Hit me

Hit me
: So here’s Josh Marshall’s blind post: “William J. Bennett has made millions lecturing people on morality–and blown it on gambling,” says the headline in Washington Monthly. Bennett has never hidden his taste for gambling but he does it a lot. The magazine says he has lost $8 million.

“I view it as drinking,” Bennett says. “If you can’t handle it, don’t do it.”

Pass the bottle, Bill.

  • Shiloh Bucher

    So does this mean Dr. Marshall considers gambling to be immoral? Since when?

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    No, I don’t think so… but Bennett preaches about moderation as a virtue and apparently his immoderation is the sin.

  • Catherine

    How is he ruining millions of lives? It’s his money, if he wants to blow it, go ahead. I don’t see it as hippocritcal of his stand on things unless he wants me to pay for his losses, blows his children’s future gambling or blames his mommy for it. He’s not stealing and people aren’t going out of work because of him.
    Josh Green just has an ax to grind and doesn’t seem to know the difference between Clinton’s never taking responsibility for anything (which he says Bennett decried) and someone who says, “I play fairly high stakes. I adhere to the law. I don’t play the ‘milk money.’ I don’t put my family at risk, and I don’t owe anyone anything.” The documents offer no reason to contradict Bennett on these points. Bennett claims he’s beaten the odds: “Over 10 years, I’d say I’ve come out pretty close to even.” That’s a big difference to “I did NOT have sex with THAT woman, Monica Lewinsky.” “Define what IS is,” etc.
    Dems do just as much moralizing. They want to impose restrictions by law on the people for my “own good”. Whether it’s wearing a seatbelt, anti-smoking laws, making me wear a helmet when I bike ride or deciding to teach my children what they think is best because parents can’t be trusted. Bennett doesn’t do that, just talks about personal responsibility, but both parties moralize.
    They are bringing slot machines to Manhattan and Mayor Bloomberg lamented the morality. I wanted to puke. I just thought who the hell are you to tell me it’s immoral (personaly, I don’t gamble)?
    Josh Green needs to get a life. He’s the hippocrite, looking to dig dirt and waste ink on someone he so obviously hates.

  • The Dark Avenger

    No, Marshall is a rhinoralist.

  • Catherine

    Sorry, hypocrite. :)

  • Jeffersonian

    Apparently Bennett is aware of his weakness at the tables and has never laid into gambling the way he has on other issues. I wouldn’t call it hypocrisy, but perhaps more than a bit inconsistent.
    That said, I never understood the allure of gambling and how a smart fella like Bennett could fall into it. Pick yer poison, I guess.

  • Tim

    Like Jeffersonian, I don’t gamble, and I took just enough stats to know the odds are rigged for the house. That said, my guess is Bennett gambles because he enjoys the rush of a safe risk. He’s pretty clear that he doesn’t think his family’s at risk, and he’s pretty clear he thinks he’s in control.
    And, until events prove otherwise, those who would rush to judge him need to remember he’s a free citizen in a free country engaging in a lawful activity. Just as all drinkers aren’t alcoholics, not all gamblers have a problem. And isn’t that the real issue, as opposed to some politically contrived “hypocrisy”?

  • http://world.std.com/~mmcirvin/ Matt McIrvin

    The one thing in the article I thought was odd was that he claimed to have more or less broken even over the long run. I’m no Vegas high roller, but it seems to me that if you play slots and video poker, this is outrageously improbable. Maybe he considers losing at the standard house odds as close enough to even– presumably he budgets for it, if he doesn’t have a problem.

  • Kate

    I doubt that a young woman is going to end up undewater as a reult of Bennett’s pudgy paws on the lever of a slot machine. I think Marshall’s big problem is that Bennett is doing his gambling in the homes of tacky–Atlantic City and Las Vega. IF he was playing chemin de fer, ala James Bond, in London or Monte Carlo, Marshall would think it was classy.

  • Donnah

    At least Bill Bennett doesn’t go around calling himself “Dr.”.

  • Catherine

    Kate – Good one.