DNC TAKES OFF THE GLOVES…. There were certain similarities between the Taliban’s reaction to President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and the Republican National Committee’s reaction. When one GOP congressional leader said earlier this year that he’d like to see the Republican Party emulate the Taliban, this probably isn’t what he meant.

Nevertheless, the Democratic National Committee is taking off the gloves this morning.

“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists — the Taliban and Hamas this morning — in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO. “Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize — an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride — unless of course you are the Republican Party.

“The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It’s no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore — it’s an embarrassing label to claim,” Woodhouse said.

As DNC statements go, it doesn’t get much harder hitting than this.

Greg Sargent noted, “Dems intend to go on the offensive today by holding up Republican criticism of Obama’s Nobel as the latest example of Republicans desperately hoping for America’s failure, placing it alongside GOP cheer at America’s loss of the Olympics as evidence of an unmistakable pattern.” Greg added that Republicans run the risk of “feeding the GOP-wants-America-to-fail meme.”

The Republican strategy here makes a certain degree of strategic sense. The president was just honored with one of the world’s most prestigious accolades, and the GOP has an interest in undermining any potential benefits the White House might receive as a result. But coming on the heels of last week’s delight over the U.S. losing the Olympics, Republicans have set themselves up as the party that roots against the country, and this morning, echoes the rhetoric of the Taliban.

Steele & Co. are making things easy for the DNC, and the party isn’t going to waste the opportunity.

For the GOP, this isn’t even tricky: try giving graciousness a try. The public will respect you for it.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.