The irony is wonderful. In less than 30 seconds, Dana Perino accuses the Democrats of being cynical, not playing fair, and pulling a PR stunt in passing the latest Iraq funding bill, complete with a non-binding withdrawal timetable. Excuse me?
From this morning's Press Gaggle in the WH Briefing Room:
Helen Thomas: Do you think -- what do you think about the effort to time this with the fourth anniversary of the President's declaration of the end of major combat?
MS. PERINO: Well, I noticed that yesterday there are anonymous Democratic sources who are saying that this was their strategy and that an on-the-record quote from the Senate Majority Leader's spokesman saying that that is preposterous. I wonder which one is accurate. And I think that if it is the case that they withheld money for the troops in order to try to play some ridiculous PR stunt, that that is the height of cynicism, and absolutely so unfortunate for the men and women in uniform and their families who are watching the debate -- and you would hope that that is not true, although it does make you wonder, why did the House wait so long to appoint conferees? There were no conferees appointed during that two-week break.
So does this mean that the Democrats have stooped down to the President's level? Because no one has been more disrespectful of the troops than his administration. And cynical? Wasn't the construction of the Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch narratives a cynical use of their blood to bolster support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?
So what if the Democrats did time this bill to within a week of the 'Mission Accomplished' speech anniversary? You know Keith Olbermann is going to deliver a special comment on May 1st. You know that many congressmen and senators will put out a statement on that day. Ditto with anti-war groups. Even the mainstream press will re-visit that speech on the flight deck of the USS Lincoln. In fact, they have already begun.
But Ms. Perino continues, and tries her best to re-spin that speech, just as Scott McClellan did in the fall of 2003:
And I would just remind you that I know that our opponents for years have tried -- have misconstrued that speech. I would encourage anybody who's actually going to write about this to go back and read that speech and what it was about and what the USS Abraham Lincoln was doing, how long they had been gone, way past their six-month deployment. I think they were gone nine to 10 months. They were expanded, and their mission was accomplished. The President never said "mission accomplished" in his speech.
And I would just hope that the cynicism on the Hill doesn't run that deep, but I wouldn't put it past them.
Excuse me while I chuckle. And then I get really mad.
Nice try, Ms. Perino, but fuck you.
was a PR stunt. And it was elaborately staged in front of this:
And this is the text of the president's speech. He said:
"In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
"The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on."
I think I see the word victory above. His words, plus a vinyl banner from the white house, equals a war victory speech. Not a victory for the crew of the Lincoln. He was talking about Operation Iraqi Freedom. Stop spinning it because you will lose the argument. I'll give you credit: Scotto was a good teacher. You learned from the best.
And you will just make this May 1st more painful for the White House, and the right-wing bloggers, which I wouldn't mind at all.