Friday, October 02, 2009

How the Republicans Lost the Olympics

When Chicago lost out in its bid for the Olympics, Republicans crowed. They had loudly complained of President Obama's trip to Copenhagen to speak on behalf of Chicago, and were overjoyed that the U.S. lost.

But among the factors against the U.S. was the continuing xenophobic restrictions on visas and passports into the U.S., instituted by the Bush administration and sanctioned by his Republican Congress:

"However, the triumphant Chicago presentation--the culmination of a $48 million package--had cold water thrown onto it when Pakistani IOC member Syed Shahid Ali correctly noted the significant difficulties facing foreigners seeking entry into the United States... America's visa processing issues have been well-publicized throughout much of the world, with some tourists waiting six months or more to have a 10 minute appointment with a visa examiner in an embassy or consulate to visit America on a vacation. Business visas or those for cultural ambassadors, like artists and athletes, are similarly problematic. "

Or maybe civilized people just aren't interested in taking off their belts and shoes, and surrendering their nail clippers and plastic bottles, just to get on a damn airplane.

The Republicans continue to manipulate the media, but the media is becoming an echo chamber audible mostly to itself. Someone on cable noted today that indeed the Rs are opposing absolutely everything that President Obama or the Democrats propose, say or do, including those areas that used to be nonpartisan. This voice added that it seems to be working for them. But outside the echo chamber, it actually isn't. A analyst concludes that "the Republican brand" is the lowest in popularity in history. A CBS poll R's favorables were a minus 30.

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