Monday, April 23, 2007

How about drug testing for the president?

There he sat, or rather slouched, in a chair in the Oval Office.

My president, George W. Bush, was expounding on the state of the war and his appointed attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez.

He smirked, although not as much as on other occasions.

It was what he said that was frightening. Gen. David Petraeus was in town for his briefings of the president and the Congress. My president probably wouldn't say the war was lost, even if he thought it was, in front of the guy he sent off to save his bacon in Iraq.

That's a feat akin to a baseball team coming back from three games and eight innings down to win a seven-game pennant. Sorry -- bad example -- already been done. But you know what I mean.

It wasn't so much of the same-old, same-old in Iraq, it was the fact that the president of the U.S., whose wife is constantly yammering about education, said that Gen. Petraeus was off to speak to a joint session of Congress.

Now, every fourth-grader knows or should know that a joint session of Congress occurs only if the president is in the room. Otherwise, it's a joint meeting.

Which is it? That's another story. It just may be (small chance) that there will be a joint session...but how to find out? Nothing on the Senate or House calendar. The networks -- forget it.

As Shakespeare says, the past is prologue. So, I will say that the president doesn't know the difference between a joint session, joint meeting and joint committee hearing.

My president also said Attorney General Gonzalez handled himself well in front of the Congress last week. He answered every question. Sure, if "I don't know" and "I can't recall" are good answers.

Which hearing was the president watching? How could he think that the mess we made in Iraq can be cleaned up by a regime that has so far refused to do anything to help itself.

The wall that had begun to go up around certain Baghdad neighborhoods: They don't like it. The Israelis don't like their wall either, but it works. There were many, many fewer bombings after the Israel wall was built and many fewer incidents in the places where the wall was erected than other places.

It works. So what if it cuts off neighborhoods. In American cities, neighborhoods are cut off by highways and exit ramps. If it works, try it. But no-o-o-o-o-o. Not our Iraqi brethren.

It just isn't rational.

If we are worried about bicycle racers, football players, baseball players and high schoolers on drugs, how much more serious were it to be if the president were on drugs? Or the Iraqi leader?

I'm not saying this president is on drugs, although his perception of events seems a little skewed. But there may be one in the future who is on drugs. We should know. A little pee in the cup, or a puff into a breath analyzer every now and then may not be such a bad idea.

We may not be able to do anything about what the president will be doing, but at least we'll know why.

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