October 14, 2012
“WE’RE GOING THROUGH A ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’ MOMENT,” said Darrell Issa on “Face the Nation” today:
This is not very Republican, if you will, but when President George W. Bush went aboard an aircraft carrier and said, “mission accomplished” I listened rightfully so to people saying, look, but there’s still problems, and they’re still dying, and quite frankly, things got worse in many ways after that famous statement.
Excellent interviews at the link with both Issa and Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham accuses the Obama administration of “trying to spike the ball after killing bin Laden” and “creat[ing] a false narrative about the true state of al Qaeda and it all caught up with them in Libya.”
UPDATE: (From Glenn): Reader Ron Jones writes: “Both Dr. Althouse and Mr. Issa apparently need a reminder that President Bush didn’t say ‘Mission Accomplished’ — it was on a banner on the ship he was speaking from. And as has been pointed out hundreds of times, it was the SHIP’s mission that had been accomplished, not Mr. Bush’s.”
AND: I’m just quoting Issa, but I don’t think Bush can disown the banner he spoke under. I know there’s this way of constraining the meaning of the banner, but Presidents should take responsibility for their messages, and Bush (kind of) did in his book “Decision Points”:
I hadn’t noticed the large banner my staff had placed on the bridge of the ship, positioned for TV. It read “Mission Accomplished.” It was intended as a tribute to the folks aboard the Lincoln, which had just completed the longest deployment for an aircraft carrier of its class. Instead, it looked like I was doing the victory dance I had warned against. “Mission Accomplished” became a shorthand criticism for all that subsequently went wrong in Iraq. My speech made clear that our work was far from done. But all the explaining in the world could not reverse the perception. Our stagecraft had gone awry. It was a big mistake.
Ironically, Issa was trying to highlight how bad it was for the Obama administration to push the narrative that it had vanquished al Qaeda.
ALSO: Bush is such a convenient punching bag. Many Republicans leverage moderating-seeming comments off what they assume is our rejection of Bush. I wonder how many of us there are who really do appreciate what Bush did and would like to see him brought in from out in the cold.