Dad Slinks Off Into Silence on Alcohol

  Dad Slinks Off Into Silence on Alcohol

Posted by FoM on June 06, 2001 at 18:16:12 PT
By Robert Sheer 
Source: The Nation 

What if First Daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush had been caught lighting up a joint? Would the respectable media play down that story the way they have the Bush children's illegal purchases of alcohol? Hardly, because marijuana is an officially proscribed demon drug while alcohol is a mainstay of the culture, promoted incessantly as an essential ingredient of the good life. Marijuana use, the drug war zealots insist, despite considerable evidence to the contrary, leads inevitably to the harder stuff. 
That's why the US Supreme Court won't risk the health of dying cancer patients with a few tokes of physician-prescribed pot. But those margaritas that the Bush girls grew up to prefer, heck that's just child's play, something all college students do and soon grow out of. Not so their father, unless you think abusing alcohol until the age of 40 is still child's play. Had he hit someone on that night when he was arrested for DUI, it might have undermined George W.'s charmed ascension to the presidency. Sorry, but I'm with the tabloids on this one. It is big news that the commander in chief of the drug war has not been able to control his own daughters' illegal behavior. Obviously, Bush has not followed his own advice, offered while announcing the revving up of the drug war, that parents take more responsibility for their children's conduct. Should the Bush children have gone to church more often to be exposed to those faith-based anti-drug and alcohol programs that the President embraced? Did the Bush parents always know where their children were? Perhaps the Bush twins were permitted to watch too many Hollywood movies. Imagine the vituperation that would have been visited upon the Clinton family if Chelsea, like Jenna, had used the Secret Service to pick up an underage boyfriend, accused of public intoxication, from jail. But when it comes to family values, Republicans' messed-up personal lives are chuckled off as just another American-as-apple-pie growing up experience. Did not the President's mother elicit howls of laughter from her Junior League audience when she made passing reference to her son's alcohol addiction on the very day that her granddaughters were charged with breaking the law? "He is getting back some of his own," Grandma Bush said, with more than a trace of wonderment that her son George W., the underachiever and, by his own admission, often inebriated prankster, is now the President of us all. But alcoholism wasn't really funny for George W. or he wouldn't have had to go cold turkey and work white-knuckle hard these past fifteen years at staying sober. Alcoholism is one of the nation's leading problems and when then-Gov. Bush signed a "zero tolerance" law in 1997 on underage drinking, the reason offered was that Texas led the United States in alcohol-related fatalities. More than 100,000 people die each year from alcohol, so controlling its use is of public importance. This guy as governor and President has responded to problems of substance abuse by acting to throw even more people into jail although that course has already given us the largest per-capita prison population in the world. Yet, when his own daughter now stands but one more arrest away from a possible six months in the slammer because of the law then-Gov. Bush signed, the President is speechless. "The President views this as a family matter, a private matter, and he will treat it as such," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer huffed. Not so fast. Alcoholism is the social problem that this President best understands, and instead of slinking off into silence, he should provide a public example of what he has claimed parenting is all about. This is the time to talk honestly to his daughters and the nation about the lessons of substance abuse, and particularly, whether the tough law and order approach is just dumb. Unless, of course, he really believes that his daughter would benefit from six months behind bars for ordering yet another margarita. Maybe the drinking age should be dropped to 18 years old, as most of the Bush daughters' classmates seem to feel. Why make criminals of the young, most of whom are quite responsible in making their own decisions about when and what to drink? But isn't that even truer of an adult cancer patient who uses marijuana to ward off nausea? Source: Nation, The (US)Author: Robert SheerPublished: June 5, 2001Copyright: 2001, The Nation CompanyContact: letters thenation.comWebsite: Articles:Bush's Double Standard Devil Inside Jenna and George Strikes and She's Out? Jenna Bush is a Pothead, Is It News?

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Comment #7 posted by dddd on June 07, 2001 at 11:17:51 PT
Very well put Pontifex!There is a major similarity between the American revolution,andthe WoDs...The only people who support and defend the WoDs,are those whochoose power over truthdddd
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Comment #6 posted by Pontifex on June 07, 2001 at 10:56:05 PT
Truly a rainbow coalition
Robert Scheer, author of this very well-argued column, is best known (to me, anyway) as the crypto-Marxist "Column Left" author of the L.A. Times. Many times, reading his essays on the "failure of the free market", I've been tempted to wring his neck. I guess I'm glad I didn't. ;)What's truly amazing about marijuana prohibition is how it brings together people from almost every corner of the political spectrum. Conservatives, liberals, and libertarians all find principled reasons to oppose the War on Some Drugs in general and cannabis prohibition in particular.The only ideologues that support the WoSD are authoritarians -- people interested in obtaining power for power's sake, for their own aggrandizement. Our country came together to smack down the authoritarians in 1776. We can, and will do it again.
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Comment #5 posted by Monvor on June 07, 2001 at 06:09:54 PT
Drinking Age
The last time I checked you were an adult at 18. Why refer to the Bush twins as children. It was a long time ago, but when I turned 18 I could purchase alcohol from the base liquor store ( I was in the Army ). As far as making an example, young people should both be allowed to drink at an early age, get sick, puke, etc... The cardinal rules are that one must learn moderation at some age and to do no harm to others in the process. i.e. )do not drink and drive, be violent, etc... I do not fault Bush on his tack with his daughters, it really is not the business of the nation any more than B. Clintons BJ's. It is a great wrong to demonize MJ. A wrong that is magnified by each and every alcohol related incident swept under the rug, and by every case of tabacco related disease that is diagnosed.While I'm on my soapbox, MJ is not addictive and the harmful effects of smoking can be avoided by using a vaporizer or injestion.
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Comment #4 posted by Firestarter on June 06, 2001 at 20:05:18 PT:

piss off
Shut up you, alcohol is much more dangerous then marihuana.
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Comment #3 posted by Elder Male on June 06, 2001 at 19:51:06 PT

New Jersey for POT! !!!
 This just in from a New Jersey newspaper:  (excerpts: AP)-Trenton-- State Sen. Bill Schluter, a Pennington Republican who is running for Governor as an Independent, said yesterday he supports the legalization of marijuana for Medical Uses.     Schluter has introduced legislation that would call on the state's 13 representatives and 2 U.S. Senators to urge Congress to amend Federal Laws ((Controlled Dangerous Substances Act)) so that Marijuana could be used under certain circumstances.  Schluter said Marijuana should be available to ease the pain and suffering of those with debilitating, terminal diseases, such as Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis and AIDS.  Schluter said his recommendation would be that only physicians could prescribe Marijuana in situations where there would be clear therapeutic or pain-reducing Benefits. For example, he said, "It is unfair to withhold the drug when it can make the final days of a terminally ill patient A little More Comfortable!!!    Research into the potential uses of Marijuana can NOT even occur UNLESS federal law is changed, Schluter said. "I am convinced that this narrow use of Marijuana can be conducted under strict controls so that Illegal Distribution Would NOT OCCUR," He has said...
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on June 06, 2001 at 19:34:50 PT

"a family matter"
pardon me,,,while I freak out and power barf,,,how manyyoung lives have been destroyed byzero tolerance prisonsentences???.....Why didnt any of these qualify as "family matters"?I guess some families matter more than others......dddd
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on June 06, 2001 at 18:39:15 PT:

Alcohol...hard or soft drug?
It's a proven addictive drug that destroys brain and liver cells. It kills 100,000 people a year. And that's just through simple use; not factoring the all too often accompanying violence and car accidents that seem to befall some of its' afficianados, the number would be much, much higher.Were it, and not cannabis, the 'drug in question', the answer would be obvious: hard drug.Oh, but excuse me...alcohol is not a drug. And the people who drink it are not drug users. They are social drinkers. They don't drink to get high from ingesting alcohol; nooo, certainly not! And alcoholics are, well...alcoholics. They're not drug addicts, oh my, no!How do I know? The breweries and distilleries told me so.There are few things uglier than a society in denial.
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