Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on March 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I’m not a big fan of politically-driven mission names for military operations, mainly because it’s unseemly to use Madison Avenue sloganeering for wars. The Pentagon trend seemed to start with Operation Desert Shield and pick up steam, and it was entirely self-serving to the Commander in Chief serving at the time. However, after the selection for the mission name for our Libyan adventure, perhaps the MadAve approach has its merits. As Jonah Goldberg wrote, the name approved by Barack Obama, Odyssey Dawn, sends a slightly different message than perhaps intended:

Odyssey, after all, is a term for a very long and involved adventure. If memory serves, Odysseus took a very long time to come home. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the Pentagon came up with a label that basically says this is beginning of an extended, seemingly endless, journey.

I had the exact same thought — and shouldn’t a man with a classical Ivy League education have caught that reference? Even if Obama was not familiar with The Odyssey, the dictionary definition of “odyssey” should have raised a red flag:

Definition of ODYSSEY

1: a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune

For a mission that is supposed to be counted in “days, not weeks,” it looks like Obama’s choice of mission names is an epic failure.

The Week has more ridicule of the mission name:

If this is “the return of Ulysses,” then obviously “Gadhafi plays the Cyclops,” says Pepe Escobar in Asia Times. “But who’s Circe? Hillary Clinton?”

“Apparently, our Libyan adventure is called ‘Operation Odyssey Dawn’ because ‘Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony’ wasn’t manly enough,” tweets CanadianCynic.

It’s like a bunch of Frank Zappa–loving Pentagon flacks were in some basement coming up with a “nifty name” for the mission, and one says, “How about naming it for a minivan and a dishwashing detergent?” says Mark Thompson in TIME. And for some reason, “Operation Sienna Palmolive” didn’t fly.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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‘Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony

Hehehe! perfect.

BTW. great column over at the Week, Ed.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 8:08 AM

I am going to mull some more mission names…..hopefully i’ll be back with a few zingers.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Homer’s Odyssey lasted eight long years.

Disturb the Universe on March 23, 2011 at 8:10 AM

it looks like Obama’s choice of mission names is an epic failure

FIFY

pain train on March 23, 2011 at 8:12 AM

I had the exact same thought — and shouldn’t a man with a classical Ivy League education have caught that reference?

Simple answer: yes!

But that begs the question…

Hey, has ANYBODY seen any proof?

Hmmm… I thought not.

Crusader Rabbit on March 23, 2011 at 8:12 AM

saw a clip from colbert who mocked it- sounds like a name of a cruise ship

heh

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Operation circle of jerks….

Mord on March 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM

BTW. great column over at the Week, Ed.

ted c on March 23, 2011 at 8:08 AM

2nd that

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Let’s hope his Oval Office Odyssey…….and Americas nightmare ends at noon on January 20, 2013.

God help us.

PappyD61 on March 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Operation I’m In Brazil Now But Will Take The Credit Later.

SagebrushPuppet on March 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony

LOL LOL LOL!!!!!!

ladyingray on March 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Instead of Shock and Awe, we got Aw Shucks

MJBrutus on March 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I wonder if he could pass the Newsweek citizenship test.

Disturb the Universe on March 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

But at least he’s clean and articulate. Dumber that a bag of hammers,but very clean and articulate.

katy the mean old lady on March 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I miss President Fillmore!!

PappyD61 on March 23, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Operation Krazy Kerfuffle?

Operation Jaunty Junket?

(Anyone remember when Odyssey was a game console?)

Operation Atari Morning?

Operation Intellivision Sunrise?

eh… heck with it

Operation MacGuffin

apostic on March 23, 2011 at 8:21 AM

‘Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony’

don’t know if that can be topped…

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:21 AM

The whole ObaMao adventure could be dubbed Operation Flash in a Pan.

onlineanalyst on March 23, 2011 at 8:24 AM

VP hypocrite via drudge

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM

It doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot of attention paid to these names…They named the Afghan war after 9/11 Infinite Justice, until Muslim groups protested, saying that only Allah can dispense “infinite justice”…hence the name change to Enduring Freedom.

JetBoy on March 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM

I have to pat myself on the back, I pointed out the sissy name of this operation last week. Another commenter thought it might be Pentagon snark and that sounded plausible. Now we find out that The Won had to approve it? Shocking!!

Cindy Munford on March 23, 2011 at 8:28 AM

JetBoy on March 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM

seriously, we kowtowed on the name of the operation?

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:28 AM

ladyingray on March 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I’m with you.

Cindy Munford on March 23, 2011 at 8:28 AM

dear leader cutting short his trip by a couple of hours…going to forego the mayan ruins tour…big whoop

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:30 AM

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Yeah, we did…unfortunately.

kingsjester on March 23, 2011 at 8:31 AM

kingsjester on March 23, 2011 at 8:31 AM

*sigh*

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:32 AM

shouldn’t a man with a classical Ivy League education have caught that reference?

You think a guy who majored in poli sci (or international relations, or whatever the hell it was) received a “classical” education?

Barry spent his Ivy League years studying the writings of Marx, Alinsky, and Cloward/Piven, not Aristotle and Homer.

AZCoyote on March 23, 2011 at 8:32 AM

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Gotta go to work. Check out “the place” today when you get a chance.

kingsjester on March 23, 2011 at 8:34 AM

kingsjester on March 23, 2011 at 8:34 AM

will do…

cmsinaz on March 23, 2011 at 8:36 AM

RE: Odessy Dawn, the US Military has a long history of using randomly generated mission names consisting of two words. There have been iexepections, i.e. desert Sheild. However I believe they have simplyy gone back to random mission names.

k2comp on March 23, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Operation Commie in Charge No End in Sight

Vntnrse on March 23, 2011 at 8:43 AM

They were hoping the mission would make”Daffy Duck.”

2L8 on March 23, 2011 at 8:43 AM

I’ve been calling it Barry’s Big Adventure. Made ya flinch, Kadaffi!

Loved your article at The Week, Ed. Kudos!

Naturally Curly on March 23, 2011 at 8:43 AM

2L8 on March 23, 2011 at 8:43 AM

When it comes to cartoon nicknames, Muammar will aways be Gagoofy to me.

apostic on March 23, 2011 at 8:47 AM

If this is “the return of Ulysses,” then obviously “Gadhafi plays the Cyclops,” says Pepe Escobar in Asia Times. “But who’s Circe? Hillary Clinton?”

Nah, Circe kept Ulysses captive for 20 years. That would be Rev. Wright. Hillary and Susan Powers would be, respectively, Scylla and Charybdis – the deadly dangers to steer between. Penelope is represented by the Constitution and Telemachus by the Declaration of Independence, while the unions represent those lecherous, wastrel suitors who only want to possess her and steal her wealth.

ss396 on March 23, 2011 at 8:49 AM

The Pentagon trend seemed to start with Operation Desert Shield and pick up steam

Operation Barbarosa?

Operation Overlord?

In any case, I think that this operation should be thematically termed with Obama’s favorite past time. Some suggestions (please feel free to add your own)

Operation Nine Iron
Operation Tee ‘em High and Let ‘em Fly
Operation Divot
Operation Shank
Operation Lateral Water Hazard
Operation Mulligan
Operation Bogie
Operation Double Bogie
Operation Triple Bogie
Operation This Game Sucks
Operation Caddyshack
Operation Kill the Gophers
Operation Wax these shoe and buff them with a fine chamois.

turfmann on March 23, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Operation Scylla/Charybdis.

Can we just lash him to the mast, and leave him there?

NeighborhoodCatLady on March 23, 2011 at 8:56 AM

It gets easier and easier to understand why this man does not want his school transcripts released.

TimBuk3 on March 23, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Operation 19th Hole.
Then the beer summit.

docflash on March 23, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I think he did this on purpose. I wouldn’t put anything past this schmuck.

Key West Reader on March 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM

I’m still waiting for my pony, Mr. President.

WordsMatter on March 23, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Operation Mulligan

WordsMatter on March 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Operation Keep My Hair from Going Gray

fossten on March 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Obama in golf attire. Recent change to the graphic? Very fitting.

Paul-Cincy on March 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

What, was “crusade” already taken ? :D

Paul-Cincy on March 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM

OT: Liz Taylor dead at 79

WordsMatter on March 23, 2011 at 9:15 AM

I had the exact same thought — and shouldn’t a man with a classical Ivy League education have caught that reference?

Well the problem is, a current Ivy League education is not a classical Ivy League education. Harvard & Yale, et al. are not centers of learning anymore. They are indoctrination centers. Some may actually learn, but that is on themselves and purely accidental.

rbj on March 23, 2011 at 9:18 AM

My vote is for “Operation Doan choo even THANK about cancelin’ my vacation to Rio, Barry,…you hear me?”

Inset owl head bob, one hand on hip and wagging finger where appropriate.

Alden Pyle on March 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Operation Mulligan

WordsMatter on March 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM

I was thinking Operation Sand Trap, but Mulligan works.

SKYFOX on March 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

God protect the good men and women who are involved in Odyssey Dawn. If I recall correctly, Odysseus was the only member of his entire contingent to come back alive.

Even without a useless degree from an elite institution, I know this myth. The next time the DC Ruling Class wants to name a serious military engagement, they can call me. I will cost less and not create a tag that has embarrassing implications.

Mutnodjmet on March 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Operation douchewad tacklenuts.

teacherman on March 23, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Operation Clusterf*ck.

TXUS on March 23, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Operation, Momma please don’t leave me, Daddy please come home.

Alden Pyle on March 23, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Going further back…
In Grenada ’83
Op Urgent Fury

Still further back…
Operation Eagle Claw
In Iran ’80

Haiku Guy on March 23, 2011 at 9:43 AM

In the Good Old Days:
Pick one from Column A and
One from Column B

Haiku Guy on March 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Operation…I’m gonna bankrupt the U.S. with an extended, poorly named war in Libya.

Signed…

Your moral compass

B.Obama

capejasmine on March 23, 2011 at 9:50 AM

The Three Stoogettes Do Tripoli.

MNHawk on March 23, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Looks like The Won may be caught between Scylla and Charybdis.

Oldnuke on March 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Operation “Can’t a guy just eat his waffle?”

GrannyDee on March 23, 2011 at 9:54 AM

“Apparently, our Libyan adventure is called ‘Operation Odyssey Dawn’ because ‘Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony’ wasn’t manly enough,” tweets CanadianCynic.

WINNER!

mizflame98 on March 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN SUCH A SILENCE.

Elizabeth Taylor, the quintessential Cleopatra, as died.

Mutnodjmet on March 23, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Obama’s striding ashore MacArthur-like, Mission Accomplished moment upon the successful conclusion of Operation Odyssey Dawn . . . complete with unicorn
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w110/pitmangraphics/politics/obamastridingashore.jpg

tpitman on March 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Operation No Flying BO Poop.

Yoop on March 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Barry spent his Ivy League years studying the writings of Marx, Alinsky, and Cloward/Piven, not Aristotle and Homer.
AZCoyote on March 23, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Nope. Obama spent his Ivy League years doing nothing but getting by on his Affirmative Action credentials. I don’t believe he studied at all.

Deanna on March 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Odyssey Dawn is a great name for a stripper. An old, used up stripper.

Squiggy on March 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM

O.D.! Obama and his legions of “bright” advisors might have been more careful with initials after the WTF (Winning the Future) fiasco.

Sowell Disciple on March 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

This is a scheme by right wingers to tar Mr. Obama’s good name. The generals undoubtedly chose the name for him, because he didn’t have time between holes to even think about little things like this.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM

At least it is better than “Get Lewinsky off the Front Page, 1 and 2.”

Slowburn on March 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

At least it is better than “Get Lewinsky off the Front Page, 1 and 2.”

Slowburn on March 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

aka Operation Shredded Tent and Roasted Camel

Yoop on March 23, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Perhaps ‘the smartest man in the world’, isn’t.

GarandFan on March 23, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I agree, the name is stupid, you missed today’s tac-nuke:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0323-20110323,0,508159,full.column

On Tuesday, Obama was asked about these command issues. It wasn’t a trick. It should have been expected. He stood there, and he opened his mouth.

“I would expect that over the next several days you will have clarity and a meeting of the minds of all those who are participating in the process,” Obama said.

Even we don’t know who’s running the show?

Voyager on March 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

If you know your Homer, then you may recall what befell Odysseus and his men in the Land of the Lotus Eaters at the dawn of the Odyssey.

Also, the ancient Thebian poet Pindar comes to mind: “War is sweet to those who have no experience of it. But the experienced man trembles exceedingly in his heart at its approach.”

Christien on March 23, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Isn’t it prophetic that the abbreviation for the Libyan operation (Odyssey Dawn) is the same as the abbreviation for “Overdose”??

landlines on March 23, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Operation WTF was already taken…

Mr_Magoo on March 23, 2011 at 1:52 PM

O.D.! Obama and his legions of “bright” advisors might have been more careful with initials after the WTF (Winning the Future) fiasco.

Sowell Disciple on March 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

He named his dog BO.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Isn’t it prophetic that the abbreviation for the Libyan operation (Odyssey Dawn) is the same as the abbreviation for “Overdose”??
landlines on March 23, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Or
Operation ODyssey Dawn = Operation ODD

DSchoen on March 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I like to think this operation name was thought up by someone in the DOD that has a profound disregard for Obama’s CIC capabilities and his superiors don’t have the classic education to know there could be a double meaning in this operation name. I don’t, I was an engineer in college and only had the minimum required humanities, so I haven’t read any of the classics. No matter which way, it is good for a giggle today. There are a lot of really smart people in the Pentagon, way smarter than the current occupant of the Ovan Office.

karenhasfreedom on March 23, 2011 at 4:24 PM

“Apparently, our Libyan adventure is called ‘Operation Odyssey Dawn’ because ‘Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony’ wasn’t manly enough,”

Why are we bringing John Edwards into this again?

Freelancer on March 23, 2011 at 4:33 PM

The “Dawn” part has to be a reference to the Obama Presidential Logo with the sunrise on it. Because, it’s all about him.

Operation Princess Rainbow Sparkle Pony

Pure Awesome!

Pablo Snooze on March 23, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Operation Premature Evacuation – he shot his wad early and now he’s trying to sneak out the door before the others wake up.

PatMac on March 23, 2011 at 7:29 PM

I miss President Fillmore!!

PappyD61 on March 23, 2011 at 8:15 AM

And don’t we all.

Amendment X on March 23, 2011 at 8:30 PM