Republicans and right-wingers have been working overtime to find ways to use Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize as ammunition against him. None, however, has gone quite as far as radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who proclaimed on Friday that "we all agree with the Taliban."
Limbaugh began his assault on Obama comparatively tamely, when he emailed Politico to say, ""This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama. And with this 'award' the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States. They love a weakened, neutered U.S, and this is their way of promoting that concept."
By the time Limbaugh did his radio show, however, he had moved beyond all-caps Antichrist references designed to appeal to Christian fundamentalists and had realized who his true allies were.
"Our president is a worldwide joke," Limbaugh proclaimed. "Folks, do you realize something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about -- and that is he doesn't deserve the award? Now that's hilarious, that I'm on the same side of something with the Taliban."
A Taliban spokesman, speaking from an undisclosed location, had told AFP earlier in the day,
"We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama. When Obama was elected president, we were hopeful he would keep his promise to bring change. But he brought no change, he has continued the same old strategy as Bush. He reinforces the war in Afghanistan, he sent more troops to Afghanistan and is considering sending yet more. He has shed Afghan blood and he continues to bleed Afghans and to boost the war here."
Limbaugh would probably not agree that shedding Afghan blood is Obama's gravest crime, but that may be a small point of difference. As the Afghans themselves say, "I against my brothers; my brothers and I against my cousins; my brothers, my cousins and I against the world.”
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen, however, took Limbaugh's statements seriously enough to issue a statement of condemnation. "The outrageous reaction by Rush Limbaugh, RNC Chairman Michael Steele, and others to President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize is the latest sad example of Republicans putting politics before country by rooting for America to fail," Van Hollen wrote. "House Republicans should immediately condemn these outrageous statements asserting that they are 'on the same side as the Taliban.'"
This video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast Oct. 9, 2009.