We can only hope. Helms has championed an odious brand of conservatism that combines segregationist and antigay sentiments, contempt for the United Nations and a know-nothing attitude toward culture. His office once told Loudon Wainwright III, composer of “Jesse Don’t Like It,” that “if it weren’t for people like you left-wing, communist, radical, weirdo types, Senator Helms would not have won.” Not by much, though. And now it’s increasingly Jesse’s voters who are the radical weirdos.