Saturday, December 19, 2009

Once you pay the Danegeld...

Long ago, in the nation that eventually gave birth to an empire so large the sun never set upon it, a king was faced with a dilemma: his land was being raided, his people killed, and whatever wealth they had with them stolen. There were two culprits, the Vikings from the north, and the Danes from the south.

The Vikings never made any demands or offers--they just burned, murdered, raped, and pillaged (not necessarily in that order). The Danes, on the other hand, sent messengers to the king with an offer: pay us tribute, and we will leave your shores.

The king bowed to their demand. And paid. The next year, he was forced to pay a little more. And a little more.

His successor stopped the payments. When the Danes sent to him with the same demand, he turned them away, saying "Once you pay the Danegeld [the tribute-bribe to keep them from killing the people], you're never rid of the Dane." And then he drove both Vikings and Danes away, at least for his reign.

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson stood against mandatory Medicaid. And then those who wish to rape and pillage this nation's economy and enslave her people threatened his state: the closing of the Offutt military base in Nebraska would destroy about 10,000 jobs in a state with a relatively small population. The Danes in our own government offered to keep the base open if he'd just go along and give them what they want.

Well, he's decided to pay the Danegeld. The next thing they demand of him will go against his personal morals a little more. And then a little more. They'll know that they can force him to do their will, so long as they leave his little kingdom alone. He'll never be rid of the Dane.


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