The Prize

by wjw on October 13, 2009

It’s probably a little late to chime in on the Nobel Prize thing, but what the hell. I had a busy weekend that kept me from posting, but at least I had time for mature consideration.
I’m sure I was as surprised as anyone else. “This is, at best, premature,” I thought. I voted for the guy, I have no reason to actively dislike him (yet), but I did think it was a little odd to give a Peace Prize to someone who’s fighting two wars. (He inherited them both, but still . . . ) And I thought, “Hey, they could have waited until he filled at least one of his campaign promises.”
And then I checked out the article on Common Misperceptions About the Nobel Peace Prize, which states as follows:
Myth: The prize is awarded to recognize efforts for peace, human rights and democracy only after they have proven successful.
More often, the prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments.
So it’s given in hopes of encouraging people, which is why people like Aung San Suu Kyi won even though Burma doesn’t have democracy yet, and why Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan won even though peace didn’t come to Northern Ireland for another twenty-odd years, and why the Dalai Lama won even though Tibet is far from free.
And then I thought, Look, this isn’t about giving Obama hope. It’s about giving hope to the rest of the world. Because the rest of the world needs a place to look for their own hope and inspiration.
And now, once again, it’s us. This is the biggest compliment I can imagine for our nation.
The least we can do is say “Thank you, we’ll try to live up to your expectations.”
Of course, that’s not what everyone said.
Mr. Limbaugh made his famous comment about how “something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about.” (Though the Taliban’s own press release unaccountably failed to mention Mr. L. )
Most despicable was the Fox news reporter who wondered aloud if Obama had deliberately delayed sending troops to Afghanistan in order to clinch the prize. I mean, what kind of foul little shit would actually think something like that? (I’ll tell you. Someone who would conspire to compromise soldiers’ security in order to win an award, that’s who.)
Michael Steele, the RNC head, merely thought it a opportunity to raise money. “The Democrats and their international leftist allies want America made subservient to the agenda of global redistribution and control,” Steele wrote. “And truly patriotic Americans like you and our Republican Party are the only thing standing in their way.”
In other words, it’s all a conspiracy between the White House and an international cabal of Commies! Someone should tell Mr. Steele that the Cold War ended nearly twenty years ago, and that we won.
(Or, in other words, stop yammering about socialism already, you witless gump. You’d have to be retarded to think that the US is going to turn socialist, unless Wall Street demands it, which of course they did. Mr. Bush socialized Wall Street’s debts [and let them keep their profits], but don’t worry, we’ll never socialize health care, because that would be bad for our moral character. Or something.)
This on top of the conservatives cheering when the US lost the Olympics. As Bill Maher said the other night, “It’s not any more fun to hate America if conservatives are gonna do it.”
Max Kaehn October 13, 2009 at 9:54 pm

My take on it is that the award means “We like what you’re doing. Now don’t screw it up.”

Darren N October 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Jon Stewart nicely summed up the conservatives' reaction to Chicago missing out on the Olympics, Walter: "Conservatives hate Obama more than they love America".

Lance Larka October 15, 2009 at 4:00 am

I was always told that Nobel intended the award to go to young, innovative, creative, and motivated people and that the cash was to allow them to jump start their careers and do really special things. Or not. It is a risk after all to invest in someone not established. If that's true or not I don't know, but I think it is.

In the sciences the award has become almost a lifetime achievement prize…with a few exceptions.

I like that they chose someone who can leverage the prestige of the award early in their career to potentially do something good. I also would have liked if Obama had recognized some of the other people nominated that have already made tremendous strides in affecting world peace.

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