Nobel Laureate Obama

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson

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The best thing, to my way of thinking, about Barack Obama’s having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is that the Democratic National Committee finally — finally — stood up on its hind legs and snapped back at the Republican Party, giving them a dose of their own medicine.

The DNC’s Brad Woodhouse sent around this statement in response to Republican sniping, which I’m not going to quote.  If you want to find their snark, it won’t be hard.  Here’s the DNC’s response:

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. 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.

Now the RNC is crying foul, as if they never tried to link Obama to terrorists, communists, socialists, the anti-Christ, and god-knows-what all else. What a bunch of crybabies.

Over at The Atlantic, James Fallows analyzes Obama’s pitch-perfect remarks accepting the award.

Obama’s speech is here, in video and text. The first four paragraphs are below.

Good morning.  Well, this is not how I expected to wake up this morning.  After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, “Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo’s birthday!”  And then Sasha added, “Plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up.”  So it’s good to have kids to keep things in perspective.

I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee.  Let me be clear:  I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build — a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents.  And I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.  And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action — a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.

The President is going to donate the $1.4 million prize to charity.  I wish he’d give it to A.C.O.R.N. But he won’t. The noisemakers of the Republican Party (there are no heads, only mouths) would probably stroke out.

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