Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 10, 2009

WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT?.... Yesterday's White House press briefing was pretty lively, with, as one might imagine, plenty of questions about the Nobel Peace Prize. CBS News' Chip Reid's interests stood out, but not in a good way. (via BarbinMD)

Reid said, "I mean, most Democrats have praised it, and most Republicans have said, 'You have got to be kidding me -- Ronald Reagan didn't get one, but Barack Obama, nominated 12 days after he was sworn in, gets a Nobel Peace Prize.' And the fear among some, even some Democrats, is that this is going to widen the partisan divide and make things even more difficult to accomplish on every front."

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tried to move on, responding, "I'll leave the pundicizing to the pundits." But Reid wasn't through, complaining that the award itself may be "a partisan thing," because previous winners include Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. Gibbs noted that Teddy Roosevelt also won, and again tried to move on.

Reid kept pushing. "But Ronald Reagan, could I just ask you to respond to that?" the corresponded added. "The man who helped bring the Cold War to an end...."

A few thoughts here. First, when White House correspondents from major news outlets start sounding like members of Grover Norquist's "We Love Reagan" fan club, it's not a positive development.

Second, the notion that Reagan "helped bring the Cold War to an end" is, at best, a dubious proposition.

And third, Reid's fears that a Nobel prize the president did not seek might "widen the partisan divide and make things even more difficult to accomplish on every front" are almost comical. It reminded me of the scene in "Life of Brian" when Matthias says, "Look, I don't think it should be a sin, just for saying 'Jehovah.'" Shocked, the official overseeing his execution says, "You're only making it worse for yourself!" To which Matthias responds, "Making it worse? How can it be worse?"

At this point, Republicans reflexively oppose every single policy Democrats embrace. The GOP has even decided to reject ideas they originally came up with. They're running a scorched earth campaign ... and Chip Reid thinks an unsolicited Nobel Peace Prize will make it "even more difficult" for the parties to find common ground?

Making it worse? How can it be worse?

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (64)

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Making it worse? How can it be worse?

The Republicans all will try to cast two votes against everything Obama proposes.

Posted by: SteveT on October 10, 2009 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

"widen the partisan divide and make things even more difficult to accomplish on every front"

I've been trying to imagine how this would be possible. Is there any nasty thing in the Lexicon that the Repugs haven't already dredged from the sewer? And, this isn't just the fringe blogger types - it's coming from mainstream elected officials of the Rep. Party. Is there even a hint of cooperation in Congress that could be lost? Is it possible for the Dems to get less than 0 votes from the Repugnant Ones on any given bill or amendment?


Posted by: Mark-NC on October 10, 2009 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Skip Reed has just announced that he wants a pundit job. It is time to move on.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 10, 2009 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

What kind of a question is that? A perfectly fair one.

Why does Sweden hate America?

Posted by: Al on October 10, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

There was only one relevant question about the Prize. Didn't Obama feel weird about getting an award based on stuff people HOPED he'd do? Obama himself sort of answered that (yes, he did), leaving the useless frauds of the White House press corps nothing left to do but run their favorite scenario, possible problems for Obama!
They're lazy, but most of all, they're pretty stupid.

Posted by: JMG on October 10, 2009 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Is it possible for the Dems to get less than 0 votes from the Repugnant Ones on any given bill or amendment?

LOL. What I wouldn't have given to hear Gibbs respond to Reed's question with something like that. "is it possible to get less than 0 republican votes on important legislation?" classic.

Posted by: tempered optimism on October 10, 2009 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

gibbs should have asked reid to point out where the republicans have been cooperative -- as evidence that the partisan divide has any more room to expand...

Posted by: linda on October 10, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

This whole "Regan won the Cold War" thing is interesting. So what the Republicans are saying is that even though the Cold War actually did not end until Bush was president and the wall did not come down until Regan had been out of office for nine months - The Gipper put the wheels in motion and should have been given a Nobel Prize for creating the potential for the Cold War to be brought to a close. So Regan's would have been an aspirational award?

Posted by: Cheebo on October 10, 2009 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

By the way the notion that Regan was influential in the end of the Cold War is laughable here in Europe. At the same time, Europeans find it less laughable than Americans seem to the Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Could it be that we Americans (I'm an expat) are having a hard time really understanding hat is going on in Europe.

Maybe I am just confused by all the outstanding health care we get here, or by the remarkable number of solar panels and fuel efficient cars I see in use everyday.

Posted by: Danny in Deutchland on October 10, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

How could it be worse? Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!

Republicans did a masterful job of turning "liberal" into a pejorative. I think that each and every time a Democrat speaks s/he should mention Republican and some form of one of the following: extremist; right-wing; radical; fanatic; unhinged; crazy; or irresponsible. You get the picture. Keep it subtle but always put something out there.

As for Reagan. Krugman had a very good piece on Friday about the American higher ed system and its fragility. What many don't remember is thr role Ronald Reagan played in gutting a very successful federal financial aid system. Some stats from the American Council on Education. (figures have not been adjusted for inflation so multiply by 2.37, BLS). Congress restored about half of the direct cuts but guaranteed student loan restrictions were kept in place.

"The effective cut in need-based federal student aid for funding year (FY) 1981 totalled $600 million ($500 million Pell Grants, $100 million National Direct Student Loans). The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 phased out Social Security educational benefits, which had provided $2 billion, one fifth of federal student aid in FY 1981. The Act also restricted eligibility for Guaranteed Student Loans and reduced spending ceilings for other student aid programs. For FY 1982 President Reagan requested additional cuts totaling $332 million, but Congress set FY 1982 funding at slightly over the FY 1981 level. Congress also set appropriations for FY 1983 at about the same level as FY 1982. The President sought to eliminate the in-school interest subsidy for Guaranteed Student Loans. For FY 1984, Congress increased appropriations for student aid by about $404 million over FY 1983. Finally, for FY 1985 Congress increased student aid programs by $970 million, or $1.3 billion more than the President requested. Appropriations for specific aid programs are also reviewed.

Basically, Reagan was the neutron bomb of Presidents - leaving the facade of American prosperity but killing all life within.

Posted by: Bob on October 10, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Reagan? Are there really people who believe, Gorbatchev brought down the wall because Reagan ordered him to?

Then again: that would explain the US approach on foreign politics 2000-2008.

Posted by: Vokoban on October 10, 2009 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

It could be raining

Posted by: FRP on October 10, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

All I said was that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah

Posted by: Dr. U on October 10, 2009 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Gibbs should have said that Reagan was the last president to advocate for ridding the world of all nuclear weapons and then duck as all the heads exploded.

Posted by: Th on October 10, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

good one, centurion!

Posted by: daveminnj on October 10, 2009 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

I'm certain that what Mr. Reid meant to say was that President Reagan deserved the Nobel prize for economics, having discovered and implemented a slow-acting mechanism to destroy a robust economy.

Posted by: Skepticat on October 10, 2009 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

George Lakoff is correct. The linguist and cognitive scientist has been banging the drums the past 10 years (Moral Politics, the Political Brain, Whose Freedom, Don't Look at the Elephant in the Room) arguing that the great success of the Reagan Revolution was to reshape the language, the frames of reference, the narratives, metaphores and assumptions under which we view political reality -- what the great Walter Lippmann of Public Opinion called the sterotypes, pseudo-realities and "pictues in our heads" that govern the way we see the world. And it is the agenda of liberals and those who care about democracy to to counter this.

That is so clear with Reid's question. Conservatives have been repudiated by the nation the last two elections; so why do we give a hoot what they might think about Obama getting the Nobel Prize? By suggesting that the prize was a bad idea because it might piss off Republicans and so make them even less amenable to cooperation with the president, Reid is implicitly saying: Forget the last two elections; Republicans are still in charge.

And by the way. Last I heard we did not pass a constitutional amendment that requires 60 Senate votes to pass regular legislation. The founders set the Senate apart to provide a "cooling off" period for legislation, but not even they thought it prudent to raise the bar so high, to provide so many of what Madison called "auxillary precautions," that you essentially condemn the country to minority rule -- exactly what John C. Calhoun and the South demanded with their "concurrent majorities" theory of US politics right before the Civil War, which they were willing to divide the country over when they failed to get it. Just as they are doing today.

The founders were quite specific that there were a very limited number of areas where a supermajority of the Senate was required -- treaty ratification, Supreme Court nominee confirmations, impeachement, sending constitutional amendments to the states. But the 60 vote threshhold connected to the filibuster is a Senate rule -- a tradition -- that until very recently was only used by the minority when it felt its fundamental rights under assault by the majority -- as the white Christian (and yes, Democratic) South did during the civil rights and desegregation period 50 years ago.

The idea that conservatives and Republicans get to control the national agenda, and the terms of national discourse, must be confronted directly -- not only by liberals but by anyone who cares about American traditions and democracy. This is serious stuff, folks, we are being put at the mercy of a powerful authoritarian, anti-democratic Radical Right movement that has serious financial backing and access to a powerful media which gives it the ability to ignore the wishes of the country, stop this nation in its tracks, reshape the nation's view of reality to its own advantage and reset the national agenda if we do not contest them.

Just look at what they have been able to do in the last nine months. President Obama has been advancing a very careful and prudent agenda across the board -- from economics to foreign policy -- with large pieces of it a continuity with programs launched by the previous very conservative administration. As a Republican I am perfectly comfortable calling President Obama's approach "conservative" because it is rooted in the past and in conformance with American precedent.

Yet to listen to the national dialog you would think we were in the midst of ideological civil war with a radical president rounding up his political opposition and putting them behind barbed wire. Can those incensed about the Obama "takeover" of the auto industry be so blind as to forget the Lee Iachocca Chrysler bailout under President Ford, which was precedent-setting for its time -- perhaps "radical" in today's language.

Just look at the targeted town hall forum and tea party disruptions. Here, a very small minority, partly spontaneous and partly coordinated by right wing interests, was able to make a lot of noise, which the right wing then offered as proof of a "vast" popular uprising against a tyrannical government.

That, as Lakoff would say, is the "frame" that Reid was activating with his question of Gibbs

Posted by: Ted Frier on October 10, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Well, now we know how a doofus like Chip Reid ended up being a White House Correspondent. Being an empty-headed nincompoop is a requirement for the job.

Posted by: Patrick Starr on October 10, 2009 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, Old Ronny, the Gipper, fond memories, fond memories. Like the time he tried to slash social security payments to early retirees in 1981. The backlash was so fierce he decided to tax the piss out of blue collar workers instead. Ronald Reagan the tax-slashing-demigod of the modern conservative movement had only succeeded in shifting taxes from the wealthy to working middle class people. From a 9.5% payroll tax in 1980 to a 11.5% tax by 1988, while income tax was slashed from 8.2% in '80 to 6.6% by '88.

And yes, republicans actually think so highly of Reagan that they want him carved onto Rushmore. Cal.Rep. Doug Ose introduced legislation in 2004 to do just that, citing that this would be an appropriate recognition for the President who finished the Cold War.

So there you have it. The appropriateness of Obama winning a Nobel Prize for nuclear non-proliferation and partnering with allies no, no, no. Reagan carved in stone for staging a "tear down this wall" photo op, yes, yes, yes.

Posted by: oh my on October 10, 2009 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

He's an idea. Go ask the Nobel committee these questions. Hey, I'm not even a reporter and I came up with that.

Posted by: Himself on October 10, 2009 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Our illustrious White House correspondents at their very best! We should be so proud!

Posted by: Dancer on October 10, 2009 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Are we shocked, really? CBS is a corporate-owned outlet. Chip isn't a journalist, he is a corporate employee, whose real job is to protect his corporate boss's interests. The Republican Party IS the corporate party so, of course, for Chip, Obama winning an award he neither sought nor asked for is just another excuse designed to rationalize the corporate-manipulated fringe right-wing hatred of Obama. Corporate-manipulated hatred of Obama? Who is paying Armey's lobbyist front group and sponsoring the testicles-on-the-chin parties...whoops...I meant teabag parties?

Posted by: Ralph Kramden on October 10, 2009 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Better yet, what grown man still goes by the handle "Chip", unless his first name is "Chipping" and his name ends with a roman numeral?

Posted by: Steve Paradis on October 10, 2009 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

I was pretty annoyed with the Inky today. They ran a pull-quote right on the front page "some Democrats said, the award could also come to be seen as the equivalent of the 'Mission Accomplished' banner that dogged former President George W. Bush."
Erm, slight problem, Barack Obama did not seek the award that he received. The "Mission Accomplished" banner was something that Bush and his campaign staff deliberately and consciously did, with full knowledge ahead of time. Sorry, there's no comparison whatsoever.

Posted by: Rich2506 on October 10, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Bob Schieffer (sp?, with a curmudeonly attitude, repeated this almost word for word on the CBS Evening News.

Posted by: lou on October 10, 2009 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Making it Worse????

Chip Reid?


Mission accomplished....man what a sorry state CBS has become, and particularly their news operation.

Posted by: dweb on October 10, 2009 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

I guess the Republicans could create a less toxic environment. They could start shooting at depictions of their Democratic opponents. Oh wait...

Posted by: carlos the dwarf on October 10, 2009 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

If anything this can only make things better.

As Steve says, with current conditions there is no way to make it worse, at least with respect to Republicans in Congress, as well as Republicans in leadership positions, talk radio, and Fox.

Fortunately these are not the only Republicans. When Obama strives for bipartisanship, he is looking beyond these people and considering all the people who have voted Republican in recent years. This includes both those who crossed over and voted for him, and Republican voters who voted against him but are open to supporting his positions based on the merit.

There are Republican voters who do like Obama. While I have no numbers on this nation wide, I do know people who voted against him but believe he is doing a good job. It probably does help when Obama points out that he is considering Republican ideas, such as on health care reform, even if he does not pick up any Republican votes outside of the state of Maine. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize is also likely to improve how such people see him.

This may or may not help much, but I can't see any way that it can hurt.

Sure, talk radio will attack him over this, but things couldn't get any worse here. Even this might help us if it helps demonstrate to rational people just how nutty the right wing noise machine is.

Posted by: Ron Chusid on October 10, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Osama bin Laden also takes credit for bringing down the Soviet Union. According to the Republicans, I guess he should get a Nobel Peace Prize as well.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on October 10, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

I've listened to these press conferences on several occasions, and it has become increasingly clear that Chip Reid is a republican hack.

Look at the framing he uses throughout his "questioning". Why, for example, does he insist that Gibbs comment on the oversight of Reagan not getting the prize? The only folks I saw asking that question were at the NRO and various right-wing blogs.

Besides, the Nobel committee did grant the honor to Gorbachev, who wasn't entangled with other more dubious matters in Central America and Iran.

Consistently, though, all Chip Reid does is push framing and questions that are asked from places like Drudge and FoxNation. Why doesn't he get called out for the shill he is?

Posted by: ChrisNBama on October 10, 2009 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Reagan? Seriously?

As opposed to, oh I don't know, Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

Posted by: 2Manchu on October 10, 2009 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Steve - you ask what kind of question is that? My answer - Reid didn't ask an actual question. He opined. It's not a question, unless there's an answer out there somewhere. And whatever bias he revealed in his opining isn't the only issue, because reporters are supposed to know to seek the story, not the headline. The story is their job.

Posted by: Aunt Moe on October 10, 2009 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Chip (you moron):

They don't usually give Nobel Peace Prizes to people who support illegal wars by selling high-tech weapons to Islamic radical regimes, even if they're so senile that many people think they didn't realize that was what they were doing.

There's plenty of other reasons why Ronald Reagan didn't get a Nobel, but that one ought to suffice.

Posted by: Racer X on October 10, 2009 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

”Reagan? Are there really people who believe, Gorbatchev brought down the wall because Reagan ordered him to?”

There are really people who believe that Reagan burned down the Berlin wall with his heat vision

Posted by: jefft452 on October 10, 2009 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan wasn't ever considered a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize because...pursuing peace was never a serious goal of the Reagan administration. Reagan, like most conservatives, always sought dominance, as opposed to seeking peace.

In any case, the man who ordered the illegal mining of the harbors of Nicaraguas would never have been considered for such an award.

Chip Reid should be fired. This is what CBS news is today? The network that gave us Murrow and Cronkite? Passing on wingnut criticisms as if they were serious questions?

Posted by: Whispers on October 10, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan kept us safe from Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Grenada, while arming Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeini. I mean, without his efforts, we might have been overthrown by Latin American priests and nuns! How much more of a peacekeeper could a guy be?

As for that reporter, let's maintain an even better perspective: what's a Chip Reid? Historians a decade hence will scratch their heads bloody trying to find an answer to that.

Posted by: KevinHayden on October 10, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

So, where's your post denouncing Chris Matthews' leg tingles, hmm??

And the thing is, that's just one example of things you've apparently no problem with, so long as Obama gets to look good in the eyes of the press. Anyone questioning him brings your ire asz in this article. THe fact is, Steve, you yourself have become a cheering section for Obama. Therefore any complaints from you about Reid, or anyone else at this point, daring to question stuff like this,are already less than credible.

So, to answer your "What kind f question is that?", it's one you yourself would ask, were GWB to have gotten an award Obama did not. Thing is, you know that already.

Posted by: Eric Florack on October 10, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

It's well known that Bruce Springsteen brought down the wall.

At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by: J Bean on October 10, 2009 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "As for that reporter, let's maintain an even better perspective: what's a Chip Reid? Historians a decade hence will scratch their heads bloody trying to find an answer to that."


I had to laugh when hearing all of the nutjobs criticizing Obama or the Noble committee, etc., especially John Bolton. Yaright. There's someone who wouldn't know the meaning of the word "peace" if a white dove landed on him and cooed in his eared.

Hey, maybe a dove pooped on Bolton and that's why he's so ornery?

Posted by: Hannah on October 10, 2009 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Robert Gibbs handled it very well. Which he doesn't always do in situations like this. There was one point where you could almost see him starting to say something and then changing his mind, just being really conscious of choosing his words carefully. I thought he made Reid look like a fool -- although that may be akin to Reid asking if getting the Nobel might not widen the partisan divide.

Posted by: Kathy on October 10, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Youtube - Rachel Maddow: The Nobel Prize & Obama Derangement Syndrome

Posted by: Shade Tail on October 10, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Ronald Reagan was the first world leader to negotiate a reduction in nuclear arsenals.

But never mind. Chip Reid's crime was to suggest, in a room reserved almost exclusively for Democrats, that a Republican did anything right.

Want to tick off any gathering of establishment journalists? Just say anything good about any Republican.

There is nothing giddier than a newsroom when Republicans lose, nothing quieter than a newsroom when purple-fingered Iraqis vote no thanks to Democrats.

Posted by: Frank on October 10, 2009 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Why does Sweden hate America? - Al

Al, go to your room and write it 500 times:

Nobel Pease Prize: Norway
Nobel Pease Prize: Norway
Nobel Pease Prize: Norway

It's kind of embarrassing to have you as the resident conservative troll on this site.

Posted by: SRW1 on October 10, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

As many people have already noted, Republicans don't win the Nobel Peace Prize because they are not interested in peace, only the hegemony of the United States. They are not interested in human rights. They are not interested in promotion of democracy. They are interesting in running an empire, and emperors do not win any peace prizes.

Posted by: inkadu on October 10, 2009 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Well, got to issue an apology, Al.

Al!!! You hear me??


Posted by: SRW1 on October 10, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Chip Reid must be looking for a job with Fox News.

Posted by: MoeLarryAndJesus on October 10, 2009 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: Egypt Steve on October 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Obama did not seek or campaign for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is extremely gratified to be in such illustrious company. Please address your concerns to Nobel Peace Prize Selection Committee.

Posted by: aline on October 10, 2009 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Matthias: Look, I don't think it should be a sin, just for saying "Jehovah".
[Everyone gasps]
Jewish Official: You're only making it worse for yourself!
Matthias: Making it worse? How can it be worse? Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!
Jewish Official: I'm warning you! If you say "Jehovah" one more time (gets hit with rock) RIGHT! Who did that? Come on, who did it?
Stoners: She did! She did! (suddenly speaking as men) He! He did! He!
Jewish Official: Was it you?
Stoner: Yes.
Jewish Official: Right...
Stoner: Well you did say "Jehovah. "
[Crowd throws rocks at the stoner]
Jewish Official: STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! STOP IT! All right, no one is to stone _anyone_ until I blow this whistle. Even... and I want to make this absolutely clear... even if they do say, "Jehovah. "
[Crowd stones the Jewish Official to death]

Posted by: Singularity on October 10, 2009 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

"....nothing quieter than a newsroom when purple-fingered Iraqis vote no thanks to Democrats."

The Democratic Party had candidates run for office in Iraq?

Posted by: 2Manchu on October 10, 2009 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

when they suggest Reagan, why does no one bring up the fact that he sold weapons to "terrorists"-IRAN
and that he used the proceeds illegally to torture and slaughter people in El Salvador and Nicauragua
and all over South America. Does anyone have a memory in this nation of idiots?

Posted by: Barbara on October 10, 2009 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just going to speculate here that Ronald Regan may have been precluded from winning the Nobel Peace Prize by pushing a hawkish foreign policy and because members of his administration sold weapons to Islamic extremists to fund an illegal war in South America.

As for ending the Cold War, my understanding is that this notion is based on falsified intelligence information from the Kremlin that said the United States made the Soviet Union spend themselves out of existence. In reality, internal pressures caused the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I also think Reagan policies likely escalated the rise of global terrorism aimed at the United States by projecting an arrogant view of America to other countries. That in itself should exclude him from winning a prize for peace.

I do, however, think that the award is political in how it is awarded as the committee is made up of five Norwegian politicians.

I am expecting that next year's Nobel Peace Prize announcement will be a reflective surface with the caption "YOU" underneath it.

Posted by: Matthew Hensley on October 10, 2009 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Chip so-called "Reid" sure is a big girl -- a real lady.

Posted by: Parakeeta on October 10, 2009 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Since neither Gibbs nor Obama awarded the Nobel, the question about Reagan's exclusion should not be addressed to either one of them but to Norway. And that's true beyond the good reasons -- listed by many commenters above -- that Norway didn't think Reagan was all that peaceful in those days. Now, maybe; then, not.

Posted by: exlibra on October 10, 2009 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

12 days in office.


Posted by: RH Potfry on October 10, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

CBS opinion commentator Chip Reid's sycophancy for Hollywood entertainer Ronald Reagan can join CBS opinion commentator Bob Schieffer's sycophancy for Republican John McCain.

Actual CBS headline: "Schieffer: Obama's Nobel Win May Widen Political Chasm."

Which "political chasm"? The one where hyper right wing partisan opinion media gives the microphone over to right wing extremists?

CBS is the same channel where opinion commentator Katie Couric gave extreme right winger Rush Limbaugh unfettered use of her microphone on the first week she was hosting the CBS Evening News anchor job.

But god forbid you are a late night comedian like David Letterman making jokes about the Republicans (Sarah Palin and John McCain), then there is a concerted effort to claim 'liberal bias' and get you fired.

America has a far right wing conservative media but because the right wing fraudsters claim it's a liberal media (and up is down), the right wing media sycophants dutifully parrot what they are told to.

Perhaps the most Orwellian line is when Murdoch's right wing Fox propagandists brag about being the most powerful media channel (in other words FOX IS the "mainstream media") and then immediately complain about the "mainstream media" being "liberal".

Apparently these days "liberal" means "not right wing fascist".

(And yes, it's sad to have to continually point out that "fascism" is a right wing ideological movement).

Posted by: http://HavenWorks.com on October 10, 2009 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

How can it be worse? It could turn the people against Obama even more then he and Gibbs have already managed to do by their own efforts.

Posted by: Beaglescout on October 10, 2009 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Who has the controlling majorities in each House of Congress (and controls the White House for that matter)? The Democrats.

What should you conclude from this? The GOP cannot, I repeat, cannot do anything to stop the Democrats.

So, why can't the Democrats get things like health care "insurance", nee just health care, reform passed and signed into law? Because the Democrats know that the majority of Americans do not want the kind of reforms being bandied about inside the Beltway, that's why!

PBO's Nobel Peace Prize Award is simply meaningless when put up against trying to do something that the majority of the country does not want. Perhaps the self-serving politicians should worry more about representing the people and upholding the oath they swore to the Constitution instead of shredding it to pieces.

Posted by: True American on October 10, 2009 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hey "true" American, polls show that most people want some form of health reform, etc. Maybe you mean, the people who make the most noise are the ones that matter most. And the critical reason Democrats can't get things done, is that majorities aren't enough to pass laws - because of the minority-coddling, "squeaky wheel" principle of the filibuster.

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on October 10, 2009 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

The majority of Americans want government to help out with health costs and to reform the corporate medical insurance industry.

Those are what the polls have been consistently saying for over a year.

That the anti-health reform minority lies consistently and screams louder doesn't make the opposite true.

There are, however, a handful of Democratic leaders who are what used to be conservative Republicans that are blocking health care reform.

The Republican Party has degenerated into the Corporatist Party.

Hell, 75% of Republican Senators just voted against allowing women gang raped from getting their day in court (Republicans voted to protect the corporations those gang raped women were working for).

Posted by: Truer American Than You on October 10, 2009 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK


You over looked this:

Because the Democrats know that the majority of Americans do not want the kind of reforms being bandied about inside the Beltway, that's why!

You are also forgetting that the Democrats have 60 Senate seats. The Democrats can vote to end a filibuster at any time IF all the Democrats vote to end it.

Conclusion: My point is valid. Yours is not.

Posted by: True American on October 11, 2009 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe a peace prize would be easier for Republicans to stomach if they weren't so fundamentally opposed to peace.

Posted by: Rian Mueller on October 11, 2009 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party controls significantly fewer than 60 Senate seats.

Many Democratic Senators are conservative Republicans by any measure other than the current Corporatist Republican measure of Corporate Fealty.

It only takes ONE closet Republican masquerading as a Democratic Senator to vote with the Republican minority filibuster.

And unfortunately, out of 60 nominal Democratic Senators, at least a half dozen of them are closet Republicans.

The solution? Primary those quasi-Republican Democratic Senators. And vote out the Republican-Corporatists.

Posted by: Truer American than True American on October 11, 2009 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Al: "Why does Sweden hate the United States?"

Doesn't Al mean Switzerland?

Posted by: PQuincy on October 11, 2009 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK



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