10/04/2006 04:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Bush the Elder Swats Bush the Younger Good

Kremlinology may be anachronistic, but observing and interpreting Bush-world has taken its place as one of my extra-curricular activities.

I can hardly believe that George Bush 41 throttled his son so harshly in a speech he gave last night at the home of the German Ambassador to the U.S. on the 'Day of German National Unity.'

OK -- it may not sound like hard core throttling, but in the world of president to president nuance, this is about as rough a critique as one can expect.

Bush the father stated:

Such celebratory occasions are necessarily marked by gratitude; and here at home, I think first of my predecessor, Ronald Reagan, who met the Soviet challenge head-on and gave me a unique chance to work so closely with the players who would come to shape Europe's destiny.

I also think of a very fine White House foreign policy team, who debated freely and forcefully [emphasis added] -- and who served with great honor. Their names are well know to most of you, but let history record that Gen. Brent Scowcroft, Jim Baker, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Bob Gates, Bill Webster, and so many others earned their nation's thanks -- and their President's -- for a job well-done.

In the curmudgeonly, cryptic way that Bush senior speaks, this is a powerful statement of criticism regarding his son's myopic, buffered from reality management style of the national security portfolio of the nation.

-- Steve Clemons is Senior Fellow and Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note