One would suspect that if the Communist Olympiad were as successful as the cadres claim it was, it would have an impact in foreign affairs, i.e., pro-"engagement" politicians would be basking in the glow while more hard-line leaders would be lowering their profile.
That's not what we see in the neighborhood, though.
In Japan, Beijing's best friend in the region stepped down as Prime Minister - due to widespread unpopularity (CNN and Washington Post). It's possible that the now-ex-PM's policies did not match well with the news of poisoned dumplings exported from Communist China to Japan (Epoch Times). In any event, the most likely successor is long-time anti-Communist Taro Aso (BBC and One Free Korea), which would mean a sea change in Japan's relations with the CCP. His counterpart in Taiwan (President Ma Ying-jeou) had several thousand anti-Communists show up on his front door this weekend demanding he stop tacking toward Beijing (BBC). Even local-level "engagement" backers like the Mayor of Vancouver are taking it on the rhetorical chin (Boycott 2008).
Meanwhile, in South Korea, President Lee Myung-bak is taking in more refugees from the Communists' Korean colony (One Free Korea), despite more bluster from said colony (OFK).
What happened? Why are the anti-Communists ascendant after the Communists' great propaganda bonanza?
Well, perhaps it wasn't really a bonanza after all (and I'm happy to see Grit Hartman agree with me - Epoch Times), and the post-mortems (literally in some cases - Boycott 2008) are only making matters worse. Besides the pre-Olympic murder in the aforementioned link, we have an entire family imprisoned because one man protested during the Games (Washington Post) and lingering anger in Taiwan about the "Chinese Taipei" label (Epoch Times - this may in part explain the anti-Ma protest). The 2008 Games are so tarnished that London City Councillor felt safe criticizing the athletes who participated (Boycott 2008).
Thus, without the Olympic "bounce," the cadres were stuck with reports of corruption in the billions of dollars (Epoch Times), environmental protests (Epoch Times), international support for Gao Zhisheng (Epoch Times and Boycott 2008), criticism of the brutal occupation of East Turkestan (Epoch Times), nationalist anger at the border treaty with Russia (Epoch Times), and nervousness from the rest of the world about the regime's geopolitical objectives (The Australian and Boycott 2008).
As if that weren't bad enough, the lawsuit against regime-owned Bank of China for facilitating Hamas financing continued to get more press (NTDTV and Pajamas Media).
Given all of this, it shouldn't surprise anyone that those who would coddle up to the regime are resigning or facing criticism. The only surprise may be that the post-Olympic hangover is coming much quicker than expected, if only because few of us new the Olympics themselves would be such a bust.