Rio seemed the logical choice to host the Olympics, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, as a resident of the metropolitan periphery of Chicago, I would have been overjoyed had it been chosen. I certainly couldn’t fault the president for going to Copenhagen to make a pitch to the International Olympic Committee (IOC); but, as a casual, yet interested observer, I felt that since Rio was in South America which had never hosted the games, their application would be favored for selection.
That being said, I was taken aback by some celebratory displays following news of Rio’s selection. Particularly stunning were those which didn’t come from Rio. Take Rush Limbaugh’s reaction to the October 2 news of America’s loss:
Wow! I can’t stomach him, myself, but I know enough about the pundit to know he fancies himself a patriot. How a patriot could allow the derivation of elation from such a national disappointment?…Well, it’s just too bad that mental gymnastics isn’t an Olympic event.
But, Rush is just one piece — albeit, a large one — of the puzzle that makes up the effort to delegitimize the president. His attack on Obama was angry and personal, as if the president was alone responsible for Chicago’s loss, and it is just the latest display of how much the far-right in America despises their elected leader.
However, the outpouring of non-grief over the IOC vote is also why the far-right will not succeed. This display is an example of their lack of discipline, not unlike a faded major league slugger offering at every pitch, swinging for the fences.
I imagine that Limbaugh and his imitators are enjoying America’s Olympic letdown as if they’ve finally taken an Obama pitch, yard. Their revelry, I predict, will be short lived. This episode will fade quickly from the majority of Americans’ memories, save one truth: The “Proof,” as Jon Stewart said during his October 5 broadcast, “proof that conservatives hate Obama more than they love America.”
Of course, you’d expect this from The Daily Show. Further, Stewart lumping this behavior on “conservatives” is unfair. Conservative commentators have also expressed their disappointment. Check out this October 5 PoliticsUSA.com post entitled, “Joe Scarborough Slams Rush Limbaugh for Cheering Failed Olympic Bid.” Indeed, Scarborough put it well during his Monday broadcast:
I would like Rush Limbaugh to tell me who is he helping there other than Rush Limbaugh, because I will tell you, middle Americans, Rush, [are] smarter than that. Middle Americans that swing elections see that, and go oh my God, Republicans have gone off the deep end.
A home run for the right-wing? I think not. When historians consider the Obama administration and our present political climate, it will appear that Obama’s Olympic pitch was painfully fouled off the conservative-right’s ankle bone.
In closing, I’d like to encourage you to tell me what you think in the comments below. Surely there are those who will tell me I’m an idiot-communist-fascist, which is fine. However, I’m more interested to hear from those with alternative theories as to why Chicago’s bid fell short. There must be numerous reasons for the IOC’s decision other than the it’s Obama’s Fault meme posited by Limbaugh.
David Brooks, “Talk jocks’ fury signifies nothing,” The Detroit News, 6 October 2009.
John V. Santore, “Civil War on the Right,” MediaMatters.org, 5 October 2009.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, “Chicago Nope,” opening segment (9:12) aired 5 October 2009.
"Dirtbags" Editorial Cartoon by Alex Raffi, used with permission via AlexRaffi.com