WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT?…. Yesterday’s White House press briefing was pretty lively, with, as one might imagine, plenty of questions about the Nobel Peace Prize. CBS News’ Chip Reid’s interests stood out, but not in a good way. (via BarbinMD)

Reid said, “I mean, most Democrats have praised it, and most Republicans have said, ‘You have got to be kidding me — Ronald Reagan didn’t get one, but Barack Obama, nominated 12 days after he was sworn in, gets a Nobel Peace Prize.’ And the fear among some, even some Democrats, is that this is going to widen the partisan divide and make things even more difficult to accomplish on every front.”

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tried to move on, responding, “I’ll leave the pundicizing to the pundits.” But Reid wasn’t through, complaining that the award itself may be “a partisan thing,” because previous winners include Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. Gibbs noted that Teddy Roosevelt also won, and again tried to move on.

Reid kept pushing. “But Ronald Reagan, could I just ask you to respond to that?” the corresponded added. “The man who helped bring the Cold War to an end….”

A few thoughts here. First, when White House correspondents from major news outlets start sounding like members of Grover Norquist’s “We Love Reagan” fan club, it’s not a positive development.

Second, the notion that Reagan “helped bring the Cold War to an end” is, at best, a dubious proposition.

And third, Reid’s fears that a Nobel prize the president did not seek might “widen the partisan divide and make things even more difficult to accomplish on every front” are almost comical. It reminded me of the scene in “Life of Brian” when Matthias says, “Look, I don’t think it should be a sin, just for saying ‘Jehovah.’” Shocked, the official overseeing his execution says, “You’re only making it worse for yourself!” To which Matthias responds, “Making it worse? How can it be worse?”

At this point, Republicans reflexively oppose every single policy Democrats embrace. The GOP has even decided to reject ideas they originally came up with. They’re running a scorched earth campaign … and Chip Reid thinks an unsolicited Nobel Peace Prize will make it “even more difficult” for the parties to find common ground?

Making it worse? How can it be worse?

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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.