Um, Really?

Now, I cried like everyone else on election night. Just last night, I finished Brick City, which ended with Barack Obama’s election, and felt the need to watch his fantastic victory speech again. But Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, really? The dude just got started. Maybe you want to wait. But then, it is pretty full of audacity and hope, and that’s the president’s thing.

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10 thoughts on “Um, Really?

  1. Seanathan October 9, 2009 at 8:35 am Reply

    I heard that Colangelo wants to add Obama to the next U.S. Men’s Basketball team roster to try and get him a gold medal

    • Leigh October 9, 2009 at 9:00 am Reply

      lol.

      Obama’s also getting his own show on the Food Network to help people eat healthier, using veggies from Michelle’s garden. I hear it’s going to revolutionize attitudes towards wellness in the US – and possibly solve our obesity problem in the first season.

    • quadmoniker October 9, 2009 at 9:17 am Reply

      Also, he’s already on the short list for the Man Booker Prize for 2017 for the book he’ll inevitably write after he leaves office, for which he also will get a record breaking advance.

      • Leigh October 9, 2009 at 9:30 am Reply

        I hear Sarah Palin’s been shortlisted for this year. (Ok, too unreal to be funny?) lol

  2. ladyfresh October 9, 2009 at 10:11 am Reply

    My eyebrows shot sky high this morning…but…upon reviewing opinions and comments on blogs. I maybe warming up to this. A comment on http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/10/obama_wins_the_nobel.php#comments > TNC for example:

    Get your HTML codes here!
    “They’re reasonable questions. But the Peace Prize has a long history of being awarded for effort, not achievement. Think of past recipients. There was a string of prizes in the 1930s awarded to pacifists and diplomats, for such notable accomplishments as outlawing war and building the League of Nations. Well intentioned efforts, to be sure – but it’s difficult to point to any way at all in which the League succeeded in reducing conflict (in fact, it may well have exacerbated conflicts through its paralysis) and Kellogg-Briand has been more useful for prosecuting warmongers after the fact than forestalling them.

    The committee believes in diplomacy. That is, for members of the committee, posture is substance, not merely a means to an end. Re-engagement with international institutions, re-opening stalled negotiations, and re-affirming our commitments are all – in the eyes of the committee – actual, substantive accomplishments. It’s not a perspective I happen to share. I’m deeply skeptical of the diplomatic establishment, and tend to measure its accomplishments in far more practical terms. Treaties are meaningless, to me, unless they actually alter behaviors and outcomes.

    But let’s understand that this isn’t just a disagreement about what Obama has and has not done. It is, rather, part of a broader argument about the nature and meaning of diplomacy. The committee has a long history of honoring those who say the right things. This is no different – it’s just particularly stark. If Obama had secured some landmark treaties and accords, would that actually change the situation? Are treaties themselves substantive accomplishments? History is rife with examples of accords that were honored with Nobels, and then honored in the breach. Treaties, I would contend, are tools – some effective, and some not. Only the passage of time reveals whether they are more than words on paper. And I really don’t see how awarding prizes for words on paper is all that different than awarding one for words that have been spoken – in either case, the committee is affirming its faith that those words will ultimately lead to meaningful action. It’s not an approach of which I particularly approve, but I can’t see singling out this award as exceptional.

    Its still disorienting though…

    • ladyfresh October 9, 2009 at 10:12 am Reply

      wow i completely botched that code
      sorry folks

  3. Ron October 9, 2009 at 3:16 pm Reply

    What’s funny to me about all of the “huh, what?” responses is…I dunno. I think it puts even more undo pressure on him. But at the same time, I don’t really have any major gripes with it, because in the grand scheme of things, I don’t feel like it was a horrible choice. Only because of particular people who’ve received the award that have huge figures on the global stage is their a belief that one has to have “done something significant” to warrant it.

    I think he’s accomplished that to be where he is on the world stage at this moment. And he’s almost too damn interested in conciliation and peacemaking, rather than fighting the battles that folks who are really in his corner want him to fight.

    So really, they got it right. It’ll making people burn red and I think the rancor about saying that he doesn’t deserve it undermines him in the same way that Chicagoans asking him to come to Copenhagen in a last ditch hope his presence would help their doomed bid undermined him at a time when he really didn’t need it.

    The more I see this all play out, the less I like it. But I saw it coming when he ran. He’s pretty much in a no-win situation, because of the circumstances.

    • quadmoniker October 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm Reply

      But you do have to have done something significant. Here is the mandate for the prize from Nobel’s will, which says it should go “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

      It doesn’t mean Obama’s not a good guy, but it is a bit lazy. It seems like they’re awarding it to him for talking a good game, or for being so much better than his notoriously horrible predecessor. I don’t think it will ultimately matter that much, but I kind of wonder what’s up with the committee.

      • Ron October 9, 2009 at 3:38 pm Reply

        I’ve been wondering what’s up with them for a while. So I dunno, maybe that’s why I was so cynical (and not surprised) about it. As if they were thinking, “well this will get folks talking about the award again…”

  4. -k- October 10, 2009 at 7:50 am Reply

    If I were him I think I’d be a bit disappointed. I’m disappointed. In a way, they robbed him of the chance to really earn it, you know? I’d like to think that over the next couple of years, he could’ve done the significant amount of work necessary to merit this type of recognition (and I hope he will). But this does seem hugely political, and a slap in the face to other contenders, and kind of ‘welp, he’s really good at not being George Bush’. That it comes at a moment when a lot of his supporters are feeling less than enthused by the way he’s handling some things means that he’s been put in a very difficult position, despite the fact that this wasn’t something he asked for or claimed to be deserving of.

    Overall I just think this was a bad move on the Committee’s part. I don’t know what they were going for, really, but it probably does more harm than good.

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