After George Herbert Walker Bush was jeered by an Abu Dhabi crowd for saying that his “son is an honest man,” he appeared stunned and surprised. He apparently was unaware that his boy is not exactly the most popular man in the Arab world.

It has become a common journalistic trope to compare favorably George Senior’s realism to his son’s faith-based approach. This revival of his father’s reputation may end up being Junior’s only success. But how in touch with reality was Bush 41? When did he ever know the price of milk?

This issue is suddenly relevant, because the political elite have turned to the father, in the form of his former advisors James Baker and Robert Gates, to rescue the country from his son’s mess. And so they wait like supplicants for the Iraq Study Group to deliver unto them a roadmap to the final corner in Iraq and a strategy for turning it.

But so far the combined wisdom of these wisemen is that we should talk to Syria and Iran. Remembering how Iran-Contra turned out, why should Democrats rely on the Bush 41 teams’ diplomatic skills this time around?