About a week ago, a group of 18 House Republicans wrote a joint letter, formally nominating Donald J. Trump for ... wait for it ... a Nobel Peace Prize. Their argument, which was not a joke, was that the American president's efforts to reach an agreement with North Korea made Trump worthy of the honor.
By sheer coincidence, I'm sure, many of the signatories were GOP House members who were seeking a promotion to statewide offices, and eager to tell Republican primary voters how much they love their party's president. The list included Indiana's Luke Messer (Senate candidate), Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn (Senate candidate), Tennessee's Diane Black (gubernatorial candidate), North Dakota's Kevin Cramer (Senate candidate), West Virginia's Evan Jenkins (Senate candidate), and Ohio's Jim Renacci (Senate candidate).
These Trump loyalists could've waited, of course, for the American president to actually sit down for talks with North Korea's Kim Jong-un, but that wouldn't work with the GOP primary calendar -- some of the Republicans who signed the letter lost yesterday -- and they were apparently feeling impatient.
Evidently, the intended beneficiary of all of this flattery noticed. In the White House Cabinet Room this morning, someone broached the subject with the president.
Q: Do you deserve the Nobel prize, do you think? TRUMP: Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it.
Trying to appear gracious, he added that "the only prize I want" is a "victory for the world."
I won't pretend to know what the Nobel committee might do, but I have a hunch the Republican should lower his expectations.
Even if we accept the White House's narrative that Trump's saber-rattling helped push North Korea to the negotiating table -- a dubious assertion -- the president yesterday rejected an effective counter-proliferation agreement that enjoyed broad international support.
Indeed, Trump's new, incoherent policy toward Iran increases the likelihood of another military conflict in the Middle East.
It's the sort of thing Nobel Peace Prize recipients don't do.
Even if those responsible for the honor were willing to overlook outrages such as the White House's Muslim ban, and the president's support for torture, Trump trashing the Iran deal will probably keep the prize in someone else's hands.