I have written about the Bennett gambling fiasco here, here, and here. I shouldn’t have wasted my time, and instead should have just directed you to Arthur Silber’s joint, because he says everything I wanted to the way I wanted to.
So when the question of hypocrisy is raised in connection with the recent revelations, most people are viewing the issue precisely backwards. It obviously isn’t the case that Bennett railed against the evils of gambling, while privately gambling away millions of dollars. What is notable is that Bennett did not rail against the “private” behavior of gambling — while at the same time, he did rail against the sins of drug use, the strong inadvisability (in his view) of legal recognition of same-sex marriage, and other similar “sins.” And the point is simply this: if you proceed from a consistent recognition of individual rights, there is no principled method by which to distinguish among these various behaviors — and, again, unless someone violates the rights of others, these behaviors should be outside the bounds of governmental concern altogether.
But it is Bennett himself who advocates government intrusion into what ought to be private concerns. Because he has no principled approach to these matters, however, he advocates governmental regulation of those behaviors he personally views as “wrong,” while exempting those behaviors of which he approves. And we now find out that he also exempts those behaviors that he himself engages in. As someone might say: how convenient.
Just beautiful. Go read the whole thing and hit his tip jar.