I was sitting up in bed at 3am when news came that President Barack Obama would be the 2009 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. I am always proud when an American is awarded this prize, but I just as much as the President was surprised by the announcement.
Obama was awakened early this morning with news of the prize in a call from his press secretary, Robert Gibbs. The president later said, "This is not how I expected to wake up this morning. Malia walked in and said, 'Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize and it is [their dog] Bo's birthday, and then Sasha added, 'Plus we have a three-day weekend coming up.' It's good to have kids to keep things in perspective." The President said.
What I wasn't surprised about, was what the reaction would be from the left before any of them had a chance to tweet a single letter or to have their two cents quoted in the media or on the internetS.
Joe Scarborough was the first to basically laugh at the notion while Mika did what she does every morning, which is to deal with Scarborough like a mother deals with a misbehaving child. I have no doubt that The Fox News Channel will be scrubbing previously planned segments to lay waste to the importance of Barack Obama being selected for the honor.
"To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize," Obama said, suggesting that the prize has not always "been awarded just to honor specific achievements," but also to lend some momentum to the cause of peace.
"I will accept this award as a call to action, a call to all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century," Obama said in a White House Rose Garden appearance.
"This award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity."Professing humility and surprise in the awarding of the prize, the president said, " I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as a recognition of American leadership."
Just as I suspected, the first line of attack by Fox News was to set the narrative over President Obama's rose garden statement that even he didn't feel as he deserves to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize.
"Well.....everyone has to say that." Chris Wallace, Bill Hemmer, and Steve Doosey have all asserted in various segments so far.
The Nobel committee had criticized Obama's predecessor, former President George W. Bush, for engaging in largely unilateral military action in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. With the backing of Congress, Bush quickly invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban, and in spring of 2003 launched a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq intent on removing Saddam Hussein from power.
Engaging in a bit of explicit blog-baiting on his radio show today, Glenn Beck declared the naming of President Obama as this year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient was "the last nail in the coffin" for the credibility of the Nobel committee. Beck conspiratorially claimed that the award revealed that "these progressives are extraordinarily powerful and this campaign of Barack Obama, this global campaign for Barack Obama is done by global interests that have extraordinary power. They’re very well-connected." Beck said that the prize should have instead been given "to the Tea Party goers" who have protested Obama:
GLENN BECK: "Of all things, the Nobel Peace Prize should be turned down by Barack Obama and given — you ready for this, oh this one’s going to make headlines — should be give to the Tea Party goers and the 9-12 Project. … Because of the arrogance of the progressives that thought no one would stand in their way. That he would be able to accomplish everything. Two weeks into his presidency, they nominated him for it and said, "oh this is going to be a slam dunk." Because of the Tea Party goers and the 9-12 Project people that stood in his way and stopped him from accomplishing the things that he thought, "please, I’m the Messiah, I’ll be able to accomplish that."
RUSH LIMBAUGH: was more caustic, telling Newsweek, "The Nobel gang just suicide bombed themselves. Gore, Carter, Obama, soon Bill Clinton. See a pattern here? They are all leftist sell-outs.
MICHELLE MALKIN: "Isn’t it so fitting? From community organizer to Illinois state senator (present!) to U.S. Senator for 143 days before moving into the White House…and now, the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize — not for anything he’s actually done, but for the symbolism of what he might possibly accomplish sometime way off in the future."
MICHAEL STEEL: was quick to criticize the president's prize. "The real question Americans are asking is, 'What has President Obama actually accomplished?' " Steele said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that the president's star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights."
Accolades flowed from the president's allies.
REP. HOWARD BERMAM (D-Valley Village) "I'm delighted at this recognition of President Obama's work to strengthen international cooperation. It validates the president's approach to tough transnational challenges such as global warming and the spread of nuclear arms. And it celebrates his steady efforts to improve America's standing around the world."
DESMOND TUTU: "It is wonderful," Tutu told reporters in Cape Town. "He has had a very significant impact. It has changed the temperature and almost everybody feels a little more hopeful about the world," he said. "What wonderful recognition of someone who has already made such an impact on our planet with regards to the Muslim world, nuclear disarmament, climate change and, to some extent, the Middle East. He has reached out to the Arab world, including Iran, and North Korea."
NELSON MANDELA: "We trust that this award will strengthen his commitment, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, to continue promoting peace and the eradication of poverty."
I ran down my list of favorite destionation out in the blogosphere and both left and right making sure to save the major leagues like HuffPo, TPM, Daily Kos, Politico, and The Daily Beast for last because I like to get a more personal view from individual bloggers first before reading something that has to undergo strick editioral guidelines.
Among my favorites of course are DownWithTyranny, TheJoshuaBlog, WriteChicPress, ProgressiveNation, and believe it or not MichelleMalkin. However, I've never commented on Malkin's blog and I suspect that is due to my mother teaching me very early on in life that if I can't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all. DAMN IT MOM! BUT SHE'S A SKANK HO! (Chico's Mom: You get into that bathroom and wash your mouth out with soap. Get marching little mister and you just wait until your father get's home! - We did not raise you to go around calling crazy bitches "skank ho's! - My goodness garcious!) But I digress......
WriteChicPress: Waaaaah, Obama Won the Nobel Peace Prize… "So, what’s that foul wind on the air in America today? Why it’s no more than the hot, nasty breath of conservatives huffing and puffing over President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize."
TheJoshuaBlog: STUNNER: Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Obama for Diplomacy (UPDATED) "HOLY SHIT. This is going to drive the birthers, deathers, neo-cons, and white supremacists over at Fox News absolutely bonkers!
Michelles Malkin: Story of Obama’s life: "Rather than recognizing concrete achievement…" "Isn’t it so fitting? From community organizer to Illinois state senator (present!) to U.S. Senator for 143 days before moving into the White House…and now, the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize — not for anything he’s actually done, but for the symbolism of what he might possibly accomplish sometime way off in the future."
In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel required that the peace prize should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."
Obama has certainly done that and I beleive that alone, in the privacy of our own minds, most Americans of all political persuasions realize that Obama has restored a civility to the Nation in spite of attempts by some to create a different perception for the eyes of the world.
It's not that they disagree with health care reform or that they wouldn't benefit from it themselves. It's that the political party that promotes their ideology can never regain power if Obama or anything that he does, thinks, or supports is successful.