Friday, February 02, 2007

What Do Rush Limbaugh and Adolph Hitler Have in Common?

"Rush Limbaugh" and "Nobel Peace Prize" do not belong in the same sentence. I don't say this as a partisan, but as someone who takes the Prize seriously. Limbaugh was just nominated for the prize by the Landmark Legal Foundation, according to a press release.

Now, why would anyone want to go and do a thing like that? Isn't that as nonsensical as nominating, say, liberal comedian Al Franken? It's not a matter of politics so much as experience and impact.

What the hell has Limbaugh done to promote peace in this god-forsaken world? Landmark's president, Mark R. Levin: "Nearly two decades of tireless efforts to promote liberty, equality and opportunity for all humankind, regardless of race, creed, economic stratum or national origin. These are the only real cornerstones of just and lasting peace throughout the world." Oh, that.

So what is the Landmark Legal Foundation then? If you guessed 'conservative think tank,' you're not far off. It's a thirty-year-old conservative law firm, and Limbaugh's on the board. The firm fights things like teachers' unions, "big government," and government grants to environmental groups.

Don't worry, Limbaugh takes this honor very seriously. Here's what El Rusho [his term, not mine] said in a transcript of a broadcast posted on his website:
"I know it's a solemn occasion -- I just -- because today, you know, Gore got nominated today. It's all over the place. He got nominated for his stupid movie for the Nobel Peace Prize. I don't know, I just -- I just -- all right. (Laughing.) It's a solemn occasion. Yes."

All this made me wonder: Who's qualified to nominate for the Nobel Peace Prize? According to the Nobel Foundation:
Nomination to the Nobel Peace Prize is by invitation only. The Nobel Committee sends confidential forms to persons who are competent and qualified to nominate. The names of the nominees and other information about the nominations cannot be revealed until 50 years later.
So we won't hear it from the Nobel Committee. Nominators can publicize their nominations, of course, as two Norwegian politicians and a Canadian Inuit announced their choice of Al Gore. Last year, according to the Associated Press, there were 191 nominations. The Nobel Foundation will tell us that much.

So the question, then, is whether or not the Landmark Legal Foundation actually got a secret ballot. It's not outrageous to think that they could have; the Nobel Foundation lists among the qualified groups "University rectors; professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology; directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes."

Personal and political issues aside, I think the President would be a more credible nominee. Limbaugh talks at people. At least the President has some experience dealing with the real world. That said, I don't doubt that the President was actually nominated this year. He apparently has been before. And, yes, it should be pointed out, Adolph Hitler was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1939. So maybe we shouldn't really be taking nominations so seriously.



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