Why Slots Are Better Than Pills


Ostensibly defending Rush Limbaugh in yesterday's New York Times, former drug czar Bill Bennett simultaneously asserts his own moral superiority:

That Mr. Limbaugh, with his advocacy of stiff punishment for drug offenders, would himself admit to a long-term addiction was evocative of the situation that Mr. Bennett was in earlier this year. One of the nation's pre-eminent moral crusaders, Mr. Bennett acknowledged that he had set a poor example by "too much gambling."

Nonetheless, Mr. Bennett sought in the interview to distinguish his own shortcomings from the conduct of Mr. Limbaugh, a close friend who has dined at his home…."Not an addiction," Mr. Bennett said of his own actions, as if ticking off a list of talking points, "not a problem, no therapy, gambling too much, stopped it."

It does not take a law or philosophy degree (both of which Bennett has) to see the contradiction between admitting "too much gambling" and insisting that it's "not a problem." If it's excessive, it's a problem by definition.

Perhaps Bennett means the only problem was one of public perception. But then he is admitting to forsaking his own sense of right and wrong so that other people will think well of him. Limbaugh might have some advice for him on that score.