Sunday, December 03, 2006


Calling Bulls--t

Frank Rich I have not been one to buy into the arguments that Mr. Bush is stupid or is the sum of his "Bushisms" or is, as feverish Internet speculation periodically has it, secretly drinking again. I still don't. Yeah, little people. Don't believe your lying eyes. Believe us because We Are The New York Times. Actually, Rich isn't lying, since Bush hasn't been drinking secretly nor is it again. He's never stopped, he's done it openly, he's gotten smashed enough to choke on a pretzel and the press has covered up for him.
Well, there is the chance that the stuff in his glass is just apple cider.

It's a very, very remote chance.

And of course, it doesn't count as "drinking" if it's done in the course of one's official duties, right?
I'll freely concede that it could be a non-alcoholic beverage, PW.

What I object to is Frank Rich's characterization of discussion of what sure as h--l looks like drinking as "feverish Internet speculation." This is one of those subjects where reasonable people can disagree, unless they contradict the received wisdom of The New York &^%$ing Times.
The lower photograph in particular looks exactly like water. The upper photograph, it's harder to tell, but it looks like his hand refracted through a transparent liquid, not a white wine.

I believe Bush is drinking--either again or still, and there's evidence i have that it's "still". But I don't think that even he is stupid or arrogant enough to drink wine in public in front of photographers while claiming to be abstemious.
Kevin, you may be right on the question of what the photos show. I actually think the glass in the lower photo is empty, which would have special symbolism considering the toast is to Fox, but the contents could be water. I chose these photographs because they are on the Whitehouse website and therefore presumably immune to Photoshopping.

My opinion is formed from other information. I have a wire service photo of Bush holding a wine glass when he is visiting Poland. The next photo in the series, which I regrettably did not save, shows his face lit up like Rudolph's. I had, and am looking for, a photo of him at the 28th G-8 in Kananaskis, Canada. It shows him with a brown bottle. A friend with image enhancement software assures me that it is beer. I found those pictures persuasive, but since in any case I can't prove that there was alcohol and that George Bush consumed it, I don't expect others to necessarily share my assessment.

What people should agree on is that holding an opinion based on facts is not "feverish speculation."

As for Bush not being stupid enough to flaunt his drinking, with toadies like the ones we have in the press, why would he feel any need to hide it? They dismissed our doubts about Iraq as feverish speculation too.
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