Of all the right's sputtering and spitting and foaming and fulminating yesterday, my favorite came down to this rather meek entry in the Weekly Standard: "Obama could turn it down on the grounds that not all his peace plans have come to fruition yet, but why should he? And the Swedes could have waited a year on the same grounds, but why should they?"
To me, that subdued, petty putdown said so much more about the modern right and its Frankenstein mutation of neoconservatism than all of yesterday's more voluble manifestations combined. For there they were, the folks at "the Standard," the intellectual masters of the universe or at the very least this speck of a remote globe, but they had yet to learn that the "Norwegian Nobel Committee" is actually ... Norwegian.
But hey, who cares, right? Neoconservatives make reality, remember? They aren't shackled by the old, fussy Enlightenment standards of knowledge and rationality; they are the new, violent Romantics, whose passionate and self-righteous faith -- combined with a whole lot of firepower -- can make mere dreams come true.
And that was the U.S. quality of mind the global community had to endure for eight egregious years -- the insufferable arrogance and counterintellectual exceptionalism of illegitimate gangsters in the White House: their predatory doctrine of preemption; their unprovoked war, which threatened others; their sea-lawyer violations of international treaties; their sheer, swaggering go-it-aloneness, which no superpower, with its fingers inexorably in so many dikes, can possibly sustain.
At home, the gangsters piled up accelerating debt, bankrupted the armed forces, insulted its international citizenship, and dumped all the fallout in President Obama's lap.
So is it really a matter of mere speculation that the Nobel Committee's awarding of Barack Obama was, in fact, a necessary rebuke of George W. Bush? Of course it was, as it should have been. The Committee was only doing what little it could to help right a very twisted course: asking of the world to contrast and compare, as most every high-school essay question asks of its lay constituents, the present, unifying hopes with past, destabilizing brutalities.
But, you know those delicate, bleeding-heart Swedes, whom the neoconservative Weekly Standard mistakenly attacked, just as the neoconservative Bush administration attacked the wrong country. Can these clowns ever get anything right?