CONSERVATIVES’ OLYMPIC GLEE CONTINUES…. It seems likely that conservative delight over the International Olympic Committee awarding the 2016 games to Rio will fade rather quickly. There’s just not much to keep their joy going — the United States sought the Olympics, made it to the final round, but came up short. American satisfaction over an American setback has a short shelf life, even on the right.
That said, it’s still going strong. Dave Weigel reports from the Americans for Prosperity “Defending the American Dream Conference,” where, apparently, part of the American dream is reveling in American disappointment.
“R-I-O!” said conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, speaking the a ballroom of almost 2000 conservative activists. “May this be the first of many defeats for Chicago-style politics!”
Ingraham fantasized about being on the plane home from Copenhagen, where the International Olympic Committee handed down the decision, and watching Oprah Winfrey cry and Michelle Obama throw things with her “big arms.” The crowd cheered, and cheered again, curiously, when Ingraham seemed to contradict herself.
“How did we go, in nine months, from the world’s number one superpower to getting knocked out in, like, the first round?” asked Ingraham. “Even Tom DeLay got to round three of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’” Both varieties of Olympics jokes reflected the uneasy and surprising manner with which conservatives have embraced the loss of an event that up to 84 percent of Americans said they wanted in Chicago.
Following shortly after Ingraham, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) got in more political barbs about the loss of the games. “After those first-round results,” said Pence, “it looks like the president has had about as much luck pitching Chicago to the Olympics as he had pitching health care reform to the American people.”
As a substantive matter, the U.S. wasn’t knocked out in the “first round”; we were knocked out in the final round. For that matter, the president’s pitch on health care seems to be going a whole lot better than Mike Pence’s pitch on the same issue. (Americans trust the president on health care more than congressional Republicans by a huge margin.)
As a tactful matter, Laura Ingraham wants to make fun of the First Lady’s arms? Seriously?
And as a political matter, in light of yesterday’s right-wing ecstasy over Chicago not getting the Olympics, Paul Krugman concluded, “Middle-aged adolescents — dumb middle-aged adolescents — rule one of our nation’s two great political parties.”
Sad, but true.