That’s the question James Taranto is asking in his latest Best of the Web Today column at the Wall Street Journal:
“This is President Obama’s Mission Accomplished moment,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas tells Time.com. “Jimmy Fallon Mocks ObamaCare’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ Charade,” according to a Breitbart.com headline. While the host of “The Tonight Show” didn’t say “mission accomplished” in last night’s monologue, he was scathingly sarcastic about the White House’s declaration of victory. On Monday Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin observed: “It is entirely possible that we will look back on today’s deadline and administration celebrations about enrollment as Obama’s version of George W. Bush’s infamous ‘mission accomplished’ moment after Iraq.”
Much as this columnist enjoys blaming things on George W. Bush, we feel obliged to note that he did not say “mission accomplished” during that May 1, 2003, speech. Quite the opposite. He asserted, referring to the broader war on terror: “Our mission continues.” The mission to which the infamous banner referred was the deployment from which the USS Abraham Lincoln, aboard which the then-president delivered the speech, had just returned.
But Bush did open his speech with what turned out to be a premature declaration of victory: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” Obama’s speech yesterday included a similar assertion of triumph, albeit against the president’s adversaries, not the country’s: “The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”
More than a few Obama critics have taken offense at his declaration that “the debate . . . is over.” To them he sounded like a dictator commanding his subjects to cease dissent. But Obama is not a dictator, and few of his critics are likely to heed his implicit demand. What’s more, it’s difficult to imagine the likes of Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor successfully deploying the debate-is-over gambit in their re-election campaigns. Our guess is that the debate over whether the debate over ObamaCare is over will be over on Nov. 5.
As Ann Coulter wrote in October, “The most hilarious part of the ‘settled law’ argument is that it’s coming from the left, for whom nothing is ever ‘settled’ until they get their way,” along with numerous examples of the left never accepting any law they despise as “settled.”
Today, the president, once described by his zanier leftwing supporters as the second coming of FDR, JFK and Lincoln — and heck, God Himself — and the greatest orator since Cicero or Caesar all rolled into one, is hitting the road and taking the highroad in his follow-up rhetoric:
The president paid a visit to Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich., today as part of his push to increase the minimum wage.
Zingerman’s he says, pays its employees “fair wages.” Whether they’re fair enough to afford the lunch the president had isn’t clear: He ordered a small Reuben for $13.99; larges go for nearly $17…
“If they tried to this sell [Paul Ryan’s budget] at Zingerman’s, they’d have to call it the ’stinkburger’ or the ‘meanwich,’” he said.
As Guy Benson warns at Hot Air, “If ‘stinkburger’ goes viral, which seems to be happening on Twitter as I write this, there will be more in this vein:”
Imagine a world where Harry Reid’s moved on from “Kochtopia” to accusing the Koch brothers of wanting to feed America a “turd burrito” or “sh*t hoagie.” We’re closer to that world than we were an hour ago. And, given the state of Reid’s mental health these days, we weren’t far from it in the first place.
Yesterday, I was going to compare Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” speech to GOP Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep Peter Hoekstra’s press conference announcing relatively small quantities of WMDs were found in Iraq. It was delivered in June of 2006, after the Bush-hating MSM had spent three years convincing the American people that nothing less than a Ken Adams-designed giant SPECTRE-style secret underground laboratory of WMDs would suffice as proof that the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein was a valid cause. As with Obama’s speech yesterday, by the summer of 2006, Santorum and Hoekstra’s speech appeared to reek of desperation — then and now, both parties, seeing slumping polling numbers on the wall and November midterms looming large, were eager for anything that might reframe the debate in their favor.
Similarly, Obama’s clanging fast-food themed speech today is very reminiscent of his own Slurpee-obsessed anti-GOP rhetoric in 2010:
In each of 20 political speeches over the last two months, Mr. Obama has included a riff in which he portrays GOP leaders as sipping Slurpees while hard-working Democrats struggle to pull the economy out of a ditch.
“We’re down there. It’s hot. We were sweating. Bugs everywhere. We’re down there pushing, pushing, pushing on the car. Every once in a while we’d look up and see the Republicans standing there. They’re just standing there fanning themselves — sipping on a Slurpee.”
In 2006 and 2010, how did those Congressional midterms work out for their respective parties?