Sunday, May 04, 2003

Kinsley on Bennett

I think Kinsley hits about the right note on Bennett (as does Dr. Josh). The defense that Bennett never condemned gambling, so therefore he can't be a hypocrite, is silly. Bennett didn't just tell us we must obey Bill's 10 commandments, he told us that we should all be a bunch of moralizing assholes and that we should apply social pressure to things we consider bad - doubly so for people in public life.

I don't think that drinking, smoking, gambling, and eating are for most people such a big deal. Clearly, nor does Bill Bennett. I also don't think homosexuality is a bad thing, I think decent people (and not so decent ones including many of Bennett's pals) get divorced, and once in awhile people get a blowjob. But, Mr. Virtue is the one who has argued we should bring back the Scarlet Letters for things we disapprove of. When he made that argument he wasn't saying it was for things that he disapproved of, but as Kinsley points out he argued that we must "enter judgments on a whole range of behaviors and attitudes."