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Eric Glave 266 Words ECO 2013 Death of Outrage By William J Bennet William J Bennett secretary of education and chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan captured the public imagination with the best-selling Book of Virtues a compendium of other peoples writing that had something to teach about morality In his new book Bennett advances his own credo of right and wrong and it is far less compelling It is a slim book with a correspondingly slim premise that the American publics failure to be outraged at President Clintons lies about his private life is evidence of our moral and intellectual disarmament The book has six brief chapters with the grandiose titles Sex first of course Character Politics Law Judgment and Ken Starr Each chapter presents an italicized Defense of President Clinton followed by Bennetts refutation of that defense Claiming to exercise sound reasoning Bennett sets himself up as the arbiter of morality and American ideals The result reads like a partisan screed Bennett is outraged because so many Americans are not outraged at the president even if they believe that the allegations of sexual and criminal wrongdoing are true Combining the words sexual and criminal is at the heart of Bennetts thesis and his linguistic sleight of hand Many people do not endorse the criminalization of consensual sex Bennett may not like this but that does not make him any more morals than they do One might argue in fact that it evinces a higher moral sense to distinguish between covering up crimes and a situation in which the only crime is the cover-up Bennett repeatedly refers to crimes felony crimes criminal conduct 284 words criminal allegations criminal wrongdoing criminal conspiracy and criminal cover-up accusation by accretion and repetition rather than reason Ah words words Bennetts language reveals a pervasive double standard Defenses of Clinton are the words of hired guns spinners and
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