Thursday, October 26, 2006

Making Me Sick

I've been trying to avoid getting worked up about politics this year, but new Reason-man Radley Balko's story about the internet gambling ban is enough to light a fire in the pit of my libertarian sensibilities. What's most disgusting about the bill is not just that it outlaws a perfectly consenual activity that causes no direct harm to others, but how it was passed:

In the wee hours of the last night of the last session of Congress, Majority Leader Bill Frist attached a ban on Internet gambling to a port security bill.

It was a dubious maneuver, which not only prevented any real floor debate over the ban, but also attached an intrusive, unnecessary, big government measure to a bill that addressed important national security concerns. This meant that any senator who held the position that what Americans do with their own money in their own homes on their own time is none of the government's business couldn't vote against the gambling ban, lest they risk being smacked about the head with the "soft on national security" cudgel.

How did we let it happen that THIS is how laws are passed in this country? I don't really give a crap about internet gambling per se, but the underhanded manner in which so many bills get through Congress removes any last bit of credibility the government had. Get them out.

Read the whole thing.


At 11:20 PM, Blogger Molly said...

That's a really great piece by Balko. I like his prose - simple and striking (or is it just in comparison to the other stuff I've been reading recently . . .?). Seems like he's off to a great start at Reason!


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