So. Pres. Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. And Republicans … some Republicans… are coming unglued!

I’ve got to admit, for someone with an opinion on seemingly everything, I’m surprised and dealing with mixed feelings. Not that he shouldn’t have won it but that it has come so soon in his appearance on the national and international stages.

Nothing will stop the Republican National Committee and some of its more hate-filled sympathizers from spewing verbal garbage at the news. Nor will it stop the Democratic National Committee and some of its equally unhinged supporters from shouting back equally off-base comments.

But, for me, I think Sen. John McCain’s public reaction sums up the news pretty well. He said he couldn’t speak to the Nobel Committee’s intentions but the president must “understand he has even more to live up to.” That sounds about right.

The whiners point out the Nobel nomination deadline was coincidentally only two weeks into his presidency. So their “rush-to-judgment” complaints are that he had not been in office long enough to do the amount of work they see necessary to merit consideration.

I doubt the committee was looking at the two weeks. My guess is they looked at his entire campaign in the year before during which Obama took many stands on American foreign policy and other international issues dealing with this country’s place in the world. He also, during that time, denounced the highhanded unilateralism of George Bush and his “you’re with us or against us” attitude that made so many countries overseas angry.

Certainly Obama’s recent United Nations speech and his overseas visits in the last seven months weighed in the judge’s minds. How could they not? As president, he was saying the things he said during the campaign. While the red meat right called it “apologizing” it set a good tone for renewed cooperation on many fronts and was well-received abroad politically.

As McCain indicated, now it’s up to Obama to earn what he has already been awarded. Giving him the Nobel for peace may have been premature and, at this point, maybe not fully earned.

But it says to me … and I hope to our president … there is scholarly agreement that he has set the right tone for government cooperation around the world and now he must follow up on those good feelings with actions and leadership.

The Nobel Peace Prize may have come too soon in Obama’s international career. That’s a debatable question.

But what’s not debatable is that the ball is now in his court. He appears to have been given tremendous recognition for what he has started and for what he advocates for the future.

As they say in Obama’s beloved basketball, it’s time for a full court press.

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