I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I enjoy crap television; this includes reality TV. One of the mainstays on the Masson TV lineup is Survivor. For those of you who don’t watch, one of the main show dynamic involves initially splitting the contestants into two tribes. For a period of time, the tribes are pitted against each other; the losing tribe forced to send someone home. Eventually, most seasons, the two tribes will be merged together. Then, each week, the new single tribe has to vote someone out.
After the merge, typically what happens, is the members of the old tribe with the most remaining members band together and vote off members of the old tribe with fewer numbers. But, inevitably, when the small tribe is no longer a threat, a faction of the remaining big tribe poaches members of the small tribe to gain an advantage over another faction from the big tribe. The closer the original tribes are in numbers, however, the more tightly they stick together.
I was reminded of this dynamic when reading Jim Shella’s note about how the Republicans in the Indiana Senate are treating the Democrats nicely. There are only 13 Democrats in that chamber compared to 37 Republicans. The Democrats are not even close to being a threat in terms of power and influence. That suggests we might expect to see Republican factions battling each other in that chamber. I wonder if any of those factions will seek to make use of the available Democrats.