Monday, October 15, 2007

Wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

Every day for the last several decades?

Rick Perlstein (citing James Fallows)observes that Al Gore isn't the first Nobel winner to give conservatives a hissy fit.

For conservatives, everything is political war. Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize, reflecting the entire world's consensus that man-made climate change is a crisis? For conservatives, that means: time to discredit the Nobel Peace Prize itself as a pathetic racket—or, as National Review's Steven F. Hayward puts it, "a once-prestigious award," now suffering its "final debasement."

It raises an interesting question. When did conservatives first begin questioning the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize? Steve Benen and James Fallows point out that would be 1964, when the Prize was won by Dr. Martin Luther King.

[. . .]

As I wrote in an essay last January (subscription only; email me at and I'll email you a copy), conservatives "hated King's doctrines. Hating them was one of the litmus tests of conservatism." Prominent conservatives even went so far as to blame him for his own death—for didn't the doctrine of "civil disobedience" mean you got to choose the laws you followed? Strom Thurmond: "[W]e are now witnessing the whirlwind sowed years ago when some preachers and teachers began telling people that each man could be his own judge in his own case." Ronald Reagan: this was just the sort of "great tragedy that began when we began compromising with law and order, and people started choosing which laws they'd break." Civil rights? That was just a front. A have here in front of me a slim 1965 pamphlet c0-authored by Lee Edwards, a present-day fellow at the Heritage Foundation, entitled Behind the Civil Rights Mask, whose cover features King's face as a mask, hiding their true goal: "revolution."

And they go after children the same way.

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