Internet Gambling Bill Is an Outrage
After so masterfully combining delicate tact and medical expertise in his handling of the Terri Schiavo case, Sen. Bill Frist is again demonstrating his political incompetence and disgusting paternalism, by attempting to surreptitiously eliminate the ability of private citizens to use credit cards in funding their online gaming accounts.
I am not quite sure on which count Frist fails most miserably: acting on the paternalistic mindset in which government officials such as he tell you what is and isn’t morally acceptable, or the cowardly way in which he hides his intended legislation behind a bill authorizing U.S. military operations.
A reasonable question regarding Frist’s attempt to piggyback anti-gambling legislation to military authorization bill HR 5122 is this: What do online poker (and other forms of gambling) have to do with U.S. military operations? Answer: absolutely nothing!
One may be tempted to give our God-fearing Senate majority leader the benefit of the doubt initially (after all, many politicians tack on free riders to bills), but it becomes more difficult when you examine the startling results of a recent CNBC poll. The online poll found that 91 percent of Americans feel that online gambling should be legalized, while nine percent believe it should be illegal.
Put another way, a slight majority (sarcasm mine) think that the government has no business telling Americans that they cannot gamble online. Is it a coincidence, then, that Frist is attempting to minimize the amount of public scrutiny that this piece of legislation receives?
Perhaps the Tennessee Senator realizes that in order to pass this bill, he must do his best to keep the proposed legislation out of the media spotlight. It is unfortunate that American citizens must carry the burden of constantly monitoring their elected officials to make sure that they do not pass edicts in such an underhanded manner.
While Frist’s method of achieving his aims is certainly unpalatable, I find his overall political philosophy on this issue to be more repulsive and, honestly, quite scary.
Frist and his conservative Republican cohorts seem to think that certain forms of online gambling are detrimental to the overall welfare of society and should be banned. Nevermind that over nine-tenths of the country feels differently. This wing of the Republican party feels more committed to protecting ‘family values’ than to honoring the sacred principles of individual liberty and freedom upon which our nation was founded.
There are so many reasons why online gambling