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Posted by on Dec 28, 2011 in At TMV | 4 comments

Republicans Have a Gambling Problem (Guest Voice)

Republicans Have a Gambling Problem
by Tina Dupuy

We like risk and reward. The gold rush was as much a motivation to be a pioneer as was the more noted religious freedom. Poker is actually considered a sport. Yes, poker players are athletes according to the U.S. government. It’s the one sport you can train for while chain smoking in a tracksuit.

But like every wine connoisseur will think they have nothing in common with a wino; we celebrate gamblers but not degenerates.

We don’t like people who lose and continue to place bets only to lose again. But here is the Republican Party wrapping up their year as unapologetic gamblers with America’s fate in their greasy hands.

And they’re on a losing streak.

“Ten thousand bucks?” proposed Mitt Romney to Rick Perry on a debate stage earlier this month. Romney couldn’t have said: “You are lying, Rick.” Couldn’t have said: “There you go again.” Couldn’t have countered with the fact Perry seems to get basic civics wrong and can’t list more than two things at a time. No, Mitt Romney had to make a wager; a wager for nearly a year’s pay for a minimum wage worker.

But this is what you do when you have a problem with gambling. This is what happens when you pass that invisible line from “risk taker” to “intervention subject.” When you lose — instead of contrition or reassessing your philosophy or re-thinking your lifestyle – you double down and hope to win. When your policies fail you prescribe those same policies as the solution.

It’s like a homeopathic remedy; put a hot compress on a burn. Sell your ideas as a remedy for the turmoil your ideas cause.

For example:

The housing bubble burst the entire world’s economy because there were too few regulations. The GOP double down? Fewer regulations!

There are Americans who live with dirty air and water. It’s been widely documented that fracking has caused earthquakes and tainted well water. GOP double down? Kill the Environmental Protection Agency.

The rich have never been richer. Wealth inequality is worse in the U.S. today than that of the slave-owning Roman Empire. GOP double down? Protect all tax cuts for the wealthy and propose new ones.

Unemployment plagues America. Long-term unemployment is becoming acutely painful. GOP double down? Cut the federal workforce!

America is losing faith in their government. Republicans say government can’t do anything right. GOP double down? Be the most ineffective Congress you can be. Currently Congress’ approval rating is just above the margin of error.

When you double down — you lose twice as much — twice as quickly. And that sums up Speaker John Boehner’s tenure just perfectly. If Congress were an actual casino they’d be required by law to at least have Gamblers Anonymous pamphlets available. “Did you ever gamble until the deficit was $15 trillion and still vow to keep the Bush Tax Cuts? Call us.”

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” famously said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the beginning of the lowest rated Congress in the history of the institution. Which to me is the biggest gamble of them all. It’s the notion that politics is a Zero Sum game. That if Obama loses — the GOP therefore wins. It’s just not true. Who loses are the people who always lose when it comes to Republican policies: the poor and the middle class.

That’s who’s bearing the brunt of the first gambling losses — and now the double down.

It’s us.

© Copyright 2011, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Tina Dupuy is an award-winning writer and the managing editor of Crooks and Liars. Tina can be reached at [email protected] This column is licensed to run on TMV in full.

  • The_Ohioan

    The author, besides mentioning questionable results of fracking and probably mis-stating the wealth of slave-owning Romans, doesn’t seem to realize that the goal of Congress is not to aleviate the plight of the poor and the middle class; it’s to get elected and re-elected.

    This takes money and they know what they must do to get it; and they do it.

  • merkin

    So how can we get a Congress that is so dependent on money to pay attention to the poor and middle class who don’t have any money? Is it by voting for the people who use nearly every waking minute trying to figure out a new way to endear themselves to the rich? No, it is by voting against them. And who is most likely to be kissing up to the rich the Republican or the Democrat? Yes, it is the Republican that is more likely to be in the pocket of the rich.

    If that isn’t enough reason for you consider that the economic policies that this country has operated under, the policies that most certainly are to blame for the financial crisis and resulting recession, are the policies championed even today by the Republicans.

  • The_Ohioan

    It takes money to get elected – Dem or Rep – and it takes a lot more than it used to. Where does it come from? The poor and middle class? Doubtful.

    Dems are 9 of the top 11 richest members of congress.

    Doesn’t mean a wealthy person can’t do the right thing ala the Kennedys and the Rockefellers, but the current Sen. Rockefeller, who probably could finance his campaigns without any help, is avidly against EPA regulations on the coal industry in WV. Now who does that help, the rich or the poor? Actually both think it helps them, and the rich know it does. And he gets the votes of both.

    It’s complicated.

  • Jim Satterfield

    Actually, sloppy technique has caused water supplies to be polluted and the earthquakes didn’t get very much play in news in the U.S. because they haven’t been admitted to here, but have been by a company using the technique in the U.K.

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