22 November 2006

The Rule of 21 and 11

During the campaign, I seem to recall soon-to-be former Representative Jim Holm saying that the only numbers that mattered in Juneau were 21 and 11 - the number of votes needed to pass legislation in the House and the Senate, respectively. He used the line as a reason Fairbanksans should vote Republican, to keep Fairbanks well-represented in the capitol. Soon-to-be former Senator Ralph Seekins made a similar argument.

Isn't it rich then that Gary Wilken and Gene Therriault now find themselves in the minority in Juneau and completely at a loss as to what to do with themselves? They've realized that senators can count to 11 and not even need to rely on Fairbanks at all (welcome to the world of bush Alaskans, folks). You can tell from the articles in the News-Miner that they're just sort of stunned at what happened, at how quickly the rug was pulled out from underneath them.

There's strong parallels in this situation to a Greek tragedy, I think (not to stretch any analogy too far or anything). The hubris of candidates (thinking only Republicans can represent the party well), followed by the first fall (the election results), followed by the final fall (getting shut out of the senatorial majority). Will there be any saving grace here for Fairbanks?

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