Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Does not compute

The numbers just didn't add up.

One has to wonder whether Alabama Republicans seriously thought they would end up in the Senate's governing majority despite having only 12 of the chamber's 35 members. Regardless, the ballyhooed bipartisan coalition supporting Sen. Jim Preuitt, D-Talladega, as president pro tem collapsed at the last minute today, and Sen. Hinton Mitchem, D-Union Grove, seized the right to succeed Lowell Barron as Senate leader. Sens. Phil Poole, D-Moundville, and Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, cast the swing votes in an 18-17 decision.

As Doc's Political Parlor observed, today's vote marks the third consecutive legislative session in which the GOP's hopes of gaining majority powers with minority numbers were dashed against the Senate's rocks of mathematical reality. Bipartisan coalitions sound heartening in theory, but they're rarely "bipartisan" in the truest sense of the word, and they rarely survive for long in the innately cutthroat world of politics. Today's 11th-hour reshuffling was just another example of that principle in action.

After the not-so-surprising vote, Alabama now transitions from a pro tem who condemned the payday loan industry after years as the owner of payday loan shops to a pro tem who sponsored a constitutional ban on gay marriage because he was upset to see two dudes kissing on television.

Time marches on, ladies and gentlemen.

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