Friday the Nobel committee gave Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for being Barack Obama. This is entirely appropriate as being Barack Obama is Barack Obama’s greatest and only achievement in life, so far.
He has never been in the private sector or the military, or accomplished anything in the public sector short of getting himself elected to an escalating snowball of offices simply for being Barack Obama. He did nothing as a state senator, or a US senator and other than double the debt and accrete power to a listless and bloated government, he did nothing in the paltry few weeks he was President before being nominated for this ignoble Peace Prize.
Of course, he need not actually do anything really, since the man claims his own existence as an inspiration to the world.
It is the latest in a long series of Obama’s personal triumphs that have been graded on a curve. His whole life, he has been invited into one opportunity after another and then hailed as in inspirational symbol for not stumbling as he walked, escorted, through the wide open door. It is said that great men often stand upon the shoulders of giants, but Obama is a first — a man who has ridden to greatness on the shoulders of an army of fawning dwarves — and now the Nobel committee can be counted among this low-slung throng.
Looked at this way, you can see that it was in no way too early to award a Nobel to Obama, since merely holding office is likely to be his greatest positive achievement as President. Obama is not a leader so much as an emotionally pleasing symbol for his supporters, rather like the Queen of England. He’s really a ceremonial figure. Unfortunately for us, the Presidency is not a ceremonial office and the worst-case scenario is that eventually Obama might actually manage to do something with his powerful office, possibly by accident or at the instruction of an nefarious force – or even worse, Rahm Emmanuel.
An interesting possibility would be actually making Obama the “Queen” of the United States and allowing him to serve a purely symbolic role — giving speeches, talking to students, organizing little parties to bring together professors and cops – that sort of thing. And then we can elect a more substantive and less likeable person to actually run things (i.e. be President).
But what to call Obama the Symbol? (“Queen” is already taken and probably trademarked). How about “Outreach Coordinator” or “Feelgooder in Chief”? or maybe “Host of the Nation”? “Dalai Obama?”
I’m being a little harsh, of course. It’s not true that Obama has accomplished nothing other than being elected. Now he has helped to devalue the Nobel Peace Prize. We are under no obligation to accept a prize offered undeservedly, which Obama admitted was the case in his acceptance speech (most of which, it should be noted, consisted of Barack describing what Barack did all morning after Barack found out that Barack won the Nobel Prize for being Barack).
As Obama said of Obama’s Obama Prize: “Let me be clear. I do not view it as recognition of my own accomplishments…” yet it did not seem strange to him that he should win purely for his symbolic value.
Even the Obama-sycophant media had trouble describing exactly what had occurred when Barack won his Prize, and why. My personal favorite was msnbc.com’s headline “World Cheers, Puzzles at Obama Prize.” In other words, “Oh man, I’m so glad I don’t know why he won!”
CNN.com declared in its headline “Obama’s Win Unique Among Presidents.” True. Most presidents actually have to do something to win, in addition to just being Democrats. But looked at another way, Obama’s win was not unique at all. President Jimmy Carter won his Peace Prize merely for having once been president and yet not being George W. Bush. Then Vice President Al Gore won for having almost been president and yet not being George W. Bush. Now President Barack Obama has won for having (just) been President and yet not being George W. Bush. Perhaps they should rename it the “Nobush Prize.”
I wonder if the three of them have ever thought of writing George a simple thank you note for the three Nobel prizes he’s gotten them? It seems like common courtesy to me. Mohammed El Baradei should sign it as well.
Of course, all three men followed in the bootsteps of Mikhail Gorbachev, who won the Prize in 1990 merely for having been a (communist) president and yet not being Ronald Reagan. When Gorbachev won, his leadership had brought his nation to the start of total implosion, so the similarities there just continue!
In the end though, it is the Nobel committee that has tarnished the Prize it throws around like a leftist party favor. This award solidifies the Peace Prize as a discredited joke assigned by a gang of clueless ideologues. To give it to Barack Obama just 8.5 months into his Presidency is like giving the Nobel Prize for Medicine to a medical student just for getting into medical school.
But this is what happens when you make small men the judges of great things. They seek not to honor greatness, but only to try to harness greatness to their own ends, to control it, direct it and will it upon their stunted visions. In the end, though, great men need no award other than their impact upon the world, and no award, however hyped, can serve as a surrogate for such honest impact.