So Bush smoked marijuana. I wonder how big a story this is going to be? Not much, I would guess. Like the GannonGuckertGate scandal, it should be big, but it won't. Here's why.
Democrats who accepted Clinton's admission of smoking a joint are not likely to make a huge fuss of this. The people who really should be making a fuss are the Conservatives. You remember, those same people who jumped up and down screaming about Clinton's bad example, his deception, lack of character, etc, etc.
Of course, they won't leap to condemn Bush for the same sin (if not worse: at least Clinton admitted it). In fact, they will be leaping to his defence and actually attacking anyone who dares broach the subject.
How do you achieve such mental turnaround without losing your sanity or self-respect?
As Robert Steinback complains at The Miami Herald, the people of the USA are learning to make 180-degree reversals of position without even the faintest suspicion of irony:
Just months after Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda attacked the United States, we were told that the "Axis of Evil," Iraq, Iran and North Korea, was our greatest menace -- and many Americans accepted this without question. We were told that weapons of mass destruction in Iraq posed such an immediate threat that crushing al Qaeda could wait -- and many Americans accepted that, too.UPDATE: Just saw a TV news report which ended with the words "One thing the tapes DO reveal is that Bush is very much the same man in private as he is in public." Mon dieu!
Then we were told to disregard that no WMDs were found in Iraq; bringing democracy to the Middle East was now our noblest mission. This, too, we accepted -- even though many of these same spread-democracy advocates not long before were howling that not a single American soldier's life should be lost in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo or Somalia.
Conservatives in the 1990s told us balancing the federal budget was so important, they included it in the very first principle of the 1994 "Contract with America" -- and we accepted that. Now, the conservative government is running the largest deficits in history, and we've accepted that. And Bush now wants to sell us a plan to overhaul Social Security that could force America to borrow another $2 trillion -- and he's counting on us to accept this as well...
It's hard to reason with people for whom grounded, unyielding truth can change so swiftly. But I figure I'd better go grab an order of French fries and a good Chablis while the coast is clear.