Monday, February 21, 2005

I Was Young, I Needed the Money

The news of the "Bush tapes" is spreading around, focusing, more than anything on the president's pretty well presumed drug use in his youth. A few reports here and here provide an interesting perspective. Doug Wead, a former Assembly of God pastor seems to indicate that he didn't do any of this for money, but just couldn't resist the historical benefits that releasing these tapes would create. Wead calls himself a friend of the President. Much like Linda Tripp wa a friend of Monica Lewinsky.

Wead believes that the tapes indicate that Bush was a man who rejected his past and and looked ahead to the future, and that they do no damage to the president but more than anything reflect a changed man. True enough, as the tapes offer us nothing new. We all knew that Bush was a trouble maker in his youth. We know he had a problem with alcohol and probably with drugs as well. And Wead did wait until after the election to release them.

But there's something that stinks about this. Wead arranged to have these telephone conversations in states where surreptitious recordings of telephone conversations (between friends or not) are permitted. Hardly a candid and discussion between friends. He also knew that Bush didn't want kids using his bad example as an excuse to indulge in marijuana, which is why he avoided the story

We all knew Bill Clinton smoked pot. He was just mocked for his non-inhaling cover story that seemed blatantly phony. Al Gore smoked pot. Surprise. They were all non-issues.

It seems that Doug Wead thinks that he is somehow doing something good. But his perception is probably unique to him. It will be interesting to see wether he remains on the White House Christmas Card list for 2005.

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