Poker has become a very popular spectator sport. If one has cable or satellite service, one can usually find Texas hold 'em being played on some channel almost any time of the day. The game is a variation of seven—card stud wherein the players have two cards dealt face—down with five cards thereafter dealt face—up. First, three at once — the 'flop.' Then one — the 'turn.' And finally — the 'river' card. There are opportunities to bet, call or raise between each of the dealings and after the river card. A few other details round out the betting and playing rules, but these are the basics of the game.
Now, as my esteemed editor has on more than one occasion pointed out, President Bush was a skilled poker player during his days at Harvard Business School. And whenever I become frustrated by what seems to be Republican fumbling and bumbling, if I take the time to think of what I see, hear and read about the political squabbles of the moment as a national political poker match, my troubled conservative soul finds a moment of solace. For those wily, wascally Texans are at it again! The Bush—Rove tag team must be laughing all the way to the next election.
Hold 'em would be a rather simplistic game but for the two hold cards. Nothing more than the luck of the draw. When watching the play on TV, the audience is shown the hole cards and the probabilities of players getting their best possible hand on the last card. One may then more fully appreciate the angst of the players as they struggle with their betting or folding. If one could see one's opponents hold cards, the advantage would be nearly insurmountable. And that is precisely what Bush is getting the Dems to do. They find themselves unable to control the venting of their spleen as the esteemed — definitely meant ironically — Mr. Gore did Wednesday. Little Green Footballs links to that same story but in addition offers a picture of the former V.P. that clearly illustrates his extraordinary case of policy indigestion.
An interesting inclusion in the myway.com Gore story are the pictures of Pastor Lyle Dukes and Bishop Harry Jackson, both African—American clergymen, asserting that Janice Rogers Brown must be given an up—or—down vote on the floor of the Senate. No nonsense, no filibuster. Thursday's Opinion Journal has a piece about the Rasta Republican, an on—the—street, in—the—'hood, cricket—playing black conservative in Los Angeles. Yes, cricket. A man who is one of the ten—member Black Elephants. What is this world coming to?
What is especially important to note here, is that Dukes and Jackson are religious leaders. And religious leaders still have substantial influence in the black community. As Mr. Krauthammer noted on Fox News' Special Report the other day, the Democrats had no problems with the Rev. Martin Luther King, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy when all their political stars were conveniently aligned and votes were to be had for one's association with Christians — even those of fundamentalist ilk. If anyone has lost touch with their roots, seems to be the Democrats.
The effort by Democrats and turncoat Republicans, i.e., the Andrew Sullivans, to pose Christian fundamentalism as a daemon threatening the foundations of the Republic is an attempt both misconceived and self—destructive. Mr. Sullivan's piece, 'Crisis of Faith', in the New Republic Online is, in my humble opinion and that of the Ashbrook Center blog, NoLeftTurns, one of the most lame things he's ever written. A 3,000—plus—word, full—length, feature compendium of argumentation by assertion. As reported by the Washington Times, another Democratic Senator, Mark Pryor, has climbed on the anti—Crusader bandwagon by voicing his concern over the impending flood of faith that is about to inundate our freedoms. And on it goes.
America's history of religiosity distinguishes us from the other advanced democracies. Some self—defined elites are discomforted by that uniqueness, and are supported by most elite media who share that attitude. Now, they are once again starting to show their cards.
Go ahead, Democrats. Your bet. Go all in.