Premature adulation

Posted in , Society at 9:03 by RjZ

I’ll just quote from the Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times:

“I am a genuine admirer of Obama. And I am very pleased that George W. Bush is no longer president. But I doubt that I am alone in wondering whether this award is slightly premature. It is hard to point to a single place where Obama’s efforts have actually brought about peace – Gaza, Iran, Sri Lanka?”

I remember the complaints about Al Gore winning. I defended that choice a little here on this blog, but this is gone even further. Does this make sense to anyone who isn’t still starry eyed about our president? Aren’t we lead to believe the peace prize is about accomplishments and not just hope?

Update: The left don’t think he deserved it (he’s escalating in Afghanistan). The right think it’s pure politics (call it the not George W. Bush award.) The only way to make this a positive is for him to have the character to decline.

Update: Well, clever guy that he is, he didn’t decline, but instead accepted the prize “as an affirmation of American leadership,” and a “call to action.” It’s a thoughtful response, but I don’t think it will do at all. He will still live under the shroud of “he didn’t deserve it.” Good news, Obama won’t suffer as much as the Nobel Peace Prize which now will have about as much credibility as the Oscars.


  1. pk said,

    October 10, 2009 at 14:06

    I’m a bit torn. I agree that it’s totally premature and kinda makes a joke of it, but I also can’t blame the prize committees desire to help Obama. We’ve wasted eight crucial years making things worse financially and ecologically under Bush & Cheney, and those were eight years we didn’t have. Finally Americans come around to elect an intelligent man who dares to tackle the big issues such as health care, ecology, nuclear proliferation, international diplomacy, etc. (and in a manner that suggests he’s not a complete corporate whore, which cannot be said for his predecessors) and he is meeting so much resistance at every step of the way that at a time when radical steps are needed all he can hope to do is pass watered down legislation that is business-as-usual.

    I simply can’t blame the international community for trying to give him a leg up. Was it a bad move to accept the prize, donate the money to a good cause, and acknowledge that the prize was not awarded to him so much as the ideals for a better future that many hoped he would represent? I weigh that against how his declining the prize might be perceived internationally and think this is part of the diplomacy he represents. In other words, he was being gracious. Domestically? He’s screwed no matter what. The roar from people aligning themselves to see him fail at all costs is getting more shrill with each passing month.

    It is time for us to ask ourselves how WE are spending OUR energy. Are we contributing to the noise that allows us to backslide into the paralysis of analysis (or even worse: complete idiocy)? Or are we going to roll up our sleeves and add our voices to the causes that will help curb further damage and hopefully even improve the lives of not just ourselves, but of future generations?

    Put another way: Who do you want to be? The guy who spends time and effort to torpedo a group that helps poor people (ACORN) or the guy who helps to volunteer at the homeless shelter? Pick your battles.

  2. RjZ said,

    October 19, 2009 at 2:36

    As you could tell by my update, I am inclined, mostly to agree with you. But thanks, especially, for your thoughtful comments.

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