This really does explain a lot. Writing in CounterPunch, Sam Hamond and Elaine Cassel describe a familiar pattern of reformed alcoholics, in which the abstaining addict finds a substitute trigger for the dopamine surge that he used to get through substance abuse.
Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, according to neuroscientists. Bush's brain was changed by his substance use. And his brain did not return to its "normal" or predrinking state after he stopped drinking. Proof positive of that is that he is showing signs of a new addiction--an addiction to power. (See Katherine Van Wormer's prescient piece in CounterPunch: Dry Drunk Syndrome and George W. Bush , from October, 2002.)
He has gone from being a drunk, to being drunk on power. Iraq, rather than cooling his addiction, fueled it. As he said on the aircraft carrier, Abraham Lincoln, off the "perilous" coast of San Diego, "This is but ONE victory." He implied there will be more victories; thus, he will need more conquests to feed this new addiction to power.
Wormer's earlier piece is also worth reading. Analyzing Bush's speech patterns, she finds many traits common to "dry drunks," AA slang for alcoholics who have stopped drinking but still exhibit the thought patterns of the addicted.
It was when I started noticing the extreme language that colored President Bush's speeches that I began to wonder. First there were the terms--"crusade" and "infinite justice" that were later withdrawn. Next came "evil doers," "axis of evil," and "regime change", terms that have almost become clichés in the mass media. Something about the polarized thinking and the obsessive repetition reminded me of many of the recovering alcoholics/addicts I had treated....
Whether George W. Bush is or was an alcoholic is not the point here. I am taking him at his word that he stopped what he termed "heavy drinking" in 1986, at age 40. The point here is that, based on Bush's recent behavior, he could very well be a "dry drunk." Of course, he may just be an immature bully who will gladly sacrifice thousands of lives to get his way even against the advice of the most respected and mature members of his own party....
Bisbort and Wormer wrote their essays during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq--but Bush's pattern of "stinking thinking" continues today, as long-time allies abroad and loyal Americans at home who don't happen to share the Bush League's paranoid world view and grandiose schemes are vilified and demonized, and seemingly every issue is spun into a struggle between the Champions of Truth, Justice, and the American Way (the Bush League) and the unpatriotic and un-American agents of evil (anyone who dares disagree). Take for example Bush's recent pronouncements on the judicial confirmation process, which has approved his nominations at an unprecedented 98% rate. Suddenly it "is broken and it must be fixed for the good of the country," because a Democratic filibuster threatens the confirmations of two controversial, right-wing nominees.
As Bisbort points out, Congress--and the media, and the American public--are acting as "enablers" by tolerating or ignoring Bush's pathological behavior when not supporting it outright. An out-of-control addict needs intervention. It's past time we intervened. We need, in Bisbort's words, to "demand more than temper tantrums and pouting from the Commander in Chief...before it's too late and a dry drunk's dream of glory becomes our national nightmare."
The question is, with his party in control of both houses of Congress, and showing no signs of anything but rubber-stamp approval of his megalomaniacal excesses, who can effectively make such demands?