Unequivocal Denunciations

Ooookay, I didn’t want to end my experiment with retirement until the 22nd (exactly one month after I stepped down), lest I steal the thunder of our new bloggers. They are an inspiration. Never before my resignation did I realize how much this project of blogging meant to my community; both of them volunteered to keep it going, without prior consultation by me or prompting by any other person. I thank them so much for committing themselves, and look forward two working and arguing with them in the future. So I had hoped to give them a “grace period” to spread their wings and not be overshadowed by the formerly reigning voice on this blog. (I count three (3) mixed metaphors in that sentence, but I’m not fixing it.) But…goddamn, this needs commenting on.

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, despite the fact he hasn’t done anything. Peacewise. His effectiveness as a dealer with Iran and broker between Israel and Palestine is yet to be seen. I don’t see his anti-nuke campaign going anywhere. The Nobel Committee’s statement doesn’t mention his rebuke of the Bush administration for allowing a liberal republic to descend into the depravity of authorized torture. But it has been a somewhat limp rebuke anyway.

In fact, the Nobel Committee doesn’t say much. Just that he got it for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” John Dickerson, I think, is not unfair in saying this statement is “groaning for a rationale.” No concrete accomplishment, no real improvement in the quality of life of a living human being is cited; but he made so many people feel good about themselves. And the world doesn’t hate the US so much. So, in no small part, the award is an effort to put the Bush years behind the collective consciousness, to solidify a legacy of un-Bushiness the sitting president is having the weeist bit of trouble cementing himself. Whatwith the laziness on the gay rights. And also entrenching us deeper into a war which is looking increasingly hopeless, and binding us to a probable vote fraudster.

I’m proud of my peers today. None of the Democratic or otherwise Probama friends I’ve talked to today believe he deserves it. In this, they agree with the man himself, insofar as he said

“To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize, men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.”

But he’s still accepting it. What the fuck?

Obama has a net worth of about $1.3 million. The Prize itself is $1.4 million. There is a world of people who need that money more than him. Maybe a couple hundred people actually deserve the prize; a few dozen who can put it to real use. Real humanitarianism would be in declining, which he refused to do.

And the Nobel Committee, too, I denounce. Some have been saying that the prize will help Obama actually affect the diplomatic milestones the Committee wants to see. But I see the award, at least in the immediate future, actually hindering him. This latest stroke of European fawning plays into the right’s narrative of Obama as a Messiah international leftists are clamoring to anoint. Or more down-to-earth, the narrative of Obama as a “celebrity,” the winner of a global popularity contest upon whom all glories are lavished. Obama’s opponents will not only take him less seriously for accepting the award. They will also indict the entirety of the free world beyond US borders, as symbolized by socialistic Norway (”Isn’t Olso in the general vicinity of France?” I imagine them saying, and not caring that it isn’t). Thus they will retreat deeper into isolationist populism, protectionist madness, the assertion of “American exceptionalism,” and the mystic, apocalyptic justification of the same.

Obama’s party hasn’t helped him out, either. It was cowardly and intellectually lazy when Bush-era Republicans accused dissenters of treason. It remains deplorable when Democrats do the same,  and especially disconcerting when people with real power in the party engage in such noise. Take this sleeze, one Brad Woodhouse, DNC Communications Director, who said

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…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.

Update: Barbara Boxer is on board with the GOP=Taliban meme. Boo.

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3 Responses

  1. You said it perfectly. It’s absolutely absurd that he was given the Nobel Peace Prize! Had he made peace between Israel the Palestinians, or actually got some countries to lose their nukes, or … ANYTHING I might go along with it. As it is, he has done nothing. But then again, look at the list of past winners, the committee has often given the prize to odd fellows – Henry Kissinger for instance. I wish they would not, it cheapens the award.

  2. I feel like President Obama receiving the Peace Prize is paramount to all the exoticism that surrounds the Obamas. Remember those disgusting TY beanie doll versions of Malia Ann and Sasha? C-R-E-E-P to the Y. Everyone is sooo excited that we have a Black president (OMG!) and want to claim it’s “post racial” America that they forget that showing your excitement in commemorative “Yes We Did” trinkets and giving President Obama awards by the boat-load is the most blaring proof that we are not living in post-racial America. The man has not accomplished that much in his presidency. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t think President Obama is doing more than a fine job, I’m just saying that if he was white no one would have even thought of giving him the Nobel Peace Prize.

  3. Remember when Bill Clinton walked into North Korea and was like, “Hey North Korea, we’d like our journalists back” and they were all, “Why, of course Mr. President. We’re totally stupid. Here they are! Wanna have a brewski?”

    THAT deserves a Nobel Peace Prize more than Obama.

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