Frist quits the game

by Lou on November 30, 2006

Ironic, isn’t it? Bill Frist announced that he is no longer a presidential candidate.

This is the same guy who tacked the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enf0rcement Act onto the Safe Ports Act in the middle of the night, so it could come to a vote immediately prior to congressional adjournment, with no discussion of the issue, and no recorded vote, just so he could secure the support of the religious right. He figured he needed their backing to sustain his presidential bid, so he twisted the legislative process to pander to them, and now decides he doesn’t want to run, which is , of course, another way of saying that he can’t win with their support or without it.

I personally don’t think Bill Frist cares about online poker one way or the other; he only pushed this bill into law by attaching it to the Safe Ports Act, a piece of legislation no one could or would vote against in, in order to further his own ends. And these ends come crashing down a scant month-and-a-half afterwards.

You think he might have done a better job of counting his supporters before he ramrodded this legislation through. But then again, I’m a poker player; I’m used to counting my outs. He’s a politician who’s believed his own hollow words for far too long to be taken seriously.

In a syndicated column in may of this nation’s daily newspapers yesterday, the Washington Post’s David Broeder, wrote about how the poker players of America along with the Poker Player’s Alliance were instrumental in the defeat of Representative Jim Leach (R – IA).

The head honchos behind efforts to put the kibbosh on online poker are running headfirst into walls in very short order. Congressman Leach was voted out of office. Bill Frist, who was eager to secure the Republican nomination for the presidency has painted himself into a corner from which the only means of extrication was to quit the game.

The two ramining four horsemen, John Kyl of Arizona and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia are still in power. But Kyl won reelection by a smaller margin than the thought he would and might have to zip his lip about online gaming in the future.

Goodlatte, who represents a safe district in Virginia won’t suffer any ill effects from this law, but the next time he stops and looks around, he’s likely to find himself all alone, with precious few allies and no one around who is willing to support any further repressive legislation.

The handwriting is on the wall, and it’s clear for all to see.

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