And the Answer Is…

I got criticized by one of my friends – justifiably so – for cherry-picking quotes in my weblog entry regarding the Nobel Prize awarded to President Obama. It was a result of frustration that Republicans are just incapable of supporting anything that Obama does, even when it is a positive for America. So how did my snarky prediction turn out?

But first, a response from President Obama, which showed up in my inbox:

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…I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.

… and now a response from the Chairmain of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele.

I’m sure you’ve heard the news — Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a stunning, if not truly surprising, indication of just how meaningless a once honorable and respected award has become.

What has President Obama actually accomplished? It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights.

I don’t know about you, but my parents taught me to be gracious back when I was in elementary school. That means being polite when you disagree with someone. It means congratulating someone on their accomplishments, even if you think it was undeserved.

Kanye West was resoundingly and justifiably criticized when he jumped on stage at the VH-1 music awards and stole the limelight from Taylor Swift, suggesting that Beyonce deserved the award more. It was immature and self-centered.  Michael Steele just did the same thing in his e-mail to me. He deserves the same criticism.

Democracies are most effective when people with ideas on policy engage in constructive debate. I don’t want an America in the vision of Nancy Pelosi any more than I want an America molded in the vision of Grover Norquist, but both have ideas that should be debated on their merit by adults.

I am still waiting for the Republicans to show up at the adult table.


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