Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Success is not an option

“Schadenfreude” is a German word meaning taking joy in the misery of others. We all do it once in a while.

“Stupidfruede” is a word I just made up meaning looking like a complete idiot for taking joy in misery of others when that other person's failure negatively impacts you. I believe my father would have explained it as “cutting your nose off to spite your face.”

For the entirety of the Bush administration, the leaders of the Republican party accused the Democrats of rooting against America.

“Why do you hate America?” I can't tell you the number of times I heard that question as I suggested that starting World War III would not root out terrorism, but would only drag us down to their level.

I was told that anyone who opposes anything the president wants to do is unpatriotic and should “move to Canada” or some such nonsense.

Funny how the rules change with the election of a new president. And suddenly rooting against the president is not only not treasonous, it's downright American. Which is why the GOP is taking great satisfaction in America's loss.

I'm talking about Chicago's loss in its bid for the Olympics, of course.

Seemed like within minutes of the International Olympic Committee's announcement that the 2016 games would not be in Chicago, right wing pundits and elected officials alike were sending press releases and twittering with glee over President Barack Obama's great defeat.

Apparently, they have themselves so wrapped up in the concept of the “real America” versus the blue states, that they forgot that Chicago is technically still an American city.

Personally, I thought the president's mission to bring the Olympics to Chicago was misguided at best. With all that's going on in the world, a trip to Copenhagen to make a plea for the Olympics should have been very low of the list of the president's priorities.

While the GOP piled on over Obama's loss, he spun the loss in his own direction, saying it is “always a worthwhile endeavor” to promote the United States in any way, adding “You can play a great game and still not win.”

That sounds a lot like “it's not whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game.” Words winners never say.

True, Obama could have used some good news. The same morning we lost the Olympic bid, unemployment figures came out, showing a steep rise.

There was a very telling word in that last sentence. “We.” For it was America who lost the bid for the Olympics. Not Barack Obama.

Of course, some people seem to believe that anything that makes “the other guys” look bad is good for them. It's one of the inherent problems in the two-party system.

The whole concept of a two-party system is that anyone who isn't your friend is your enemy. If someone has a different agenda than you, they must be stopped at all costs.

Heaven forbid anyone admit that both the Democrats and the Republicans simply have different ways of doing things.

I'll admit it. Republicans and Democrats simply have different ways of hording power and paying off their base.

And the Olympics in Chicago would have been a huge payoff for Obama's base. Imagine the contracts and kickbacks that would have gone to some of the president's biggest supporters in one of the most corrupt political city's in America.

Maybe that's why the GOP opposed the Olympics in Chicago. Maybe they didn't want to see Obama's supporters get fat.

Or maybe they just hate America.