Monday, May 05, 2003
And so another right-wing scold has been revealed to be a hypocrite. This time it is the nation's "Morality Czar" William Bennett, author of "The Book of Virtues," "The Moral Compass," and "The Death of Outrage," and many others, who we now know is a huge gambling addict thanks to this expose in The Washington Monthly.
As the article details, Bennett has lost more than $8 million during the past 10 years playing the high-dollar slot machines in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Now we finally know what he has been doing with all the money he makes going around the country giving lectures at $50,000 a pop scolding "liberals" for their supposed failure to live up to his high moral standards. He takes all the money he makes and blows it all in "Sin City."
One big problem I have with this is the current proliferation of gambling, especially among Republican anti-tax lawmakers, as a way for state and local governments to make up budget shortfalls during the current Bush recession. Rather than raising government revenue through means that are legitimate and fair, they continue to push for expansions of casinos, slot machines, race tracks, lotteries and so forth.
So gambling isn't really all that bad, Bennett's conservative apologists argue. After all, they argue, it's his own money and he isn't hurting anyone else. It should be something between himself, his wife and his accountant, or so the argument goes. Of course, the same argument could be made on behalf of Bill Clinton and his sexual derilections, but that never stopped these same conservatives - Bill Bennett chief among them - from demanding Clinton's scalp on a stick.
The list of right-wing hypocrites continues to grow.... Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, Dan Burton, Bob Livingstone, and on, and on....