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 October, 2009


 Right Wing Joy Because Obama Doesn't get Olympics

The (Temporary) Thrill of Victory

There were two intergalactic explosions on Friday morning. The largest wasn’t that bomb they set-off on the surface of the moon.

No. The biggest was when Rush Limbaugh’s head exploded when he heard the news Barack Hussein Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Peace.

For a solid week, Limbaugh, the unofficial leader of the American Anti-Obama Movement, for, well, possibly since the day the president was born, had been basking in the glow of Chicago’s ill-fated bid to lure the 2016 Olympic Games.

“For those upset that I sound gleeful – I am. I don’t deny I’m happy,” he told his radio audience.

Limbaugh wasn’t alone in cheering Chicago’s loss, no, America’s loss, no, Obama’s loss.

“Oh it’s so sweet. Savor the moment,” Fox News’ Glenn Beck told his radio listeners.

It didn’t matter that Obama hadn’t truly suffered any kind of personal loss. To America’s right wingers, a loss is a loss is a loss.

If Al Qaeda sets-off an M-80 in an empty Port-a-Potty in the middle of the Mojave Desert – rightwingers might declare it the cause for a national holiday, because they’d warned us all along that Obama isn’t keeping us safe.

Finally, I thought, America’s political right had something about which to cheer. I was a tiny bit relieved. I’d thought they’d forgotten how.

Redstate.com’s Erick Erickson rejoiced at the first sign of a chink in Obama’s supposed armor. “World rejects Barack Obama,” he wrote on his blog to his fellow wingnuts. “I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone,” he added.

Well it seems Erickson celebrated a bridge too far – and a week too soon.
Hold the elation. The world actually DOES love us more.

Three days after Obama returned from Copenhagen empty handed, there was news that he’s not such a bad world leader after all.

A newly released worldwide poll indicates that the United States is now the most admired country on the planet.

That, some might say, has nothing whatsoever to do with Obama. But they’d be wrong.

Last year, under George W. Bush, the NBI (Nation Brand Index) ranked the United States number seven. People around the world have had an obvious change of heart about this country and its leader since America’s voters rejected the Republican world view.

Simon Anholt, the man who founded the annual poll claimed, "What's really remarkable is that in all my years studying national reputation, I have never seen any country experience such a dramatic change in its standing as we see for the United States for 2009."

Anholt also says there’s “no other explanation,” for America’s rise in his poll – except for Obama’s presidency.

The poll shouldn’t be taken lightly. 20,000 people around the world were asked to rate 50 countries based on a number of factors. Culture, governance, people, tourism and education are among them.

Altogether now - We’re number one. We’re number one – again.

That news, however, didn’t seem to send any rightwingers into therapy. Ah, but with this Nobel Peace Prize thing, well, there’s always hope.

Obama won the prize with a unanimous vote over a record 205 nominees.

It makes him the third sitting U.S. president to have won it. (Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, and Woodrow Wilson in 1919 were the others)

When former president Jimmy Carter took home the prize in 2002, the chairman of the Nobel committee publicly said the award was a “kick in the leg” to the Bush administration’s saber rattling policies.

This year the award sends another message that Limbaugh, Beck and other ultra-conservatives will fail to understand.

Most people around the world don’t watch Fox News. People in other countries aren’t concerned about Obama wearing a flag pin, or whether he was born in Hawaii. They aren’t as particular about whether he wears a suit and tie in the Oval Office.

And those Nobel Prize voters could see through all of that nonsense about non-existent “death panels.”

They seem to be more concerned that Barack Obama is not George W. Bush.

Edward A. Owens is a three time Emmy Award winner and 20 year veteran of television news. E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net