Monday, October 05, 2009

Unsporstmanlike

There was something instructive about the ripple of joy that passed through Right Wing World last Friday, as news broke that my hometown of Chicago had lost out on its bid to host the '16 Olympic games.

Now, I would expect the natural level of investment most Americans had in hosting the Olympics was either general excitement or (more likely) general apathy. Heck, I'm a native Chicagoan myself, and my own feelings were probably somewhere in the middle. But the outright elation by those on the right was something else again.

From El Rushbo calling it "the worst day" of the Obama presidency to Glenn Beck saying it was "so, so sweet," all illusions of civility and common interest were tossed aside, and the petty nature of what passes for modern conservatism was suddenly stripped bare for all to see.

Suddenly, the "Loyal Opposition" had been reduced to the level of my two-year old, who snatches any toy from the hands of my eight-month old and throws it across the room rather than let him play with it. So invested was the anti-Obama crowd in its fervor that they applauded (literally!) any perceived failure, even one that would have benefited our country.

The sad part is that this underlying irrationality streches far beyond the Olympics, having already extended its tendrils into the interminable health care debate and beyond, and it has Paul Krugman asking:
How did one of our great political parties become so ruthless, so willing to embrace scorched-earth tactics even if so doing undermines the ability of any future administration to govern?
It's a good question, and Krugman posits his own theory at the link above.

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