Harmful Matters by Bob Armstrong
Snorting a few white lines at Andover Prep or Yale or in his post-college party days may be a plus in George W. Bush's bid for the White House.

His convoluted answers to the rumored felony are straight out of Bill Clinton's language squirming book. Despite his non-answer, "I was young and irresponsible," the public has a pretty good idea that GWB spent a fair number of years walking on the wild side, but not too wild. And people don't seem to care. GWB actually got a bump in his poll ratings when a flurry of stories last month jacked up the old cocaine rumors, which have been around since he defeated incumbent democrat Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election.

"Even if the people don't care what GWB put up his nose, the rumormongers in the media do."

As boomers move into the higher circles of power, questions about their drug use are inevitable given an unrelenting and increasingly puritanical press corps. Both Al Gore and Bruce Babbitt went for the pre-emptive strike in the 1988 presidential primary race acknowledging they'd smoked weed in the sixties. Gary Johnson, the republican governor of New Mexico, recently fessed up to pot and a touch of coke in his younger days. Lincoln Chafee, a republican running for the U.S. Senate seat in Rhode Island his father is vacating, said he'd used cocaine "several times" while at Brown University.

When Bush was asked by a news cop if he could pass the routine government security clearance which asks if you have taken drugs in the past seven years, he said no. But all that did was imply he could have whuffed some stuff more than eight years ago. So he said that in 1989 he could have passed the 15-year ban which applied when his old man was Prez. This pushes the deed back to 1974, when he was 28 years old, or before.

Circling around the question isn't going to fly as the race heats up. The sad fact is even if the people don't care what GWB put up his nose, the virtuemongers in the media do. GWB is going up against a sleazy rule: News decides what it wants to know and throws a temper tantrum if answers aren't forthcoming.
Numerous surveys over the years have shown those in the press corps have a decidedly liberal bent, yet they get outraged when Bush refuses to answer: "Have you now or have you ever been a member of the Drug Party?" But hell, hypocrisy is nothing new to the news crowd.

Now, assuming GWB did some lines, is he a hypocrite for his tough stand on drugs? After all, in 1993, while campaigning for gover