Why John McCain playing poker is NOT a big deal

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 04, 2013 Posted in Op-Ed | No Comments »

Senate Holds Hearing On The State Of VideoSo apparently John McCain likes to play a little poker, even if it’s only a play-money game on his iPhone during a Senate hearing about possible military action in Syria. And I have to be honest, this really pisses me off, but not for the reason you might be thinking, which I will now explain.

I wouldn’t even know about this story except for the fact that I subscribe to multiple Google Alerts for poker search terms, and McCain pretty much broke the thing today. So while I was busy wasting my time opening dozens of E-Mails detailing Senator McCain’s transgressions in a senate hearing I started to get pretty ticked off.

If you don’t subscribe to Google Alerts or haven’t turned on a TV today here is what happened:

A Washington Post photographer caught the senior Senator from Arizona playing a game of poker on his iPhone, and as soon as the news hit the Internet all hell broke loose.

McCain sent out a sarcastic, joking, tweet soon after the story broke, but it did little to quell the faux outrage:

Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing – worst of all I lost!

McCain later appeared on CNN and laughed off the accusation once again, admitting that he was bored and playing a game on his iPhone, and delivered one of the better lines of 2013, which was absolutely dripping with sarcasm:

“Well, as much as I like to always listen in rapt attention constantly with remarks of my colleagues over a three-and-a-half hour period, occasionally I get a LITTLE bored, and so I resorted–but the worst thing about it is, I lost thousands of dollars in this game.”

Here is why this is not a big deal at all. If you follow politics close enough you know that senate hearings have a few serious questioners and the rest of the time is wasted with people trying to spout their party’s talking points or pretend like their knowledge of the subject goes beyond the 15 minute briefing a staffer just gave them.

Also, let’s not kid ourselves here; if you don’t know which way McCain is going to vote on this issue then you’ve been living in an underground bunker since the Y2K scare. There is nothing that could have been said, and no argument that could have been made to change McCain’s mind.

If you’re upset by this just realize that it’s not uncommon for members of Congress to skip these hearings or simply show up just to fill a seat. Take a good look at CSPAN some afternoon when some Senator or Congressperson is giving a fiery speech to… NOBODY!

The real takeaway from this “mini-scandal” is that it’s quite likely Senator McCain might actually be one of the YES votes for online poker legislation.


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