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Learning from the Olympics

I am one of those people who was happy to see the International Olympic Committee shut out the Chicago bid. I know that people on the Left accuse me of rooting against my country, but — as usual — the people on the Left are wrong. I wasn’t even rooting against a President I do not generally admire, although I was glad to see him humiliated publicly in this fashion.

How can you square these statements?

Well, I feel that Barack Obama has shown — many more times than I needed to reach a conclusion on the subject — that he believes that there is no problem so intractable that it cannot be remedied by his personal intervention and a jolly good oration, which of course will reference the Miracle of his Rise to show that if only we would ______ then  ______ would finally be able to see the _____ of its ways and we’d all be able to ______ at long last.

This Olympic fiasco, I hoped, would be embarrassing enough and pointed enough to provide a clear data point that this is not always the case, and this lesson, had it sunk in,  would come at very small cost to America. After all, the loss of the Olympics in a city is considerably less painful than losing the city itself… which is where this kind of naive ego-centrism can lead us when dealing with ruthlessly self-interested regimes like Iran, Russia and North Korea — expanding nuclear powers all.

Barack Obama is not accustomed to getting the kind of faceful of egg he was given at Copenhagen. I had hoped that this would be enough to perhaps persuade him to look at the results rather than the desire, and perhaps conclude that there is almost nothing — not even a really good speech — that can persuade people into acting against their own self interest, and that he might perhaps reflect upon the fact that instead of Oprah and the First Lady, Chicago would have better been served in my friend Scott Ott’s words, by sending “traffic flow specialists, civic engineers, architects, economists… all the experts needed to convince the IOC that Chicago was up for the task.”

In other words, lead instead of cheerlead. But this President seems incapable of doing that. I don’t know how many days he has spent actually behind the desk in the Oval Office as — you know — Chief Executive, but given the number of town halls, events, ceremonies and other on-camera activities I would be willing to bet the number is not large.

Anyway, that was my hope: that humiliation on the cheap might persuade The World’s Smartest Politician to show some intelligence and change his mind based upon the evidence, the way his presecessor, The Greatest Moron in the History of The World, did when confronting a failing strategery in Iraq. That hope lasted for all of a few days. Now we see 150 doctors wearing white lab coats assembled to help Barack Obama give another career-saving speech, this time trying to get the 93% of Americans who are fundamanetally happy with their health care to act against their own self interests.

And by having them wear white lab coats, you see, he is making sure we realize they are doctors.  But I remain confused. Couldn’t they also be lab technicians? Perhaps they need to wear that reflector thing on their foreheads. Damn it, no — Dentists wear those too, and no one would be persuaded to give up their current insurance just because a hundred and fifty dentists wearing white lab coats and reflectors nod in agreement. What they should have had was stethoscopes around their necks! That would have gotten this bill passed!

And so it goes. Yet another speech, with props appropriate for a fourth grade show and tell, to sell the rubes on something they seem unwilling to want to buy. And another appeal to oratory in place of substance. And meanwhile, out at the edge of the campfire’s glow, lean and cruel wolves circle red-eyed and hungry, watching and learning.



[A few days before this was posted a spammer discovered my comment stream — hooray!  This site is getting hit with about 500 spam messages a DAY, directly into the comments. I am sorting them out as quickly as I can, so if your comment has been “held for moderation” by the Invisible Word Press Sargeant-at-Arms, it may be taking somewhat longer than usual for me to find it and approve it.  If you have ever lived in the South and know what “kudzu” is, then you can appreciate my problem. — BW]

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