You’ve probably seen this, by Joshua Green, from the Washington Monthly, titled ‘The Bookie of Virtue’ and subheaded: ‘William J. Bennett has made millions lecturing people on morality – and blown it on gambling.’ About $8 million, the article estimates.
One imagines the $8 million could have gone to better causes. But it was his money, not ours; and, being a man of virtue – indeed, pretty much owning the virtue franchise – he gets to do with his money what he wants.
The problem with Clinton/Gore is that they taxed guys like Bill Bennett too heavily, crimping their ability to invest in new businesses and create jobs.* The rich are so much more prudent and productive with their money than ‘the government.’ Give the government $8 million and they’ll spend it on some fool thing like teachers or Headstart.
The good news is that Bill Bennett appears to be just the kind of typical American the Bush tax cuts are geared most generously to assist. I don’t know whether they’ll save Bennett the same $327,000 a year that Bloomberg News Service estimated Dick Cheney will save. Maybe more, maybe less. But however much it comes to, he needs it, he deserves it, and we can be sure he’ll steward it wisely.
*Although, unaccountably, 22 million new jobs were somehow created in those years, compared with the more than 2 million lost so far under President Bush.
And then there was this from the April 24 Baltimore Sun:
Fund-Raiser For GOP Pleads Guilty In Case Of Child Pornography
A prominent Republican fund-raiser who once said former President Bill Clinton was “a lawbreaker and a terrible example to our nation’s young people” pleaded guilty yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to production of child pornography.
Richard Anthony Delgaudio, who was sentenced to two years’ probation before judgment, admitted to taking lewd photographs of a 16-year-old girl he met in East Baltimore’s Patterson Park in 2001. In some of the photos, he was engaged in sex with her, court records show . . .
Nor, apparently, was she the only or the youngest girl involved.
And, finally, this last week from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Santorum Mailing Angers His Critics
Not long after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum sent out a letter asking for money for a nonprofit group lobbying against same-sex marriages.
“I know it may sound like a huge exaggeration, particularly in light of the attack on America, but this may truly be the most important letter I ever write you,” Santorum wrote. . . . “If you can only make one contribution to a political organization this year, make your gift to Alliance for Marriage today.”
So there you have the priorities of the third-ranking Republican in the Senate leadership. The terrorist attacks were bad – no question – but perhaps the most important thing he’ll ever write you about is the effort to forbid people like Charles and me from having the same economic and civic rights any heterosexual couple can have.
The good Senator, one can only presume, sees the world (as we all do) through his own experience. He may be deeply attracted to his male friends, and so, to him, it may appear that if you allowed guys to act on their feelings, they’d all ditch their wives and abandon their children and . . . and . . . and . . . well, incest, polygamy, man on dog . . . anything!
My own view is more sanguine. I think most guys are straight and actually want to be with women.
I don’t think that respecting gay relationships is going to cause heterosexuals to become homosexuals. Certainly, respecting straight relationships has not caused me to become heterosexual, hard though I tried growing up.
Yes, there are more than a few guys – Senator Santorum may be one of them – who could go either way. I don’t envy them that confusion, whatever Woody Allen may say. (He has said, in jest, that bisexuals have double the chance of getting a date on a Saturday night.) But I don’t think they are so legion as to threaten the procreation of this wonderfully diverse, relatively free society of ours . . . with liberty and justice for all.