Utterly ridiculous! Unpatriotic! For shame you Republicans who applauded America’s failed bid to host the 2016 Summer Games as a personal failure for President Obama. When the International Olympic Committee turned down Chicago’s proposal yesterday, gleeful opponents of Obama cheered. Rush Limbaugh called the U.S. delegation “Ego-obsessed imbeciles on parade representing the United States. Oprah is now eating Denmark.” This is strange, and if Democrats did it, Fox News (right-wingers for those of you outside the U.S.) commentators would be all over it like white on rice.
That hacks me off. This is still America. Where is your national pride? This was not about Obama. This was an American city trying to capture an important world event. However, this time it was not our turn. South America has never had a chance. For that reason and some apparent Olympic committee bad blood, more than Obama failing, the International Olympic Committee said no thanks to Chicago. It’s a blow to the City of Big Shoulders, but I believe when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
Charles Lane over at the Washington Post said
The bid for a Chicago Olympics was to put a large American city, and probably the state and federal governments as well, deeply into hock constructing velodromes and the like, in return for the thrill of watching a bunch of steroid consumers try to break ephemeral world records in obscure sports.
Some say President Obama was ill-advised to put his prestige, and that of his country, at risk in a losing effort, especially when he has so many other important issues to worry about. Actually, it was a mistake, win or lose.
Yup. President Obama did the right thing as did President Bush in supporting Chicago’s bid. On hindsight, it is for the best that we lost. Chicago can now turn full attention to more pressing problems like finding a way to keep teenagers from killing each other.
However, a recent column by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times lays out a more disturbing concern interconnected to the lost Olympic bid. In Where Did ‘We’ Go?, Friedman writes about the poisonous political climate in Israel in 1995 that surrounded Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin before he was assassinated.
Others have already remarked on this analogy, but I want to add my voice because the parallels to Israel then and America today turn my stomach: I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination. . . .
Even if you are not worried that someone might draw from these vitriolic attacks a license to try to hurt the president, you have to be worried about what is happening to American politics more broadly.
Our leaders, even the president, can no longer utter the word “we” with a straight face. There is no more “we” in American politics at a time when “we” have these huge problems — the deficit, the recession, health care, climate change and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — that “we” can only manage, let alone fix, if there is a collective “we” at work.
I thought Obama might be the leader to bring back the ‘We’ in “We the People of the United States . . .” from the U. S. Constitution. Now, I question, can any one?