I have a couple of thoughts on the Vegas Hillary pander. First, is Hillary's pander really any worse than Saint Obama, who the quoted article tells us is now “courting union workers at casinos and has calibrated his criticisms to declare
Second, this is a pander in the right direction. I worked in a Caesar's Palace casino for a spell and lived in the thriving immigrant community that had sprung up around it. Imagine duplexes filled to the brim with relentlessly cheerful, hard-working men and women, many of the homes decorated hilariously with gauche rugs and bucket chairs–flotsam and jetsam of casino renovations of yore. Also, sadly, picture privileged/spoiled middle-class twenty-somethings Americans complaining about Mexicans “stealing” their jobs, creating scapegoats to explain away the inconvenient fact that they couldn’t pass the requisite casino drug test. Sure, I recall some ugliness. But mostly what I saw was a lot of beauty and grace, people rising to their full potential. Some of them were, no doubt, the kind of people Mike Huckabee now would like to throw out of the country for setting such a very bad example.
I have no doubt whatsoever gambling is a net positive. None. I personally was sustained by the industry straight off a Greyhound with less than $100 to my name, picked up and put to work. I watched entire families who came to this country to escape abject poverty lifted swiftly into the American lower middle-class simply by virtue of their willingness to work hard and take opportunities as they arose. I watched casinos provide those opportunities, pay better than they had to and treat employees in a exceedingly fair manner. And I saw people far too stupid to have as much money as they did efficiently relieved of it. For most, I think the chastening did them good.
Oh, and I had a great time and met people I never would have met anywhere else in the world. Free Dr. Pepper, free popcorn and some longhaired guy in a wheelchair endlessly crooning Barry White at an empty 4:00 a.m. karaoke is a pleasure approaching the sublime.
Hillary Clinton, like most modern American politicians, is a resolute enemy of individual freedom. If she’s on-board with the casinos, though, pander or not, I’m not going to criticize. I can only hope her claim that she now accepts "any human activity" has some social cost that does not necessarily override someone's right to engage in it to heart. I would love to see some of that logic creep into the village she's building for us.