The Washington Post's Nobel Fetish

By Matthew Cooper

My colleague, James Fallows, made an excellent point about The Washington Post's op-ed lamenting that the Nobel peace prize didn't go to the martyred Iranian protestor. He noted that the award can't be given posthumously and thus never went to Gandhi and others who have been overlooked--a point that could have been checked rather easily. More Post weirdness today.

A different standard should probably apply to the opinion pieces. Authors should be given more latitude to hang themselves. But today the Post has a piece that says Obama's Nobel prize in unconstitutional because it violates the emoluments clause and constitutes an office from a foreign government.The piece by Ronald Rotunda and J. Peter Pham is here. A rather convincing takedown is here from Adam Blickstein at DemocracyArsenal.org. I won't rehash the arguments but suffice it to say that the knighthoods awarded by the British to Alan Greenspan and Norman Schwarzkopf survived constitutional muster. You do have to wonder why the Post wouldn't check out this piece more thoroughly. I'm not a constitutional scholar or an attorney but it seems pretty clear that Obama's nobel is constitutional just like Henry Kissinger's or Teddy Roosevelt's.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/10/the-washington-posts-nobel-fetish/28549/