One of the Left’s weirder themes these days is that Republicans are unpatriotic. The latest occasion for this attack is the claim that Republicans were happy that Chicago wasn’t selected to host the Olympics. Politico headlined this morning, “Democrats: Republicans are rooting against America.” The claim was made by two left-wing bloggers:
Two influential progressive spokesmen, Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, hit that theme hard last week, with Marshall musing, “I wonder if right wingers would be less stoked if Chicago were part of America.”
Moulitsas was more blunt. “So when did wingnuts start cheering against America? Their unbridled joy at losing out to Brazil is a bit unseemly, isn’t it?” he asked, adding: “America, f— yeah!” has become “F— America, Yeah!”
Ah, the always-classy Markos. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from him. Politico actually takes this claim seriously, although the only Republican politician or former politician it cites as evidence is Newt Gingrich, who said no such thing:
[F]ormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich combined the loss with Friday’s dreadful unemployment report to conclude “President Obama fails to get the Olympics while unemployment goes to 9.8% …America needs focused leadership,” on his Twitter account.
I, personally, don’t know of any Republicans or conservatives who expressed pleasure at Chicago’s not being selected. (Many did, of course, note that Obama’s mission failed and that he once again over-estimated his own persuasive abilities.) Politico comes up with a grand total of three such examples, the first when a crowd at the “Defending the American Dream Summit” applauded an announcement that Chicago finished last in the competition, the second when blogger Eric Erickson of RedState typed “Hahahahaha,” apparently on Twitter, the third when a blogger at the “right wing Weekly Standard”–the author of the Politico piece, Glenn Thrush, is a lefty–wrote, and then quickly deleted, “Chicago loses! Chicago loses!… Cheers erupt at WEEKLY STANDARD world headquarters.” What’s funny about that last one is that Thrush doesn’t understand that it was a joke; he says that the blogger “replac[ed] it with an item that omitted the newsroom reaction.” I’m pretty sure the Standard’s “world headquarters” doesn’t have a newsroom and that no cheers “erupted.” I’d guess, in fact, that the blogger who wrote that was alone at his keyboard.
Fast-forward to this afternoon, when Harry Reid, the increasingly desperate Senate Majority Leader, picked up on the lefty bloggers’ theme. Once again, Politico’s Glenn Thrush has the story:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just delivered a paint-peeling denunciation of the GOP’s opposition to Democrats’ health care reform proposals — saying conservatives are so blinded by their desire to defeat President Obama they cheered the Chicago’s loss of the Olympics.
“This is the same minority that happily pumped one fist when America lost its bid to host Olympics, but shakes the other fist at those it slanders as unpatriotic.
This is the same minority that disputes indisputable evidence about how our health care plan will help seniors, or disputes indisputable evidence about our President’s birth records.”
That’s how rapidly themes promoted by the left-wing internet sewer find their way into the mouths of the leaders of the Democratic Party. Reid’s use of the theme, however, is transparently stupid.
The “minority” in question is the Republican minority in Congress. Not a single member of the minority “pumped one fist when America lost its bid to host the Olympics.” (Nor, for what it’s worth, does the minority “shake the other fist at those it slanders as unpatriotic.” The only such slanders in circulation are those uttered by Democrats like Reid.)
Nor does Reid’s citation of the Olympics do anything to support his point, which is to complain about the fact that Congressional Republicans don’t support the Democrats’ health care plan. Is he seriously trying to argue that failure to support government medicine is unpatriotic? Republicans don’t support the Democrats’ plan because they think it is terrible public policy. And the Democrats are losing the argument; most voters oppose the Democrats’ proposals. That’s why Reid and his fellow Democrats are in a panic: they desperately want some Republican support, however minimal, to give their plans “bipartisan” cover with the American people. They are outraged, apparently, that Republicans are unwilling to take them off the hook.
If the Democrats really think government-controlled medicine is a great idea, they have the votes to pass it. The fact that instead of doing so they are hysterically trying to browbeat Republicans into joining them speaks volumes.