In Texas Hold’em the participant are required to ante-up to be able to play the game. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have done this. They have received their first two hole cards to begin the game. The betting so far in this Lame Duck Texas Hold’em session of Congress has been the following. The first bet played was Obama meeting with the Congressional leadership on Tuesday. The Republicans have seen the Democrats bet, and raised it on Wednesday with their letter to the Democratic leadership that no business will be considered in the Senate until re-authorization of government funding and the expiring tax cuts have been addressed. The Democrats responded with checking the raise by the Republicans and proceeded to view the cards that would be offered up on “the flop” by bringing everything but the kitchen sink up for passage by unanimous consent on Wednesday. The Republicans matched every raise by the Democrats by objecting to each unanimous consent motion. Millions of unemployed and over 6 million 99ers are watching this poker game closely, for they are the chips in the middle of the table. They have already been wagered.
Congress says they will continue to “negotiate” an outcome to the questions on what to do about income taxes and relief for the unemployed; I say they will continue to play the game. We will not know how fast the game will be played nor the outcome for some time. It seems that we still have many rounds of checks and raises that will occur before the outcome is known. We still have additional cards that will be put on the table via “on the turn” and “on the river”, so this game is far from over yet. What is disgusting is that the unemployed have been needlessly been pulled into this little game of chest pounding, positioning, and the outright gambling on the futures of millions of suffering Americans.
One can only hope that Congress is enjoying this little game at the expense of millions of people, their spouses, their children, businesses anxiously awaiting news that the unemployed will still have money to spend, decisions on future layoffs, etc. etc. etc. When one expects compassion, understanding, and action from their elected leaders and they get a game of “Texas Hold’em” it is no wonder that we are in shock at the childlessness that is being put on display. I must say that the Republicans are playing their cards very well so far by continuing to be the party of “Hell No.” As each player try’s to determine the other player’s “tell”, to try to discern if they really have the cards or if they are just bluffing, to review the strength of their own hand and the possibility of additional cards making their hand stronger or their opponents hand stronger, we sit and wait as this game gets played out.
Will the Democrats surrender their hand and lose the unemployed that they have wagered already? Will the Republicans go “all-in” and force the Democrats to as well? The one thing that is certain is that this game will be played for a long time to come. The distribution of chips on the table may have changed as a result of the midterm elections, but both players still have plenty in reserve to continue to play the game. Do not be surprised when the Democrats in 2011 adopt the Republican “just say no” strategy to any actions coming out of the new Republican controlled House, as the Republicans have taught the strategy well over the last couple of years. The real problem with this game is that there never seems to be a winner, just losers, and that is just a crying shame when we have so many Americans in great need of leadership instead of gamesmanship.