When the Olympic host-city vote was announced on Friday, there was dancing, cheering, celebrating, and joy all around. Hugging. Tears. Oh, not for the winning city, mind you -- this was by jubilant conservatives over America losing.
Let's say that again, and be very clear about it: conservatives were cheering because America lost.
It was bizarre. It was, however, not unexpected.
This is a group of warm-hearted souls who have publicly hoped that the president fails; voted unanimously against health care; fought for decades against Medicare for the elderly; against Social Security for the poor, against welfare for the needy. Conservatives have fought against the 40-hour work week, child welfare laws, and minimum wage.
So, honestly, it really was not a shock to see the far right's joy at America failing. "We Got Ours, You're on Your Own, Bucko" tends to be their proud mantra.
Yes, yes, I know they'll insist they weren't against America, this time, but really just celebrating the failure of the president of the United States (and how cool is that?!) -- but make no mistake, they were dancing over a loss for America. A loss of tens of thousands of jobs -- during a recession; a loss of several billion dollars of revenue -- during a recession. Jobs and revenue that would have started immediately.
(Not to worry, they will start. Just in Brazil, though. Not the United States.)
And conservatives danced.
Okay, in fairness, some conservatives had legitimate reasons for being against America hosting the Olympics. "I'm actually for Rio," moralist Bill Bennett acknowledged beforehand. "[I]n Chicago, it's fat people eating."
But beyond the creepy celebrating and disdain, it was the brazen ignorance of the cheering conservatives that was more pronounced. Mean-spirited is one thing. Ignorance perpetuates itself.
There was Glenn Beck before the announcement, in tears that the president of the United States would try to help the U.S. Olympic Committee when asked. Bemoaning repeatedly that Vancouver lost a billion dollars when it held the Olympics.
One problem: Vancouver won't actually be holding the Olympics until this winter. Most likely he meant Montreal. (Such gaffes happen to graduates of the University of I Don't Remember.) But even if he'd gotten it right, his ignorance was glaring. You see, Montreal lost its billion in 1976. Thirty-three years ago. Okay, I know conservatives like to live in the past, but this is obsessive. This is stalking the past. There have been 16 Olympic Games since then.
Worse though, in terms of ignorance, is that in the very next Summer Olympics the U.S. participated in after Montreal, Los Angeles changed the dynamic of how the Games would be run -- and made a profit of $250 million! (All of which went to America. Not Brazil.) And when the smaller Winter Games were held in Salt Lake City, they made a profit of $50 million. (Which went to America. Not -- you know.) Even the last Summer Games in the U.S. hosted by Atlanta, though widely-acknowledged as not being well-run ... they still made a profit of $5 million. Which went to -- never mind.
It gets worse. Conservatives liked ridiculing President Obama for being the first leader to ever pitch the International Olympic Committee and be rebuffed. Except, you see, the truth is that this happened two other times. Mind you, I don't mean happened "ever." I mean just last week alone!
Every country bidding on Friday had their nation's leader present. King Juan Carlos of Spain was there -- they lost. The new Prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama, was there -- in fact, so was its Crown Prince Naruhito. They lost, too. A twofer.
Not knowing it, not bothering to find out, not caring at all just points out the obvious what pretty much every American grasps. That conservatives have such a blind, ignorant, hot hatred for President Barack Obama and for anything that isn't them, that they'll sell America down Grover Norquist's bathtub drain just to have their way.
It's pathetic, selfish and greedy. And, alas, par for the course.
This isn't about not knowing about the Olympics. It's about not caring about the facts. It's about an ongoing pattern with the far right. Obama wants to kill old people. Obama is from Kenya. Obama is a Muslim. Obama is a terrorist. A socialist. Facts don't matter. The smear does.
And conservatives danced.
Of course, the reality is that if President Obama didn't go to Denmark, the U.S. wouldn't have gotten the bid either -- and who here thinks that the far right wouldn't have blasted him for not caring about America? Conservatives would have slammed Obama whether he went or stayed. It's just their bad luck that he tried to bring jobs to America, and they had to end up criticizing that. Not that they seemed to mind. It's only the dance that counts.
The reality is that the IOC's selection process has been going on for several years. This wasn't like a last-minute surprise. Of course, if conservatives really want to point a finger at a president for not getting the Olympic bid, a better argument could be made that the rest of the world is still pissed at George Bush. Honestly, that didn't likely come into play much -- but I would lay cash money that it came into play far more than Barack Obama flying in for a day to make a speech.
In the end, though, the problem for conservatives here is short-sighted stupidity. Not getting an Olympic bid is an utter non-issue. But what voters will remember is that, once again, conservatives were working against the best interests of America.
You see, 84% of Americans supported getting the Olympics.
And when it failed -- conservatives danced.