I have to tell you, from the few minutes of the USS Abe Lincoln photo-op fest, I knew one thing: "Maureen Dowd is going to write a Top Gun-themed column"
And just a few days later...
This time Maverick didn't just nail a few bogeys and do a 4G inverted dive with a MIG-28 at a range of two meters. This time the Top Gun wasted a couple of nasty regimes, and promised this was just the beginning. Mav swaggered across the deck to high-five his old gang: his wise flight instructor, Viper; his amiable sidekick, Goose; his chiseled rival, Iceman.Hehehe, read the whole thing.
MAVERICK: I feel the need . . .
GOOSE: The need for speed!
ICEMAN: You're really a cowboy.
MAVERICK: What's your problem?
ICEMAN: Your ego's writing checks your body can't cash. You didn't need to take all that water survival training in the White House swimming pool. The Abraham Lincoln was practically docked, only 30 miles off shore, after 10 months at sea. They had to steer it away from land for you. If you'd waited a few hours, you could've just walked aboard. You and Rove are making a gorgeous campaign video on the Pacific to cast you as the warrior president for 2004, but back on shore, things are ugly. The California economy's bleeding, even worse than other states'. When you took office, the unemployment rate in San Jose was 1.7 percent; by February of this year, it had risen to 8.5 percent. Your motorcade didn't bother to stop in the depressed high-tech corridor in Silicon Valley. Every time you cut taxes and raise deficits while you're roaring ahead with a pre-emptive military policy, you're unsafe. National unemployment goes up to 6 percent and you just hammer Congress to pass your tax cut. The only guys sure about their jobs these days are defense contractors connected to Republicans and the Carlyle Group, which owns half of the defense plant you visited here. You're dangerous.
MAVERICK: That's right, Iceman. I am dangerous.