The President’s Little Helper

Via Wolcott comes this little bit to chew on:

I was asked on BBC radio a couple of days ago whether Democratic victories would temper Bush’s recklessness. I replied that I could answer that only if I could peer into the strange mind of a 60-year-old recovering alcoholic named George W Bush.

Rumours persist here (and I have heard them repeated at a very senior level in the UK, too) that Bush has actually resumed drinking; I throw this into the mix not to sensationalise, but because I have now heard the rumour repeated at a sufficiently high level that I believe we must face the possibility that it might be true.

Bush was huddled inside the White House eating beef and ice cream on election night with Rove, my friend Josh Bolten, and four other trusted aides who will stick with him to the end. He was not drinking on this occasion, I’m assured – but, more than ever, my depiction of an unstable man living out his final days in office inside his bunker seem no longer to be fanciful. Hemmed in by Democratic foes wherever he looks, determined to be remembered in history as an unwaveringly strong leader, and increasingly detached from reality: now that suddenly becomes a very frightening vision indeed.

It’s 1973 all over again!

Remember how we were assured that because of his understanding with Jebus, Bush was through with the booze? Well, yeah, people were reassured back then, too:

Nixon told Theodore White that he realized that once in office he “couldn’t take a drink again, couldn’t party it up. You can’t drink and think clearly… two drinks and your mind isn’t quite sharp, you may not be able to think clearly when that phone rings at night… you’ve got to be ready… No more drinking, no more late hours… I felt I knew what Jefferson meant when he said the presidency was ‘a splendid misery.'”

Of course Nixon did booze it up regularly in the White House. Nixon also had a well-stocked medicine cabinet — Seconal, Dilantin. Used together.. well, here’s what Nixon’s friend and comrade in anti-semitism, Billy Graham, had to say:

“I think it was the sleeping pills. Sleeping pills and demons. I think there was definitely demon power involved. He took all those sleeping pills, and through history, drugs and demons have gone together… My conclusion is that it was just all those sleeping pills, they just let a demon’s power come in and play over him…”

Well, yes and no: Richard Nixon was a paranoid android whose psychotic tendencies were exacerbated by drink and drugs. Meanwhile, W is a “former” drunk; and who knows what’s in his medicine cabinet. We do know that Poppy Bush, when not barfing on foriegn diplomats, in his administration’s final days was popping Halcions like Pez.

Henry Kissinger is skulking around the White House. The President has shit lists. He may not be swilling martinis a la Nixon but he’s probably slugging something — my guess is that W is a bourbon man and he stays as sloshed as Christopher Hitchens at a pub crawl. At least when Richard Nixon really got wasted he went down to the mall to argue with protestors; this administration, outdoing the master of paranoia himself, instead sics the Secret Service on them. A deeply unpopular war rages on; and the White House is more bunker than abode. Some of the pieces haven’t fallen into place yet — where are the ’06 versions of Howard Baker and John Anderson? — but we all know where this is going. Bring it on.

Bonus quote: apropos Nixon’s shit list, William F. Buckley said:

[it’s an] act of proto-fascism…ruthless in its dismissal of human rights…fascist in its automatic assumption that the state in all matters comes before the rights of individuals… fascist in tone, the stealth, the brutality, the self-righteousness.”

True, ‘dat. And while Bush mimics Nixon in his “if the President does it, it’s legal” attitude, at least Tricky Dick didn’t try to codify torture. So what goes for Nixon’s fascism goes double for the current Drunk-in-Chief’s.

(All quotes above not linked are from Anthony Summers’s excellent Nixon bio The Arrogance of Power.)


Comments: 36


Way too much ice in the glass. If a man is to drink bourbon, I should hope he actually drinks it.


Maybe he presidents better when he’s drunk.


I wasn’t that worried about Bush drinking rumors before, but I am now. All that power he’s been freebasing is about to start dripping away, and even that dumbfuck knows it. Junkies need more and more just to feel normal, less and less will feel like withdrawal to him.
Wolcott is dead on, what we need to watch for/fear are Nixonian breakdowns. The scariest thing is that Nixon was a lot more in touch with reality than Bush to begin with.


I had thought that James ‘The Fixer’ Baker III would have dropped off a quart of Maker’s Mark and a loaded Colt .45 along with a note from ‘Bar’ telling ‘Junior’ to ‘do the honorable thing’ by now. But…

I guess hubris, arrogance and stupidity are not restricted to just BubbleBoy….

Seems like all the Bushes have these character traits.

I submit that the next two years are gonna make ‘Junior’ truly wish he’d just been a dripping on Ol’ Bar’s thigh instead of making the grade to blastocyst.

I cannot say I have an ounce of sympathy for the stupid little asshole.


Additionally, Nixon was above all else a Politician. He genuinely, or at least to the extent that he was capable, CARED about his party winning. For Bush, the party is nothing but the vehicle to personal power. Which he has, but doensn’t understand how to wield. Indeed, how can you be a powerful head of state without using your military against your enemies, real and perceived, foreign and domestic. He doensn’t get that sense of the exercise of power from diplomacy, or consensus. The UN is nothing but another enemy nation to be cowed into submissiveness. Real men use weapons, and powerful leaders use powerful weapons.

Yes indeed, my friends, hold on tight, this last couple of years is gonna be a bumpy ride…



Jack Daniels is for sissies, everyone knows the best bourbons or sour mash are produced in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Makers Mark need I say more.


Nixon was a tragic figure. Bush Jr. is a comic/horror figure–a bit like Chucky. Nixon came from humble roots, actually served in a combat area (though not as hot as it might have been), and was highly intelligent, or at least capable of running complex strategies two and three at a time. Bush Jr. is none of those things. Tricky Dick was a monster, no boubt about it–but even those who hated him the most, lie Hunter S. Thompson, could admit to some respect for the man. Bush Jr., by comparison, has done nothing of note without massive family support and coverage from legions of handlers and clean-up crews. He has been failing upward for four decades now–the perfect illustration of well-born Peter Principle in action. Of the two, I see Bush as by far the more dangerous, in a Mark Twain “Best Fencer”/Jackie Chan “Drunken Master” kind of direction. Nixon was not wholly unpredictable; Busgh may well be.


Way too much ice in the glass. If a man is to drink bourbon, I should hope he actually drinks it.

yeah really. Looking at that pic made me wince.


I have no problem believing that W’s love of Jesus will keep him from teh booze. I mean, Pastor Ted’s love of Jesus kept him away from teh gay, didn’t it?


Is that a penis I see in the ice cubes?

herr doktor bimler

through history, drugs and demons have gone together…

In that case, the bastards have been holding out on me. I’m not letting any more demons into the house unless they bring their own party supplies. Hear that, guys?


Nixon was not wholly unpredictable; Bus[]h may well be

It is the main pragmatic argument against hereditary monarchy, neatly played out (i.e. the anti-meritocracy, where nepotism and cronyism are considered virtuous).



Sorry about the typo.


The President is, in one way or many, a genuinely ill man.

Once upon a time that might have been worthy of comment in that liberal media of our’n. He wears a defrib under his wife beater, works his jaw like Bobby Brown and has gotten glaringly and steadily worse at the speakifyin’ and cogitatin’ since his days as President-elect Governor Bush.

I don’t care if it’s bourbon, adderall or cough syrup, the man’s three kinds of fucked up. And by some unspoken agreement we’re all not supposed to notice. That would be Low Class.

(If I had been running Kerry/Edwards 04 I’d have had both of those men submit to the press, without one word of comment, the results of full physicals and drug screens two weeks before election day. We’d have won.)


–bleearrrgh! glass just slows ya down!


Kristin and I both thought Dubya looked drunk during the first ’04 debate.


Nobody commented on Reagan’s decline during his last couple of years either.

It would be cause for seven kinds of panic if America, by and large, knew the Leader was a few sticks short of a brushpile…


If anyone’s seen that Late Late show with… the guy who was Mr. Wick on the Drew Carry show, Craig Ferguson, they’ve been doing a bit about Bush drinking again for a while. It’s really surpising how shit-face plastered he sounds when you slow down his speeches juuuust a tad.

Smiling Mortician

Yes, he does sound shnockered when his speeches are slowed down. Compare it to the following, in which he is truly drunk — in the way that only very, very practiced drunks can be.


Mmmmaker’s Mmmmmark……. mmmm…..

I think Bush acts like someone who has had a series of small strokes.


Candy, I agree that he looks like he’s had strokes. The left side of his face is classic, especially the droop at the side of his mouth. But to me he also acts like he’s drinking again, too. There are times when the way he acts… he’s just drunk. And his teeth. Unless he’s been doing meth for the past 3 years or so, those teeth have been seeing a lot of stomach acid, the result of the stomach and esophageal erosion from alcohol — makes ya throw up a whole lot!


I forget which bogger said it but his arguement was Bush Never Stopped drinking. For proof, you need only look at his face. Every 6 months or so he gets a wound or a boil or something. The only people who fuck up their face as much as the President are Heavyweight Prizefighters and fall down alcoholics.


i lOve EE cummings


I’m looking forward to the tell all books coming out starting sometime mid 2009. Drinking, drugs, stupidity, etc, etc. I’m saving up a few boatloads of “told you so’s” just for the occasion.


“The only people who fuck up their face as much as the President are Heavyweight Prizefighters and fall down alcoholics.”

well, and crank smokers, too.


This recent photo with Bush and Clinton both smilling really points out how crappy Bush’s teeth look.

It looks like he gets no dental care at all. Or, as watertiger says, he’s on crystal meth. Which I wouldn’t rule out.


I’m in the “He Never Stopped Drinking” camp. Not just because of the facial evidence, but: how often has he “fallen off his bike” now? Including the time he supposedly “slipped on a slick road” on a pancake-flat West Texas highway that hadn’t seen rain in two months?

Or the infamous lost battle with the pretzel.

Either Laura is a domestic abuser, or he’s been drinking (and falling down, and hurting himself) all along.


PS – I consider the Nixon vs. Bush debate in Shakespearean terms. Nixon was Richard the Third: evil genius, brilliant mind gone wrong, finally poisoned by his own bile and done in by the audacity of his evil. Bush is Richard the Second, a self-pitying childish weakling who was thrown into a position of power, way out of his depth from the get-go.

Richard the Third ends his play defeated in battle – no matter how bad things get, he stays a fighter until the bitter end. Richard the Second dies a long, lingering death as the prisoner of his enemies, his power long gone, and his fate unlamented even by his former friends.

And I agree, NOW is when we’re going to see the true depths of self-pity and self-destructive behavior from the Boy King. Look out ahead.


There’s one thing that Wolcott is wrong about. W is not a recovering alchoholic, having only given up the booze but not done the hard work of recovery (two entirely different things). It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that he’s starting drinking and possibly drugging again. I’ve seen it happen even to people who’ve done years of work at recovery. He’s done nothing.


We prefer COLD GIN!!1!


I don’t think Bush drinks either bourbon or whiskey. I say he’sa vodka man, with a little gin thrown in occasionally for flavor. Vodka seems to be the drink de jour for boozing fratboys who hate the actual taste of alcohol but love getting too fucked up to stand. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of cat who ever hit the bottle for the actual enjoyment of the flavor of booze.

And any time someone mentions Billy Graham, I always think of something the late Bro. Dave Gardner said in the twilight of his career about said preacher. To wit, “I wonder if Johnny Cash ever turned Billy Graham on.” This alludes to, for those who may not know, two things. One, the genuine friendship between Cash and Graham, wherein the latter often visited the former at his Jamaica home, and two, Cash’s past history as a drug user. Rumor had it the Man In Black didn’t consider the sweet leaf a “drug”, a position shared by a couple of his fellow Highwaymen.

Bro. Dave started making this crack after his career hit the skids and he was spending most of his time pandering to the pro-George Wallace wing of the “New South”. Still, it showed he had a little rascality left in him, if nothing else.


profbacon –

BottleofBlog at Typepad has been covering Bush drinking for a while. Maybe that’s who you’re thinking of.


Here is the BottleofBlog post in question:

Out With The Old Drunk, In With The New


Wow. Assrocket et. al. really were right all along.

Bush is Churchill.


(comments are closed)