Sunday, October 11, 2009

An Ignoble Gesture

A question: if President Barack Obama truly deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, then why was there so much surprise when he was announced as the 2009 recipient?

Is Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize good for America if nobody can point to anything he’s accomplished during his brief time in the Oval Office that would merit such an award?

With the exception of extreme sycophants, nobody in the world is buying Obama’s peace prize “nobility”.

Adding to the absurdity of it all is that nominations were due only two weeks after Obama was inaugurated, further shortening the scope to unearth mighty deeds.

In an attempt to explain/justify/provide a good story, the award has, like the U.S. Constitution, assumed “living” status, in that it has grown from being given in recognition for having actually done something to a “pep talk” with Alfred Nobel’s profile.

Some have also tried to argue that he has already effected change in his nine months in office. Because President Obama immediately refined America’s tone in global affairs, the world is already a better place and peace in our time is imminent.

But shouldn’t the American voters get the credit for making the collective decision to shift the tone through the ballot box and not simply the messenger?

Rather than sifting through the crapulent excuses being offered in defense of the indefensible, let’s explore other possible reasons for Obama receiving what used to be a prestigious award that is now worth far less than the ten million kroner check that comes with it.

The body that actually decides who wins the annual peace award is the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which consists of five members selected by the Norwegian parliament, who all just so happen to be former members of the body. Three of the five members are associated with leftist Norwegian political parties with the other two associated with conservative groups.
Picture the House Ways and Means Committee having Oscar duties tacked to their responsibilities.

With such a composition, few objective people should be shocked that the likes of Jimmy Carter and Al Gore have been bestowed this accolade with Obama’s selection just completing the “go to hell” hat trick to former president George W. Bush.

Another possible reason for the premature award is that the Norwegians wanted the American celebrity-president to bless their capital with an appearance and they simply could not contain themselves to wait any further.

Europeans have been tripping over themselves for Obama much the same way they used to for the late Michael Jackson.

In 2008 I attended a conference of Denmark’s Venstre Ungdom, the youth wing of the country’s pro-market/pro-US governing party and was surprised how many of the attendees were euphoric for Obama. When I queried why people who are trying to move their socialist country in the opposite direction the Democratic nominee was trying to move the U.S., I couldn’t get an answer that conformed to their ideology. They couldn’t enunciate why they liked Obama, they only knew that they liked him.

Early on in his White House bid, Obama attempted to present himself in the aura of John F. Kennedy, our nation’s only deified president. Perhaps the Norwegians were hoping to get an “Ich bin ein Berliner” moment outside of Oslo city hall when Obama picks up the “other” medal being handed out in Scandinavia this year. Ever since the committee gave an award to Yasser Arafat, it could be assumed that the Nobel Peace Prize has depreciated enough in value to “key to the city” status…or DNC Party Service Award.

At this rate and if his health holds up, George McGovern might even have a crack at landing one. At least the former South Dakota senator has a legitimate claim through his service in his global school lunch program.

Instead of shedding light on a cause being championed by a human rights leader languishing in a labor camp somewhere, the Nobel Peace Prize committee chose to bask in the glow of someone whose face is already on enough magazine covers.

If they wanted to meet Obama so bad, the Norwegian panel would have done world peace and social justice a greater favor by just paying $5,000 a head to attend a rubber chicken Democratic campaign fundraiser.

If Obama wanted to extract himself from this public relations debacle while honoring the legacy of the worthy recipients of the past, the president should emulate Beyonce Knowles, who gracefully stepped aside in deference to a young lady whose moment in the sun had been denied by a egotistical thug, though one sans olive drab military uniform.

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