Oh, and the Taliban too, which must be news to Mark Halperin, Ruth Marcus, Richard Cohen, and Ezra Klein this morning. George Bush got a lot of heat when he used the “you’re with us or against us” for the war on terror, but he specifically meant nations that had to decide whether to help us fight terrorist networks or choose to hide them or hinder justice. Politico reports that the DNC now posits that anyone ridiculing Obama is a terrorist sympathizer:
“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO. “Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize - an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride - unless of course you are the Republican Party.
“The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It’s no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it’s an embarrassing label to claim,” Woodhouse said.
Even in a political environment where the two major parties send out ridiculous ding-dong reactions to events, this takes the cake. Woodhouse argues (almost assuredly uncomprehendingly) for a fuehrerprinzip where the head of state must never be questioned or criticized, lest one become a traitor to the fatherhomeland. Will Woodhouse also start labeling late-night comedians like Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien terrorist sympathizers for their (very) occasional ridicule of His Reverence? Does Janet Napolitano plan to open a file on Saturday Night Live for last week’s prescient dig?
Clearly, the DNC needs a smarter class of public-relations flacks. Given this evidence, it should not be difficult at all to find them. (image courtesy HA reader Mehokie)
(Times OnLine) In a clear swipe at his predecessor, George W. Bush, the committee praised the “change in the international climate” that the President had brought, along with his cherished goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons.
“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future,” it added.
International reaction ranged from delight to disbelief. The former winners Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu voiced praise, the latter lauding the Nobel Committee’s “surprising but imaginative choice”.
But Lech Walesa, the dissident turned Polish President, who won the Peace Prize in 1983, spoke for many, declaring: “So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far.”
Mr Obama’s domestic critics leapt on the award as evidence of foreigners fawning over an untested “celebrity” leader. Rush Limbaugh, the US right-wing commentator, said: “This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama."
Speaking later, Mr Obama said that he was “surprised and deeply humbled” by the unexpected decision and announced that he would donate the £880,000 prize, due to be awarded in December, to charity.
“Let me be clear. I do not view it as recognition of my own accomplishments but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations," he said.
The Nobel Peace Prize is a notoriously difficult award to predict, but yesterday's decision was clearly a political choice, with three of the past six peace awards going to Bush adversaries.
In 2002 the prize went to Jimmy Carter as an explicit rejection of the Bush presidency in the build-up to the Iraq war. In 2005 Mohamed ElBaradei, the UN atomic agency chief who had clashed with Washington over the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, was honoured. In 2007 Al Gore received the prize for his warnings on climate change, denounced by President Bush as a liberal myth....