While the decision of the voting members of the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen to award the 2016 summer games to Rio de Janeiro will have many making this about Obama and his decision to
foolishly listen to that Valerie Jarrett, who has caused him nothing but trouble take very little time out of his schedule and briefly, albeit unsuccessfully, make a personal pitch to the committee members, Grey Lady sports denizen George Vecsey tells us why there were other very good reasons to award the games to Rio anyway.
Look: the USA has already hosted four summer games (1904, 1932, 1984 and 1996) and four winter games (1932, 1960, 1980 and 2002); the other eliminated cities all had similar issues (Madrid was hampered by Barcelona having hosted recently in 1992 and Tokyo had itself hosted in 1964, with Japan also hosting the winter games in 1972 and 1998)... South America and Africa (which will likely get the games one of these days, and will be hosting the more-important-to-actual-sports-fans Soccer World Cup next year) have never hosted the games, and Rio made a credible bid. Throw in the fact that the United States has made abuse of foreign visitors at visa desks, and then at airports and other points of entry (in the name of combating terrorism, of course) a national fetish, a problem that could be expected to repeated tens of thousands of times should this nation be awarded an Olympics, and one can see a number of "structural" issues that made awarding the games to this country... less likely. (We won't even talk about the sterling international reputation we have engendered with invading Iraq, torturing prisoners, refusing to sign the Kyoto protocols, and other similar legacy items.) A few minutes of sweet talking from our National Rock Star (accompanied by Michele Obama and Oprah for God's sake) just weren't going to change all this.
One would hope the message would sink in: one sees affirmative cheering by the President's opponents at his "failure" to secure the Olympics. And cheering at a loss of national prestige, from the very same people who turned "you're with us or you're against us" faux-patriotism into a sporting event (and who, of course, accused those of us who dared question the prior President's law breaking and other ill-advised policies of, quite naturally, treason)...
At what point will the President wake the f*** up and realize that such people are not to be "compromised" with; they are to be ignored, and outvoted, preferably with ever larger majorities engendered by taking bold, decisive necessary action, and not worrying about crap and stupidity like "bipartisanship" from an opposition whose members have decided that they are the President's sworn enemies as well as political adversaries.
Well, since it's not really going to happen, let's not worry about it too much.
Why would the world give the US the Olympics when we make getting into the country an occasion of fear and humiliation?
Posted by janinsanfran at October 4, 2009 11:35 PM