So, What _If_ Bush Is Drinking Again?

Mark A. R. Kleiman wonders aloud why it is that the media conspires to keep leading politicians’ drinking problems private: Should we care if Bush is drinking again?

Meanwhile, Dwight Meredith of Wampum has some interesting discussion of just what, if anything, might follow from a verified revelation that admitted-former-hard-drinker Bush has fallen off the wagon: XXV Amendment.

9 Responses to “So, What _If_ Bush Is Drinking Again?”

  1. Craig Says:

    So, people are really desperate enough to get their daily “Bush Bad” fix that they will now give credible consideration to the National Enquirer? Has it really come to this? I hear that next week’s issue tells about one of the Bush twins being pregnant with John Edward’s love child!

  2. jbc Says:

    I’m curious, Craig, if you had a similar reaction when the Enquirer broke the Clinton-Lewinsky story. Not trying to be snarky; I’m actually curious about that.

    My own initial reaction to reading this from the Enquirer was exactly the same as yours (as you no doubt saw, if you read the item I initially posted about it). But having looked into it a little more, I’m no longer so sure of myself. At a minimum, I think the Enquirer story is strong evidence that someone close to Bush (someone on the domestic staff, maybe?) has been willing to assert, in return for payment, that he or she was an eyewitness to the drinking and Laura’s scolding response.

    That person certainly could be lying. But it’s an interesting data point. And in conjunction with other evidence (Bush’s own history of statements about his drinking, his basic personality as revealed through his exercise addiction and his typical response to criticism), I think it raises the issue to a level that’s worth thinking about.

  3. enkidu Says:

    who the heck chokes on a pretzel and smashes their face up UNLESS they were drinking?

    who falls from their neato mountain bike and gets some serious road rash on their face – UNLESS they were drinking?

    what sort of moron can actually fall off a Segway – UNLESS they were a drunken idiot?

    all this hooha about bush being a teetotaller is like every other lie from these jokers, just like he is so good and godly… balderdash!

  4. jbc Says:

    Um, actually, as someone who has been using mountain biking as his preferred form of exercise lately, I’m willing to accept that the occasional case of presidential road rash is not necessarily indicative of alcohol impairment. I’ve never managed to get my face chewed up, but I’ve certainly fallen a few times and dinged up my hand, knee, and hip without alcohol being part of the picture. And I don’t think I’m doing as much biking, or as-challenging biking, as Bush is.

    Certainly there’s plenty of other balderdash in the Bush spin machine, though.

  5. Craig Says:

    It’s easy enough for me to say that I would never have given serious consideration to a story about Clinton’s infidelity if the story was just based upon an Enquirer article, but who would believe me after-the-fact? With all the long knives in the media and in D.C. that would love to expose such a personal failing to his Christian constituents, it makes no sense that the Enquirer is the credible investigative powerhouse that is given (or uncovers) this bombshell.

    Only in the movie “Men in Black” is this rag given so much sudden respect! That being said, maybe the next story is that Bush is an alien in disguise!
    Given some of the blind Bush hatred I’ve encountered by some people on this website, I think they would actually believe THAT too!!!

    John, I’m actually quite surprised that you really feel that AT MINIMUM, this story is STRONG EVIDENCE that someone with CLOSE access to Bush claims to have observed this actually happening!!! For all the pain-staking “connecting of the dots” that you have weaved together in other issues over the years to build supporting sources of information to some of your opinions, you are now willing to set the bar THIS LOW to suggest the likelyhood that he is drinking again?

    To me, based upon this one unnamed source, which is the consistent level of source credibility that this rag lives on, at MINIMUM, we have a person who has some connection to the Administration and CLAIMS access, who is willing to sell a bald-faced lie to a reporting staff with no particular ethical inclinations toward verification.

    You’ll have to excuse if I await some kind of collaborating report from another publication that hasn’t ever had a lead story that claims proof that JFK is alive and has been living out his life as an invalid on a remote tropical island.

  6. jbc Says:

    Heh. I’d believe your assertions on the Clinton-Lewinsky thing. I’ve probably got more to go on in assessing your credibility than I do in assessing Bush’s, and I obviously don’t hesitate to pass judgement on his. So sure, I believe you. You’re an honest person. I trust you. I disagree with some of your conclusions, but I don’t doubt that you’re to thine own self being true when you assert them.

    And I think we’re pretty much saying the same thing. Someone who the Enquirer has reason to believe actually was in a position to see Bush drinking, and Laura responding as described, has been willing to tell the Enquirer that they saw such a thing happen in exchange for payment.

    I’d read (though I haven’t confirmed with my own research) that the Enquirer doesn’t do the Weekly World News-style “space aliens are living in my basement” stories these days. They mostly do celebrity gossip, right?

    I don’t think the Enquirer has ethical inclinations toward verification. But I think they have powerful self-interest inclinations toward being able to produce, in response to libel suits, proof that the person they’re quoting actually did tell them what they say the person did, and that they had reason to believe the person was a credible source for that information.

    Beyond that, yeah, who knows. For what it’s worth, I think the evidence that Bush has used a hidden receiver to prompt him during press conferences and the Kerry debates is much stronger than the evidence that he’s resumed drinking. Neither one is proven, certainly, but I think the first is the likeliest explanation of the available evidence, while the second is merely an interesting possibility.

  7. Rise Against Says:

    Maybe that’s why he is soooo disconnected from reality, because he’s half in the bag, half of the time? No wonder he thinks everything is going just fine, he’s wasted!

  8. enkidu Says:

    I too mountain bike as often as I can… not often with two younguns… but living in N CA helps =)

    I have never wrecked (sober/straight or snotfaced/wasted) so badly that I had road rash all over my face. Legs, (esp knees) hips, arms, shoulders sure, but come on, scrape up your face so badly like that?

    jbc, you have scraped up your face like that before? sober?

  9. jbc Says:

    No, my face has escaped injury, so far.

    It’s just that from the anecdotal evidence I’ve heard about Bush being so into his biking, I assume that he’s facing the possibility of more falls than I am. But sure; throw it in the mix of other evidence in favor of drunkenness, if you want.

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