Debra J. Saunders

It's so convenient. Under the anti-Bennett criteria, conservatives' personal lives are open to scrutiny, while liberals' private lives are nobody's business. Somehow, there was no hypocrisy in Bill Clinton's womanizing, when he posed as a committed spouse. There's no hypocrisy in journalists opposing the Patriot Act because it infringes on an individual's right to privacy while they expose the private pastime of individuals of a different mind.

But I digress. What I really don't understand is why Bennett's critics are enraged at what they consider hypocrisy. If it's wrong to extol virtue, it should be wrong to condemn a vice like hypocrisy.

Yet, there was the smug, disdainful and intolerant Slate columnist Michael Kinsley bashing Bennett for being a hypocrite, as well as "smug, disdainful, intolerant" in his support of virtue.

In fact, the Bennett story reveals an active jihad against moral standards in America. If Bennett never extolled a virtue, if he never commended honesty or fidelity, if he didn't try to live up to ideals concerning hard work and self-discipline, his privacy would be sacrosanct. Since he believes in something, however, he's a target.

There's no voice that sounds more "holier-than-thou" than that of a critic complaining that someone thinks of himself as "holier-than-thou."

Debra J. Saunders

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