InternationalSnob, Obamarama

Nobel Peace Prize Causes Fight

While some of us are still recovering from our pleasant, but confusing surprise of the president winning the Nobel Peace Prize, some battlelines were drawn Friday.

On one side you had your pundits, negative nellies and conservative opposition frothing at the mouth (as they’re known to do), screaming that this is a travesty and will cause the end times, on the other you have the president’s defenders, suddenly super knowledgeable in Nobel Peace Prize committee rulings, defending why someone who is in the midst of executing two wars and still hasn’t figured out how to close Guantamano deserves a Peace Prize.

In the middle are me and several other folks who are happy for the president, but think the award was a tad premature. Obviously he’s inspired the world and the committee has the right to give the award to whomever they see fit, but even the president didn’t think he deserved it and was humbled by the whole experience. But at the end of the day, it’s a good thing and always a good thing when an American receives such a huge accolade.

More after the jump.

Of course, there’s no room for a middle in American politics. Stand in the road and you will get run over. Hence when I looked to see what other writers, pundits and politicos were saying, things were heavily split and partisan with the exception of a few, like academic Melissa Harris-Lacewell, who seemed just as initially stunned as I.

From Politico:

I assume Kanye West will be at the ceremony, where he will grab the mic and express the sheer madness of this choice. This president is still prosecuting two wars and just bombed the moon. I support my President, but Desmond Tutu he is not.

Within the scheme of people the Nobel Peace Prize committee has awarded in the past — from Henry Kissinger to Yasser Arafat — President Obama seems more desirable than say, an actual Vietnam-era warmonger and the former head of the PLO. And many people have received the award based on what they are going to do or plan to do, versus what they’ve already done (see every award given based on peace in the Middle East). And conservatives have to be careful not to turn this into “Chicago Loses the Olympics” all over again. While some people may be befuddled, the president winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a good thing for America. This is not the time to go on some bizarre tear where you appear to be longing for the days when the international community disliked the United States. Americans like to win things and like to be liked, loved even, more than feared and despised. President Obama inspires many people worldwide. Obviously this accolade is rooted in that inspiration.

Still, you can’t talk about President Obama in the US without a fight breaking out so, I’m just going to get out of the middle of the road and let everyone else have at it.

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14 thoughts on “Nobel Peace Prize Causes Fight

  1. Your examples of Yasar Arafat and Kissenger are good. But is Obama as good as say someone like Mother Therea or Nelson Mandela? I support Obama but I have to say that this feels more like a "thanks God you’re not GWB" than anything else. I know that he will do great things, he just has not done them yet.

  2. France says:

    I can understand Kissinger- singlehandedly coined "shuttle diplomacy" for what its worthand even Arafat- The Oslo Accords and the PLO denouncing terror were kindova big deal. They have set the framework for every (failed) MidE Peace plan. I’m over the initial shock lol; Congrats Obama!

  3. Yesterday after the annoucement I had a WTF moment. But after reading various opinions and watching my beloved MSNBC. I now understand why the President was given the honor. I think what his opponents don’t understand is they helped him get the Nobel Prize. In the face of adversity (or sheer hate) he’s still dedicated to his cause. To me the Nobel committee is saying: ‘The world is behind you Mr. President, we believe in you and your ability to bring about change, despite some of those crazy Americans who are praying for your failure’.

  4. stylishgurl says:

    I agree with everyone here! at first I was like WOOT, but got over it once I read the NPP committee statement! HOPE & CHANGE are still alive and well…..LOLBut I couldnot stomach the amount of hate that was thrown POTUS’s way….Seriously people! Just read a column by Peggy Noonan, suggesting how embarrassing it is for POTUS to win NPP, but hey Ronald Reagan (her old boss) should have won! Which is it? Hypocrisy makes me mad!

  5. This is why I pine for a strong centrist third political party based on responsibility. Some dignified compromise is sorely needed. Exactly the opposite is still happening. The most dangerous thing to be is a moderate anything; centrists are still being attrited heavily. Our political system has already reached a bimodal end-state. The public, academia, non-government organizations are evolving apace in that direction. Just about the only important institution pushing back against this megatrend is the current presidency. Yes, he is doing it standing on the left (where I usually stand too) but he is resisting the polarization.The most of the rest of the developed world understands this dynamic. What’s holding us back?Wishing you all progress.

  6. I too felt that the awarding of the prize to President Obama is a tad premature, until I did some research and found that the Nobel Committee awards the overt efforts towards more often than the actual result of peace. In light of that, the POTUS shouldn’t have to turn down the award, because he hasn’t done "enough" yet.

  7. Scott says:

    If Obama really did something to deserve the prize like taking the lead in creating a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian question I would fully support him getting the prize. How folks can defend giving him the prize for having done nothing when there were more deserving people this year is beyond me. From the reaction of the audience at the announcement of Obama clearly there were some others that thought it was an odd choice as well.

  8. canuck says:

    I’M actually surprised here at how many Americans(and i’m assuming many of you here are Americans)do not know what the NPP is really all about.

  9. Scott says:

    Canuck:Why don’t you enlighten us poor uneducated Americans? I think the ones who don’t know what the NPP is really all about are the socialists awarding the prize.

  10. David Wise says:

    Look at it this way, giving the award to Obama will effect more change in the world than giving it to a more deserving low-profile person.

  11. Nona says:

    I guess I’m with the minority of people who thinks the choice was bold, extremely smart and definitely a way of supporting a man who has reawakened global hope for a better world. So many of the opinions about the award have focused on what Obama hasn’t done to deserve it, but he has done more for the globe than anyone in recent history, by reawakening the hopes and aspirations of people from Brazil to Indonesia to Germany to South Africa. That is powerful stuff indeed and not to be undervalued.

  12. Khrish says:

    You know I even watched him at the Meeting of the Americas and how all the nations there seemed to just beam with joy at haing him there.. Our country has been so one sided in it’s outlook on the world these past eight years. There he was with all of them trying to get a photo op with him. A man who talked with them and listened to them. The great majority of these leaders have been ignored and pushed back by the past president. But with him they seemed to sense new hope and that made me happy. I was quite touched by the act of making things better by allowing more travel for the Cuban Americans to send things as well as see the families that are still living in Cuba.While it angers me, It just also saddens me to hear the hate talk from the Americans on the fringe right. I don’t think they really understand how behind our country has fallen during the last 8 years. And the saddest thing is that they don’t want to know. They enjoy wallowing in their ignorance so much so that they would cherish an idiot like Palin as the leader of this nation. This woman, who has now written a book, but seems to have never read one.

  13. Rick Beagle says:

    I am old enough to remember when Gorbachev came onto the scene, and the feelings he stirred in us all. He showed a Americans still gripped in the Cold War mentality, that hope and peace still had a chance. I think Obama does something similar for those outside the states. The fact that Peace has a chance again is really what this award means imho, which makes it well deserved.Let’s face it, the mad ravings of our GOP and their representatives is just plain scary if you live outside the States (and for many here as well). To see a President ascend that appears to want to try a different path is fairly appealing.Peace.Rick Beagle

  14. Scott says:

    Unlike Obama, three people that have actually done something to deserve the prize (in my opinion) are: Morgan Tsvangirai, Liu Xiaobo and Greg Mortenson. Are there others that anyone else can think of?

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