Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute hosts a weekend talk radio show on the most popular station in Denver. As I write this, he's discussing the revelation that Bill Bennett probably has a gambling problem. Eight million he's laid out in the casinos. Bennett claims he's mostly 'broke even.' (snort!) Caldara counts him as a colleague and political ally, and the mostly conservative callers are covering for Bennett, saying the story is a 'liberal media attack' and that the gambling is no one's business. That last bit is correct, of course. But none of that is the real reason this is an important story. I sent an e-mail to Caldara:
Here's crux of the matter, as far as this long time Bennett detractor is concerned. It's the hypocrisy of having a destructive vice, and when confronted he says it's no one's business. He's right. But when it comes to other people's vices, he isn't so lenient. In the case of drugs, he says 'get thee to jail, and quick.'
The bottom line is, Bill's vices are OK, everyone else with a vice can go to hell. Or prison.