CNN Political Analyst, Roland Martin
One day after President Barack Obama’s bid to bring the 2016 Olympic Games homes to the United States failed – and an apoplectic mainstream news media descended into broadcasting pandemonium, coping as best they could with the shock and horror of the President’s embarrassment – CNN political analyst Roland Martin penned an opinion piece, taking “giddy” Republicans to task for basking in the President’s failure.
He effectively challenged the patriotism of those nasty old, mean-spirited, transformation-hating right-wingers who celebrated Chicago’s elimination from contention.
Never one to mince words, let me state, without equivocation – free of any apology or excuse – that I proudly wear the ” giddy” Republican label that Martin is busting a journalistic pimple over.
I’ll tattoo it on my forehead, if necessary.
Admittedly, prior to the announcement that Rio de Janeiro would be the host city for the 2016 Olympics, I was fairly neutral on the whole matter. I actually couldn’t have cared less. I even said so on this blog.
Outside of the nose hair trimming techniques of early 8th Century Persians, I don’t know that there is much that is less interesting to me than the Olympics.
However, since the announcement last Friday – and witnessing the reaction of the Obama-backed media complex since – I have shifted my thinking.
I will use Martin’s piece to help me explain why.
Whenever President Obama has traveled overseas and offered pointed and direct assessments of the United States, some of them critical, Republicans have ripped him for criticizing America, saying a president should always defend the United States.
So I want to hear the explanation by these so-called patriots of their giddy behavior over the United States losing the 2016 Olympic Games.
Yes, the United States. The bid that was rejected Friday by the International Olympic Committee was not a Chicago, Illinois, bid. It was the official bid submitted by the United States Olympic Committee and was representative of the nation. Tokyo’s bid was that of Japan; Madrid’s was that of Spain; and Rio de Janeiro’s was that of Brazil.
Republicans want to spin the decision as a massive loss by President Obama and the Democrats who have always controlled Chicago politics.
“Hahahahaha,” wrote Erick Erickson on the conservative “RedState” blog, “I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone.”
What the critics don’t see is that Obama’s loss on the Olympics is America’s loss. Any red-blooded American who loves to see the American flag raised and the national anthem played when one of our own wins a gold medal should blast the Republicans’ giddiness over the loss.
First of all, for clarity’s sake, no President of the United States has ever criticized or apologized for his own country on foreign soil. It is inconceivable that any President would ever do so. It simply would never serve the best interests of the United States, in any way whatsoever – yet, President Obama has done it on several occasions. In no uncertain terms, it is unaccepatble behavior for the Commander-In-Chief of the United States of America. It is not how a President preserves, protects and defends the Constitution.
That he – President Obama – finds it appropriate to do so, with mere months under his belt as the nation’s Chief Executive, while effectively thumbing his nose at the over two centuries of American history that preceded him, is, at the very least, arrogant; it is, at most, a dangerous precedent that isolates and instills less confidence and security in those nations that look to America as the world’s defender against evil (think of Poland and the Czech Republic). It is a weakness that emboldens America’s enemies.
This criticism of President Obama would apply to any President who asserts that kind of spinelessness, regardless of his party affiliation, skin color, or city of origin.
As far as the “red-blooded” Americans Martin is referring to whom he says should be blasting “giddy” Republicans like me, I must ask:
How exactly is not getting the Olympic Games “America’s loss?” In what way?
It seems that Mr. Martin is somehow equating patriotism with support of the games coming to Chicago.
Typical liberal non sequiturism.
I’m an American – a proud American – and whenever that flag goes up (when possible), regardless of where I am, whether there are Olympic Games going on or not, I stand and salute it. Likewise, wherever and whenever I hear Star-Spangled Banner, I take a moment (when possible) to stop and honor my country. Whether it is played in Rio, Chicago, Europe, or on the moon, the significance is not – nor should it be – diminished based on locale.
It’s true, I am not a fan of the Olympics. But so what? Patriotism has nothing to do with the Olympic Games.
For what it’s worth, before each sporting event I attend, I remove my hat, face the flag, and salute my country. I fly flags proudly at my home, and handle them properly, removing them at night and during inclement weather. I proudly wear a flag lapel pin because I honor this nation and those who fight to defend her. I don’t need an international athletic competition held on American soil to serve as a barometer of how patriotic I am, or whether or not I support the United States of America.
Besides, there are plenty of people who fervently support our Olympic athletes who would rather see the games played elsewhere. Let someone else deal with the nightmarish traffic, pollution, community upheaval, and ever-present terrorist threats that accompany the event.
And just to keep my friends in the environmentalist movement happy, what about the massive carbon footprint that human beings from well over a hundred countries would leave behind?
Having recycling bins strewn about the Olympic Village just isn’t green enough.
Americans love home field advantage, and we always desire to show the rest of the world what we are made of.
I don’t care if Republicans want to rip President Obama over going to Copenhagen, Denmark, to pitch for the games. This isn’t about politics. It’s not about ideology. This is about America. OUR pride. Our chance to shine. Our loss of the games.
So, to all the critics happy about us losing the 2016 games, turn in your flag lapel pins and stop boasting of being so patriotic. When an American city loses, like New York did in the the last go-round, we all lose. And all you critics are on the same level as the America haters all across the world.
You should be shouted down for not backing your own country. The next time any of you bang out a press release about “Buy American” or “Support our troops,” remember this moment when your cynical, callous and small-minded brains happily rejoiced when America lost the 2016 Olympic Games.
Mr. Martin, Americans show the world what we are made of by our values. We show the world what we are made of by standing up to evil and defeating it. We are the Shining City Upon The Hill because we are a nation that believes in God-given liberty and the power of the individual. We stand as a beacon to the world’s huddled masses not because we have the longest jumpers, fastest runners and strongest weightlifters. We are the greatest nation on Earth because America gives anyone and everyone the opportunity to be the very best they can be, without government restraint.
That’s how America’s greatness is measured.
People come here not because we have killer sprinters and world class pole vaulters.
It’s interesting how Mr. Martin can make the claim that this was not about politics.
Why on Earth would President Obama personally jet to Copenhagen to pitch his adopted home city if there was not political pressure to do so from his cronies back home? I mean, why Chicago? Why not other American cities that could probably have been more accomodating than the splendidly corruptible Windy City?
Because everything is about the ever-enigmatic, charismatic, President of the World, Barack Obama.
He is the Liberal King. He can do anything.
I also love how Mr. Martin says that the bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago was “about America.”
Does he have any inclination of how ridiculous he sounds?
The Olympics are not about America. They’re about multiculturalism. They’re about leveling the playing fields between nations. They’re about moral and cultural equivelancy. They’re about the whole world coming together in some sort of pseudo-hand holding, kumbaya-type of kinship manifested through athletic competition.
“America,” Mr. Martin?
How about the troops in harm’s way? Why the hell has the President dragged his feet on Afghanistan while American fighting forces literally hang in the balance waiting for him to decide what he is going to do? How good is it for America that, at one minute, Afghanistan is a war of necessity and at the next, it is an issue he is unsure about? Aren’t the men and women of the Armed Forces “about America?” Do they not deserve the President’s attention before he makes himself available to the damn International Olympic Committee?
American pride is not about where the Olympic Games are being held.
Sure, one can make a case that America is about winning in those games. I’ve nothing against that. When America wins – even in the Olympics – it is a good thing.
But the locale of those games is all “about America?”
Who’s brain is “small-minded,” sir?
America shines when she liberates oppressed peoples. America shines when she defends her allies and keeps her promises. America shines when she come to the aid of people in trouble, in all walks of life, all over the world. America shines not because her athletes throw a jevelin the longest, or swim the fastest. America shines because she is a shining city upon a hill, as accommodating as any nation that has ever existed.
And by the way, as a New Yorker, I did not lose when my city was rejected as the host of the 2012 Olympic Games, nor did my family, friends and fellow New Yorkers.
I actually celebrated.
And keep in mind, that was while George W. Bush was President, not too long after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The fact of the matter is, the Olympics are not good for local economies. The 2016 Games, if the pattern had held true to form, would not have been a boost to Chicago, as many instinctively (and reflexively) believe. Since the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, every host city has actually lost money.
Stefan Szymanski of the Washington Post writes:
The truth is that the local economy doesn’t get much of a boost while those shiny new athletic venues are being built. Many of the jobs created are filled by specialists who come in from outside — to construct a BMX bicycle track, it helps to have built one before — and they take their pay home with them. To the extent that local labor is tapped, suppliers are taken away from other projects in the area, raising costs in the process. It would be nice to think you could create an Olympic city by hiring an army of the unemployed, but mega-projects like this do not work like that.
My charm will conquer all
President Obama’s grandest mistake in this whole affair was never giving anyone the impression that he wanted the Olympic Games to come to Chicago because it was good for the United States of America. Nothing in what he said or did surrounding his attempt to bring the games to Chicago was ever about his country.
It was always about him.
And whether justified or not, the impression that he was paying back some old debts to former Chicagoland chums was foremost in the minds of many.
It was his arrogance – the continuation of his United Nations “America-Has-Been-Great-For-Nine-Months-Since-I-Came-Along” approach – that killed Chicago’s chances. It was his belief in his own power to persuade, simply by virtue of his unprecedented presence before the OIC in Copenhagen that killed the bid. It was his self-centered, rambling, unfocused gobbledygook about how the Games would feel to him and his family that deep-sixed it. It was his wife, Michelle, emoting about how the games would make her feel, and how it would remind her of her father that helped knock Chicago out in the first round.
For those reasons, President Obama needed to be brought down a few pegs.
This country is not about him.
With each failure of his radical agendas and misprioritized deeds, America wins.
That is why I am “giddy,” Mr. Martin.