The end of an era. An increasingly more arrogant era, it's true (not to mention an increasingly more unconstitutional one), but also one in which science and infrastructure in Alaska were well-funded. Hopefully Begich will continue to work for us in this regard, and Sarah Palin's ignorance of how little things like fruit flies, for instance, can yield large results in medical treatments and other applications of pure research.
One thing that Stevens excelled at was knowledge of the Senate rules. It wasn't just a pushy personality, longevity, and good connections that got Stevens the dough, it was a thorough understanding of the rules by which the Senate conducts business. Understand parliamentary procedure, and you can clock your opponents cold and smile winningly at them while they wobble in the aftermath. (Sorry, getting carried away with a slightly extended metaphor, there.)
I think Begich will be good for us.
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