My touchstone of ethics in politics is from Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, “The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.”
Test it against the reactions of two Republicans to today’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama.
From Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, petty meanness: “The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’ It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights."
From Senator John McCain (R-AZ), gracious generosity: “I congratulate President Obama on receiving this prestigious award. I join my fellow Americans in expressing pride in our President on this occasion.”