Limbaugh, Bolton and Other Right-Wingers Respond to Obama's Nobel Prize: Proof that He's the Anti-Christ, and Other Wing-Nut Theories
When I learned this morning that President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, my heart sank -- not only because the award strikes me as coming too soon, but because the award will undoubtedly re-energize the right-wing fringe. Even the venerable New York Times seemed to see that potential:
For Mr. Obama, the award could, in a strange way, prove a political liability. As he traveled overseas during his campaign for the presidency, he was subjected to criticism from Republicans who argued he was too much the international celebrity. Winning the Nobel at such an early stage in his presidency could further that kind of criticism, especially in Washington’s hyperpartisan political environment.
With right-wingers from Mike Huckabee to Phyllis Schlafly calling for the destruction of the United Nations, it was certain that, beyond the award itself, this passage from the award citation would set them off:
“Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.”
Obama was nominated for the award just nine days into his presidency, a fact that sticks in the craws of his detractors. I actually find it hard to argue with the assertion of some right-wingers that the award is meant more as a rebuke to former President George W. Bush than applause for the early, limited achievements of the current president. Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee even hinted as much, the Times reports:
“We have to get the world on the right track again,” he said. Without referring specifically to the Bush era, he continued: “Look at the level of confrontation we had just a few years ago. Now we get a man who is not only willing but probably able to open dialogue and strengthen international institutions.”
John Bolton, Bush's former U.N. ambassador, told The National Review that Obama should decline the award (a move that would probably not play so well on the world stage):