Like father, don't like the son

A former advisor to George H.W. Bush says "everyone" knew all along that George W.'s administration would be a disaster.

By Tim Grieve

Published October 16, 2006 1:55PM (EDT)

Thomas DeFrank writes in the New York Daily News that former aides to George H.W. Bush are disdainful of and dismayed by the job George W. Bush is doing at the White House.

"For five years, the 41s have bit their collective tongues as, they complain, the 43s ignored their counsel," DeFrank writes. "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."

"Everyone knew how Rumsfeld acts," a "key assistant" to the elder Bush tells DeFrank. "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."

All of which raises the inevitable question posed over the weekend by a Talking Points Memo reader: If "everyone" who worked for Bush I knew all along how bad Bush II would be, where were they, exactly, in 2000 and in 2004? Brent Scowcroft, the national security advisor for 41, went public with some of his concerns about 43 in the days before the 2004 election. Maybe we missed something, but we don't remember a flood of other Bush I types -- the people DeFrank describes as a "key member of the elder Bush alumni," a "senior 41 hand," "one of 41's most prominent counselors" and the like -- hitting the hustings to warn voters away from Bush II.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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