HAIL, HYDRA! Cronyism Knows No Party

Written by S.C. Sherman on November 29, 2014

Conservatives love to hate George Soros, almost as much as Harry Reid is obsessed with the evil Koch Brothers. In Washington, there are enough evil overlords to create a whole new generation of superheroes. Much like the mythical seven-headed evil creature recently made famous by The Avengers, the Hydra, D.C. is the kind of place that is short on superheroes. It’s a place where Captain America doesn’t have an indestructible shield, in fact, he just might be the Judiciary Chairman.

Sounds incredibly boring doesn’t it? Well it is, until you discover the immense power contained in that boring title. The Chairman of the Judiciary Committee is Bob Goodlatte. He doesn’t wear a cape, he’s just a Republican congressman from Virginia. He’s not a flashy super-hero kind of guy. He’s the kind of guy that has a running total of the ever-increasing national debt on the front page of his official website.

Things like national debt and states rights may not garner as much attention as many of the other more exciting topics, but they have it where it counts. Our Constitution depends on simple truths and simple people, like Bob. I don’t know Bob, but from his actions he strikes me as a straight shooter, which may be to his detriment as a US Congressman. One of the powerful things that Bob can do as Judiciary Committee Chairman is decide what bills get brought forward out of his committee. What Bob decides has become of extreme importance to those who notice.

As in all good dramas, there must be an all-powerful nemesis, either an ideologue or a profiteer. It’s also good to use the word Mega in relation to this character. Megalomaniac and Megadeath are a couple good examples. Our story, which is no fantasy, has a man some call a “Megadonor”. He isn’t as widely despised as Soros or the Kochs, but you might find him in the cast of any Godfather sequel. Sheldon Adelson is a billionaire. Forbes says he’s the eighth richest guy in world. Let’s just say, Sheldon’s getting by.

Sheldon owns casinos. Good old-fashioned brick, mortar, dancing girls, and wise-guys kind of casinos. Actually, it’s the Sands in Las Vegas and several others around the world. Just like in the movies, people who own casinos know how to make problems “go away”. They know “guys” who know how to “fix” things.

One thing Mr. Adelson would like “fixed” is our interstate gambling laws. I’m stunned to find out that Mr. Adelson would like a ban on internet gambling. It’s for the children. No really, he said, it’s his love as a father and the dire consequences of internet gambling on children that moves him to push this issue of banning internet gambling.

It’s almost laughable. A gambling tycoon worried about getting the next generation of customers addicted to his product? Sheldon is doing what any good Godfather does…eliminates the competition. He just wants to keep his corner on the market, for his family’s sake, you know, the children. How is he supposed to control the internet? Al Gore invented it, but he’s no help. Who could an all-powerful rich guy turn to for help?

Thanks Alex, I’ll take Lawmakers for $100 million.

Hypothetically, of course, you could control the people who write the laws if, for example, you gave more than 100 million dollars to their campaigns. That might do the trick. Cold hard cash. Cronyism knows no party bounds as human nature is easily corrupted. So what are we the people to think when 100 million goes to mostly conservative campaigns and an awkward silence falls over congress as a 10th amendment squashing interstate gambling ban comes up?

Where did our powerful voices go? Our 10th Amendment champions? Pin drop. Silence. Enter Bob Goodlatte. Bob doesn’t really like gambling. Bob even proposed and supported previously laws outlawing online gaming, but he always kept exemption clauses in those bills allowing for states to choose their own fates. As much as Bob may want to outlaw gaming online, he really likes our 10th amendment and it looks like he might be the one to facedown well, Hydra. It takes some backbone to stand up to a billionaire casino owner from Vegas who just made a 100 million dollar down payment on the passage of a piece of legislation.

MegaSheldon’s spokesman recently stated that the “cake is baked” and this is going to happen, it’s only a matter of time. Pretty confident. I hope for Bob’s sake he keeps with the cake sayings rather than an old favorite, “He sleeps with the fishes”. A hundred million doesn’t go as far as it used to.

Bob’s not alone. He’s got a few super-friends stepping out of the shadows. Some even have big names like Ron Paul and Grover Norquist. They joined several other liberty-loving-leaders and penned a letter to Reid, Pelosi, Boehner, and McConnell, denouncing the RAWA(Restoration of Americas Wire Act) as an assault on our Federalist system. States should decide for themselves how to regulate internet gambling. No need for a big government over-reach.

Thanks to Bob and his friends, it looks like the payback of MegaCasino’s debt will need to come through more nefarious means. You can almost see it now at the next secret Hydra meeting. Some low level sidekick suggests, “Here’s an oldie but a goodie…how about we attach our little RAWA gambling scheme to the next must pass omnibus spending bill?” No…that would never happen.

That’s the problem with Hydra. Cut one head off, a bunch more take its place.

Image: http://ishcmcwiki.wikispaces.com/online+gambling


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S.C. Sherman
S.C. Sherman grew up a farm kid in rural Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Communications Studies. Steve is a business owner, and recently ran for Iowa State House of Representatives.. S.C. enjoys political commentary and great stories. He has written three fiction novels found at scsherman.com. He currently lives with his wife and four children in North Liberty, Iowa.