by John Hawkins | May 6, 2003 7:38 pm
Bill Bennett’s Enron Experience: I’ve been mildly amused by the whole Bill Bennett gambling controversy because it reminds me of the W’s “Enron experience.” In W’s case, you had a bunch of Democrats endlessly repeating the worlds, “Bush, Enron, & scandal” while hoping something would stick. Now, we have a bunch of leftie columnists breathlessly writing “Bennett, gambling, & hypocrisy” while dreaming that it’ll catch on. Same schtick, different day.
Even the people slamming Bennett will for the most part admit that they don’t have anything of substance. Bennett was gambling legally, he hadn’t slammed gambling in the past, & I haven’t heard anyone offer any evidence that Bennett has been unable to financially handle his losses…if there are any (Bennett says he has broken even).
But the scandal is supposed to be….well, I’m not sure exactly. What is the scandal supposed to be? I’ve seen a lot of mentions of Bennett’s “Book of Virtues”, but I’m not sure what that has to do with anything. If you’ve ever read the book (and I have), it’s nothing but a collection of stories and poems that laud self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, & faith. That’s hardly controversial…well unless a Conservative is saying them in which case you might find a few contrarian leftists who would willing to put in some kind words for cruelty, treachery, & sloth just to show how different they are from the right.
I’ve also seen a bit of whining that Bennett is a “moralist”, as if there’s anyone who isn’t in some form or fashion. Ask someone who gets all upset about Bennett whether abortion, Affirmative Action, & welfare are morally right and you’ll get an earful.
Personally, I couldn’t care less if Bennett gambles, even if it’s for high stakes. It’s not something I’d do, but then I probably wouldn’t be interested in collecting cars, owning the Oakland Raiders, or some of the other things people with truckloads full of extra cash spend it on. If you have the money and that’s your thing, so be it. Anyway, soon this will all blow over unless Bennett gets caught watching an “R” rated movie, uses the word “niggardly” on Crossfire, or commits some similar oversight that the left can feign outrage over.
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