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Santorum Wants to Ban Gambling?

National Review’s Jim Geraghty wonders whether there might be a business-related reason behind casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s reported opposition to Rick Santorum. Take a look at what the former Pennsylvania senator had to say about gambling during a recent interview with Jon Ralston:

I’m someone who takes the opinion that gaming is not something that is beneficial, particularly having that access on the Internet. Just as we’ve seen from a lot of other things that are vices on the Internet, they end to grow exponentially as a result of that. It’s one thing to come to Las Vegas and do gaming and participate in the shows and that kind of thing as entertainment, it’s another thing to sit in your home and have access to that it. I think it would be dangerous to our country to have that type of access to gaming on the Internet.

Freedom’s not absolute. What rights in the Constitution are absolute? There is no right to absolute freedom. There are limitations. You might want to say the same thing about a whole variety of other things that are on the Internet — “let everybody have it, let everybody do it.” No. There are certain things that actually do cost people a lot of money, cost them their lives, cost them their fortunes that we shouldn’t have and make available, to make it that easy to do.

Santorum seems mainly to be talking about internet gambling, which I imagine Vegas casino moguls would prefer to see shut down anyway. But it’s easy to see how Santorum’s argument could easily lead to stricter casino regulations – and even all-out bans – if taken to its logical conclusion.

The question is, where’s the conservative outrage? If Santorum’s comments aren’t nanny state-ism in its purest form, then what is? If President Obama made the same remarks, the story would be getting the Drudge siren. Conservatives would be up in arms. Twitter would be flooded with speculations over what “vices” the president would try to clamp down on next.

If you’re a conservative and you give Santorum a pass on this, you forego any future right to complain about liberals taking away your Happy Meals and trans fats. There have to be consequences for these things.


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