23 November 2006

At what cost? Part II

When I asked a few days ago, what the cost of the cross-party majority in the senate was, I mostly focused on what it meant for Democratic-leaning folks to trade having Bert Stedman as Finance co-chair and Lyda Green as senate president for a few committee chairmanships.

But the more I think about it, the more I think it's the Republicans who are getting the raw end of this deal. Now that Joe Thomas has joined the majority, it's basically the Democrats, plus a few Republicans, who are running the senate, not, as I had originally seen it, Republicans and a few Democrats. It's Lyda Green who's selling her soul to get the job she's always wanted and Democrats freely taking it because of the power it brings with it.

Surely the Republican party doesn't like this. Surely the left-in-the-cold Republican senators are going to say, "Wait a sec - why don't we caucus together, elect Lyda president ourselves, and keep the committee chairmanships." If Green is going to be president regardless, why not have her be elected by a Republican majority? Surely Gary Wilken can see that it's better to have Green as president and himself as Finance co-chair than it is for Green to be president and himself not to be Finance co-chair.

The sticking point here is the strength of the deal between Green and the Democrats. If made such an offer, could Green just walk away from the majority she's already constructed and return to the Republican fold?


First Alaskan Man said...

I think that for the sake of posterity, Lyda will stay the course. She will be known as the one who brought the two parties together. In this regard, her coin will increase in fact and in clout. I have to remind myself this lady is 68 years of age. Without wanting to sound cynical, there might be an eye toward the legacy of Lyda Green, by Lyda Green. Should she plan on this being her last term of service, it is indeed a fitting tribute. Her reputation has been one of pro-urban stances at the expense of Rural Alaska. Should she decide not to run another term, her endorsement will have the Republican Party front and center, hat in hand, ready to do her bidding. More then anything, I suspect this is a public whipping on Randy Ruedrich. Thanks to Sarah Palin and folks like Lyda stepping up to the plate, they are showing that the party is about people, not a party.
I smile as I write this as the vision of Randy Ruedrich wringing his hands and whining on everyone strikes me as funny. Forgive me my excess but Randy Ruedrich; it would appear, just found that his stock is worthless.

Anonymous said...

You're correct that Interior Republicans are the initial losers in this coalition majority. However, we'll have to see if Lyda Green will really stick with the Democrats. The six Republicans in the majority are the same ones who were diehard Murkowski and industry supporters in the fight over PPT and the gas line contract. My guess is in the long run, moderate Democrats will find themselves being pushed aside. Maybe they will prove me wrong, but these were not Republicans who struck me as willing to compromise.