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Posted by on Oct 9, 2009 in Breaking News, International, Politics, Society, War | 14 comments

(Joe) McCarthyism at the DNC, and Andy McCarthyism at NRO

I must say, I am well and truly appalled at the comments made by the Democratic National Committee’s communications director:

A top Democratic National Committee official reacted furiously to a statement from Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele mocking — and describing as “unfortunate” — President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

“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,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO. “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,” Woodhouse said.

I’m just going to turn to Glenn Greenwald for the definitive response to this (emphasis in original):

Remember how, during the Bush years, the GOP would disgustingly try to equate liberals with Terrorists by pointing out that they happened to have the same view on a particular matter (The Left opposes the war in Iraq, just like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah do! orbin Laden’s criticisms of Bush sound just like Michael Moore’s! ).  It looks like the Democratic Party has learned and adopted that tactic perfectly (“‘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,’ DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO”; Republicans are “put[ting] politics above patriotism,” he added).

Apparently, according to the DNC, if you criticize this Prize, then you’re an unpatriotic America-hater — just like the Terrorists, because they’re also criticizing the award.  Karl Rove should be proud.  Maybe the DNC should also send out Joe Lieberman’s 2005 warning that “in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.”  Hamas also thinks that Israeli settlements should be frozen — a position Obama shares.  So, by the DNC’s Rovian reasoning, doesn’t this mean that Obama “has thrown in his lot with the terrorists”?

Having pointed this out, I’ll admit it’s amusing to see the same conservatives who laughed at Obama’s failure to get the 2016 Olympics for Chicago, crowed that Obama’s “giddy ego flight has ended with melted wax and fallen wings,” declared it to be proof that “the world had rejected Barack Obama,” and speculated that the President’s failed bid “may […] come to personify a White House tripped up by its own arrogance and incompetency” spin their wheels trying to figure out a way to explain the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s announcement of its decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to this same egotistical, arrogant, incompetent, and globally rejected Barack Obama:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

To my complete lack of surprise, Andy McCarthy goes all his fellow wingers one better (at least one better). The problem here is not so much that Pres. Obama has not done enough to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize as it is that the Prize itself is a disgrace — as are all international awards:

On this Nobel business, I’m gonna part company with my pal K-Lo Tevi. I’m not all for Americans winning international prizes, especially the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, I’m vigorously against it. The transnational progressives who pass out these accolades believe America is the problem in the world, the main threat to peace, the impediment to “progress,” etc. The award is a symbolic statement of opposition to American exceptionalism, American might, American capitalism, American self-determinism, and American pursuit of America’s interests in the world. That is why Obama could win it based on only ten days in office — merely by capturing the White House and the levers of power, he stands to do more for the Left’s “knock America off its pedestal” program than any figure in history.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • suburbancorrespondnt

    I think Obama’s the only one conducting himself like a grown-up today…

    • TheMagicalSkyFather

      It is a role we are seeing in him in almost all the time now…the grown up.

    • kathykattenburg

      Exactly, Karen.

  • The good ole “so-and-so agrees with the terrorists” argument. It never ceases to amaze my how often people resort to this fallacy of logic.

    Congressman Smith opposes bombing Mecca.
    The terrorists oppose bombing Mecca.
    Therefore, Congressman Smith agrees with the terrorists.
    Do you really want a congressman who agrees with the terrorists?

  • SteveK

    Kathy,Thanks for bringing this silliness out into the open. I hope you find comfort in the fact that ‘our side’ can (and does) stand up to errors and wrong headed thinking from those who claim to speak for us. Be thankful that original thought is still allowed on the street where you live.Those on the dark side are obliged (required?) to walk in lockstep with the well paid folk that ‘speak’ for them… And their leaders, too.

  • troosvelt_1858

    I have to agree that regardless of where this stuff comes from it is wrong.

    Whether it was the right on opposition to Iraq or the left today on opposition to single payer/public option, I really get upset with the ‘unless you support my solution to the problem you want people to suffer with the problem’ mantra.

  • redbus

    Steve K said:”Those on the dark side are obliged (required?) to walk in lockstep with the well paid folk that ‘speak’ for them… And their leaders, too.”You’ve demonstrated one of our greatest weaknesses, namely, binary thinking. The “dark side” comment is good “Star Wars” ideology, where you have “good guys” and “bad guys.” It’s in a hundred westerns (the “cowboys” — good guys vs. the “indians” — bad guys). But as I grow older, I look in the mirror and see a basically good person who too often allows a mixture of less-than-good. If that’s true for me, then I don’t have to impute all evil to my opponents. I can see the good in them, too. Your “lock-step” comment about the GOP is belied by former Senator Dole’s comments on health-care. He broke with party leadership, and is endorsing reform. Also, General Powell (still a Republican, as far as I know) spoke out sharply against Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin during the election. So let’s put away the broad brush, please. There are good Dems, and there are good Republicans. That one acknowledgment on both sides would do us all good.Congratulations, President Obama, on the Nobel prize. You and your team are setting a new tone, and I salute you.

    • SteveK

      redbus, As you chose hone in on my use of the words ‘the dark side’ instead of address the point that I was making I’ll modify my last sentence and we can try again.

      Those on the right are obliged (required?) to walk in lockstep with the well paid folk that ‘speak’ for them… And their leaders, too.

      I look forward to your comments on the ‘expected response’ of members on the right but what the hell it’s the weekend so a little more non sequitur would be OK, too.

  • Leebot

    Of course Brad Woodhouse’s comparison is not logical, but I don’t think it was meant to be. I suspect rather it was a kind of quid pro quo, a kind of neener-neener “BACKATCHA” snarklet, aimed at those who are very quick to try to draw similar associations — which can be very effective with audiences eager for a bit of schadenfreude. While there are circumstances where hyperbole and outrageous metaphor can be effective in a literary-device sort of way, this particular occasion I think called for a certain grace that would say “we don’t have to answer to every throwing down of the gauntlet; the best response to towel-snappers is to ignore them completely.”But sadly, there seems to be an irresistible need for one-upsmanship, for having the last word, for engaging in fights as though they are big beckoning pinball games with lights flashing. Taking Umbrage is quite the sport these days, maybe because we Americans don’t get enough exercise. Or perhaps we are just so dysfunctionally addicted to the high drama of perpetual conflict, our brains get a mega-dose of synaptic joy juice when we are dishing out the stinkiest effluvia from the other side so we can climb on our trusty steed High Dudgeon. I mean, what can you say about blog posts on left-leaning sites that invite the readers with headlines like “The Worst Things the GOP Said Today” or “A Sampling from Freeperville.” And I’m sure there are similar pits of slime on the right-leaning sites as well. Come one, come all, step right up ladies and gents, see the freak show Ping Ping Ping! And some folks are like “yeah, gimme some of that so I can get that hit to my brain!” WHAT is freakin’ WRONG with us? I keep wishing for more grace than I have sometimes, every day. With that said I was honestly surprised when I heard about the Nobel Peace Prize this morning, but then I do understand that this is a reflection of the global mood, and of perceptions of Obama internationally which I think is often lost on many Americans uninformed of anything off their immediate radar screens. President Obama possesses many positive attributes, but I also see him as a work in progress, as are we all. I hold out hope that the global zeitgeist will continue to shift so we can rise up out of some of the dysfunctional “stuff.”

  • pacatrue

    Thanks for condemning the Woodhouse quote, Kathy.

    As for the McCarthy one, he’s basically saying, “I think America has the right to attack anyone anywhere whenever we deem it in our interests because we are stonger, richer, and morally superior to every other nation on earth.” I wonder why an International Peace committee wouldn’t be so supportive of this position.

    • kathykattenburg

      Yeah, you don’t often hear that sentiment expressed so nakedly, though. Mostly it’s hidden behind talk about America being the hope of the world.

  • tidbits

    You can count me as one who a) appreciates the President’s new direction in foreign policy, and b) thought the Nobel Peace Prize was premature. And, yes, I made some snarky comments about it yesterday. But, the more I think about it, the more I wish I hadn’t. Not becuase my belief that it is premature has changed, but because I see how the idealogues want to use it, and how destructive their approach is when they do. Perhaps by making some of those snarky comments, we give cover to those partisan elements, and that I regret.

  • DLS

    The normal public not only rates the Nobel Prize low (it was an especially pathetic political stunt by the Committee this year), but doesn’t care about the more stupid things being done by the party leaders and associated orbiting media dolts in Washington, as I wrote earlier. Why be obscessed with such trivia?

    • kathykattenburg

      Is the “normal public” the greater part of the public, or is it a smaller subset?

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