On drinking

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By Tim Redmond

There are all kinds of sordid (maybe sad is the better word) things you can say about the 39-year-old mayor dating a 20-year-old. But frankly, I'm not going to get all agitated about whether she has been drinking.

I was drinking when I was 20. Actually, I was drinking when I was 17. I those days, in New York State, the law was 18, and not tightly enforced. And guess what: Nothing terrible happened to me. In fact, I'd argue that the sort of binge drinking we see on college campuses now is directly related to the foolish 21-year-old age rule. When I was in school, it was perfectly normal to go to a local bar and have a beer -- not 15 beers, just one or two. Now that a single damn beer is contraband, kids have more incentive to overdo it when it's available, and less chance to develop a mature relationship with booze.

You can get married, go in the Army and get killed, buy a house ... just about anything at 18. Except legally buy a beer. Pretty stupid.