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Friday, October 02, 2009

Blame where due

Of course, it's entirely George W. Bush's fault that Chicago didn't get the 2016 Olympic Games.


UPDATE (Fri Oct 2 @ 12:32 p.m.): I wrote the one-sentence post above as a joke, based just on reading a news headline on my Blackberry over lunch. But when I turned to the New York Times' report on the International Olympic Committee's decision — which reportedly left the U.S. bidders "stunned" and refusing comment, Chicago having been considered "a favorite" and certainly unlikely to be eliminated in the first round of voting — I found that our chattering classes are already hard at work laying the groundwork for the finger-pointing that I thought would be only parody (italics mine):

The 10-person Chicago bid team, led by the president and Mrs. Obama, put on a presentation heavy on emotion and visual images without getting too deep into he details of the bid.

“To host athletes and visitors from every corner of the globe is a high honor and a great responsibility,” Mr. Obama whose Chicago home is a short walk from the prospective Olympic Stadium. “And America is ready and eager to assume that sacred trust.”

In the official question-and-answer session following the Chicago presentation, Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, asked the toughest question. He wondered how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Games because doing so can sometimes, he said, be “a rather harrowing experience.”

Mrs. Obama tapped the bid leader Patrick G. Ryan, so Mr. Obama could field that question.

“One of the legacies I want to see is a reminder that America at its best is open to the world,” he said, before adding that the White House and State Department would make sure that all visitors would feel welcome.

And from the Chicago Tribune's telling of the same tale (italics again mine):

The city's presentation ended at 2:52 a.m., with President Obama answering a final question from the floor.

The question: Sometimes foreigners entering the United states can go through a rather harrowing experience. With the influx of so many thousands of people during the Games period, how do you intend to deal with this?

Obama responded: "One of the legacies I want to see is a reminder that America at its best is open to the world."

He pledged the "full force of the White House and the State Department to make sure not only that these are successful Games but that visitors all around the world will feel welcome and will come away with a sense of the incredible diversity of the American people."

Perhaps with the Bush administration in mind, he added: "One of the legacies, I think, of this Olympic games in Chicago would be a restoration of that understanding of what the United States is all about and the United States' recognition of how we are linked to the world."

Yes, in the Gospel According to Barack, all in America before The One was darkness and evil, but now all is hopey-changitudinous goodness. Even direct intervention by The One Himself wasn't enough to overcome the lingering poison of Boooooosh!

From the first NYT article quoted above, however, we can find an entirely sufficient factual rebuttal to this particular "Blame Dubya" argument: "New York’s bid was eliminated in the second round of voting for the 2012 Olympics." Even in 2005, then — post 9/11, with Dubya still at the helm nationally, and with both Hillary Clinton and Michael Bloomberg leading the presentation — the U.S. fared better in the I.O.C.'s deliberations, at least making it to the second round of voting.

UPDATE (Sat Oct 3 @ 7:45 a.m.): One of Rich Lowry's email correspondents complied a fabulous "Top Ten" list of reasons why Chicago didn't get the Olympics, and guess what's Number One? Elsewhere, InstaPundit links Dana Loesch, who links CMR.com quoting disgraced U.S. Senator Roland Buris as saying "that the image of the U. S. has been so tarnished in the last 8 years that, even Barack Obama making an unprecedented pitch for the games could not overcome the hatred the world has for us as a result of George Bush." Examiner.com also attributed the same statements to Burris, but someone on Burris' staff had the good sense to scrub the Bush-blaming from his official press release congratulating Rio de Janeiro for winning the competition. (Jokingly or not, the WaPo's Dana Milbank in turn blames ... Burris!)

Posted by Beldar at 12:14 PM in Current Affairs, Humor, Obama, Politics (2009), Sports | Permalink


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(1) Dai Alanye made the following comment | Oct 2, 2009 1:36:46 PM | Permalink

We have much to be happy for:
Chicago and US taxpayers will lose less money.
Chicago pols lose a major source of graft.
The scales will fall from the eyes of a few more Obama worshippers.
Muslim terrorists lose an opportunity to enter the country.

I'm almost giddy with satisfaction.

(2) PC14 made the following comment | Oct 2, 2009 4:18:54 PM | Permalink

Perhaps someone should remind The ONE that his blame America speeches have consequences. Why vote to send the Olympic spirit to such an evil place?

(3) Nancy in Texas made the following comment | Oct 2, 2009 7:47:01 PM | Permalink

I for one am thrilled that Obozo and his Klingon wife and tiresome old Oprah failed. I really am. How much money did it cost US to fly them to Copenhagen? When the 1st Klingon droned about what a "sacrifice" it was for her and Oprah to make the trip, did anyone think about what REAL sacrifice is? How about the troops dying in Afghanistan while OMarxist fails to respond to the call for more troops? This should show everyone where his priorities are - with his gigantic ego. Would he have made this "sacrifice" for Seattle or San Antonio or Miami? Disgusting.

(4) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Oct 2, 2009 7:55:30 PM | Permalink

Dear Dai Alanye: Watch. In two months, The One will conclude an arms deal with Hugo Chavez, lending Chavez a hundred billion to buy the stuff so GM and Chrysler don't crash. Next up: Chavez invades Brazil, fulfilling Venezuela's Manifest Destiny. With his boot on President Lula's throat, Chavez signs away the Olympics, so Axelrod, Jarret & Co. can make their billions on schedule. al-Qaeda, mad as usual, decides to show the Munich terrorists of '72 that anything they can do al-Q can do better. The Israelis, having much longer memories, have taken precautions, so al-Q has to settle for blowing up lots of other athletes. The One sends Jimmy Bumpkin as a special envoy to al-Q. He give his 802.701st speech showing the evils in this world are not HIS fault. Why, look at name of Venezuela's newest province: "Barackzil"

Or maybe not. Trouble is, the news these days is far more lurid than the imagination. One thing holds true: if the people of this nation want to know what's going on, boycotting the press is essential.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(5) dhmosquito made the following comment | Oct 2, 2009 9:51:33 PM | Permalink

Beldar, I'm sorry for the "French", but screw Mr Obama [I actually wanted to employ a stronger, less socially-acceptable verb here]. He is a travesty. I am incredibly ***disgusted and ashamed*** that this country was so grossly ignorant as to elect this inexperienced, self-serving, Narcissistic excuse of a politician as PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In the face of Iran's development of nuclear capabilities (undoubtedly for weapons development); the plight of Israel; and continued ineffectiveness of the "Stimulus package" (see latest unemployment numbers), he sees fit to waste time and taxpayer money to fly to Copenhagen (of all things) to secure Chicago as the site for an upcoming Olympics. And he sent his detestable wife and Oprah as well! Oh, yes: he saw fit to speak with General McChrystal regarding Afghanistan for less than a half-hour during this whole process. And the media still continue to worship this SOB (although I am seeing some sensible movement; see http://www.newsweek.com/id/216210 from Newsweek/Howard Fineman, no less). I hope our Republic survives this absolute travesty of an administration.

(6) Dr Mike in West Texas made the following comment | Oct 3, 2009 8:03:28 AM | Permalink

It is Bush's fault that it's Bush's fault that USA lost the Olympics

(7) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Oct 3, 2009 11:32:17 AM | Permalink

quoting disgraced U.S. Senator Roland Buris as saying "that the image of the U. S. has been so tarnished in the last 8 years that, even Barack Obama making an unprecedented pitch for the games could not overcome the hatred the world has for us as a result of George Bush."

We have been in The Twilight Zone ever since Nov 4, 2008.


(8) Neo made the following comment | Oct 5, 2009 12:53:57 AM | Permalink

The best I found was ...

Some Chicago officials say anti-American resentment likely played a role in Chicago's Olympic bid dying in the first round Friday.

President Obama could not undo in one year the resentment against America that President Bush and others built up for years, they said.

"There must be" resentment against America, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said, near the stage where he had hoped to give a victory speech in Daley Center Plaza. "The way we [refused to sign] the Kyoto Treaty, we misled the world into Iraq. The world had a very bad taste in its mouth about us. But there was such a turnaround after last November. The world now feels better about America and about Americans. That's why I thought the president's going was the deal-maker."

Even after all the apologizing, Obama still hasn't made the deal. He still lives in the shadow of George Bush.

You can stop laughing now.

(9) A.W. made the following comment | Oct 5, 2009 1:21:53 PM | Permalink

We should not be happy that this happened. But those who blame Bush for all this miss the point of the critics. You know, it is not the fact that we lost so much as the fact that our president was humiliated in that loss. There are many ways the president could have lost without it looking like a slap to the face. namely, he could have been much more "behind the scenes" in his presentation.

But Obama came down there I guess thinking that his appeal would work its magic, and a blatant appeal to the olympics to give it to america to reward us for having the wisdom to vote hopenchange. you got that. Barrack wanted the olympic committee to use its power to try to influence elections, or at least reward the results it likes post hoc. Every american should be offended by that.

But we should also be dismayed that Obama failed. For better or worse, the president has staked his iran strategy on the idea that we can scare them with international pressure. his international public faceplant before the olympic committee undermines that argument significantly. While i think the negotiation approach is a terrible idea, we should want it to succeed. those of us who disagree with the president should want to be proven wrong.

now of course we can hope that instead this shows the president the uselessness of relying on international institutions, and speed him toward a more practical "stop with the nukes, or we will bomb you back to the stone age" appraoach. but bluntly nothing less than putting a republican in place is likely to get us that approach. the american people will probably figure out how useless the president's approach is long before the president himself figures it out.

(10) Neo made the following comment | Oct 5, 2009 3:35:35 PM | Permalink

Obama should be happy with the outcome. He has been on the road talking about how the US or any other country should go around telling others how to act. He got his wish.

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