By DOUG THOMPSON
According to the National Enquirer, President George W. Bush, an alcoholic, is drinking again.
In normal times, such a story in a tabloid like the Enquirer would be dismissed as just another fantasy for the newspaper that normally devotes its front page to gossip about celebrity divorces. But an America with Bush as President is anything but normal and too many warning signs point to the sad fact that Dubya the drunk is back on the bottle. Plus we reported the same thing in a story about Bush’s temper tirades on August 25.
Like the President, I’m a recovering alcoholic. Unlike him, I’ve been sober for 11 years, three months and 16 days. Bush says he quit drinking without help from any organized program. I had a lot of help – from family, friends and Alcoholics Anonymous. As an alcoholic, I can say without hesitation that available evidence tells me that Bush is drinking and drinking heavily.
The signs have been there for too long. Bush fell off a couch after, his aides say, “falling asleep.” He has appeared in public with bruises on his face, the kind of injuries a person would suffer from falling in alcohol-impaired conditions. He disappears from public view for extended periods, takes more vacations than other Presidents, has trouble forming words, appears disinterested in public and mangles his sentences. In other appearances he rambles and appears unable to focus. During the Katrina crisis he displayed little emotion or compassion when confronted with the horrors along the Gulf Coast.
This web site reported last year that the White House physician had placed the President on anti-depressants. If Bush is mixing alcohol and anti-depressant drugs his judgment – which is already suspect – is impaired even more.
“The President all too often is out of control,” a White House source tells me. “People are afraid to risk his anger by telling him things he does not want to hear. Newsweek magazine reported the same thing last week in their story: “How Bush Blew It.”
The Enquirer interviewed Dr. Justin Frank, a Washington D.C. psychiatrist and author of Bush On The Couch: Inside The Mind Of The President.
“I do think that Bush is drinking again,” Frank said. “Alcoholics who are not in any program, like the President, have a hard time when stress gets to be great. I think it's a concern that Bush disappears during times of stress. He spends so much time on his ranch. It's very frightening.”
Dr. Frank is a highly-respected psychiatrist at George Washington University and his book about the President’s problems has been praised by other psychiatric experts. We interviewed him last year for the stories about the President’s deteriorating mental state and his conclusions confirm Bush is losing it.
White House aides tell me rumors about the President’s drinking began circulating last year in the West Wing along with questions about possible abuse of prescription drugs. They report wide mood swings, cancelled meetings and an ever-decreasing number of aides with direct access to Bush.
“Two questions that the press seems particularly determined to ignore have hung silently in the air since before Bush took office,” Dr. Frank told us in August. “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.”
It’s scary enough to have a nutcase in the White House. It’s even scarier to think that nutcase may be drunk.