Payback: It’s a Good Thing!

Josh Marshall on William Bennett’s recent difficulties with them gamblin’ demons, and how “the chorus of defenses of Bennett ring rather hollow”:
“…I don’t really care that much about gambling one way or another. But I think it’s entirely appropriate to report that Bennett is such a big-time gambler even if it would be inappropriate or simply irrelevant to report such information about most others. The reason, I think, scarcely requires explanation: Bennett spent the last dozen or more years not only being a big hawker of ‘morality,’ but also a prime advocate of the proposition that there is an unbroken thread connecting our private habits to our public selves and that we — the media, the chatterers, everyone — should happily pull on that thread and see what we find.
…This isn’t a matter of payback or two wrongs making a right, just treating Bennett to the standard he’s made a living off setting for everyone else.”

Um, Josh, it sounds like payback is exactly what you are endorsing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But if you’re arguing that Bennett’s previous actions single him out as being deserving of particular special treatment for his current offense — well, I suppose you could call it “justice”, but I think payback works just fine as an accurate description too.
Now, I happen to think Bennett deserves exactly what he gets in this area, but I have no qualms about admitting that “treating Bennett to the standard he’s made a living off setting for everyone else” and “payback” are, in fact, the same thing in this case…