Jonathan Chait

Obama's Fighting Words

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President Reagan liked to show his toughness by making references to 1980s Sylvester Stallone movies in his speeches. I thought of that while watching President Obama's confrontational remarks today in Iowa, telling Republicans who favor repeal of the Affordable Care Act to "Go for it":

Alas, the reference is also to a 1980s Sylvester Stallone movie:

Reagan's favorite reference was "Rambo," a right-wing fantasy about returning to Vietnam and winning. Obama's reference is to "Rocky III," which is about the heavyweight champion getting cocky, losing his title, and fighting his way back to the top. (Alternatively, you could say it's about a working-class white ethnic who confronts an unruly black man looking to steal his wife.)

I suppose the former interpretation is more appropriate.

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