Saturday, October 03, 2009

President Barrack Obama bungles it again.

The big news at the end of this week was Rio de Janeiro being awarded the 2016 Olympics despite the fact that President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and the Oprah had personally lobbied the International Olympic Committee to choose Chicago instead. Jules Crittenden has an enormous list of reactions to this failed Olympic bid.

Personally, I think that President Obama's unsuccessful lobbying efforts were a totally bungled disaster for the United States. Tragically, Obama's defeat here was partially self-inflicted. Why? Because everyone knows that the President da Silva of Brazil has been flirting with Hugo Chávez-style socialism ever since he was elected. A 2016 Olympics in Rio gives the Chávez-aligned nations a chance, if they so wish, to showcase socialism as a South American counterweight to the United States. An IOC the views the Olympics as a world-funded débutante party for up and coming nations would be naturally sympathetic to the argument.

So to win the Olympics for Chicago, President Obama needed to change the basic narrative of the case for Rio, namely that the 2016 Olympics would mark a United States was in decline relative to South America. So how did Obama counter that impression in his lobbying effort? Actually, he spent his term in office reinforcing that impression. President Obama has spent the last eight months apologizing for America's misdeeds, flirting with Chávez and Chávez cronies such as Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, and presiding over a seemingly intractably economic downturn. Obama's industrial policy is deindustrialization to conserve resources; his economic policy is government-subsidized stasis to keep the depression at bay; his health care policy is to conserve resources for the young and productive; his foreign policy is retreat on all fronts to cut costs.

In short, everything about Obama's government says "American decline". The sheer fact that Obama has to lobby some guy on an international committee to save Chicago by throwing money at it, as if Obama was the president of some third-world, basket-case nation, says "American decline".

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