Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'm pissed-Part II

(Warning: This post may make you angry. If you agree with me, I hope it makes you angry enough to take some action. If you disagree, that's okay; this country is great because we can disagree publicly with each other and with our elected officials.)

So, Chicago lost their bid to bring the 2016 Olympics to the US. According to the voices on the far right, this is a GOOD thing. Why was it a good thing? Well, because in their mean-spirited world they perceive this loss to be an indictiment of the President's powers of persuasion, and they are gleefully chuckling and applauding this decision, despite the anticipated boost it would have given the US economy. Oh, and also despite the fact that, just last year, George W. Bush (you may recall he was the darling of the Right) strongly supported Chicago's bid, saying that the Olympics were "really...coming to America."

Rush Limbaugh, the head of the Republican Party, was gleeful over the loss. Michelle Malkin, the press secretary for the right, was her usual mean girl self. And Fox News actively campaigned against Chicago's bid.

Now all of this may be surprising, in light of the fact that the GOP loves to claim that they are the only true patriots. One would think that promoting one's country would be a normal outgrowth of such patriotism. Instead, the far right's so-called patriotism is far more interested in finding petty adolescent joy in anything that - in their eyes - diminishes the man who was elected by the majority of Americans to lead this country. But, perhaps, not so surprising when you remember that Limbaugh is the man who stated that he hopes this President fails.

So there you have it: Situational Patriotism. As defined (by me): Love of and/or devotion to one's country, as long as everything goes my way.


  1. Maybe one day they'll be thankful they lost just for the money saved. Vancouver is hosting the 2010 Olympics and it is costing us a fortune that we'll be paying for into the next generation. Cost overruns due to the bottom falling out of the economy. We may very well be sorry we got ourselves into this mess.

  2. Thanks for the Rush link. I'd been looking for a clearer version of the "I hope he fails" story. It's worth a read for those who believe (erroneously) that Rush also wants the country to fail. (The election map on the same page was interesting to look at, too.)

    I'm wondering why more Democrats aren't ranting about how Mayor Daley botched this Olympic bid. He's had quite a long time to make a compelling pitch, and he sure as hell spent enough money trying to make certain parts of the city look presentable, at the expense of other projects. But apparently he and his committee just can't communicate effectively. According to the election panel, Chicago simply did not present a compelling message as to why the Olympics should be held there.

    In my opinion, Mayor Daley is exactly what is wrong with Chicago politics and has been for years. But apparently he garners support through intimidation. Otherwise why don't dissenters speak up? And I wonder if that's the same attitude dissenters in Obama's administration have?

  3. Lisa, I think most people have read (and perhaps recognized) that the Chicago committee didn't do a great job. As a matter of fact, on Friday I heard that the city's presentation was more like a tourism effort than a bid for the Olympics.

    And I suppose - at least for me - that just points up the ridiculous finger-pointing toward Obama that the right has been indulging in. No matter what he does, it's wrong - at least as far as people like Limbaugh, Beck, Malkin, Coulter, et al are concerned.

    I don't know much about Mayor Daley, only that Chicago seems to like the Daley name, so I don't know why dissenters don't speak up. Perhaps there aren't as many of them as people would like to think. And I don't really understand the leap you made to dissenters in Obama's administration. I did read the article and found nothing in there that couldn't be said about any politician, regardless of what city he's from! If I'm missing something, please let me know. You and I have a good history of discussing our political disagreements and I'm genuinely curious.

  4. The leap I took was that Obama may take his cues from the only style of politics he knows: the Chicago-style politics he's had experience with. There are a good number of Chicagoans who are fed up with Mayor Daley, and have been. He just keeps getting re-elected. How narrowly, I don't know. But Daley had tons of projects ready to go that would have improved the daily life of the citizens of Chicago long-term, and he deliberately chose the short-term projects that would make Chicago look better to outsiders (Olympics-type folks) instead. There seems to be this "roll over and take it" mentality where Daley is concerned, or else the remnants of the old Chicago mob-style mindset are still alive and well. And when Obama was named the presidential candidate, there was a lot of speculation locally as to whether he would indulge in the same "my way or the highway" style of governing.

    As for finger-pointing, that happens in politics all the time. Look at the Bush administration. All. The. Time. The man could do nothing right in the eyes of the media. He couldn't even speak correctly. (But I was terribly annoyed by "nook-you-ler"!) And yes, Republicans were annoyed. But they understood, it's part of the game. Bush supporters still supported Bush, and didn't pay too much attention to the dissenters. Why bother? But many Obama supporters can't just support the guy, they have to yell about how he gets picked on. I say, welcome to politics. It's been this way as long as I've paid attention.

    Now, I don't consider the Chicago mess a fault of Obama's at all. And I don't know why Fox News and company were pushing for Chicago not to get the 2016 games. Except that I know many Chicagoans really and truly did not want the expense and frustration of hosting the Olympics in their backyard. Was it odd that Obama was dealing with Olympics stuff in the midst of the health care crisis? Maybe. But he sure would have been criticized if he had ignored the Olympics too. It's politics.

    I do think it would have been nice for the US to host the Olympics. But I also worry about the financial pitfalls and how our economy would have fared, given its current state. Maybe it's really for the best that the games are going elsewhere, and maybe the country can get back to business figuring out how best to steer through the other challenges going on.