After Barack Obama was awarded the Novel Peace Prize on Friday morning, the blogosphere was on fire, with commentators from right and left weighing in on whether the US president was deserving of the international accolade. But no claims were quite as stunning as those made by the Republican and Democratic parties themselves.
First, the Republicans came out swinging. A statement from the Republican National Committee reads:
“The real question Americans are asking is, ‘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. 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.”
But it wasn’t until the Democrats fired back, accusing the Republicans of siding with terrorists, that things got really ugly: “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,” said Brad Woodhouse, Communications Director for the Democratic National Congress. “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.”
In an address Friday morning, Obama said he would accept the Peace Prize as a “call to action, a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century.” But he admits that he was “surprised” to have won.