JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS

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Saturday, May 03, 2003
 
Well, actually, Andrew...

Andrew Sullivan defends William Bennett today, writing that "What, I ask myself, has he conceivably done wrong? He has done nothing illegal. He has done nothing hypocritical. Only in the minds of a few religious fanatics, has he done anything immoral."

Well, you don't have to be a religious fanatic to believe that gambling is immoral. It can be well argued (and it *has* been well argued) that legalized gambling like casinos and the lottery exploits the poor. (And, if one wants to quote the big Book of Virtues, "He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he." Proverbs 14:21.)

But, as Atrios has alerted us, Bennett's erstwhile poker games with William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Robert Bork are indeed illegal and punishable by up to five years in jail.

No, of course, I don't think Bennett should go to jail for playing poker with his friends. However, we should remember, that this crime is more than Kenneth Starr found on President Clinton after investigating Whitewater, Filegate, and all the rest. Bennett loved going to town on President Clinton. For what? For even less.

Sullivan wants us to respect Bennett's privacy. Bennett has done nothing *really* wrong -- we should all let it go. I cannot agree. Bennett knows better than anyone else the warning about judging others yest ye be judged.

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