Buzz and I felt like we were watching Casablanca, particularly the part where Captain Renault closes down Rick's Cafe Americana for gambling, as we watched Republicans last week doing back flips over President Barack Obama's political use of the killing of Osama Bin Laden
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" Renault says as he is handed the gambling winning for the evening. Claude Rains' line has become the classic line that symbolizes hypocrisy.
In the alternative universe that is Fox News and most of talk radio, we heard constant references that Obama was "spiking the football," and that such action on the part of the President was totally inappropriate. Obama was acting un-Presidential.
Lost in the clamor and faux outrage was the May Day 2003 "Mission Accomplished" spectacular of former President George W. Bush. Bush donned a Naval aviator suit, hopped aboard a Lockheed S-3 Viking, and landed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. He then gave a speech in which he declared that "major combat operations in Iraq (had) ended." Behind him, was a large banner which read "Mission Accomplished."
It is ironic and tragic that the Iraq war continued for another eight plus years. In fact, more than 90 percent of US casualties occurred after the "Mission Accomplished" moment. In other words, Bush spiked the ball before the game really started.
If Obama touting his actual "mission accomplished" in the killing of Bin Laden was un-Presidential, we will have to work on a term to describe Bush's 2003 "Mission Accomplished" moment.
We believe what is really troubling those on the Republican side of the spectrum is that fact that most Americans are very satisfied with Obama on foreign policy and national defense. Foreign policy and national defense have traditionally been a Republican issue, and they have not been shy about waving the flag and claiming that the Democrats' policies were downright dangerous to America.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that Obama has a 17 point lead on Romney on Foreign Policy and a seven point lead on handling terrorism. Both of these issues have been reliable strongholds for the Republicans in recent history.
Obama has neutralized the "strong on defense" issue for the time being. It will be extremely difficult for Republican soon-to-be Presidential nominee Mitt Romney to claim that Obama is soft on terrorism, not that he won't try.
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