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Tilting at Windmills

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October 2, 2009

SCARBOROUGH CALLS GOP REACTION 'JUST PLAIN STUPID'.... A surprising number of conservatives are doing a happy-dance over the fact that the United States will not host the Olympic summer games in 2016. As far as I can tell, their glee is driven entirely by their hatred of President Obama -- Chicago is his hometown, and therefore undeserving.

Joe Scarborough, of all people, is defending the president.

Count me as one conservative who is disappointed that President Obama's hometown will not be hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

Chicago is a beautiful city that would have made a perfect backdrop for the Olympics. The President was right to fly to Copenhagen to try to land the games, not for the sake of his city, but for the good of his country. The fact President Obama failed makes me respect him more for taking the chance, and the fact many right-wing figures opposed the President's mission shows just how narrow-minded partisanship makes us all. [...]

[W]hat we saw from some conservative corners regarding the President's failed Olympics bid was just plain stupid.

I rarely agree with Joe Scarborough this much. When the Weekly Standard's office "erupts" in "cheers" -- as editor John McCormack wrote this afternoon -- it's hard to miss the oddity of watching Americans revel in America's Olympic defeat.

There are obviously far more important international developments than an athletic competition, but I honestly can't think of the last time I've seen so many high-profile Americans root so enthusiastically against their own country. Rachel Slajda has some of the highlights from prominent right-wing voices -- or lowlights, depending on one's perspective -- and it's more than a little depressing.

Former Bush aide advised Republicans to "resist the temptation to pile on about Chicago losing the Olympic bid just because Obama made the pitch," but he was ignored.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) added, "Someone should remind [conservatives] which team they're really on."

I remember a time when conservative Republicans claimed to have the high ground on unimpeachable patriotism. My, how things have changed.

Steve Benen 4:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (57)

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Comments

The wingnuts have sunk from "America, Fuck Yeah!" to "Fuck America, Yeah!"

Posted by: wilson46201 on October 2, 2009 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

One can only love the country when it has a REAL president -- i.e., the person they voted for.

Posted by: Go, Sestak! Or Hoeffel! on October 2, 2009 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Rio was the right choice, I think everyone knows that. Regardless, Chicago should still make a worthy pitch and the president supporting the pitch was more a matter of excellent statesmenship, engaging the world and representing the US interest in engaging on the world stage.

It is not so much winning or losing a bid, it is about bidding well and engaging with integrity. our image could use a great deal of image repair right now.

This was an excellent dose of image repair.

Posted by: George on October 2, 2009 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Alan Grayson he is going to be the Dave Shultz Enforcer(Philly Flyers Broad street bullies) of the dems. Go get em Alan

Posted by: John R on October 2, 2009 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) added, "Someone should remind [conservatives] which team they're really on."
======================

They're really not on America's team, Alan. Never have been. They're the descendants of Tories. They have no underlying belief in or respect for democracy.

Someone should remind the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on October 2, 2009 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK
Former Bush aide advised Republicans to "resist the temptation to pile on about Chicago losing the Olympic bid just because Obama made the pitch," but he was ignored.

Think you meant "Former Bush aide Scott Stanzel advised . . ."

Posted by: noncarborundum on October 2, 2009 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Obama didn't "fail" in the Olympic bid: it wasn't a defeat for Obama, it was a much-deserved defeat for Richie Daley.

Posted by: bob on October 2, 2009 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Downstate Republicans have won elections for generations by running against Chicago, but I never thought that the GOP could turn that into a national strategy.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on October 2, 2009 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

"..remind [conservatives] which team they're really on" - ?
Not "America" in general. No: Christianists, neoconfederates, anti-government nuts, the superwealthy, cynical users, and so on.
And to root against something just because Obama was for it? It's gross. I can't see the MoveOn crowd cheering because wherever in Texas lost an Olympic bid. Something is very, very, wrong with these people. And it can't all be explained by policy issues and "change" fears, no matter how much they keep begging not to be judged for seamier motives.

Why do they hate America?

Posted by: N e i l B on October 2, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

The republicans seem to believe that all it takes to win is to have your opponent lose.

Posted by: BongoBob on October 2, 2009 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

it's hard to miss the profound sense of total disgust of watching Americans revel in America's Olympic defeat.

Fixed!


Posted by: electrolite on October 2, 2009 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly can't think of the last time I've seen so many high-profile Americans root so enthusiastically against their own country.
What's distinctive about this eruption of rightist anti-Americanism is the lack of excuse. In the past they've usually had some weak cover argument -- some 'issue-based' complaint to give their actions a veneer of legitimacy. But, this time they're really hanging it out there in the wind for all to see.

Posted by: Holly McLachlan on October 2, 2009 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Can we get Republicans supporting a public option, by having Obama loudly voice support for it's exclusion?

Posted by: Poliwog on October 2, 2009 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

What'd he spend - about a day there? It didn't work out. Meh.
Rio's a better choice. Back to work, people.

Posted by: Cazart on October 2, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody should remind Mr. Grayson (and Obama for that matter) that today's conservatives only care about three things: creating a Christian theocracy, supporting the rich, and accumulating power.

They'll toss the rest of us overboard in a New York minute if it helps them accomplish any or all of these goals.

Posted by: mfw13 on October 2, 2009 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

I found it scandalous that South America has never had an Olympics, and am happy for that wonderful city Rio de Janeiro.

One wonders what William F. Buckley would make of the National Review exulting in the loss.

Posted by: bob h on October 2, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Am I unpatriotic for wishing the Olympics ceases to exist someday? I'm sick of that uber-commercialized crap, mostly because they don't show the fencing matches.

Also, is "The Olympics" singular or plural? It took like five minutes for me to decide whether to use cease or ceases, and I'm still not sure if I got it right.

Posted by: PattyP on October 2, 2009 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans are showing their anti-American streak again. They are so dispicable that they will root against the United States just to score cheap shots at the President. Congressman Grayson is absolutely right about republicans. They can NEVER be trusted again.

Posted by: Patrick on October 2, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Beneath all the flap over the Chicago bid is, I think, a growing disdain for a federal government.

Is it just me or are we seeing a resurgence of States' rights versus our beloved government for the people (which just so happens to BE federal)?

The Olympic bid broohaha is pathetic. Besides, I'd rather watch beach volleyball on the shores of Rio than in Chicago. :-)

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on October 2, 2009 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, does anyone think that Obama didn't have more important things to do at home?

Posted by: JerryT on October 2, 2009 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or are we seeing a resurgence of States' rights versus our beloved government for the people (which just so happens to BE federal)?

It's just you.

Posted by: Seitz on October 2, 2009 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

If the GOP is willing for the US to not host the Olympics just because it would be an embarrassment for Obama to ask and not win, it certainly explains their attitude toward Health Care Reform.

They are voting against money for the troops in Iraq as a caucus now, too.

I support Michelle Bachman's call to investigate whether there are members of Congress who are anti-American.

Posted by: tom in ma on October 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Heartily second everything George said at 4:55, but with the small quibble that I don't think this does anything to repair our image. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that this was pushback (or resentment) against America in general, irrespective of Bush or Obama. I would add that it's deserved. In the last 10 years, we've dragged the world through two exceptionally sorry wars (really, is there any other kind?) and an economic crisis of epic proportions. One of those wars would have happened no matter who was in office, and the economic meltdown has been decades in the making. We have an insatiable appetite for convenience which comes at the expense of the planet's health, and it presents the greatest threat to regions populated by folks who will never own cars, televisions, or air-conditioners -- things we've come to view as birthrights.

Let the Brazilians celebrate their arrival on the world stage. They deserve it. And they probably won't start rounding up the brown people visiting their country just because they have Muslim surnames.

Posted by: junebug on October 2, 2009 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

This story makes me wonder exactly how far these people would go to see our President hurt. This is really sick; they seem to have lost all sense of proportion and objectivity. How far does this go? Do they want to see another attack so they can blame the president? The contempt for Bush was pretty strong while he was in office, but I have no recollection of anyone cheering over a loss suffered by Texas such as a hurricane.

There are a lot of people living in Chicago, and some of them probably voted for McCain. Chicago specifically, and the USA in general, desperately needs economic stimulation. The Olympics would have helped the whole country, not just Chicago. It is shameful for the right to carry on in such a way. Everything should not be political. The President has a job to do; they ought to let him do it.

Posted by: Gracious on October 2, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

I find the response from conservatives pathetic and embarrassing.

Just imagine the response if the roles had been reversed. They would have wrapped themselves in the flag and dared anyone to rejoice in Chicago losing the bid. It would be Un-American and unpatriotic to do such a thing. The outrage would have been beyond intense.

How is it possible for something that should have been a source of pride (win or lose) to be turned into a political statement against the president? It's just astonishing. In their zeal to be against anything that President Obama does, the right wing really does look stupid now. I mean really, who's side are they on?

When Joe Scarborough is the voice of reason, you know the right wing nuts have gone off the deep end.



Posted by: Ladyhawke on October 2, 2009 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

To be fair, I think there's a streak of ideological opposition to the Olympics on the Right that well predates Obama. I seem to recall a National Review article from a few years back calling for the abolition of the Games. Can't remember all the details, but I think it was something along the lines of Olympism representing the same internationalist ideals that conservatives see (and loathe) in the UN.

Posted by: Wally Ballou on October 2, 2009 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody might have mentioned this already, but the AP reported, and major sites are putting this up, that the fact that Chicago lost the bid could negatively impact Obama's ability to get legislation through Congress--clearly wishful thinking on the AP's part and more evidence at how ridiculous the mainstream media has become.

Posted by: Chris on October 2, 2009 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Amazingly venomous reaction from the GOP haters; I like what Congressman Grayson said about remembering what side we are all on. Obama hatred appears to trump everything.

PattyP: I think the correct name is "Olympic Games," so "cease" would be correct.

Posted by: Michael Carpet on October 2, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Downstate Republicans have won elections for generations by running against Chicago, but I never thought that the GOP could turn that into a national strategy.

Usually their strategy is to run against other parts of America they hate like San Francisco, New York and Massachusetts. Welcome to the Republican's "we hate you" club, Chicago. Now you're even with California and New York.

Is it any wonder so much of the country returns the favor and doesn't like Republicans?

Posted by: Pug on October 2, 2009 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Many ignorant Americans who basically believe what they're told - as long as it comes from a Republican - thought the Olympics would be a bad deal for America because it would cost much more than it brought in and would be a security nightmare. The "high-profile" Americans are the ones who knew better, but cheered anyway because they want Obama to fail at everything he tries.

We have the Olympics next year, and we'll see how it goes. Security is being taken care of by the RCMP and the military, to keep the costs down, and planning for everything else started way early. It probably won't be a big money-maker, but neither do I expect it to be a big money-loser, and it's a rare opportunity to showcase a beautiful city and province at their best before the world.

That's what 2016 would have been for Chicago, too.

Posted by: Mark on October 2, 2009 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Unprovable, but: if Chicago had gotten it, and Obama were at the end of his second term in 2016, these guys might have started rooting for the US to lose every event.

Posted by: DonBoy on October 2, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

When one looks at the likes of Gringrich, Drudge, Beck and even Bill Bennett, and then one hears their intemperate rhetoric representing a stilted conceptual continuity, one can only blame their parents for raising such dolts in the first place! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 2, 2009 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

But...but...Chicago's in the NORTH!

Posted by: Jim Strain on October 2, 2009 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) added, "Someone should remind [conservatives] which team they're really on."

Which team ARE they on? No, really. Based on conservative behavior the past 8 months there's a strong case to be made that they are in no sense on the side of America.

Posted by: ckelly on October 2, 2009 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

What's distinctive about this eruption of rightist anti-Americanism is the lack of excuse.

This is what has astounded and irritated the crap out of me. They have no excuse. No reason for this anti-Americanism other than losing an election to a black Democrat. When liberals are disgusted or frustrated with American policy is usually the result of oh say, an illegal, needless, immoral invasion of another country.

Posted by: ckelly on October 2, 2009 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

The venom is mind-numbing, especially when I hear about our President's birth flap.

Heck I may be less American than Obama, because Hawaii wasn't even a State when I was born! (yes, I too was born in Honolulu)

It's petty.

To cheer at Chicago's loss is absolutely pathetic and immature.

But then again, that's true of (most) the Obama haters.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on October 2, 2009 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Why do wingnut Republicans hate America?

Posted by: TCinLA on October 2, 2009 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) added, "Someone should remind [conservatives] which team they're really on."

Whose side? The side of freedom, of course. Freedom to constrain your tea in a bag and shoot it with an AK -- the right the gubmint would take away from us, given half a chance. Has the significance of the date of the Games -- 2016 -- eluded y'all? That's when Obama planned to declare martial law and take over in an Acorn-led, FEMA coup. But he's been *foiled*!!!

Posted by: exlibra on October 2, 2009 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing that would make them erupt even more wildly these days would be the defeat of health care reform, because such defeat would clearly be good........for the GOP.

That's all any of this is about....looking for every possible way to turn any kind of news into a weapon against Obama in hopes that somehow, despite approval ratings at septic tank level, they can get back in power in 2012.

Posted by: dweb on October 2, 2009 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Can't remember all the details, but I think it was something along the lines of Olympism representing the same internationalist ideals that conservatives see (and loathe) in the UN.

They pay country club dues for the express purpose of avoiding the kind of people you'll find in international settings. The very idea that the Games are run by folks who aren't American & don't speak English drives them batshit crazy.

Posted by: junebug on October 2, 2009 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Actually the RepoTaliban's attitude about patriotism hasn't changed.

They would sell their children if it would gain them political ground, and patriotism is always relative to their momentary PR gains.

Oh.

Wait.

They have already sold their children's minds, by teaching fake science in schools and turning History classes into a warped Sunday School.

If they every notice that math and geometry include things like triangles, and other witchcraft related forms, it will probably be dumbed down too

Posted by: Marnie on October 2, 2009 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, Steve, Steve...
When will you ever learn?

The formula is very, very simple:

Dems: Bad
Repubs: Good

Or: IOKIYAR!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: ajaye on October 2, 2009 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

I have to believe that the root source of Republicans' irrational hatred and primal fear of Barack Obama was best articulated by Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles:

"Hey! Where the white women at?"
Posted by: Out & About in the Castro on October 2, 2009 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

"...don't arrange to have me
sent to no asylum;
I'm as sane as anyone, it's just
a game I play for fun"

Supertramp

Posted by: Mark on October 3, 2009 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder how much of the decision to avoid the US by the IOC rested on the fears of the committee of the "welcome" the overseas visitors and especially the athletes would get from the teabaggers seen carrying assault weapons at the tea parties. Add that to the way the right wing has gone ballistic about anyone with more than a smidgen of melanin in their skin and there are reasonable fears that these maniacs would attack some of the visitors. And don't expect the cops to protect them. The cops are the worst offenders. The only problem in Rio would be the hordes of pickpockets and stick-up men roaming the streets already. Compared to the hordes of 2nd amendmenters loose, probably the IOC thought that Rio was a better bet.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on October 3, 2009 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Usually their strategy is to run against other parts of America they hate like San Francisco, New York and Massachusetts. Welcome to the Republican's "we hate you" club, Chicago. Now you're even with California and New York.

My favorite part was during the election where they were referring to people in Chicago as "coastal elites." Uh, lakes don't have coasts, dumbasses. Chicago's about 1,000 miles from the nearest coast. Hell, Texas must be much more filled with "coastal elites" than Illinois is given that Illinois doesn't have a fucking coast.

Sorry, but people who stupidly use words without bothering to check and see what they mean really get on my nerves. We've had dictionaries since 1806, pick one up once in a while.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on October 3, 2009 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Can we finally put to rest the notion that the Republicans are the patriotic party? While I agree that it's good for the sake of diversity that Rio won the games (and I can't believe anyone who's even loosely followed international sports can think the IOC wasn't rooting for Rio), can you imagine what the conservatives would have said if 4 years the offices of the Nation had erupted in cheers if Chicago or any other American city had been turned down for the Olympics?

Posted by: Guscat on October 3, 2009 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't changed at all, Steve. They still claim to have the high ground on unimpeachable patriotism. They've discovered that it really doesn't matter what their actual actions are, as long as they lie about them and their colleagues and the media don't call them on it.

Posted by: catherineD on October 3, 2009 at 3:57 AM | PERMALINK

From:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113351145

"The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics are often hailed for finishing with a $233 million surplus. But Barney says the calculation includes only direct costs of staging the games and not the indirect costs provided by city, state and federal governments. The same is true, he says, for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Organizers of both games claimed multimillion-dollar surpluses, but neither included massive federal spending when adding up costs."

Maybe the Republicans were cheering the fiscal prudence of the situation???

(An Olympics during a depression might be the first to break the trend though since construction is coming in under budget. Lucky Rio?)

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on October 3, 2009 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but from the point of view of this Chicago leftist, the Olympics would have been a disaster for ordinary Chicagoans. It was a big stalking horse for high-priced lakefront and downtown development to push the poor out and serve the rich. It would have destroyed a beautiful park to saddle us with a giant stadium that would have stood empty as no second football team can afford to start up here, and why should they?

What did we learn from the 75-year parking meter contract, given away to Daley's nephew's company, which has resulted in massive increases in parking costs for poor and working-class people in the middle of a depression? We learned once again the Daley rule: socialize costs, privatize benefits.

Posted by: rabbit on October 3, 2009 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

There must be others like myself who find that they are feeling more passionate in their support of our president when the right tries these silly childish attacks, I think we all know that we have chosen the only grown up in the room.Let us keep up our support.
Second - how many other groups can there be that the GOP has not sneered at, Blacks, Latinos, Women, Gays' Hollywood and now Chicago, they must have a very tiny, nasty and evil group of people that follow them. Oh yes they do they are called teabaggers.

Posted by: JS on October 3, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

I was surprised that Obama put his prestige on the line without knowing the outcome in advance. So there may be a whole other story to what happened in Copenhagen. Of course no matter what he did he would be criticized by the same people.

As for the juvenile behavior of the lunatic fringe, rooting against their own country, I can't imagine they have endeared themselves to anyone with a brain. All those numbingly mindless chants of USA! USA! USA! coming from the brainless. What happened to them? All that crowd sees is that Obama is black, and therefore must be put in his place - the place they would like to put all blacks: under their heel.

Posted by: rRk1 on October 3, 2009 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Scarborough you are confused...we that are glad that Chicago did not get the Olympics is because we see corruption as having failed .... Obama..Corruption..Chicago...are all spelled the same....B a D

Posted by: JustMee on October 3, 2009 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Rabbit - as a Leftie from LA, the logical conclusion of your argument is that Los Angeles should have been the USOC bid city. All Angelenos seemed to have done well in 1984. Your leftie NIMBY is either a crass generalization or representative of local Chicago politics. The righties proved their lack of character post bid award; many lefties counter with silly, unfounded class warfare screeds. The Summer Olympics are a series of extraodinary events often representing the best of humanity. I wish the U.S. was the host country. In '84 and 2002 our country performed wonderfully. Best wishes to Brazil.

Posted by: RestaLA on October 3, 2009 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ahhh too bad. I guess Valerie Jarrett and all of her friends are going to have to sell their slum properties for a loss or, maybe the right thing to do would be to fix up those properties so the people who live there - predominantly minorities - can live in a reasonably nice property.

Don't you just love Karma?

Posted by: Wyatt on October 4, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I guess Valerie Jarrett and all of her friends are going to have to sell their slum properties for a loss

Well, the Olympics, being a one-time event, have no bearing on the market value of real estate, not to mention the fact that Jarret divested her real estate holdings. Also, you may want to take a closer look online at the "slum" properties you're referring to; there are virtual tours and everything. Nice units for low-income families are not "slums."

Good try, though, you hit all the major wingnut talking points . You're so close to having a brain you can taste it!

Posted by: trex on October 4, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

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