If a US Republican politician’s lips are moving, chances are he or she is talking about getting the government off your back, leaving the markets alone to take care of themselves, or ceaselessly celebrating freedom, liberty and a dozen other buzzwords related to the cherished American ideal of rugged individualism. Problem is, it’s all bullshit. If these so-called conservatives really believed in what they were saying, 18 of them wouldn’t have voted against Barney Frank’s HR2267 legislation.
A nanny state is a nanny state, regardless of whether that state is considered ‘red’ or ‘blue’. You can’t decry government intervention as paternalistic, then turn around and declare that adult Americans need to be protected from their own desire to gamble online. Similarly, you can’t claim you believe in smaller government when your anti-gambling policing efforts require a massive mobilization of manpower and taxpayer dollars in order to be effective.
The most lethal insult Republicans can hurl at a Democrat is ‘socialist’. Yet by championing monopolistic government control over all gaming activities, they are advocating a position more commonly associated with communism. It’s a puzzling stance for Republicans, considering how they love to claim communism was vanquished by their demi-god, Ronnie Reagan. What, are you resuscitating the spectre of communism in the hopes that The Gipper will similarly rise from his grave and lead your leaderless party back to the White House?
If government control of online gaming is a good thing – despite the lack of competition leading to reduced options, and thus reduced value for punters – then why not socialize every industry? After all, governments always use taxpayer funds in the most efficient manner possible (think the Bridge to Nowhere and other thoroughly worthwhile projects). As political humorist P.J. O’Rourke so sagely put it, “’Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
Speaking of overcompensating teenagers, conservative American politicians who identify themselves as virulently anti-this or anti-that have a tendency to be outed as fervent fans of the very thing they publicly rail against. Which brings us to Rep. Spencer Bachus, who likes to say things like “There is a correlation between drug dealers and gambling sites.” Yes, Bachus hates gambling, but he defines gambling a little more narrowly than some. Bachus is an active player in the stock market, but he’s not quite the ‘buy and hold’ type. In fact, he once made $15K from betting short on a stock he held less than two weeks. He’s made hundreds of thousands of dollars from this type of short-selling, or as some refer to it, ‘betting against America’.
All of these above points are neatly summed up in this Forbes article by Michelle Minton. Forbes has clearly been improving their hiring practices since Matt Miller (who famously put words in Calvin Ayre’s mouth to fit his own preconceptions) moved on. We look forward to more of Ms. Minton’s views on our industry. Read more.