Bush as a Dry Drunk
October 26, 2002 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Bush as a Dry Drunk Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded.
posted by adamms222 (66 comments total)
 
I hear he's also a fan of pretzel logic.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:06 PM on October 26, 2002


When does partisanship give way to objectivity? Or does it ever? It's interesting to me that my own personal historical opinion of past presidents is only clouded by partisanship as far back as I was consciously aware of their term of office. I hold my own opinions of Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush the Sequel because I lived through them. Farther back than that though, I gauge a president's effectiveness based on what history thought, and that history, found in the textbooks mostly, usually speaks with one voice, with both the right and left channels mixed into monophonic.

Where does that national consensus come from? Who decides, in the end, whether our children and grandchildren see GWB as a great leader or bully dullard?

at the end of a presidency, do we all take a deep breath and say "okay, now that it's a moot point, yeah, he was really bad. Thank god there's this new guy" or will Republicans stand behind him even after there are more intelligent and worthy leaders at the point of the GOP's blade?

As an example, I'd probably have supported Carter 100% against Reagan in 1980, but now I'd freely admit that his talents didn't particularly lie in his presidential acumen. Is this polarization inherent in a two-party system mirroring the 'with us or against us' polarization we fear so much in our sitting president?
posted by kfury at 3:33 PM on October 26, 2002


Having been a reader of James Lee Burke I am very grateful to have a definition of dry drunk, which is a recurring theme.
I had assumed Bush is the way he is because he is spoilt brat and is a bit dull to boot, I did not think being a "dry drunk" was an issue, still don't.
When he was elected, there was a very good, long article, by someone famous, I forget who, who said Bush's major problem would be that he is a white knuckler. That is, he just gave the drink up, with no support. Apparently this is a very bad move and can lead to very irrational behaviour. It also appears that those who jump on the wagon in this manner are apt to fall very noisily off it. Particularly when stressed.
There is an article here relating to it, but not the actual one.
Stinking thinking ? what kind of a gobshite phrase is that? It's no wonder he is going it alone.
posted by Fat Buddha at 3:57 PM on October 26, 2002


Unfortunately, there are some indications of paranoia in statements such as the following: "We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends

Yeah, that's really paranoid, especially after 9/11.

The trait of projection is evidenced here as well, projection of the fact that we are ready to attack onto another nation which may not be so inclined.

Yeah, Al Qaeda has an aversion to attacking western nations and Iraq has never shown any inclination to attack another nation.

Bush's rigid, judgmental outlook comes across in virtually all his speeches.... Bush's tendency to dichotomize reality is not on the Internet list above, but it should be

Politicians never paint things as black and white. Bush is the first.

President Bush seems unduly focused on getting revenge on Saddam Hussein ("he tried to kill my Dad") leading the country and the world into war, accordingly.

Yeah, there's no other reasons. Not WMD, broken UN promises... hell, even oil.

Another "dry drunk" trait is impatience. Bush is far from a patient man: "If we wait for threats to fully materialize," he said in a speech he gave at West Point, "we will have waited too long."

Because in a post 9/11 world, that's impatience not prudence.

Alan Bisbort argues that Bush possesses the characteristics of the "dry drunk" in terms of ... his irritability with anyone (for example, Germany's Schröder) who dares disagree with him

It had nothing to do with the anti-American rhetoric used in their campaign and the comparison to Hitler by a member of his government.

But what do I know, I'm a drunk.
posted by chris24 at 3:59 PM on October 26, 2002


Jesus! Give it up! Bush is President and you're not. And, he is demonstrably more intelligent than Gore by any objective reading of their respective academic transcripts. And, college would be the period in which their thinking was most clouded by popular allegation.
posted by paleocon at 4:18 PM on October 26, 2002


I'm never comfortable when someone performs an assessment without meeting the patient.

On the other hand I'm glad donkeyschlong informed us Bush is a Steely Dan fan.
posted by ?! at 4:19 PM on October 26, 2002


paleocan: A wonderful example of the Chase paradox.

Could you tell me where you found the academic transcripts of Gore and Bush? Thanks.
posted by ?! at 4:22 PM on October 26, 2002


Give it up! Bush is President and you're not.

We could have used you during the Clinton administration, paleocon; anyone else remember Rush Limbaugh's "America Held Hostage: Day 100 (or whatever) " and the thousand similar assertions that Clinton wasn't the legitimate president? Sauce for the goose, my man. The main difference being the lack of basis for questioning Clinton's legitimacy.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:33 PM on October 26, 2002


"...demonstrably more intelligent than Gore by any objective reading of their respective academic transcripts."

oh. perhaps i misunderestimated him.
posted by muppetboy at 4:33 PM on October 26, 2002


A link to those academic records would be helpful paleocon.
Although choosing between Bush and Gore must be a bit like watching your mother in law drive off a cliff in your new car.
posted by Fat Buddha at 4:36 PM on October 26, 2002


(sic) paleocan: A wonderful example of the Chase paradox. "Chase Paradox"? Google finds no such term.

But, it finds plenty referring to the respective academic performance of Bush and Gore.
posted by paleocon at 4:39 PM on October 26, 2002


I dislike Bush. I have for some time disliked his father. I have little or no regard for either one. But Counterpunch has finally outdone itself with this nonsene. I have known drunks and former drunks, and to say this because Bush no longer drinks--is there any evidence he was a drunk rather than a drinker as are many people?--is plain silly.
Why not merely report that he is dumb, dull?
posted by Postroad at 4:40 PM on October 26, 2002


paleocon, that's not a transcript. It's a partisan editorial so selective in its choices of data that to call it cherrypicking would flatter it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:42 PM on October 26, 2002


George_Spiggott: The problem with indulging some people's request for a source is that one of their number then return with an insult. Thanks for reminding me of the uselessness of the exercise.
posted by paleocon at 4:48 PM on October 26, 2002


Could you describe the insult? I'm looking and I don't see one. I did describe the article's reliance on a small number of obscure facts as "cherrypicking"; this refers to the article, not to you. But if it gives you a way out, by all means take it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:52 PM on October 26, 2002


My link was entitled "respective academic performance of Bush and Gore". You committed the logic error of labelling it a link to a transcript. Then, you proceeded to deride it for failing to live up to a label you incorrectly ascribed to it.
posted by paleocon at 5:00 PM on October 26, 2002


Still interested in seeing links to actual, real, transcripts. Partisan columns (left or right) do not qualify.
posted by benh57 at 5:05 PM on October 26, 2002


I seem to recall from a New Yorker article in 2000 that both Bush and Gore were mediocre students, with B-/C+ averages.... but Bush's was slightly higher.
posted by Spacelegoman at 5:06 PM on October 26, 2002


I second ?!'s unwillingness to perform an assessment without meeting the patient. But if you cut through the addiction-speak and don't try to find cause where the evidence isn't there, Van Wormer pretty accurately describes the traits Bush has seemingly chosen to emphasize in this administration: impatience, grandiosity, obsessiveness, and rigidity.

But this sort of abuse-by-analysis is political SOP. How many ways did the right try to psychoanalyse Clinton during his eight years? I'm sure I could dig up worse things than this if I went through enough issues of The American Spectator. And does anyone remember that New Republic article that suggested Bush I's problem was aphasia? I laughed at that for weeks.

Bush is President and you're not

Neener! Neener! Fair-minded soul that you are paleocon, I'm sure you were saying that to all your paleocon buddies while they tried everything they could to destroy the Klin-toon Presidency.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:10 PM on October 26, 2002


Paleocon, you say that you were "indulging some people's request for a source". Every one of the requests were for the transcripts that you referred to when you said that "any objective readings of their respective transcripts" would illustrate your point.

It was quite reasonable to suppose that in, as you say, "indulging their requests", you would either produce links to their transcripts or to an aforementioned "objective reading" of them. I merely pointed out that your link did not satisfy either of those requests, as it is not a set of transcripts nor anything resembling an "objective reading" of them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:22 PM on October 26, 2002


Paleocon, give it up. You attacked someone's initial allegations with baseless allegations of your own, and George called you on it. Until you provide exactly what you said was your evidence in your first post, you're blowing smoke. A blatantly biased article that provides almost no facts isn't even remotely near your initial claim of having both candidate's college transcripts.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:40 PM on October 26, 2002


This essay is ridiculous. I know, as do most others, that speechwriters write the words, not Bush. He says many things, true. But it's not to difficult to find those who coined the phrases like "Axis of Evil" (a Canadian speechwriter.) Most of the other examples given in the "essay" are much the same. Further, it is as the President is crafting this complex policy on his own accord, which is surely not the case. The article is rubbish.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 5:46 PM on October 26, 2002


"I'm Chevy Chase and your not."
posted by clavdivs at 5:50 PM on October 26, 2002


The Jesse Helms, speechwriters write the words, not Bush. Are we to assume from your objection that Bush has no understanding of what others write on his behalf, and he is a mere cypher? With very little brain?
Does he ever speak off the cuff? Does anything he says ever make any sense?
posted by Fat Buddha at 6:00 PM on October 26, 2002


I was able to find Bush's transcript (it was also supposedly printed in the New Yorker some time ago), and I hear that Gore's is available in the paid archives of the Washington Post. I don't know anyone who is a subscriber. Maybe someone else will have beter luck on that one.
posted by Orb at 6:06 PM on October 26, 2002


You know - what about people who exhibit the "tell tale " behaviors cited as indicative of being a white knuckle drunk? What are these people?

Why can't someone just stop drinking and that is that - those 12 steppers are freakish at times.
posted by RubberHen at 6:27 PM on October 26, 2002


"In his sophomore year at Harvard," according to The Washington Post, " Gore's grades were lower than any semester recorded on Bush's transcript from Yale (emphasis added)."

This is from the article I cited. "Bias" allegations aside, this looks like an actual fact to me. Perhaps the gathering crowd lower themselves to calling this a lie.
posted by paleocon at 7:06 PM on October 26, 2002


paleocon, if we read that quote literally, it says that Gore's grade average over the two semesters of his sophmore year were lower than that of any single semester of Bush's entire college career.

It seems to me that you'd get a better idea of how someone performed in college by averaging all the grades they received rather than a fraction of them.

The fact that the author didn't make this comparison makes me think that the result was not one that supported his agenda.
posted by muta at 7:29 PM on October 26, 2002


So if "dry drunk" explains Bush, how does it explain Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, et al.? Or do we need another psychological evaluation of the personality type that works for a dry drunk and accepts even exaggerated, grandiose, childish, judgmental, irresponsible, irrational, projective behavior without challenging it? Could, indeed, there be another explanation?

I looked for signs that van Wormer was writing with tongue in cheek. I didn't find them.
posted by dhartung at 7:31 PM on October 26, 2002


Perhaps an actual fact, but a pretty worthless one unless we know what courses they took, how many, and what else they did while in school. College courses vary tremendously in difficulty, depending on the field and the instructor.

Plus I find the suggestion that college transcripts can accurately determine a person's overall intelligence decades down the line to be a bit of a leap.
posted by ligeia at 7:40 PM on October 26, 2002


yes, pronounciation is a much better predictor of intelligence as the titans of the left leaning chattering classes are wont to remind us. < /sarc>
posted by paleocon at 8:21 PM on October 26, 2002


and before someone spellbitches... pronunciation
posted by paleocon at 8:23 PM on October 26, 2002


I'd have to agree with muta, that's a very strangely constructed "fact". Out of all their combined academic histories, he chooses to average two specific semesters of Gore's sophomore year, then compare them with any one of Bush's semesters. Given that he's trying pretty hard, the fact that he has to cherrypick and fiddle this degree of effort tends to suggest that the larger set of facts, without this kind of tweaking, don't make his case at all.

Getting back to the real topic of this thread, I have to say I reacted to this article the same way as The Jesse Helms: if you're going to try to remotely psychoanalyze someone based on their word choices, you'd better be sure they really did pick those words. Sure, Bush must bear responsibility for whatever he says, regardless of who picked the words for him; but that's about leadership and responsibility; we're talking pop-psychoanalysis here, which should at least be based on his original word choices.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:41 PM on October 26, 2002


yes, pronounciation is a much better predictor of intelligence as the titans of the left leaning chattering classes are wont to remind us.
and before someone spellbitches... pronunciation

Well, no. Actually, most of we in the left-leaning, chattering "classes" judge intelligence by the presence or absence of proper capitalization, the insertion of commas in sentences so they make sense, the use of complete sentences, proper hyphenation, using commas in lists of adjectives, and ending sentences with periods.

~chatter~

I doubt anyone seriously believes Shrubby would have made anything of himself more weighty than a beer delivery driver (or, at most, a typically corrupt business "executive") if he hadn't had the good sense to get himself born into a wealthy, politically-connected family.

(And that goes for Gore as well....)

So if "dry drunk" explains Bush, how does it explain Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, et al? Or do we need another psychological evaluation of the personality type that works for a dry drunk and accepts even exaggerated, grandiose, childish, judgmental, irresponsible, irrational, projective behavior without challenging it? Could, indeed, there be another explanation?

No, there's no need to break out another psychological assessment. But you might want to look up "sycophant" and "ambition" in the dictionary.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 8:45 PM on October 26, 2002


paleocon: You gave the impression that you had researched the raw data of the transcripts. You said your conclusions were demonstrable. In subsequent posts you have failed to do so. I suggest you conclude by citing the famous Litella Endgame.
posted by ?! at 8:48 PM on October 26, 2002


?!, You gave us the impression that "Chase paradox" meant something. There is no record on google of such a phrase. You never responded to my sincere inquiry as to what you meant.

You now give us "Litella Endgame" of which there is also no return from google.

Perhaps you are speaking to someone else in some language other than English. May I suggest F&M as an appropriate dialog partner.
posted by paleocon at 9:09 PM on October 26, 2002


I think "?!" has done a brilliant job of illustrating that being able to type keywords into Google is a very poor substitute for knowledge.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:21 PM on October 26, 2002


George, you are illuminating as always.
posted by paleocon at 9:27 PM on October 26, 2002


I think paleocon has done a brilliant job of looking like an idiot.

Paleocon: he's talking about Saturday Night Live characters, for fuck's sake.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so harsh and I don't normally just snap at people like this but for the love of god man, just stop! This entire thread is becoming a giant hole, dug deeper and deeper by you with no end in sight! Just walk away, PLEASE!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:55 PM on October 26, 2002


To whack the dead horse so as to not permit misunderstanding:

Gilda Radner character "Emily Litella" always ended her rants (which took her far away from reality) with a pause of realization (usually when a fellow castmember corrected her fundamental misapprehension), then said to the camera: "Never mind." Which several folk would clearly like paleocon to say as his/her 'endgame'.

And the "Chase paradox" was just a noting of the similarity of the construction paleocon initially used to the Chevy Chase catchphrase noted above by clavdivs.

In other news, water is wet and eggs don't bounce. Now, paleocon, who's F&M?
posted by s.e.b. at 10:34 PM on October 26, 2002


I think my sketch link that referenced both of those covered it, though. And he's referring, I assume, to fold_and_mutilate. But this is the last thread where I think anyone wants to speculate anymore.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:46 PM on October 26, 2002


I seem to recall from a New Yorker article in 2000 that both Bush and Gore were mediocre students, with B-/C+ averages

::: breaks into a rousing chorus of "Proud to be an American" :::
posted by rushmc at 10:48 PM on October 26, 2002


It's pretty well accepted (and according to one AP writer, though I can't find the reference, admitted by Bush), that at Yale Bush was the beneficiary of the "Gentleman's C". That is, the minimum grade more or less guaranteed with a nod and a wink to the scion of an important family even if he did no work at all. It's said that the practice has since gone into decline and that Yale no longer does this. So Bush and Gore's transcripts may not be comparable. Gore also is the son of a powerful politician and it isn't known how much of his grade he earned either. In short, this whole transcript thing, which is a total digression from the FPP as well as being a stupid noisy mess, indicates absolutely nothing.

A better definition of "waste of time" would be hard to imagine.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:06 PM on October 26, 2002



Emily Litella: "Never mind..."
posted by quonsar at 11:26 PM on October 26, 2002


I think paleocon is doing fine. Blog on.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:57 PM on October 26, 2002


Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded.

Dry Drunk: It's not exactly rocket science,--in fact, it's not even science, period. It's theology--12 step theology. Not everyone goes to that church.

Well, I'm with dhartung and fold_and_mutilate on this one--I can't tell you how full of glee I am to write this sentence!--of all the lame accusations made against Bush, this is just about the lamest.

The fact that he's president horrifies me endlessly but c'mon, this (? ) is pathetic. Like we need BartCop vs Free Republic level political discourse.
posted by y2karl at 11:57 PM on October 26, 2002


Upon review: Troll alert? Oh, great-- perhaps it's already FreeperFilter. That will make for reasoned discussion.
posted by y2karl at 12:14 AM on October 27, 2002


I can't believe this thread is still up.
posted by hama7 at 1:21 AM on October 27, 2002


12 step theology

Exactly. Can anyone think of a reason members of 12-step programs might like to believe that giving up drinking without their help has bad side effects?
posted by callmejay at 1:17 AM on October 27, 2002


But to think -- future Google results for Chase paradox and Litella endgame will be positive! Surely, a contribution to world culture.

Choose one:
* Bush Made It All Up Because He's A Dry Drunk.
* The Neo-Conservative Lobby Has Been Planning This For Years Because They're Evil.

Remember -- there is no third choice. And apparently, both of these are true. Maybe all neo-conservatives are dry drunks? Maybe clouded thinking and evil thinking have the same result? Now, are the neocons sycophants to Bush, or is Bush a puppet of the neocons?
posted by dhartung at 3:54 AM on October 27, 2002


I can't believe this thread is still up.

Got to agree with hama7 on this one *gumph*, I'm no fan of Bush, but this really is shabby.
posted by backOfYourMind at 4:19 AM on October 27, 2002


Can anyone think of a reason members of 12-step programs might like to believe that giving up drinking without their help has bad side effects?
article sucks, thread sucks, bush sucks, but this 'bush as dry drunk' concept is just lame. having said that, i'd just like to correct a bit of misinformation here - i'm thoroughly familiar with 12-step dogma and what callmejay and others have said is a distortion. dry drunk is a term describing one who is not drinking and who has not undergone a fundamental philosophical shift in his/her relationship to the universe. 12 step dogma holds only that such a shift is necessary for serenity and continued sobriety, not that only "they" can provide it. in fact, sobriety is defined in most 12-step contexts not as a state of abstinence, but as the state of having made this shift. thus the "dry, but not sober" concept.
posted by quonsar at 5:45 AM on October 27, 2002


i am powerless over lame posts,
and my life is unmanagable.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:57 AM on October 27, 2002


The Post described Gore's sophomore year: "(That was) the year Gore's classmates remember him spending a notable amount of time in the Dunster House basement lounge shooting pool, watching television, eating hamburgers and occasionally smoking marijuana."

Turns out Al Gore and I have a lot in common.
posted by astirling at 7:16 AM on October 27, 2002


What an odd little article provided by paleocan. It would make more sense as a persuasive speech rather than a printed article that you can go back and reread.

Example: Although Gore received a SAT math score of 730, a former St. Alban's teacher called his performance in physics "terrible" No mention of the actual grade received. No caparison to Bush. Just one solid fact-- Gore scored in the 700's in math.

Not only did Bush academically outperform the "intellectually superior" Gore, Bush scored a higher verbal SAT score than Rhodes scholar and former Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley, with Bush scoring 566 to Bradley's 485. True, Gore scored a higher verbal SAT at 625 This is really peculiar logic that would sound a lot better than it reads. Not only did Bush outperform Gore in X but he also...this is the set-up for another comparison to Gore but instead we get a comparison to a third party. And when we do get the expected comparison to Gore it is a backdoor acknowledgement "Well Gore did better but should have done a whole lot better." Again, no direct comparison of the Math portion of the SAT where undoubtedly Gore did score much higher.

And I have to second those of you who have pointed out that Bush has speech writers. His writers are to blame for We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends." Who knows? Maybe all the speech writers are dry-drunks.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:11 AM on October 27, 2002


It's pretty well accepted (and according to one AP writer, though I can't find the reference, admitted by Bush), that at Yale Bush was the beneficiary of the "Gentleman's C".

As long as your desire for solid evidence and less unproveable speculation cuts both ways, I'm happy.
posted by yerfatma at 8:27 AM on October 27, 2002


The major I have to people calling Bush "incompetent" or not, is that the president of the United States has precious little actual power in the government. The position of president was created to let the ignorant masses believe that there was a king. He can do almost nothing without the Supreme Court and Congress's approval, and the worst he could possibly do is serve as an obstructionist, to prevent Congress from passing new laws and such, and even then he can be overrulled. He is functionally a figurehead, designed to take the praise and blame for the government - if times are good, the president is praised (Clinton) - if times are bad, the president is blamed (Bush.) His primary function is to present a unifying front that the people can "trust," though you may argue that he has failed on that factor. However, intelligence and knowledge are totally IRRELEVENT to his job description - the only factor that matters in a president is charisma.
posted by Veritron at 11:31 AM on October 27, 2002


Winston churchill was a notorius drunk, what an utterly useless prime minister he turned out to be.
posted by johnnyboy at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2002


As long as your desire for solid evidence and less unproveable speculation cuts both ways, I'm happy.

Fair enough, I suppose, though if you read the entire posting you'll see that I also allowed for the likelihood that Gore was also allowed to skate on similar terms, and that my point was that even if we had the transcripts they'd be useless as an indicator of intelligence, let alone for comparison purposes.

Bush is said to have made the remark in comparing his own Yale performance to his father's. (Fourth para from last.) Yes, I know it's the Taipei Times, but presumably this Safire column is also available in the NY Times paid archive.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2002


Back on topic, shall we?

Consider: Cary Tennis' "My name is George, and I'm an alcoholic"
posted by allaboutgeorge at 4:49 PM on October 27, 2002


Am I living in a state of Wet Sobriety, then? Ah hell, I'm going to the bar.........
posted by elwoodwiles at 5:14 PM on October 27, 2002


Skeptic's Dictionary Entry - substance abuse treatment

AA, the disease model of addiction and 12 steps discussed, among other ideas. Also, check the links at the bottom...
posted by y2karl at 6:04 PM on October 27, 2002


On Bush's reaction to Schröder's criticism, chris24 said:
It had nothing to do with the anti-American rhetoric used in their campaign and the comparison to Hitler by a member of his government.

Since we're having fun with sources, could you please show me either? There was NO anti-American rhetoric from Schröder; he was very careful to couch his criticism of uniliteral action against Iraq as a rare exception to German support for the War on Terror and German-American friendship. Partners should be allowed that much.

Secondly, I believe Däubler-Gmelin when she says she did not compare Bush to Hitler--she made a vague historical analogy about the mechanisms of distracting from internal troubles through war (cf. Burgfrieden). The name Hitler wasn't even mentioned. There are no records of the conversation. The whole thing was a non-story that ended up costing a very qualified politician her job. The entire episode of German "anti-Americanism" was completely misrepresented in the US.

Which is not to say that I have ever heard one good word about Bush from anybody I know in Germany, or Europe for that matter. But Schröder and his administration didn't do anything more than criticize the proposed course of action in Iraq. To call that "anti-Americanism" and "poisoning the relationship" (Rumsfeld), is indeed grandiose, irritable, and childish--sober or drunk.
posted by muckster at 10:56 PM on October 27, 2002


I was going to post this (Bush as a "dry drunk"), and knew that it would attract lots of comments, but it seemed to me to be partisan in an unproductive way.

I think that some of Bush's advisors - Paul Wolfowitz, for example - are drunk on ideology in a very dangerous way. Ideologies can distort thought as much as addictions. There is an old chinese saying about this, that ideologues are like dangerous, wild animals who should be caged (this did not prevent the Cultural Revolution in China, though).

So Bush was an alcoholic. Well, he traded that for daily, hard physical exercise, prayer, and hard work. That's admirable. Very few people (in my experience) can achieve self-transformation (especially over addiction) in this way. Having said that, I suspect GW traded alcohol addiction for the drug called POWER which (insiders say) is the best drug of all.

I could call him dumb (and have) but I don't think that is true overall. Anyone ever heard of the new (and ascendant) theories of multiple intelligence? He has many of the same traits - including a tendency towards verbal incoherence - as his father (who was certainly not dumb). This is very likely from DYSLEXIA (undiagnosed). He may not be able to read very well -- he relies on verbal briefs from his advisors. I do have to wonder about his knowledge of the world ("So you have blacks in Brazil too?") but I think that his social and emotional IQ quotients are quite high....

I think of GW as a fundamentally OK guy who grew up in a BAD environment, and had a very stressfull childhood (hence the booze).
posted by troutfishing at 4:58 AM on October 28, 2002


Maybe all neo-conservatives are dry drunks?

Only until they can get their next drink. For some reason AnnThrax Coulter comes to mind. Was it Brock who said "she lives on cigarettes and chardonnay?"
posted by nofundy at 5:18 AM on October 28, 2002


I'm not sure Bush ever admitted to alcoholism. He just said that he gave up drinking suddenly one day. (And there have been reports that he appeared drunk, stoned, or incomprehensibly peculiar in public after that momentous announcement.)

And I'm less interested in the "social and emotional IQ" of a President trying to lead us into war than I am in being assured that he's able to read and comprehend documents on the complexity of making war, the results on the economy, and the consequences for the world.

Based on my perception that his memory isn't much better than his reading ability, I fear for the future of this country.

I have no confidence in being led by someone who lives from sound bite to sound bite and who is unable to retain connections between related concepts.
posted by AnneZo at 8:50 AM on October 28, 2002


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