Beer Me, Mama
According to the National Enquirer:
“When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot,” said one insider. “He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: “Stop George!”
Okay, first a word about the Enquirer, speaking as someone whose career choice predisposes them to know. They wake up in the morning knowing they are going to get sued. So they pay people money — big money — to go on the record to give their lawyers the kind of legal cover they are going to need to defend themselves.
Sometimes their sources turn out to be bullshit, but more often than not they are solid. The Enquirer usually requires two independent sources for any story. Now their burden of proof may be lower for the President, who is unlikely to sue, but still. There is a lot less unverifiable garbage being perpetrated in the Enquirer these days than in, say, the NY Times.
So from a realistic standpoint (and by that I mean drunk-wise) how likely is it that the story is true?
Another source said: “I’m only surprised to hear that he hadn’t taken a shot sooner. Before Katrina, he was at his wit’s end. I’ve known him for years. He’s been a good ol’ Texas boy forever. George had a drinking problem for years that most professionals would say needed therapy. He doesn’t believe in it [therapy], he never got it. He drank his way through his youth, through college and well into his thirties. Everyone’s drinking around him.”
Yeah, like Dick Fucking DUI Cheney.
Doesn’t believe in therapy? Won’t get any kind of help or treatment? As someone who is a member of the club, so to speak, I can tell you that any untreated alcoholic (or “dry drunk,” as I’ve discussed before) is extremely likely to crack under a certain kind of pressure. But not the pressure the Enquirer speculates about:
“The war in Iraq, the loss of American lives, has deeply affected him. He takes every soldier’s life personally. It has left him emotionally drained.”
Bullshit. Alcohol and drugs are the things that addicts use to protect themselves from their own feelings all right, but an untreated drunk only gets really shook up about one thing: blows to his or her own self-esteem. They are really not capable of much compassion or even having a perspective outside of their extremely shrunken world where their absorption with their own self-image reigns supreme.
Which is not to say that all untreated addicts are bad people, frequently they are just really sick and can’t find within themselves anything better to offer the world. Dubya has the unique distinction of being both a drunk and a sadistic jackass.
Bush didn’t even know for two days that Katrina was a problem. Nobody in his administration wanted to tell him he needed to end his vacation. We know he wasn’t watching his fucking TV because he and Brownie seemed to be the only two people in America who didn’t know there were people at the Convention Center dying on Thursday after the storm.
No, my guess is that if the first drink came it arrived with the first bad polls, in the wake of not only Katrina but his Social Security defeat and the Iraq debacle he has mired us all in. Not to mention the sword of damocles hanging over the whole administration in the form of Patrick J. Fitzgerald.
(Note to self: take up collection for Fitzgerald Kevlar vest.)
And let me tell you one thing. You can believe me or not, I don’t really care. If you’re an addict and that kind of emotional shitstorm is raging around you, and you have nobody you can lean on for help — no health care professionals, no support group, nobody you have been consistently involved with for a long period of time to stand with you against a very strong physical compulsion (and no, your nagging Al-Anon wife does not count) — you will eventually drink and use. It’s what you know. It’s what we do.
Wet or dry drunk, it doesn’t really matter. As an untreated alcoholic he’s got as much business being the President of the United States as my dogs do being the head of the IMF.
I resist saying it, because it’s such a facile way to end a post, but this time I really must.
Worst. President. Ever.
Update: The Sadly, No crew astutely speculate that the drinking story was leaked by the White House to cover up for the fact that Preznit Jutting Jaw is probably coked out of his mind. Which is entirely probable, but the distinction between drinking and doing blow for an addict is only meaningful to geriatric fundies high on Jeebus, and only an idiot would think this was a good cover story. If he’s One Of Us, it’s all the same, and only a matter of time before he leaps from one to the other. As a member o’ the club said the other day, “drinking is something you do when you’re driving around looking for drugs.” That’s just how it goes.
Mind — we’re talking about addicts here. If your teenage kid is caught pulling bong hits, it doesn’t mean they’ll be sticking a needle in their arm the next day. If a stone-cold dope fiend starts drinking again, on the other hand, a raised eyebrow is definitely in order.