Friday, February 25


The MSM is underplaying the Wead tapes as demonstrating that the Resident is "the same man in private as he is in public." They're largely right. Bush distinctly reveals an appreciation of his privilege and power and eagerness to use it. He also shows his hypocrisy.

Joe Conason addresses the drugs issue. Bush keeps dodging as addicts rot in prison:

Prisons and jails across the country are crowded with nonviolent drug offenders whose lives have been ruined -- and whose families have been damaged or destroyed -- by the same punitive legal system that never touched young "Georgie," except to issue him a drunk-driving summons.

The poor and the black are incarcerated for using pot and coke, while the rich and the white lie to their kids (and occasionally to the voters) about those same transgressions.

Certainly that was how the justice system worked when Mr. Bush and Mr. Wead had their candid chats. The Texas politician couldn't reassure his friend that he hadn't used cocaine, let alone marijuana, but as governor he was imprisoning young men and women unlucky enough to be arrested in possession of those narcotics, often for draconian mandatory-minimum sentences. He always cherished his image as a tough, swaggering, law-and-order politician who didn't hesitate to imprison teenagers.

But that isn't what happens to people from good families. His niece Noelle Bush went through a drug-rehabilitation program and was released two years ago. His friend Rush Limbaugh went through rehab and has returned to berating the less fortunate on the radio, without doing one day of time.
No reporter ever asked the Texas governor why all those other people deserved to serve five or 10 or 20 years in prison, when their crimes were no different from what everyone knew he had done, whether he admitted it or not. No reporter will ask the President that question today, either, although it is just as pertinent in light of his revealing conversations with Mr. Wead (who incidentally claims to possess many more tapes that he will "never" release).
On those telltale tapes, Mr. Bush can be heard telling Mr. Wead how he'd learned a couple of "really good lines" from James Robison, an evangelical minister and hard-line conservative. "What you need to say time and time again is not talk about the details of your transgressions, but talk about what I have learned," he said. "I've sinned and I've learned."

It is hard to tell what Mr. Bush learned in his recovery from sin, except that other people got caught and he didn't. That would be enough to make anybody smirk.


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