I’m glad Rio de Janeiro got the Olympics. It’s a shame that it took this long to bring the Games to South America (Africa has yet to see them, too). It’s nice to see them go to a “Third World” country, too. That part of the world doesn’t get enough acknowledgement from international organizations. The Olympics usually bring great economic benefits, and Brazil needs it more than the U.S. does.

I’m also glad they didn’t give it to Chicago. Nothing against Chicago, the City of Big Shoulders. But the U.S. had the Summer Olympics in 1984 and 1996, and the Winter Olympics in 1980 and 2002. It’s someone else’s turn, especially when a whole continent still hasn’t gotten them.

It would have been nice to have President Obama, at the twilight of his successful two-term presidency, declare the opening of the Games in his adopted city. But the Right-wingers would have howled with their patented brand of insane outrage. The last time the summer Olympics were held in the U.S., a right-wing terrorist named Eric Rudolph placed a bomb in Atlanta’s Olympic Plaza, killing one person and injuring dozens. Olympic organizers were understandably reluctant to become the targets of the right-wing extremists in the U.S. once again.

The right-wing pundits will have a field day in the next few days, gloating about President Obama’s “defeat” in Copenhagen. Obama took a gamble, gave it a game shot, but the forces of geography were against him. Rather than see this as a failure for Obama, we need to put this in perspective. The B*sh regime has damaged the standing of the U.S. in the world, and it will take a long time to repair the damage. President Obama has done much to restore American prestige, but there is still work to be done. Obama has had several successes on the international stage, including progress on Iran. Losing the Olympics is a small thing compared to improving American security. Like in all sport, you win some and you lose some.

Rio, and Brazil, deserved to win this match. Congrats to them.

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