The carefully-crafted image of George W. Bush as a bold, decisive leader is cracking under the weight of new revelations that the erratic President is indecisive, moody, paranoid and delusional.
“More and more this brings back memories of the Nixon White House,” says retired political science professor George Harleigh, who worked for President Nixon during the second presidential term that ended in resignation under fire. “I haven’t heard any reports of President Bush wondering the halls talking to portraits of dead Presidents but what I have been told is disturbing.”
Two weeks ago, Capitol Hill Blue revealed that a growing number of White House aides are concerned about the President’s mental stability. They told harrowing tales of violent mood swings, bouts with paranoia and obscene outbursts from a President who wears his religion on his sleeve.
Although supporters of President Bush dismissed the reports as “fantasies from anonymous sources,” a new book by Dr. Justin Frank, director of psychiatry at George Washington University, raises many similar questions about the President’s mental stability.
"George W. Bush is a case study in contradiction," Dr. Frank writes in Bush On The Couch: Inside the Mind of the President. "Bush is an untreated ex-alcoholic with paranoid and megalomaniac tendencies."
In addition, a new film by documentary filmmaker, and frequent Bush critic, Michael Moore shows the President indecisive and clearly befuddled when he learned about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
While conservative critics who have not yet seen Fahrenheit 9/11 dismiss the work as an anti-Bush screed, Roger Friedman of the normally pro-Bush Fox News Network has seen the film and calls it “a tribute to patriotism, to the American sense of duty — and at the same time a indictment of stupidity and avarice.”
Friedman also says the films “most indelible moment” comes when Bush, speaking to a group of school kids in Florida, is first informed of the 9/11 attacks.
“Instead of jumping up and leaving, he instead sat in front of the class, with an unfortunate look of confusion, for nearly 11 minutes,” Friedman says. “Moore obtained the footage from a teacher at the school who videotaped the morning program. There Bush sits, with no access to his advisers, while New York is being viciously attacked. I guarantee you that no one who sees this film forgets this episode.”