It’s a sad fact that politics can ruin your life — not just when you practice it as a profession, but also when you get so wrapped up in it that you can’t enjoy even the simple pleasures of life unless they flatter your ideology.
Take as an example and cautionary tale the case of the rightbloggers and the London Olympics. To you and us, the Games are a pleasing diversion. But to them, for the silliest of reasons, the Games are socialism, Islamism, and all the other boogeymen they see whenever things aren’t going exactly their way.
While normal people were enjoying the story of Nur Suryani Mohammed Taibi, a Malaysia markswoman who competed while eight months pregnant, Michael Fell of Right Wing News denounced “Yahoo, that staunch defender of all things ‘progressive'” because they “fawned all over the feel good story.” Fell, on the other hand, thought it was a feel-bad story, about “the utter stupidity of European countries that are so welcoming of people who want to destroy Europe, European culture and the last vestiges of European Christianity. As in: muslims… This is a taquiyya based PR move on the part of muslims and their ‘progressive’ western co-conspirators.”
Then there was the guy at Patterico’s Pontifications who wrote, “I will readily admit that I cannot stand gymnastics, and turn it off. The created melodramatic nonsense and subjective scoring is not my cup of tea. Speaking of cups of tea, compare and contrast Obama’s history of gaffes and snubs of England to Romney’s.”
What made them have such bizarre reactions to the Games? Maybe Mitt Romney.
The Olympics were not kind to the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, whose disparaging comments about London’s readiness to stage an Olympics were hung around his neck when he visited last week — not only by liberals, but primarily by British conservative papers like the Telegraph, and the Conservative leadership of London and the UK.
Even rightbloggers had to step back from this one, mostly assuring each other that it would all blow over eventually. “He recovered gracefully so there will be no lasting damage,” said Rick Moran. “It seems unlikely that his rather innocuous comments would alienate many voters back home,” agreed Erin McPike at Real Clear Politics. Etc.
Allahpundit at Hot Air suggested a little “counter-spin. After all, who wants a president who’ll tell foreign nations what they want to hear? What we need is a leader with the stones to sit down, look them in the eye, and say that they need to step it up on a global event for which they’ve spent the past seven years preparing.” Sure, that makes sense. And maybe James Holmes‘s lawyer can convince a jury he was just trying to get those moviegoers to turn off their cell phones.
Some tried harder. At National Review, Jim Geraghty said Romney was right, England sucks — they almost had a strike, and “three people who were due to work as security staff at an Olympic venue have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.” Plus they drive on the wrong side of the road, amIright! At the same venue, John O’Sullivan apologized as a Brit for his people, and claimed that “with heroic restraint Romney responded in the way that in the past an English gentleman was popularly supposed to respond to excitable foreigners jabbering over some grievance.” Thank God political necessity did not require O’Sullivan to insult his own mother as well.
One-time Anglosphere enthusiast Dan Riehl told England it was “a second rate, semi-degenerate nation still on the way down because you went too far to the left too long ago for anyone to care about,” and its citizens “feckless wankers,” before declaring, “put a Gold Medal on that and aim it at the Queen’s are.”
Later Riehl said the Conservative Brits’ ill-treatment of Romney “does have an element of Obama and the left’s ongoing war against success in it,” likened Cameron to Obama as a “ostriched plumed politician,” said “Cameron looks like a petulant brat here,” etc.
Even as the rightbloggers tiptoed away from the Romneyshambles, you could tell they were still rattled. One clear sign: Some of them went for a particularly egregious bit of email-from-your-grandma bullshit: A rumor that Obama might order the U.S. Olympians to dip the American flag at the reviewing stand, which they haven’t done for a hundred years.
This did not, of course, actually happen, but Fox News’ Todd Starnes headlined “Will U.S. Dip American Flag at Olympic Ceremony?” over a story that included the U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman saying the U.S. wouldn’t dip the flag, “End of story. Period.” (Also in the story: “FOLLOW TODD ON FACEBOOK FOR CULTURE WAR NEWS.”)
“It’s an Obama World,” explained Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit. “US May Dip Its Flag to British Leaders at Opening Ceremony… Admit it. It really wouldn’t shock you. Its the Obama way.”
“Why now?” asked Breitbart’s William Bigelow about this fantasy event, and floated two theories: One, that the Obama Administration “wants to shore up its position by acting deferentially toward one of our strongest allies… Now Obama can look as if he likes the British”; and two, “to start the tradition of dipping the flag because of the next Olympic Games in the winter of 2014. Just where are they, anyway?In Sochi, Russia. That’s right; if we dip the flag in London, next we’ll be dipping the flag to Vladimir Putin,” because Obama loves Russia or something.
Something else that made their blood vessels burst like Christmas crackers was the tribute to the National Health Service nurses in the Olympics opening ceremony.
“Olympic Opening Ceremony Celebrates Socialized Medicine” hollered Fox Nation. “Socialized Medicine Promoted At Opening Of Olympics,” cried Freedom Outpost. “Apparently the Real Commies Are In England,” sneered Bill Quick of Daily Pundit. “The 2012 Olympics Salute The Welfare State,” shouted Dr. J at The Gormogons (“Dr. J. thought we were safe, from more socialist pap but then along came Frankie and June, a couple raising their family, along with the rest of their clan, in Council Housing.”)
“More proof that the left has seized control of sports I do not need,” huh-whated Eric Scheie of Classical Values. (Maybe he was thinking about when the sports hippies denied Rush Limbaugh an NFL franchise?) “I can’t believe ordinary sports fans have sat around and allowed the Olympics to be hijacked by the left. (Actually, yes I can.)” They’re all in on it! “Might such people later erase the wins of athletes who might later voice opinions deemed unacceptable?” Well, it was still happy hour when NBC broadcast this…
At Hot Air, J.E. Dyer denounced the opening ceremony’s “paroxysm of pagan worship, complete with cavorting women, for the National Health Service,” and other “artistic commemorations of a dying culture.” Maybe he meant the Frankie Goes to Hollywood sequence. Marathon Pundit thought Rowan Atkinson’s appearance as Mr. Bean “almost made up for the salute to Britain’s dysfunctional socialized health care system, the National Health Service.” (Man, they can’t just enjoy anything, can they?)
“This is what happens when a Great Nation becomes infected by Political Correctness to such an extent that it feels as if it must pick-and-choose which aspects of it’s history to celebrate on the world stage,” roared I Own The World, who apparently doesn’t think time considerations had anything to do with it.
Many rightbloggers were even more enraged that the London Olympics ceremonies did not include a moment of silence for the Israeli competitors executed by Palestinian extremists in 1972.
There was no point in telling them that no other post-Munich Olympics has ever had a moment of silence for those victims — including the Winter Olympics Romney ran in 2002. (Nor would it have made a difference — not a positive one, anyway — to ask them why a moment should not have been held in London to memorialize the victims of Eric Rudolph, who set off an explosion at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as a protest against “abortion on demand” and “global socialism.”)
“Oh look,” said Commentary‘s John Podhoretz on Twitter. “It’s a moment of silence. But not for the Munich Olympians. #FUCKYOUIOC” (The moment of silence was in fact for London’s terrorism victims in 2005 — or, as Podhoretz’s colleague Jonathan S. Tobin put it, “London Olympics Had Time for Some Terror Victims But Not Israelis,” which he took to mean that the organizers felt “Jewish blood shed by terrorists at an Olympics to be somehow less significant than that of other victims.” Man, never invite these guys to a funeral — they’ll demand their own eulogy!)
Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy found it “pretty obvious” that the MoS was nixed by the International Olympic Committee because of “fear of offending Arab nations.” He was also enraged that while the IOC in the past “understandably banned apartheid South Africa from participating in the Olympics… it did not ban numerous dictatorships with comparable or worse human rights records, including communist regimes guilty of mass murder such as the USSR, North Korea, and Ethiopia…” Well, they certainly would have been a different Olympics without the USSR all those years.
Finally Somin allowed that “I don’t believe the IOC leadership actually approves of what happened in Munich in 1972. But they clearly do have some of the appeasement mentality associated with Munich back in 1938.”
Paul Mirengoff of Power Line raved against all international organizations: “The IOC’s values are not the values of America,” he said. “Unless we want one day to be in the position of those hapless Israeli widows [of Munich victims], begging for favor before a French bureaucrat (or worse), we must cede nothing more to these bodies.” Get the UN out of the US, the US out of the UN, and the US Olympic Team out of the Olympics!
At National Review, Benjamin Weinthal felt similarly. “What is unfolding in London,” he said, “is a mirror-image of the conduct of the United Nations and its organizations seeking to not hurt the ‘feelings’ of Muslim-majority countries.” (The quote marks are presumably there because Muslims, not being human, don’t really have feelings.) Sissy Willis condemned “the International Olympic Committee’s decision to bow in dhimmitude to our Islamist masters.”
Rubbing salt in rightbloggers’ self-inflicted wounds were the Lebanese judo team who insisted on a barrier between themselves and their Israeli competitors during practice sessions. Reuters says “organizers of the judo competition said there were always screens available so that competing athletes and their coaching staff would not be able to spy on each other’s training,” which makes sense — but that’s just what rightbloggers expected those one-worlders to say!
“If the Lebanese don’t want to practice next to the Israelis send them home,” bellowed Rick Moran at The PJ Tatler, adding, “Ah, if only solving the problems of the world were so simple — erect a barrier between the Israelis and Hamas, or Hezbollah, or any number of Arab anti-Semitic bigots who want to destroy the state of Israel.” Similarly, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze joked, “Israel’s critics often call the security barrier protecting Israelis from West Bank terrorists an ‘apartheid wall,’ so it’s ironic that Lebanon’s judo team asked Olympic officials to put up a barrier to block out any view of the Israeli team.” Well, at least the Lebanese judokas weren’t using their barrier to deprive the Israelis of clean water and medical supplies.
Then there was the Saudi woman who wanted to do her judo in a headscarf and — well, you can imagine what the brethren thought about that. “NO MUZZIE HEAD SCARF FOR MARTIAL ART MUZZIES AT OLYMPICS,” gibbered Barking Moonbat Early Warning System. “She will most likely be allowed to wear it, be strangled during the competition and her family will sue the IOC,” giggled My Pet Jawa.
They were much, much more sympathetic to the complaints of Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou, who got pulled out of the games by her own people after she tweeted, “With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!”
Greece’s Hellenic Olympic Committee said Papachristou would be “placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement,'” and that the Committee would “ban all statements on social media (such as) Twitter and Facebook, that are not related to the games” by its athletes.
Seems stiff to us, but then so do a lot of sports bodies’ rules; they’re conditions of participation, not laws. But that distinction didn’t occur to rightbloggers.
“The larger question is, by the left’s own standard, this: What if she is a racist?” asked A.W. Morgan of VDare, as if Papachristou were kicked out by the Third International rather than by an Olympic Committee. He added that “she is also guilty of supporting the Golden Dawn party, which, while admittedly sounding a little extreme, opposes immigration; in other words, they would keep Greece for the Greeks.” Golden Dawn is an explicitly racist group that was recently in the news when its representative, Ilias Kasidiaris, attacked a couple of women on TV.
Wizbang, perhaps impressed, named Papachristou “Olympic Babe Of The Day.” “ANOTHER NAÏVE WHITE MOMENTARILY FORGETS ABOUT THE SACREDNESS OF BLACKS, AND HAS HER CAREER RUINED,” said Lawrence Auster at View from the Right.
“According to progressives, freedom is a middle-class illusion,” explained Clifford F. Thies at Libertarian Republican. “The only true freedom is obedience to the state. Thus, there are unforgivable sins of political correctness… Chris Rock is allowed to demean people on the basis of their pigmentation, or lack of it. But, not a pale person. And, yes, Hollywood celebrities can call women ‘bitch’ and ‘cunt,’ as long as they are calling conservative women these names…” (We offer $10 American to any currently competing Olympic athlete who’ll try that “bitch” and “cunt” thing during the Games so we can see what happens.)
Thies also compared the case, hilariously, to Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and lamented that “because of Political Correctness, there will be no opportunity in this Olympics for sport to triumph over politics, or for of humanity to triumph over racism.” This analogy would make slightly more sense if it did not cast Papachristou as Hitler, or if Hitler had actually competed in the Olympics,
“If she has criticised a current hate group like say bankers and expressed support for a left of centre social democratic party,” said Counting Cats in Zanzibar, “would she still be persona non-grata? I don’t think so.”
Michelle Obama was at the Olympics, and apparently had a blast and got along great with the U.S. Olympians. Surely patriotic rightbloggers wouldn’t — oh, who are we kidding? When wrestler Elena Pirozhkova lifted a laughing Mrs. Obama off the ground, Jim Hoft snarled, “This is the official representative of our nation? How classy. Our ‘dignified’ First Lady let a U.S. wrestling Olympian pick her up and parade her around… Can’t imagine Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, or Ann Romney would ever allow themselves to be in this undignified position…” (Ahem.) Rhymes With Right’s Greg said, “CNN Had Better Play This Song When Covering Michelle Obama’s Return From The Olympics,” then inserted a video of Elton John performing “The Bitch is Back.” He is still waiting for your high-fives, America.
If you can watch water polo, rhythmic gymnastics, or even dressage (go, Rafalca!) without seething about some stupid politics, thank your lucky stars you were not born a rightblogger, or turned into one by years of deprivation or abuse.