Jewish World Review June 15, 1999 /1 Tamuz, 5759
Still, has Bush really dodged the Big-D bullet? Heís tried to grant himself blanket immunity, saying he had his wild days but that when he turned 40, he cast off the booze, went born-again. Drugs, though, are not part of his self-confession. When queried on the subject, he does a Texas two-step.
Diane Sawyer last month asked Gov. Bush why he wonít address the matter, and he replied, "Because thereís a Washington game that tries to get people like me to chase every rumor. See, the game is to try to destroy somebodyís reputation and what I am going to tell people is that 20 to 30 years ago I made mistakes, but what people need to know about me is that Iíve learned from my mistakes. And there needs to be a consistent message from people in my generation that says to kids, drugs will destroy your life, abusing alcohol will destroy your life."
Itís only out of concern for the kids that he wonít play this "Washington game."
But, for merely argumentís sake, assume Bush was a fierce cokehead during the high-flying oil-boom days of the 1980s, then he learned to say no and becomes president of the United States. Thatís a great story. Itís inspirational. It tells children that even if you stray into the dark corners of recreational drug use you still can grow up, shake the habit and be president. Thatís much more believable than the lie that all drug use is evil, wrong and destined to ruin your life.
Bush could deliver a real-life message regarding drugs, but heís being too coy. Shortly before he told Sawyer he wouldnít participate in the game of drug-use gotcha, he said to USA Today, "Iím not ready for rumors and gossip. Iím ready for the truth. Surely people will learn the truth." If Bush wants the truth to beat out rumor, that can be achieved easily. All he has to do is spill it. If he wants the public to know the truth about his drug use -- and not the rumors (and there is plenty of delicious but unconfirmed chitchat on this front) -- he can arrange that.
After this nation was subjected to too many details about Clintonís private amusements, it would be natural if many Americans were disinterested in W.ís past personal behavior.
But Bush has not shied away from making the personal behavior of others a political issue. A year ago when he spoke before conservatives in Los Angeles, he noted that 30 percent of all births in Texas were in single-mother families, and he called these families "fatherless, jobless and G-dless."
Whoís playing judge here? Was he saying that out-of-wedlock children are
damned? Must one be married to live within the loving embrace of G-d? In
the same speech, Bush said, "We are living in a time of moral
indifference. I advocate abstaining from sex until you find your right
life partner." Now that heís married, he wants there to be no sex among
the unmarried. If he wants to be elected national preacher, itís fair to
wonder how his past walking holds up to his current
06/10/99: Youíre Okay, Iím Running For Senate