I’m getting cynical in my old age

I see that an another Republican moralizer is exposed as a hypocrite, and I think: of course, what else did you expect?

Nonetheless, it is probably worth noting that Bill Bennett, who has fashioned an extremely lucrative career out of being a national scold, apparently has a bit of a gambling problem. With the slots, no less. The next time you see him on tv telling us all how we should live our lives, imagine him, glassy eyed in front of the one-armed bandit, feeding it royalties from The Book of Virtues and The Death of Outrage, for hour after endless hour.

(Update) Choice excerpt via BushWars:

In one two-month period, the documents show [Bennett] wiring more than $1.4 million to cover losses at one casino. In one 18-month stretch, Bennett visited a number of casinos for two or three days at a time. And Bennett must have worried about news of his habit leaking out. His customer profile at one casino lists an address that corresponds to Empower.org, the Web site of Empower America, the group Bennett co-chairs. But typed across the form are the words: NO CONTACT AT RES OR BIZ!!!

Some of Bennett’s losses have been substantial. According to one casino source, on July 12 of last year, Bennett lost $340,000 at Caesar’s Boardwalk Regency in Atlantic City and on April 5 and 6 of 2003 he lost more than $500,000 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Some casino estimates put his total losses over the past decade at more than $8 million. “There’s a term in the trade for his kind of gambler,” says a casino source who has witnessed Bennett at the high-limit slots in the wee hours. “We call them losers.”