Monday, February 06, 2006

Paging Dr. Frist...

I saw this clip, or one so strikingly similar I can't remember the difference, about a year ago. It's a back-to-back comparison of Bush speaking ten years ago during the TX gubernatorial debate and some more recent clips of him speaking, including during the Bush-Gore Presidential debate.

The difference is absolutely night and day. Frighteningly so. The clip and the linked blog entry suggest it's pre-senile dementia. I think it's a bit of a stretch to diagnose him from this sort of thing, probably put together with an agenda, but what sort of other explanations are there? No, really, I'm asking. Better preparation? He hasn't spoken well in any speech I've heard him give. Is he being coached to speak slower? That doesn't explain him stumbling over his words so much. Stress? Lack of sleep?

I don't think we really have any protection against a President that goes senile or suffers from Alzheimer's while in office. There is a clear line of succession if a President dies, but not if his mental acumen degrades or becomes impaired.

Could this explain why Dubya seems to only speak in front of pre-selected, Republican audiences? Any flaws would likely be forgiven and considered unimportant by those already of the faith, rather than those looking at him with a skeptical eye.


The Squire said...

We have a mechanism in the 25th amendment. Now, whether it works or not is another story.

Matthew said...

There definitely seems to be something different about him. As to why that is the case -- who knows?

Not to explain it all this this, but one thing I've noticed is that Bush is a very defensive person. Going into the 1994 gubernatorial debates, he had nothing to lose. Debating Kerr in 2004 for the presidency, he had everything to lose. It was easy to attack his opponent in '94, but '04, he found himself on the receiving end, and Bush doesn't handle that well AT ALL.

Just something to consider.

Narc said...

Squire: good point. I didn't realize there was a mechanism for transferring power due the incapacity of the President, just his death. It does require the Veep and basically the entire Cabinet to declare him incompetent in writing. Not gonna happen.

Matt: My point is that, if there really is something actually wrong with the President, would we find out about it? I don't think being a defensive person explains these changes. His speech patterns have significantly changed even outside the debates.