If you listened to talk radio Friday, some are very agitated the president is being honored by the Nobel committee:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK RADIO HOST: I don't believe this. He's not only the first post-racial president, he's also the nation's first post-accomplishment president. He has risen above incompetence. He is now judged on wishful thinking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Critics rightfully point out that President Obama hasn't really done anything concrete to bring peace to the world. The Nobel people say it was Obama's mostly pre-presidential rhetoric that brought him the award — his attempt to bridge the divide between Muslims and the West, among other things. And certainly that is a legitimate point. Is it enough for the award? Well, you make the call.
On the other side, Mr. Obama is a predator drone kind of guy. His administration is blowing the hell out of terrorists in Pakistan from the sky. Justified, but not exactly peaceful. The president is also waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Again, justified, but brutal.
So on paper the peace prize looks to be a political prize, and that's what The Times of London editorialized Friday:
"Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration ... The prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace."
"Talking Points" does not share the dissent — understands it, but does not share it — because having a U.S. president honored with a peace prize is good for the country. We should want the world to think we are a nation that gives peace a chance, because that's what we are.
In the past, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson won the prize. Jimmy Carter received it after he left office. Yasser Arafat also won the Nobel Peace Prize, if you can believe it. But so did Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa.
There are times when what's good for America should trump partisan politics. President Obama was honored Friday, and deserved or not, the world is hearing "America" and "peace" in the same sentence. That's good.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Singer Gloria Estefan recently heard that 17,000 government workers in Puerto Rico had lost their jobs, so Ms. Estefan gave them free tickets to her concert over the weekend. That's a noble gesture for which she is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, you've got to stay with me on this one. A practical joker put a fake mouse in a weight room and here's how that gesture was received:
So who's the pinhead: the joker, the weight lifter or the fake mouse? You make the call.