Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The decider-in-chief: A drunk with power

The decider-in-chief: A drunk with power
Apr 19, 2006, 03:25
Capitol Hill Blue

...."Of all the Presidents I've served or observed, George W. Bush is the least receptive to the opinion of others," says political scientist George Harleigh, who served in both the Nixon and Reagan administrations. "He has no interest in what others think and he doesn't listen to the advice of experts or professionals."

In 1999, while completing a profile of Harris County, Texas, Judge Robert Eckels, I interviewed a number of Texas political observers. Republican and Democrat alike agreed that then Gov. George W. Bush was stubborn, arrogant and used to having his own way.

"He's an asshole," said Tom Delaney, who worked on Bush's second gubernatorial campaign. "He can smile at you while cutting off your balls."

Dr. Justin Frank, a prominent George Washington University psychiatrist and author of the book, Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, says Bush has a cruel, sadistic streak that goes back to his childhood when a young George gleefully bragged about dissecting cats, cutting them open while they were still alive.

The boy who tortured cats, Dr. Frank says, grew up into an alcohol-abusing bully who strikes out at anyone who opposes him.

All one has to do is confront the President and the bully emerges.

"To actually directly confront him in a clear way, to bring him out, so you would really see the bully, and you would also see the fear," he says.

Dr. Frank also believes Bush, an alcoholic who brags that he gave up booze without help from groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, may be drinking again.

"Two questions that the press seems particularly determined to ignore have hung silently in the air since before Bush took office," Dr. Frank says. "Is he still drinking? And if not, is he impaired by all the years he did spend drinking? Both questions need to be addressed in any serious assessment of his psychological state."

As a recovering alcoholic (11 years, 10 months and 13 days sober), I agree with Dr. Frank's assessment. Bush demonstrates many of the traits of a drinker who has relapsed: An inability to focus, moments where he goes "blank" and can't respond, incoherent sentences and flashes of anger when challenged.

"The pattern of blame and denial, which recovering alcoholics work so hard to break, seems to be ingrained in the alcoholic personality. It's rarely limited to his or her drinking," Dr. Frank says. "The habit of placing blame and denying responsibility is so prevalent in George W. Bush's personal history that it is apparently triggered by even the mildest threat."

So it's no surprise that the self-declared "decider-in-chief" is an arrogant hothead who probably sneaks a drink or two during the day. He's a paranoid, fear-mongering bully who openly abuses power and, thanks to the gullible American voting public, he can, and will continue to, abuse that power.

A drunk: That's the title George W. Bush deserves most. He is a drunk even if he doesn't get blasted on booze. He's drunk with power and that's the most dangerous kind of drunk. When a drunk who gets high on power sits in the White House, the rest of us wake up with the hangover.

© Copyright 2006 by Capitol Hill Blue