Follow the Meme
Steve Benen has been right on top of the revelries on the right over Pres. Obama’s failed bid to get the 2016 Olympics for Chicago (which, for those who aren’t aware, is in the United States). Benen writes about the conservative meme of the moment regarding Obama’s Copenhagen trip, as showcased in George Will’s column today:
Periodically, conservatives latch onto a new line of attack against President Obama. Apparently, the new one is “narcissism.” Marty Peretz talked it up yesterday in a bizarre piece, and George Will endorsed the argument in his column today.
In the Niagara of words spoken and written about the Obamas’ trip to Copenhagen, too few have been devoted to the words they spoke there. Their separate speeches to the International Olympic Committee were so dreadful, and in such a characteristic way, that they might be symptomatic of something that has serious implications for American governance.
Both Obamas gave heartfelt speeches about . . . themselves. Although the working of the committee’s mind is murky, it could reasonably have rejected Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Games on aesthetic grounds — unless narcissism has suddenly become an Olympic sport. […]
[S]ometimes the Olympic Games are a net subtraction from international comity. But Obama quickly returned to speaking about . . . himself.
Putting aside Will’s fondness for dramatic ellipses, his criticism is simply detached from reality here.
The speeches are online, and reading them, it’s tempting to wonder if Will even read the remarks before using them as the basis for a cheap column.