Dubya Drivin' Drunk...does it matter?

I don’t think this is “lying by omission.” He’s not obligated to list every sin he’s ever done.

His refusal to answer questions about his history of drug use was lying by omission – because he was specifically asked about it and he designated the parameters under which he’d answer the question (the old “I can say no for X number of years back but won’t discuss it beyond that” BS).

I am no fan of the Republicans. Their moralizing has consistantly backfired on them especially in the past 8 years. But this drunk driving charge is a non-issue. Just like I felt that Clinton’s philanderings were a non-issue. Dubya has professed that he was a drunk. The only thing that bothers me about that is will he go back to drinking if he’s elected and the pressures of office become to great. He didn’t answer when they asked him if he’s used coke. He probably has, it’s a non-issue. There is talk that one of his “youthful indescretions” was getting a girl pregnant, and she had an abortion. That too is a non-issue. None of these things make him a liar and a hypocrite. People are allowed to make mistakes. They are allowed to change. They are even allowed to change their minds about how they view things and feel about things. We have that option as ordinary citzens, why shouldn’t he? None of this has much baring at all on his ability to be president. Personally I don’t like his party, his politics, or his lack of experience, but his drinking problem is a non issue as long as he stays on the wagon.

What I don’t like about this campain and the Republicans in general is their “Payton Place” politics. Moralizing and pandering to the “moral majority” has become their political calling. Throughout this campain they have shied away from the issues and consistantly attacked Al Gore as a liar. Often these so called “lies” were nothing more than “embelishments” from the right leaning press and their own campain machine. They just couldn’t come out and say that Gore wasn’t qualified, because everyone knows he is. That’s what has bothered me about their campain and their parties tactics.

So now, we’ve go poor old Dubya with some more “youthful egg on his face”. It might be an awful lot easier on the guy if his campain advisers had not run his campain like an episode of “Payton Place”.


I get the feeling that to 99.9% of the electorate, this issue will not affect their vote. To Bush supporters, it will be an embarassment they have to put up with when they argue about the election with the Democrats; to Gore supporters, it will be an extra line of attack on their opponent. As I posted in the “truisms in pop songs” thread:

“Still a man hears what he wants to hear,
And disregards the rest.” [Simon & Garfunkel]

I am reminded of Ted Kennedy’s incident at Chappaquiddick-- it certainly deflated his presidential aspirations, but he survived it politically and his supporters could rationalize it away. That incident seems much more serious than Dubya’s. (not to downplay Bush’s crime at all-- it’s a concern to me but I’ve already decided not to vote for him for other reasons.)

I think this episode shows a difference in the two candidates. Both had comitted illegal acts in their youth. Bush had a DUI, Gore had used marijuana. When the facts came out Bush admitted he did it and was wrong. When Gore decided to admit to his drug use during his first campaign in 1988, he decided to say he had only done it a couple of times and called up old friends and put pressure on them to lie about the extent of his drug use. I do not think candidates should be disqualified on the basis of things that happened long before their being in public office, but I think how they react while a candidate is illustrative about their characters.

Uh, puddle, you seem to be focusing on Gore’s use of marijuana and ignoring W’s possible use of cocaine – which he still has not denied. Frankly, I think the way W has acted with the allegations of coke use has been very illustrative of his character indeed – and not in a good way.

There has never been an legitemate allegation that anyone has ever witnessed Bush ingesting cocaine or anyone did concaine with Bush. He has consistently refused to answer questions about it because speculative questions are a distraction. If you have evidence that Bush ever used drugs you should present it.

No political candidate is going to go around telling you every little indiscretion in their youth. GW even said he had a drinking problem when he was younger. WOW! How earth-shattering that he drove home drunk and got caught! Puh-leeze! Dirty politics, all this crap being churned to the top of the political sewage pile just before elections. I won’t even mention that porno-hustler.

Noone expects a politician, or ANYONE for that matter to spout off every bad thing that they did or got caught for in their life. And to bring up such a weak even in his life 6 days before the election is just dirty politics… as usual.

I’m not going to stand on a Republican pedestal of righteousness and deny that they did the same crap to Clinton, but it was wrong then, the people saw through it and paid it no attention. It’s wrong now and the people are even smarter today than they were eight years ago. (Thanks to the internet of course, Thanks Al)

Weighing in with a couple of thoughts:

To me, this is a non-issue. Couldn’t care less.

Think about THIS, though: What if the REPUBLICANS arranged for this to be released now? The anticipated blowback from the American public has been played out on this forum – this is a fairly minor issue, Democrats must have released this as a desperation measure … ergo, Democrats will do anything to win the election. The undecided voters might be swayed toward Bush by this. Crazy, ain’t it?

Maybe I’ve been reading too many Tom Clancy novels.

puddle said:

Wrong. He refused to answer questions under some circumstances and then dictated the questions that he would answer. If he had consistently refused to answer, that would have been different. But the way he acted sure made it seem like he had something to hide. Otherwise, why not just deny it categorically?

As a former convicted felon, I can realte that he is not the same person he was back then.
I imagine this might even help him with voters who like to drink every now and then.
I see it as being spun as a smear tactic, which could only help Bush.

Like evensven, I say

vanilla, smear tactic or not, what’s the usual turnaround on something like this? I agree that if it had been brought up earlier, we’d have seen Gore’s numbers go up, then Bush bouncing back a week later.

Nixon, as to your question on whether we can elect an ex-alcoholic, I say yes. I believe that Bush is very reformed, and that issue needs to be set aside.

But he also needs to answer the coke question, tell us where that other $1 trillion is coming from, and why he’s wearing his dad’s pants.

Go Gore.

To the extent the Repubs wish to make “character” a big issue, I’d say 3 DUIs at the top of the ticket (is everyone forgetting Cheney’s 2?) is relevant. Excuse me, but being a big enough boozer to get convicted of DUI (not to mention twice!), kind of exceeds “youthful indiscretion.” And the actions of a 30 year old are not those of a “youth.”

But will it make any difference? Hell, no. Anyone who gives a damn about the issues has been decided long ago. What type of a brain dead moron does it take to be “undecided” 5 days before the election? Dubya’s got the big mo going for him, and you know how folks want to vote for a winner.

*Originally posted by Freedom2 *

I have to ask, what else do you figure was on his list of viable alternatives? Deny it? No. Ignore it. Nope, that definitely wouldn’t do. I don’t see how you can gain respect for someone for doing that which they have absolutely no choice but to do.

My take, if you care, is that while not admirable a 24 year old DUI really is not a huge deal. I have a pretty good list of far better reasons not to vote for GW. It does give me a certain amount of pleasure to see something like this come out though, only because “holier than thou” has been such a huge premise of the Bush campaign.

  1. “Remember folks, it’s not the crime that gets you into trouble, it’s the cover-up.” This has been the universal truth in political scandals since (at least) Watergate. Bush (or Gore) will have scandals while in office - even if they are personally honest (which I think they are), there are always going to be aids who get addicted to the power, or see an opportunity to make a quick score. Bush has now shown his inclination is to cover up embarrassments, which bodes ill for when he’s in the White House. Note, this doesn’t make Al (“no controlling legal authority”) Gore better in this regard. It just means that they’re the same, and we’re in for another four years of political scandal.
    And don’t give me this “Bush didn’t try to hide it” crap. First, during the cocaine business, his campaign was closely questioned about his past indiscretions. To say that he didn’t hide it because no one asked him specifically what he did in 1976 is perilously close to arguing that “is” has several definitions. Second, I see no honor in Bush forthrightly admitting it yesterday, after the arrest report was already public. What was his choice? “Nope, wan’t me. Must have been another George W. Bush from Texas visiting Kennebunkport that weekend.”

  2. “youthful indiscretion.” BAH. May I say again, BAH. He was 30. I’m 31. The next time I get busted for DWI, should I be able to say to the judge, “yer honor, it was a youthful indiscretion”, and get a walk? My home state’s Senator (Joe Biden) was first elected to the Senate at age 29. (He didn’t start serving until he was 30, which made it legal.) We’ve already decided that people that young have the maturity and responsibility to serve in high office. We’ve also decided that you’re responsible for your actions once you’ve turned 18 (depending on the state).
    (FTR, I’m not saying Biden is a good Senator. I’m merely saying he was a young Senator.)

At least there is now no question which is the party party!

Think back over the last 8 years. Do you really think Bill/Gore/Hillary would have had a face to face press conference with the press immediately after this was released?

We would have had lawyers invovled, word twisting and denials for the next 4 days. I find it refreshing that he came right out and faced the press head on.

**The real story here is going to be how the DNC released this to bury Perot’s endorsement last night. **

People want issues, not the politics of personal destruction. I think this story will sink Gore.

According to the Bush campaign, the release of his arrest report was a “dirty trick” by the Democrats. Bush himself doesn’t mention that his license was suspended.

If he had come clean about this a while back, it would now be a non-issue. Because he didn’t, its now an issue. I consider DUI to be a serious offense but realize that the climate has changed drastically since the time of his arrest. If I was arrested for anything, I would expect my record to be made public if I ran for office.

I hope none of y’all who claim that DUI is “not a big deal” ever lose a loved one to some idiot drunk fucker in a 2000 pound car. Tell ya what, why don’t you ride with an ambulance for a while and tell me it’s “not a big deal.”

If we elect Bush and Cheney, with 3 past DUIs on their records, what do I tell my kids? That it’s ok as long as it’s before you turn 31? That it’s ok as long as you don’t kill anyone? That it’s ok as long as you find God afterward?

No thanks. If I can manage to figure out that drinking + driving = bad, and before I turn 20, let alone 30, I expect my President to be able to do so as well.

Well, I have lost family members and friends to drunk driving. Also, I dislike Bush for many reasons, and I am not voting for him. Nevertheless, I think his doing something stupid 26 years ago is a non-issue regarding who the guy is today. He made a stupid decision, while under the influence of alcohol, to drive. Yes, it could have had horribly deadly consequences, but that is hardly the same thing as acting out of malice. To demonize him for it here and now, after his societal debt has been paid, and 14 years after he has been off booze completely is IMO utterly ridiculous. My suggestion is that you tell your kids that people can change a lot in 26 years, and that, when possible, human mistakes should be forgiven.

from msnbc.com

“Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater insists Friday that George W. Bush said ‘no’ when asked in 1998 if he’d ever been arrested”