Friday, August 26, 2005

President Wet Brain

Justin Frank on George W. Bush, the untreated alcoholic:
Nobody talks about it – the press is afraid of it — but we are all enabling a man whose grasp of reality is tenuous at best.

Anxiety is always challenging; but when an untreated alcoholic’s behavior is challenged, his anxiety increases dramatically - and with it, the need to numb its sting. Anxiety is then a threat to his abstinence. Instead of learning new means to manage feelings, he has to spend energy fighting his fears. In Bush’s case, he fiercely rides his mountain bike.

Managing his anxiety is one reason presidential briefings have been so simple. USA Today reports on August 25 that Bush’s foreign policy briefings were, until very recently, presented to him with “snappy headlines” and simplistic perspectives leaving “little room for doubt or nuance.” No wonder it was so simple to invade Iraq.

Bush himself said that he doesn't do nuance. The truth is, he can't. Evading anxiety over all these years – whether with alcohol, religion, or exercise – has compromised his ability to think. Instead, Bush relies on daily routines. His bicycling routine is rigidly adhered to; but thinking—and a mechanism to facilitate it—are nonexistent.

Like every other aspect of George W. Bush's short-cut approach to life, he started at Step 3 and stopped climbing.


At 11:14 AM, Blogger Jeff Huber said...

Yeah. It's pretty obvious.

And also a symptom you see in people who, in middle age, slap on a set of political and religious beliefs.

Noting about them is ever quite real.


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