It’s hard to tell who is more shocked by this morning’s announcement that Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama? Bill Clinton? The right? The left? Reporters who were present at the Oslo announcement audibly gasped. Obama has barely started his first term and has been awarded the greatest achievement for world peace … after just 263 days in office.
But perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize committee has succeeded in pro-actively promoting peace—in joining the hands of America’s liberal and conservative blogosphere.
Obamamania comes as little surprise to Rush Limbaugh, who e-mailed us this morning after we asked him to share his thoughts. “The Nobel gang just suicide-bombed themselves. Gore, Carter, Obama, soon Bill Clinton. See a pattern here? They are all leftist sell-outs. George Bush liberates 50 million Muslims in Iraq, Reagan liberates hundreds of millions of Europeans and saves parts of Latin America. Any awards?” Limbaugh says “Obama gives speeches trashing his own country and for that gets a prize, which is now worth as much as whatever prizes they are putting in Cracker Jacks these days.”
“This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama. It is a greater embarrassment than losing the Olympics bid. And with this "award" the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States. They love a weakened, neutered U.S. and this is their way of promoting that concept. I think God has a great sense of humor, too.”
While liberal pundits won’t necessarily be lining up behind all of Limbaugh’s views, there is equal parts astonishment in the left blogosphere as there is in the right. Daily Beast blogger Peter Beinart calls it “Obama’s Nobel Farce”: “Perhaps next they’ll start giving Oscars not to the people who have made the best movies of last year, but to the people who have the best chance of making the best movies next year.” He says he likes Obama as much as the next liberal blogger, but by giving the award to Obama, the Nobel Committee is just proving that they’ve fallen in love with celebrity and that giving Obama the prize as an 'atta boy' they are only feeding the gap that conservatives are working to widen—“between Obamamania as global hype and Obama’s actual accomplishments.” The basic line: Obama won the prize not for being himself as much as for not being George W. Politics Daily Melinda Hennenberger points out, “It's not exactly like giving an Academy Award to a Vince Vaughn movie, but "surprising'' doesn't begin to cover it. No word yet on whether Glenn Beck's head has exploded.” Ezra Klein added a tweet: "Obama also awarded Nobel Prize in chemistry. 'He's just got great chemistry,' says Nobel Committee." Ana Marie Cox wrote: "Apparently Nobel prizes now being awarded to anyone who is not George Bush."
Over at Fox and Friends the eye-rolling was in full force, as was the echo chamber. "This could arguably be the third person to win the award for not being George Bush: Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, and now Barack Obama," said Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade. Co-host Steve Doocy retorted, "If there were a breakthrough, you would go 'wow,' Obama brought the sides together and got Iran to disarm. But what has he done so far?" In a statement mailed to reporters, RNC chairman Michael Steele joined in, wondering what Obama really has accomplished, other than letting his “star power” outshine peace and human-rights workers. “One thing is certain—President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.” In other words, writes Frank Gaffney Jr. on Newsmax, “Nobel Committee really, really likes Barack Obama and what he stands for. After all, he epitomizes the transnationalist nostrums and woolly-headed prescriptions the commitee has endorsed for decades.”
Over at MSNBC, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough (who was once a GOP congressman) had a little mockery of his own, calling it "hilarious" then asking to play a Saturday Night Live clip . "I have got to stop right here. I guarantee that Marisa Tomei did more to win the Academy Award in My Cousin Vinny than Barack Obama has done to win the Nobel Prize." Not long after, one of his co-hosts said that a senior Obama administration official, they didn't say who, had just fired off an e-mail telling Joe to quit being an "a--hole."
The National Review’s blogger Andy McCarthy picked up where some of the mockery left off. The top story ran with a photo of particularly smug-looking Obama, lifting his head high in the look he usually takes when doing heavy thinking. "After a number of years, the NFL renamed its Super Bowl trophy after its most fitting recipient—it's now called the Vince Lombardi Trophy. I'd like to see the Nobel Foundation follow suit. If today's headlines said, 'Barack Obama Wins Yasser Arafat Prize,' that would be perfect." Blogger John Miller quoted , suggesting that if Obama deserved the international honor, then everyone deserved a Nobel Prize. Writing for Slate, Mickey Kaus argued that Obama should give it back. "Say he's honored but he hasn't had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory—and helps solve his narcissism problem."
Other controversial Nobel recipients? Our list here.