Family feud?

It’s the Bush I supporters against the Bush II supporters.

Josh Marshall notes that Tom DeFrank, who wrote the dynamite story for the Daily News (not, that I can see, either confirmed or denied elsewhere) claiming that GWB knew what Rove had been up to in the Plame affair and yelled at him for it, “has long been close to people in the Bush world,” which makes his breaking a big story against Bush both more surprising and more credible.

But follow the link and you find that DeFrank was close to Jim Baker, distinctly a Bush I figure.

It seems to me that the Bush I crowd, including Bush I himself (but not, of course, Rumsfeld or Cheney), mostly feel about Bush II and his cronies the way the Kennedy folks felt about Jimmy Carter and what they considered his band of yokels and second-raters. That split did the Democrats enormous harm, and I think the same dynamic is now at work among Republicans.

Colin Powell worked for Bush II, but he’s very much a Bush I guy, and there he is helping McCain humiliate Bush II on the torture issue. And although Powell reportedly disapproves of the outspokenness of Col. Wilkerson, his former chief of staff, Wilkerson makes explicit what he sees as the contrast between father and son.

And then, of course, there’s that quintessential Bush I figure, Joseph Wilson.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com