Balko on Political Fallout from Gambling Bill

Radley Balko has a suggestion for Democrats on how to exploit the passage of the anti-gambling bill and I think it's sound advice:

Over the last week, some 10-15 million Americans who play online poker logged on to their favorite poker sites, only to get a message telling them that, thanks to the U.S. Congress, they're no longer allowed to play. The GOP just politicized a rather large group of people who heretofore were rather apolitical. And they skew rather wealthy.

Of course, we run into the same old problem: Are the Democrats any better? They ought to be. If they were smart, they'd carry this issue into the home stretch, holding it out as an example of a Republican Party that doesn't give a damn about indidual rights, and has nothing but contempt for the "leaves us alone" crowd. And they'd position themselves as an alternative, at least when it comes to matters of "what you do in your own home is your own business." It's a winner. The people who passionately believe in an online gambling ban weren't going to vote for them any way.

I think he's absolutely right. And it's an even more compelling argument because of the way the bill was passed. The GOP is violating your rights and doesn't even have the decency to do it in the light of day with a vote. The snuck it in to a port security bill without a vote, a bill no one could vote against. I guess that kind of underhanded thing is part of those "traditional values" we're always hearing about.

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The message they receive, can it include suggestions to contact their Representatives and Senators? And, since I am not a poker player -- online, anyway -- is there an on-line subculture that can discuss this? I have literally just finished an article on the Democratic Strategist about some cash problems they are having in individual races, and the questions they are encountering as to whether to continue to support all candidates or to pull back in some races.

Of course, we run into the same old problem: Are the Democrats any better? They ought to be.

Have the Democrats even *noticed* this issue? If they have I've noticed no sign of it.

To be fair -- Harry Ried's constiuents (he represents Nevada), are in favor of this bill.

That said, I'm surprised we haven't seen anoyone speak out against it.