In case you were wondering if Michael Medved thinks there's any need to apologize for Mission Accomplished, you can find the answer on his website, under the heading, "No Need to Apologize for Mission Accomplished."
You might think it looks bad for the President, that he did a victory lap two months into a war that's taken four more years, cost a half trillion dollars and killed thousands. But you're simply missing the point.
Here's why you're wrong:
1) Bush never actually said "Mission Accomplished." What he said was, "Major combat operations" have ended. The banner "originated" with the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln.
See, silly? It's like Bogie never saying "Play it again, Sam." The President never said the mission was over. He said combat was over. And he was so right, too. Since 2003, 130,000 US troops have been just kind of mopping up.
(The banner, by the way, may have "originated" with the crew, but days after the photo-op, Scott McClellan admitted, "We took care of the production of it. We have people to do those things. But the Navy actually put it up.")
(He amended this later. White House staffers also put it up.)
(But aside from painting it and hanging it, it was totally the crew's project. So, as propaganda banners go, it was less like the big long red things in Nuremberg, and more like when dad builds your go-cart.)
(But everyone knows that. Even Michael Medved. Which is why he carefully wrote "originated" instead of "made." He's not lying, he's just giving you the opportunity to not know the truth.)
(Here's how you can tell when Michael Medved is lying: When his moustache moves.)
2) Bush's speech wasn't really full of lies and fantasies about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. That's just a false impression you get from the places in the speech where Bush said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. What he meant was theoretical regimes with potential weapons of mass destruction. And Medved asks:
"Do any sane or reasonable Americans doubt the continued need to 'confront' - if not invade -- such regimes?"
This, of course, is a version of the logical fallacy argumentum ad hominem, the one that the kids in my neighborhood call "poisoning the well." A delicious blend of name-calling and circular reasoning: Only stupid people don't see I'm right.
- No sane or reasonable person could disagree with invading Iraq. (Because disagreeing would mean they were insane and unreasonable.)
- You'd have to be some kind of idiot to not go to the bank and give me all your money.
- Who but a lesbian wouldn't have sex with me?
- Only a fool doesn't love it when I get drunk and do my John Huston impression.
- No one with a working sense of smell could deny that Michael Medved smells like pee.
3) There wasn't anything wrong with Bush throwing himself a one-man costume party at sea, because it honored the people who died to make it possible for... well, for Bush to throw a one-man costume party at sea. Their cause was just because they did it. And they literally fought for his right to party.
As Medved asks:
"Can anyone honestly disagree with this summary of their service and sacrifice?"
Before you answer, reread the question.
Remember: Only someone who isn't honest could disagree.