Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Conditional patriotism

A 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. A surprising number of conservatives danced a jig 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. They have apparently decided that Chicago is undeserving since it is Obama’s hometown.

Joe Scarborough, ex-Congressman (R-FL) and host of the Morning Joe talk show, is defending the President in an op-ed at Huffington Post:

"Count me as one conservative who is disappointed that President Obama's hometown will not be hosting the 2016 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.

"For the better part of 20 years, a bitterness has infected our politics that has weakened our country. We Republicans spent eight years trying to delegitimize Bill Clinton. Democrats spent the next eight years doing the same to George W. Bush. Now that a Democrat is in the Oval Office again, it is the GOP who is trying to delegitimize a sitting president.

"...Fortunately, there are a growing number of Americans who believe we cannot continue going on this way. You and I may disagree on how the CIA handled terror suspects. But that does not mean that you are soft on terrorism anymore than it means that I hate the Constitution. You and I may have a different approach to Afghanistan. But just because you want to stay there another five years doesn't mean you are an imperialist. And if I believe a decade in that forsaken land is more than enough, that doesn't mean I'm soft on al Qaeda or the Taliban. It just means that we view the world differently.

"...Some of the rhetoric is dangerous. But what we saw from some conservative corners regarding the President's failed Olympics bid was just plain stupid. ...put me down as one conservative who is glad my president flew across the ocean to try to bring the 2016 Games to America.

"Nice try, President Obama... I know that's never an easy thing to do. Count me as one conservative who is disappointed that President Obama's hometown will not be hosting the 2012 Olympic Games."

I agree with Joe Scarborough. When the Weekly Standard's office erupts in cheers it's hard to miss the sadness of watching Americans delight in America's Olympic defeat.

I honestly can't think of the last time I've seen so many high profile Americans root so enthusiastically against their country. Rachel Slajda has some of the highlights from prominent right-wing voices, or low-lights, depending on one's perspective. And it's more than a little upsetting – it makes me angry:

“Cheers erupt at Weekly Standard world headquarters,” wrote editor John McCormack in a post titled “Chicago Loses! Chicago Loses!” The line was quickly removed, but ThinkProgress caught it in time and posted a screenshot.”

“Chicago and Tokyo eliminated. NO Obamalympics,” Michelle Malkin tweeted, following up with, “Game over on Obamalympics. Next up, Obamacare.”

“Hahahahaha,” wrote Red State’s Erick Erickson.

The Drudge Report announced the news like so: “WORLD REJECTS OBAMA:CHICAGO OUT IN FIRST ROUND. THE EGO HAS LANDED.”

“The worst part of the Obama presidency, folks. The ego has landed. The world has rejected Obama,” echoed Rush Limbaugh.

As Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) said, "Someone should remind [conservatives] which team they're really on." I remember a time when conservative Republicans claimed to have the high ground on patriotism. But now their patriotism is apparently conditional – it depends on who is in the Whitehouse.

Read more of what Scarborough wrote at:

Read more of what Slajda here: