The rivalry between the

Views

The rivalry between the camps of Bush 41 and Bush 43 were on full display at the recent christening of the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, according to Tom DeFrank:

For five years, the 41s have bit their collective tongues as, they complain, the 43s ignored their counsel. But as the war in Iraq has worsened and public support for the current administration has tanked, loyalists of the elder Bush have found it impossible to suppress their disillusionment – particularly their belief that many of 43’s policies are a stick in the eye of his father.

. . .

“Forty-three has now repudiated everything 41 stands for, and still he won’t say a word,” a key member of the elder Bush alumni said. “Personally, I think he’s dying inside.”

. . .

“Everyone knew how Rumsfeld acts,” another key 41 assistant said. “Everyone knew 43 didn’t have an attention span. Everyone knew Condi [Rice] wouldn’t be able to stand up to Cheney and Rumsfeld. We told them all of this, and we were told we don’t know what we’re doing.”

On one level, I find all of this fascinating (perhaps best captured by the Dana Carvey skit from a few years ago in which, if I remember correctly, Carvey’s 41 takes 43 hunting and debates whether to shoot 43 for the good of the country).

On the other hand, 41’s cohort could have done so much more to sound the alarm and prevent the terrible slide the country has taken under 43. If Jim Baker’s return is a sign that the adults are back, then where the hell have they been?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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