View Full Version : George W. & Drugs
08-20-1999, 11:28 AM
Ok, who else thinks George W. Bush is pursuing the dumbest of all strategies on this whole drug question?
I mean, by answering (or not answering) in the way he has, it's pretty damned obvious that he took illegal drugs at some point in his life. So why not just come out, admit it, say it was wrong and he was young (or he "didn't snort"), and let it pass? He has a humongous lead in polls right now, and I can't imagine that admitting what everybody already knows to be true could possibly do any more harm to him than this idiot game of cat and mouse that he's playing now.
Any other thoughts?
I agree completely...don't we now have a president (or at least a reasonable excuse for one) who said (of marijuana) .." ...ah smoked but ah didn't inhale.."
Whay doesn't George Jr. say something like:
"I sniffed but I didn't (fill in blank)"
Seriously, I think all presidential candidates should have to provide answers to a standard series of questions; so that we don't repeat the idiocy of the past 7 years.
08-20-1999, 11:36 AM
It is not my personal business. But since it is creating a lot of speculation, I am with David B. I think he should just come out and tell the complete truth and get it over with.
I disagree; I think it's none of anybody's business anyway. I mean, I don't think anyone is arguing that he's a major drug fiend or anything, so the question in my mind is whether it would impact his ability to do the job, and I don't think it would. I vastly prefer someone who says "it's none of your business, it's not relevant, and I won't answer it" to someone who says "I smoked grass, but I didn't inhale," which seems to me like self-evident (and self-serving) b.s.
The problem is that if people ask questions that are none of their business, and someone refuses to answer, they take that as a sign that the answer would be the "wrong" one. Like is someone asks "are you gay?" and the other person says "that's none of your business" -- which it's not. A lot of people would then think "must be gay -- didn't deny it!" I think as long as G.W. keeps his mouth shut he's not helping them make an issue of his past, and he's not lying about his past. I'd do the same thing.
08-20-1999, 01:06 PM
There's something in what you say that appeals to me strongly.
My first response to this deal is "Oh, so now the Republicans have decided that personal questions are invasive and inappropriate to the public discourse. How surprising. How convenient."
My second response is concern for all the Texans currently in the pokey because Governor VacuumNose pursued stringent state crackdowns on drug users and vendors. Gee, how come they don't get away with wild, youthful behavior?
08-20-1999, 01:16 PM
My gut reaction was to go with Jodih, and agree that "it's none of your business" was the best answer. But we are talking about *illegal* activities here (and not a little thing, either), so some people would consider it to have a non-frivolous bearing on his suitibility. I think most people would have a great deal of respect for him if he would admit it, and it would be the better decision for him (morally and strategy-wise); no, I don't think he is obligated to do so, but I think that they were right to ask. Imagine what it would be like if politicians were direct and honest!
"Eppur, si muove!" - Galileo Galilei
08-20-1999, 02:59 PM
The main problem I have with what Jodi said is that he did, at one time, absolutely refuse to answer questions on it.
But then he changed his policy and started answering some questions on it -- specifically, the ones he could answer with a "No, I didn't do drugs during that time period." That, IMO, is ridiculous. Either answer the questions or don't, but don't try some sort of tightrope walk.
As to whether or not he should be asked the questions, well, other federal employees are. Why shouldn't the highest fed. employee have to answer as well? The headline in today's Chicago Tribune was: "Gov. Bush ducks drug questions federal job seekers must answer" -- and therein lies part of the hypocrisy. The first sentence is: "If Texas Gov. George W. Bush were applying to work at the White House instead of seeking to run it, or if he were a Cabinet nominee instead of hoping to name the next Cabinet, he could not avoid answering detailed questions about possible past drug use as he is doing now." It goes on: "If Bush were applying to be an FBI agent, he would have to provide detailed information about any past drug use. If he walked into a Marine Corps recruiting office, he would be asked if he had ever used illegal drugs and rejected if he refused to answer."
So we can dig into the "private lives" of all these other people associated with our government, but not the one who is supposed to be running it? I don't know that I can agree with that...
08-20-1999, 04:55 PM
I've got the same feeling with GWB that I had with Clinton during the whole Lewinsky thing, and that is, why do so many people get so self-righteous when it comes to our politicians? Although I'm not seeing the self-righteousness in this thread, which is good, I am seeing it elsewhere. Our politicians are human. They do stupid stuff just like (most) of the rest of us ;)
We as a nation are growing older. Pretty soon, we're just not going to be able to find someone to run our country that hasn't done drugs, or had sex before marriage, or whatever it is we feel like objecting to that day. If we want someone running our country who is without sin, we need to breed her/him now, and simply appoint her/him in another 35 years.
BTW, I laughed myself silly when Clinton said he didn't inhale, and I'm laughing just as hard at Bush now. I don't care for drug use, but for Pete's sake, don't be wishy-washy when asked a simple yes/no question. If Bush had said "yes, I did do a line or two in my irresponsible youth," he just might win a few votes...from people that thought "Hey! What refreshing honesty in a politician! I like it!" Can't say I'd throw my vote his way, but I'm not done checking out all my candidates yet. But a statement of that nature would make me take another look at him, and possibly wait for another honest statement or two.
08-20-1999, 07:58 PM
I liked then-candidate-for-Texas-Governor Ann Richards' response to the same question. Unfortunately, I don't have the direct quote but it was something to the effect of: *If someone's going to keep harping on your drug use decades after it happened, what's the point of getting sober?*
08-20-1999, 08:27 PM
I was behind GW (on this issue) until two days ago. I'd like to see more (all) politicians simply refuse to answer irrelevant personal questions until the reporters quit asking the questions.
If someone wants to write a law that national elected officials are subject to the same FBI background checks as the bureaucrats that report to them, I would go along with that, but I think most of the stuff they go through now is totally irrelevant imbecility.
I accept Gaudere's point on the illegality of doing dope, but if GW could pass the current screening, (seven years?), then I'd still let it go. Drug laws in the 1970's (and even into the 1980's, to some degree) were seen by a large portion of the populace as farcical. Quite a few cities and several states passed ordinances and laws that made some drug usage misdemeanors. Does every candidate have to expose their driving records?
Since Tuesday, GW has widened his declaration of "no drugs" a bit further each day. If someone produces credible testimony (not proof, just a story people think they can believe), his candidacy will be severely hampered. I don't even know that I like the guy, but I think we should be choosing leaders based on how they will lead the country in the next 4 (or 6 or 2) years, not based on behavior that might have been winked at 20 years ago. He should have kept his mouth shut.
08-20-1999, 08:52 PM
Tom said:if GW could pass the current screening, (seven years?), then I'd still let it go.GW thought it was 7 years as well. But NBC news pointed out that the current screening asks for info all the way back to your 18th b-day, no matter how many years ago that was. That's one thing that tripped up GW.I think we should be choosing leaders based on how they will lead the country in the next 4 (or 6 or 2) years, not based on behavior that might have been winked at 20 years ago. He should have kept his mouth shut.I agree -- to an extent. I think this shows something about how he will act. He is acting in many ways like Clinton -- waffling. First he says he won't answer questions on it. Fine. I can respect that. Then he changes to answer some questions on it -- his choice, of course. Then he answers some more and is vague about others. Back and forth, he goes, where he stops, nobody knows.
08-20-1999, 10:22 PM
Up front, I'll admit: I like George W. Bush, I think he's been a good governor, and if he's the Republican nominee, I'll probably vote for him.
Now, what do I think of his approach to questions about cocaine use? That depends. IF he really has used cocaine (I'm not saying I believe he has, but let's assume it's true for argument's sake), he might as well come clean about it now, and throw himself on the mercy of the voters. Fact is, like it or not, IF he EVER used cocaine, there is no way on Earth he can possibly hope to keep it secret. IF he used cocaine even once, SOMEBODY sold it or gave it to him, SOMEBODY saw him do it, and sooner or later, those somebodies are going to pop up on a Barbara Walters special. So, if there's ANY truth to the rumors, he has to admit it now. To keep silent and hope it blows over would be futile and stupid (as a wise man once said, "If more than one person knows something, it is NOT a secret.")
But... suppose for a second he has NEVER used cocaine. Is it good/smart to answer "Nope, never did it"? Not necessarily. And I say this from personal experience.
I am a rarity: i'm a 38 year old amn who has NEVER used a single illegal drug, even once. Practically all my friends did (hey, if you were in high school in NY in the 70s, pot was EVERYWHERE!). I'm a 100% clean, sober, strait-laced Christian guy. And yet... if I were offered a good programming job with a good salary, BUT the company demanded that I submit urine samples for drug testing on a random basis, I'd refuse!
Some people would say "Why refuse? If you REALLY have nothing to hide, why not just pee in a cup, and be done with it?" BECAUSE, damn it, peeing in a cup is humiliating, stupid, unnecessary and degrading. I've never taken drugs, and I shouldn't have to prove it to you. If my performance on the job is bad, fire me. But I'm not going to put myself through urinalysis on your say-so. Besides, if you can check THIS part of my private life, what part of my life is off-limits"
MAYBE George W. Bush was a drug user and just doesn't want to admit it. But MAYBE, just maybe, he's innocent. And MAYBE, he knows that if he answers THIS intrusive question, he's going to have to answer more and more and more intrusive questions. MAYBE he wants to tell the tabloids to take a flying you-know-what, because he KNOWS that's far from the last personal question they're going to ask, and he'd like to nip this in the bud.
08-20-1999, 10:37 PM
The repubs went to great lengths to expose every possible nook and cranny of Clinton's misbehavior which included things that the had done prior to seeking the office of the President.
I didn't have a problem (and still don't) with Clinton's skeletons.
That being said, I said back then, during the height of the santimonious republican-led attempt to villify Clinton that tactics like that would come back to haunt them (the repubs) and low and behold...it's happening even sooner than I had thought it would...
Good. They deserve it. I bet George Jr. has enjoyed an ellicit blowjob along the way too. Let's expose it. Let's paint him onto a corner and force him to face the facts of his own past actions and decisions. Serves the repubs right!
Hell, let's appoint an independant council to investigate whether or not his drug habit affected the way in which his father ran the CIA...you never know right?
08-20-1999, 10:39 PM
Politicians do whatever they want whenever they want, use their money/power to bail themselves out of trouble, and then tell the rest of us what we should and should not do.
08-21-1999, 12:49 AM
Wait, wait, I thought the question was about George W.'s political strategy, not whether people who have done drugs should be elected prexy. That's a whole different bucket of worms.
David B., I agree with you. George W. took the worst possible course. "I won't answer that question."???? Doesn't that come across as sort of a mealy mouthed admission. I mean, if you didn't do coke, deny it. If you did, admit it. Refusing to answer just makes you look like you're hiding something.
I think if it was spun correctly, an admission could make Bush look (shudder) courageous.
"Owls will deafen us with their incessant hooting!" W. Smithers
08-21-1999, 12:51 AM
I'm all for making career politicans look like the complete and absolute assholes that they are. Whether it's personal questions that have really no impact on how they will do their job or sleazbag reporters digging in their past to find the most minute shit that is very embarrassing and has no relevant value, I don't care, I just want these suckers to squirm in their expensive lobbyist-paid for Italian shoes.
The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
George Bernard Shaw
08-21-1999, 02:05 AM
Given that it has been established that youthful pot-smoking does not disqualify one for high (sorry) office, George Dubya's postition is tantamount to an admission that he did do cocaine, and therefore I think the media and voters should act as if it is established that he did in fact do that. Doesn't rule him out for me, of course (although plenty of other things do).
I seem to recall something about "casting the first stone"...is there really a politition our there with no secrets in his life....
If were are able to get past our dishonest, aduterous, cheating, and stealing president (we left him in office), who really cares about drug use??
I think when we left Clinton in office, the public made a statement that we don't really care about their personal life...we just want them to do a good job.
08-21-1999, 07:11 PM
[[I seem to recall something about "casting the first stone"...is there really a politition our there with no secrets in his life....
If were are able to get past our dishonest, aduterous, cheating, and stealing president (we left him in office), who really cares about drug use??]] Jen
Stealing? Evidence please?
[[I think when we left Clinton in office, the public made a statement that we don't really care about their personal life ....]]
Nah, he was only impeached for lying about getting a blowjob -- obviously nobody cares about any politician's "personal life." So who cares about felonies?
08-22-1999, 12:36 AM
Hey, let's force him to be tested for drugs.
I'm only a lowly software engineer, and I have to be tested if I want to change jobs. If anybody should have to pee in a cup, it would be a presidential candidate. Not many positions exist where a lack of judgement could actually result in the death of millions.
It's a travesty that the guy on the fry-o-later at McDonalds has to submit to this degredation, when this guy, who will possibly have access to the nuclear football, can freebase until his spoon melts.
I don't think there should be a single drug test forced onto anybody in the private sector until all members of the House and Senate, and all presidential candidates prove they are clean of the substances they advance their careers on by keeping illegal.
08-22-1999, 02:16 AM
I just want these suckers to squirm in their expensive lobbyist-paid for Italian shoes.
And we wonder why our best and our brightest don't want to become our national leaders...
peas on earth
08-22-1999, 08:21 AM
While I respect Astorian's civil libertarian leanings and clean-living, I'm pretty sure The Shrub used cocaine. That's a felony where I come from, although it's not always a felony under Federal law. He's also admitted to drinking too much, dancing naked and in general having a grand old time. None of these things *in themselves* would cause me not to vote for him but hypocrisy would. Don't get me wrong; I hate cocaine and everything I've seen it do to this country. But it seems to me that the better question is whether he was supervising people being incarcerated for important portions of their lives for the same "youthful indiscretions" that he was indulging in. (I know it's never really "sauce for the goose" but you'd like to think it was at least chicken gravy on that gander.)
Re: the "I didn't inhale" line- I thought this was utter bs, too, until I talked to my dad. Seems that he tried to smoke tobacco cigarettes and could not keep the smoke down because he was coughing too much. He gave it up in disgust and thinks the same could probably happen with a joint. Personally, I think they weren't trying hard enough, but that's just me. ;)
"You don't drink, don't smoke: what *do* you do?" -A. Ant
08-22-1999, 11:54 AM
And we wonder why our best and our brightest don't want to become our national leaders...
Best and brightest what though? I would say that our presidential candidates are the people best able to lie and philander their way to the top. Are they smart? Absolutely. It takes someone with a high level of intelligence and understanding of human nature to, at the very least, surround themselves with the people who will get them to the top.
Cynical? Yes, but I DO vote. I figure they're all liars and hypocrites, but I vote for the one who's most likely to support what I want supported.
08-22-1999, 10:56 PM
In general, very few people change their minds about the politicians they like over issues like this. If Bill Clinton's lecherousness bothers you, it PROBABLY means you never liked him in the first place. If allegations of drug use by George W. Bush bother you, it probably means you hated him already. Most people have their minds made up, and merely use scandals to confirm their existing prejudices.
I repeat, I don't know whether George W> has used cocaine. If people want to assume his refusal to answer means "yes," I can certainly understand, and they're entitled to draw that conclusion.
However, my alternative scenario remains. Suppose he did some embarrassing things in his bachelor days (which he undoubtedly did). He figures, "I'm married now, I'm stable now, I don't drink any more... everything's peachy." But he knows that stories of his days as a hard drinking, hard partying woman chaser could come back to haunt him. So, he's made a categorical decision: don't answer ANY questions of a personal nature. Just refuse to answer ANY of them. Make it clear that he's not going to provide any juciy stories or revealing tidbits, and hope the reporters get tired of this and move on. (Not bloody likely, of course, but more on that in a moment.)
Now, suppose George (or ANY candidate for that matter.... play along, and pretend it's ANY politician that you DO like) makes that decision- NO talking to the press about his private life- then what? Suppose reporters come along and ask "Have you ever beaten your wife... have you ever committed adultery ...have you ever tortured small animals... have you ever engaged in homosexuality?" It would seem easy and logical to say "No... no... and no! Of course not!" But is that wise? Once you've started answering THOSE questions, you pretty much lose the ability to blow of SUBSEQUENT questions, don't you?
I mean, once you're on record as saying, "No, I've never cheated on my wife," the media feel free to ask about ANY area of your private life! When they get around to asking, "How often do you masturbate," a candidate has NO right to say "None of your damn business," becuse he's already pretty much conceded that his sex life IS the media's business!
George has learned this first hand. When he FIRST announced his candidacy, he admitted (without any specifics) that, when he was younger, he drank and partied a little too much. He obviously HOPED that, by admitting this up front, he'd be taking some pressure off himself, and would derail future smear campaigns. Fat chance! Indeed, MANY of the left-wing journalists tearing into Bush right now are arguing that, since Bush has talked about his drinking, he no longer has any right to privacy on any other issue!
By answering questions about drug use, Bush would open the door to all kinds of other questions. He MIGHT be wise to keep the door slammed shut.
08-22-1999, 11:23 PM
At first i was kinda proud of Shrub when he said he wasn't gonna get into that kind of politics and that's why he wouldn't answer.then he stared weaseling around and he went right back down again. i am really amazed at the popularity he has. He's really done nothing down here. (Took credit for a 'tax break' that was a dozen years in the making as was the incredibly generous teachers pay raise (think the teachers leapt all the way from 39th in the nation to 35th) the tax break is more than disappearing as local govts. take up the lack of state funding.he was swept into office in a big republican muscle flex. no one knew anything about him before he ran for govenor. No one knows anything about him now. may be that's his secret , don't say anything and you won't say anything wrong. as soon as he started expanding on his non-answer to the drug thing he started getting in trouble. I miss Ms Richards,even when she sais something wrong, it was damn entertaing.
"Pardon me while I have a strange interlude."-Marx
08-23-1999, 08:34 AM
astorian said:If allegations of drug use by George W. Bush bother you, it probably means you hated him already.Really? Hated? Hmmm, interesting. You must be psychic, eh?So, he's made a categorical decision: don't answer ANY questions of a personal nature. Just refuse to answer ANY of them. ... Once you've started answering THOSE questions, you pretty much lose the ability to blow of SUBSEQUENT questions, don't you? ... By answering questions about drug use, Bush would open the door to all kinds of other questions. He MIGHT be wise to keep the door slammed shut.Er, have you been paying any actual attention to the situation? GW already has opened the door by picking and choosing the drug-related questions he wants to answer. That's the whole point of this thread! If he had just shut up, as he originally claimed he would do, that would've gone along with your scenario here. But he didn't. He decided to start answering the questions he could say "no" to. Did he do drugs in the last 7 years? No. How about the last 15? No. How about going back to when he was 18 years old? Won't answer. How about before then. Won't answer. You've said it yourself -- he opened the door and now he wants to shut it again. Too late.
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