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Vote for your Olympic Games Host

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  5  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 10:43 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Well, I don't know "most people who criticize Obama's decision to go to Copenhagen" so I won't generalize. Moreover it seems to me that you are making precisely the same prejudgement of my motives of which you seem to accuse me with respect to the president.

I know absolutely nothing about your motives for criticizing Obama's trip to Copenhagen and I didn't impugn them. Rather, I'm simply pointing out that your "prediction" that Obama's trip would be a failure would have been much more convincing if you had made it before Obama's trip instead of afterward.

georgeob1 wrote:
I doubt very much that, had our president seen the situation this way he would have chosen to make the trip.

I too doubt that Obama would have made the trip if he had seen the situation in the same way that you're viewing it -- i.e. from the perspective of having already witnessed the event.

georgeob1 wrote:
That he didn't. makes me wonder about his judgement.

That you wonder doesn't make me wonder.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 11:23 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

...your "prediction" that Obama's trip would be a failure would have been much more convincing if you had made it before Obama's trip instead of afterward.


Certainly that appears to be your only point. Do you similarly nullify all after the fact criticism?

I don't think my prescience (whether real or imagined) on this issue has ever been my point here. Rather the question is, given all the facts as they could be discerned before the event, was this the right moment for a U.S. president to take a highly visible action on this matter that none of his predecessors have ever done. Was the net result, considering all related factors and other issues competing for his time and energy, likely to be good or bad? This is the sort of judgement that political and other leaders must make repeatedly, and it is the standard by which others judge them.

You appear to be both evading this question yourself and implying that I am incapable of making a reasonably objective judgement about the matter. Hardly a reasonable position, and I am surprised that you take it.
engineer
 
  4  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 11:56 am
@georgeob1,
Let's look at it from another possible outcome. Obama stays home and Chicago comes in second in a close vote. If Tokyo had been the first eliminated, this would have been a very likely scenario. Then, Obama gets a lot of heat for staying home. The politically safe thing to do was to stay home. I'm ok with him going for it and I don't think it shows "arrogance" or "bullying" as the talk shows are touting. I think some of your comments about it being a bad time for US cities is correct: The USOC and the IOC have been at loggerheads for a while now. I disagree with your comments about Chicago's reputation and politics. A recent review of host cities shows that the IOC doesn't really care about corruption, local politics, crime, etc. Everything I read about this says that Chicago had a really strong package, but certainly the politics were a negative factor.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 11:59 am
I wonder, what was actually lost by Obama's trip to Denmark? All I hear are nebulous mutterings about prestige and influence, but to me - that's all a bunch of bullshit. In real terms nothing has changed and the concept that the US is somehow diminished by this is ridiculous.

Cycloptichorn
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 12:18 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
Certainly that appears to be your only point. Do you similarly nullify all after the fact criticism?

Not at all. I only question those who claim that what was obvious after the fact was obvious before the fact. In those cases, one's credibility would be greatly enhanced by some evidence that the after-the-fact claim is consistent with the before-the-fact analysis. In your case, however, I just don't see that.

georgeob1 wrote:
I don't think my prescience (whether real or imagined) on this issue has ever been my point here. Rather the question is, given all the facts as they could be discerned before the event, was this the right moment for a U.S. president to take a highly visible action on this matter that none of his predecessors have ever done. Was the net result, considering all related factors and other issues competing for his time and energy, likely to be good or bad? This is the sort of judgement that political and other leaders must make repeatedly, and it is the standard by which others judge them.

I have no quarrel with that, although the point that no other president had ever made such an in-person appeal to the IOC needs to be taken in context. No other national leader had made such a personal appeal before the 2005 vote on the 2012 Olympics, so the precedent is less than five years old. GWB didn't fly to Singapore to support NYC's bid for the 2012 games, but then few people anticipated that Tony Blair would show up in person to push for London's bid. Because Blair was successful, however, it has now become standard procedure for national leaders to attend.

In any event, I agree that Obama should be judged on the criteria that you set forth, but that judgment should be based on what he knew then, not on what we know now.

georgeob1 wrote:
You appear to be both evading this question yourself and implying that I am incapable of making a reasonably objective judgement about the matter. Hardly a reasonable position, and I am surprised that you take it.

I'm not evading the question. How could I be? Nobody asked me the question.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 01:13 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
I wonder, what was actually lost by Obama's trip to Denmark?


I don't get this either. Some have said that it is the time, and that he has more important things to work on, but that is pretty silly and the country needs to be able to run without depending on the president for every single minute (they get vacations after all).

So what exactly is the downside? Seems to only be that he opened himself up for such partisan criticism.

The committee said heads of state were not required, but that they were "honored" by it, so it sounds like it has at least some influence. As to what it can possibly do to hurt it really just seems like it's a self-fulfilling prophecy and that by going and failing it gives the right a chance to criticize him for going and failing.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 01:16 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:
I wonder, what was actually lost by Obama's trip to Denmark?


I don't get this either. Some have said that it is the time, and that he has more important things to work on, but that is pretty silly and the country needs to be able to run without depending on the president for every single minute (they get vacations after all).

So what exactly is the downside? Seems to only be that he opened himself up for such partisan criticism.

The committee said heads of state were not required, but that they were "honored" by it, so it sounds like it has at least some influence. As to what it can possibly do to hurt it really just seems like it's a self-fulfilling prophecy and that by going and failing it gives the right a chance to criticize him for going and failing.


Yup.

I completely disagree with the presumption that some have here, that the US - and it's Exec branch - should only extend themselves when it's a sure thing. That's a form of cowardice, and of self-aggrandizement - the notion that perception of failure is so harmful, that one shouldn't even try things unless they are assured, because Image is so much more important than Substance.

Cycloptichorn
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 01:22 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I think there's a point to that kind of thinking in certain cases. For example, in diplomacy, ignoring is a punishment and engaging is a reward. Giving a despot a photo op with an American president can help them politically so you generally want to avoid it unless it brings some advantage to offset the disadvantage.

However this just simply isn't such a case. We have no reason to diplomatically isolate the Olympics.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2009 01:36 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Actually, I think, the real issue for some is .... climate change:

Quote:
http://i38.tinypic.com/34sjy9e.jpg
http://i37.tinypic.com/nzhkl0.jpg
[...]
"Something that obviously is pressing now is the issue of climate change... We are keenly interested in it," Obama said ahead of a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen.
[...]
0 Replies
 
 

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