Here's something I've learned recently: Never get in a political dispute on Twitter. The 140-character limit reduces every argument to a bumper sticker comment, sans nuance. You might as well just go ahead and get to the gratuitous insults right away. Twitter is the new haiku. Brevity is the soul of Twit.
When I heard that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, I was surprised and frankly a little cynical about it. It seemed premature, to say the least. I twittered the following: Nobel Peace Prize Committee: Jeez, we need to reward America for electing a cool guy and dumping Bush. WIN.
Ha ha. See, I was suggesting that the Nobel Prize Committee might have given the prize gratuitously rather than strictly on merit. I'm cynical that way, sometimes.
A few moments later, I passed along the following tweet that came my way: So it's easier to get a Nobel prize than an honorary degree at Arizona State?
Funny, I thought. A little irony regarding how "prizes" are often awarded for subjective and politically motivated reasons.
Then, perhaps foolishly, I started reading posts from conservatives trashing Obama and the Nobel committee, the typical "if Obama does it, it sucks donkeys" drivel. Bitter, angry, etc. The rhetoric was coming from the usual suspects, the same people who led the cheering when Obama failed to get the Olympic bid for the U.S. Some of it was quite venomous, much of it over the top. Remember, Obama didn't go out and pay off somebody to win the Nobel Peace Prize. They selected HIM. Trying to win the Olympics for your country has never been seen as a bad thing before, as far as I know. Suddenly, it is.
So I twittered this: Right wing cheers Olympic fail, boos Nobel win. What's next? Rooting for Sasha to get the flu? Hoping the new dog dies? These ppl are sick.
And, within moments I got the following from a local conservative blogger: LOL. "Why beholdest thou the mote in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam in thine own eye?" There was also a link to a Michelle Malkin post that detailed all the hateful stuff liberals used to say about George Bush.
Sigh. I wanted to respond, but starting a 140-character political argument, like I said, is just stupid. So I didn't. I guess that's what blogs are for. So here goes:
If George Bush had won the Nobel Peace Prize, I would have been surprised, appalled, and, yes, cynical. When Obama won, I was surprised and cynical. If George Bush had gone overseas to try and win the Olympic Games for the U.S., I can confidently say I wouldn't have cheered if he had failed, though I have no doubt that there are some on the left who would have.
Suggesting that because I criticized those who are irresponsibly demonizing Obama that I am somehow responsible for those who irresponsibly demonized Bush is a stupid argument. It's like suggesting that because the Taliban and al Queda are also saying Obama doesn't deserve the prize, right-wingers are in league with them.
Bottom line: There is no beam in my eye. Not even a splinter.