Last night on Hardball I didn’t get to say much about William Bennett. Chris Matthews was pressing Ken Connor, of the Family Research Council, on Bennett’s behalf, and didn’t turn to me much for a defense. Of course, Connor is right that gambling can have real social costs. In all these moral questions, it’s always a matter of balancing social costs against the values of privacy and freedom. As a society, and as individuals, we strike the balance differently on different issues. Gambling is legal. Indeed, the state in many ways promotes it. Bennett’s Church is relatively liberal on the matter, and Bennett is wealthy enough so that amounts that would matter more for most people matter less for him. Gambling may not be a virtue, but it’s not really a vice either–at least when it doesn’t harm the gambler’s family. Bennett’s critics have tried to trap him in a ridiculous all-or-nothing stereotype of social conservatism. There’s no reason why you can’t oppose adultery or perjury and gamble as well–even gamble a lot, if you have the money and know your limits. Bennett’s behavior was certainly nothing to brag about, but he kept it private and never denied it. With the spotlight on him (unjustly) he’s forced to stop. But that doesn’t mean the scandal was legitimate in the first place.
Fox News personality and National Review contributor Kat Timpf was forced to leave a bar in Brooklyn over the weekend after a woman she had never met became enraged upon learning she worked in conservative media. Timpf, who has twice previously been harassed while socializing in New York City, first described ... Read More
Given the spirit of our times, things could have gone so differently. On November 3, when Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch, saying he looked like a “hit man in a porno movie” — then adding, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever” — it was a ... Read More
Not everyone found it funny. Read More
Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Florida’s Broward County, does not deserve to be within a thousand miles of any election office anywhere in these United States. She should be fired at the earliest possible opportunity. Snipes has held her position since 2003, in which year her predecessor, ... Read More
Almost nothing is discussed as badly in America or Europe as the subject of immigration. And one reason is that it remains almost impossible to have any sensible or rational public discussion of its consequences. Or rather it is eminently possible to have a discussion about the upsides (“diversity,” talent, ... Read More
Just before the election, an Andrew Gillum intern named Shelby Shoup was arrested and charged with battery after assaulting some college Republicans on the campus of Florida State University. It was rather less exciting than that sounds: She went on a rant about “Nazis” and “fascism” — Gillum’s ... Read More