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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

Stretching it?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Thanks to Political Animal's Kevin Drum for this link to a startling video comparing GW's performance in a 1994 debate, when he was running for governor of Texas, to his current standard performance of fumbling with facts and language. What a difference 10 years makes, huh?

That said, as strong as my dislike of GW is, would I go so far as concluding, as the video by AdBuzz does, that he is suffering from cognitive deficits caused by pre-senile dementia? I'm not sure.

To be fair to AdBuzz, their video seems to be, essentially, a companion piece to an article by James Fallows in the The Atlantic that I have not read as it requires subscription.

The AdBuzz video includes this quote:
Slowly developing cognitive deficits as demonstrated so clearly by the President can represent only one diagnosis, and that is pre-senile dementia.

- Dr. Joseph M. Price
The Atlantic, Oct. 2004
I've made a slight leap to guess that this quote was taken from the Fallows article.

The problem I have with the suggestion that GW is pre-senile is two-fold.

1. The video could easily be dismissed as a sensational attack ad. After all, Dr. Price has diagnosed the President without having actually met the man, not to mention the absence of a thorough medical, neurological, psychosocial evaluation.

2. Do we really need a medical diagnosis to explain GW's problems with public speaking? I'm more inclined to believe that GW's decline in this area has more to do with a.) the pressures of being the leader of the most powerful nation on earth; b.) trying to defend his indefensible record; c.) having been cloistered his entire four years in office, giving fewer press conferences than any president in modern history, on the occasions that a press conference was given questions were pre-screened and answers were not even given in some cases, and on the campaign trail attendees at his rallies had to sign letters of support and non-GW supporters were not allowed entrance.