Political Human Sacrifice

I’ve been listening with a strange sense of interest to two LA talk-show jocks who are conducting a politcal human sacrifice. John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of The John and Ken Show on KFI640am have decided that they are so upset with the Republicans in Congress who they feel are not doing enough to enforce immigration laws that they’ve set to whipping their audience into a frenzy to oust one Republican law maker as a sacrifice. They have picked five “finalists” who were invited to come on their show and make a case for why they should not be made the sacrificial politician and 4 of the 5 Congressmen have appeared to defend themselves.

The contestants in this new type of reality show are:

Dana Rohrabacher
Darrell Issa (from Davis recall fame)
Chris Cox
Mary Bono (wife of the late Sonny Bono)
David Drier (who I mentioned in this post)

All but Drier have appeared so he looks to be the likely “winner.”

This all began when 12 border control agents rounded up over 400 illegal aliens in 3 days. Although this sounds like it would be their job, the powers in Washington thought differently and said stop. John and Ken found out that Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border & Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), had ordered inland raids on illegal immigrants to be coordinated through Washington which effectively put an end to them. They found Asa’s email address and office phone number on the web and started promoting that people who were upset with the stoppage of immigration sweeps should call or email Asa and ask why. It worked because Asa was flooded with over 7000 emails and his phone rang off the hook from morning to night. The situation got so out of control that a White House guy called KFI and told John and Ken to back off which only added fuel to the fire.

Asa finally appeared on The John and Ken Show to explain himself but he only made matters worse because he refused to answer ANY questions directly. He did the famous politician thing where no matter what question you’re asked, you just respond with an answer that has nothing to do with the question. John, especially, is like a rabid dog and he just kept tearing into Asa asking for him to answer the questions yes or no which Asa wouldn’t do.

Thus, a political human sacrifice was born. John and Ken said, ok, the Bush Administration doesn’t want to listen to the citizens of California? Ok, we’ll hand them one of their Congressmen’s heads. They specifically selected Congressmen who were in solidly Republican districts so that it wouldn’t be considered a fluke and they put it to their listeners to vote on. Out of that list came five finalists who were given a chance to come on and make a case for why they should not be made the sacrifice and all but Drier has done so. Issa even went so far as to organize a town hall meeting with Asa in which over 1000 KFI listeners showed up and attacked Asa and Issa in person. Bono, who had never heard of John and Ken before, came on for a 1 hour segment and stayed for 2 hours making her case.

Now, regardless of how you feel about the issue which they’ve chosen, I think it’s funny to watch the political process work for once. In the beginning many of the politicians tried to downplay it by saying how much worse it would be if they allowed a Democrat to take the Congress seat to which John and Ken (and their listeners) responded, so what! They flipped it back around asking whether any politician was willing to sacrifice his political career over this issue. They were willing to live with the consequences of electing a Democrat but are the politicians willing to live with the consequences of being booted out of office? For many, literally, it would be an end to their political career. To get canned in a heavily Republican district would make them unelectable for any office higher than dog catcher.

I don’t know, I just get excited when I see a politician get called on the “the other guy would be worse” defense. A very large number of both Republicans and Democrats get caught in this cycle of voting for this or that guy simply because the other guy would be worse. There’s no incentive for the politician to actually represent those people because they can’t vote for anybody else. The beauty of this move is that not only are John and Ken pushing for voting for somebody else, but they don’t care if the other guy is worse. They’re demanding that they get something for their vote.

Another twist is that Democratic candidates from the districts of those on the finalists list have been calling in to John and Ken promising to do a better job on the illegal immigration issue as a way to lure voters to their campaigns.

If you’re in LA, you should check this out to see how it develops. It should be interesting to watch.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.