Whenever President Barack Obama goes abroad to talk to the world about America, it usually goes like this: the president offers up some generalities on how his foreign policy approach will differ from previous administrations, he'll beseech foreign governments to modify their behavior, and his media critics will selectively edit his remarks and then bitch about how Obama is "apologizing" for America. But tomorrow, President Obama plans to go to Copenhagen to make an unequivocal pitch about the greatness of America in an effort to win the 2016 Olympic games, during which he will highlight the superiority of Chicago, a great American city, as a potential host. Naturally, his critics are quick to point out what a total bastard he is for doing so.
You wouldn't think it would be controversial for the president of the United States to make a pitch before the International Olympic Committee in an effort to win glory for the nation and carve out a new chapter in the nation's history of sport, but since we're all about breaking new ground in crazy these days, we might as well go all in. It's nevertheless a remarkable turnaround. Why, it seems like only last year that working on the Olympic games was viewed as a critical piece of managerial acumen for a presidential candidate.
But! Presidenting: it's hard! So much to do, so many things which need tending. And ever since Obama was sworn in, we've learned that it is just impossible for the president to work on so many things at the same time. So a new vision of the office has been put forward, which forbids multi-tasking, and which insists that the president must tackle single issues, one at a time, and solve them, before moving on. What to do first? Whatever the loudest presidential critic has a chubby for, of course. Of course, presidents typically have the authority to delegate responsibilities and policy portfolios to appointed experts, but nowadays, it's more important to hound such people out of the White House, because as everyone knows, management hierarchies are Marxist.
Yesterday, Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) took time off from whining about how hard he has to work to complain to MSNBC's David Shuster that Obama does not have enough time to fly to Copenhagen on his high-tech plane with state-of-the-art telecommunications technology to talk about how awesome America is to the IOC. Instead, the president needs to be flying to Afghanistan, with 40,000 more troops for General McChrystal.
HOEKSTRA: Well, you know, the president is pressed on issues all day long. He and his staff have to make choices each and every day. You know, we've got the issue. We are at war. We've got the issue of the economy. We have the issue of Gitmo. We have the issues on health care, and a whole range of issues. The president needs to make the choices. I really believe that this is a choice that he could have passed on and focused on some other things. I think we can close. I would hope that we could close a sale on Chicago without the president personally having to invest his time, his energy, and his credibility on this type of a decision.
Seriously! Why is the President even sleeping! He needs to work hard on these issues, and proffer solutions that Pete Hoekstra will unilaterally reject out of pure political calculations!
In fairness to Hoekstra, Obama had initially "said he couldn't make the trip because he needed to tend to the health care debate at home". But, look, isn't Max Baucus and his lobbyist friends taking care of all that? More to the point, isn't Pete Hoekstra aware that the war in Afghanistan has been going on for about eight years? Back when President George W. Bush was managing the war, he had all kinds of time to do things like tell America the Taliban had been defeated, and take bike rides, and, uhm...attend the Olympic Games. Although it should be pointed out, Bush did give up golf for a few hours... you know -- FOR THE TROOPS. And that's probably why Iranians started the whole "Green Revolution," taking to the streets and chanting, "Now watch this drive!"
Of course, if you are not concerned about the awesomely ruinous opportunity cost to safety and prosperity that a brief jaunt to Denmark represents, surely you are worried about all the CHICAGO MACHINE OLYMPIC CORRUPTION, where all the Medals of Gold are tainted! Glenn Beck sure is, and he invited someone with a demonic goatee on his teevee show yesterday to blather on and on about it, in alarmist fashion, saying, "This is the biggest scandal! This is going to be corruption on a scale unimaginable!"
Listening to this, I'm thinking, "No! No! Teapot Dome! Watergate! Iran-Contra! All of these scandals are much larger than a trip to Denmark to win an Olympics!" More to the point, there's already been a massive American Olympic scandal that Chicago will have to work very hard to top: the Salt Lake Olympic Committee bribery scandal, which forced the resignation of top SLOC officials and required the efforts of Mitt Romney, to his credit, to right the ship. Naturally, in the world of Glenn Beck and his coterie of facial-hair daemons, the Chicago Olympics will be a sin-drenched affair, where Tony Rezko builds the Valerie Jarrett Thunderdome in Hyde Park, and William Ayers lights the Olympic Torch with Weather Underground bombs.
At any rate, this is all, undeniably insane, but I nevertheless have to admire to spirit of Obama's Olympic detractors, because when the 2016 games inevitably go to Rio De Janeiro, they'll all get to come back on the air and deride Obama for being the useless loser that cost America the Olympics. You can just bet the HONEYMOON WILL BE OVER then!