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  • Why? Did They Have a Spare One Laying Around?

    Posted by Shannon Love on October 9th, 2009 (All posts by )

    When I told my son that Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize he at first thought I was joking. When I told him they really did he said, “Why? Did they have a spare one laying around?”

    Never has any Nobel Peace Prize winner done so little to deserve what used to be an honor. It is especially ridiculous given his utter lack of accomplishments as President (as lampooned by this SNL skit).

    As a sociological/psychological phenomenon, the awarding of the prize is especially revealing given that the nomination deadline for this year’s prize was February 1st. That’s right, Obama was nominated for the Peace Prize when he had been in office for only two weeks!. This award reveals the left’s love of fantasy over reality. Leftists all over the world have created a massive fantasy construction based around Obama being the mythic hero who will save the world by virtue of his being a superman who transcends the grubby vices that the rest of us wallow in. It’s like he’s cast as the uberhero in the pseudo-intellectual’s version of World of Warcraft and the geeks from Norway just logged on.

    Put starkly, Obama is not an extraordinary or accomplished individual in the domain of American politics. He has never accomplished anything of note apart from winning various offices. Instead, his entire career has been to serve as a living symbol of other people’s moral evolution. That is why he is President of the United States and that is why he got the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize committee is using Obama to demonstrate their own righteousness. They have no interest in rewarding actual accomplishment because for them, as leftists, simply believing in the fantasy of a better world is just as virtuous as actually making the world a better place.

    Obama is far from alone in being a living symbol of other people’s morality. Since the late ’70s, describing an individual as the first black, female, disabled, etc. person to do ‘X’ has ceased to indicate an extraordinary individual. Instead, it merely indicates that some organization needs a public relations stunt to demonstrate their lack of prejudice. The organization reaches out to grab anyone with the right innate characteristics and they hold a press conference.

    When Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in baseball, he didn’t do it because the owners, management and players of the Dodgers wanted to demonstrate their racial enlightenment. He did it because he had such great skill at baseball that he provided an enormous economic advantage to the owners, management and players. Indeed, when Robinson was first put on the team, the players mutinied and refused to play with him. Manager Leo Durocher famously ended the mutiny by saying:

    “I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin’ zebra. I’m the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What’s more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded.”

    Free-market-driven “greed” caused the owners, managers and players of the Dodgers to overlook their presumed moral obligations to individually sacrifice economically to preserve the racist order of society for the greater good. Robinson wasn’t let into the club out of high minded ideals or pity. He kicked the door down.

    Obama never kicked down any doors. No one has ever said of Obama, “Yeah, he’s black and I don’t like that but he’s such a damn good lawyer/community organizer/politician that I will overlook his race in order to get the enormous benefits he could bring me.”

    Instead, people have chosen Obama so that they could hold him up as proof to the rest of the world that they were not racist. Obama began his meteoric rise when he was selected to be the “first black” editor of the Harvard Law Review. Now, are we to believe that the Harvard Law school in the ’90s was stuffed wall to wall with racists who had to hold their noses and vote for Obama because, just like Robinson, he was just so damn good at the law?

    No one thinks that. At best, the people selecting Obama simply didn’t take his race into account. However, given the hoopla surrounding his election to chief editor, we can safely assume they selected him first and foremost because of his race and only secondarily for his skills. They didn’t select Obama in spite of their racial attitudes, they selected him so he could serve as an external symbol of their lack of racism. Any black Harvard law student with acceptable grades could have served such a symbolic purpose. Obama was nothing special.

    Obama’s next leg up came when he was awarded a book contract based solely on his being “the first black” editor of the Harvard Law Review. Certainly, nothing in his tenure as editor justified such attention. Apparently devoid of any creative legal insights, he instead wrote a book about himself. Tellingly, the book isn’t about his accomplishments but rather about how factors over which he had no control, his heritage, his childhood, etc. influenced him. Again, the Obama in the book became useful to other people as a symbol of those people’s own morality. They used Obama to demonstrate their open mindedness by supporting someone with such an unusual background. Obama didn’t awe them with his long list of accomplishments at the age of 27.

    This process continued all the way up to the presidential election. As the backlash against politically-managed health care, cap and trade, nationalization, etc. has shown, far fewer people support his far-left agenda than voted for him. Obama’s margin of victory depended heavily on people who “wanted to vote for the first black President.” People pointed to Obama as an “inspiring” and “transformative” potential President solely for two reasons: (1) like a skilled actor, he could give a good speech and (2) he was black. A big chunk of votes for Obama both in the primaries and the general election came from people who wanted to use Obama as a symbol for their own moral superiority.

    Had Democrat primary voters wanted to select someone based on (leftist) merit Hillary Clinton would have made a better choice. She had actual experience working in the White House and she had seen what happens when a President misreads his mandate and tries to push through a sweeping nationalization of a big chunk of the economy. She is also by most accounts a skilled political horse trader. Of course, even Clinton got a boost from the “first woman to do X.”

    People who voted for Obama didn’t expect Obama to transform America because of his long track record of successful political accomplishments. Good things would happen after Obama’s election because the mere fact that he was elected would demonstrate that enough people in America had the proper mindset needed to accomplish the transformation. They expected him to transform America by serving as a symbol, a visual indicator to everyone else, of the transformation that each individual citizen had made in their own hearts. He won the Nobel Peace prize for the same reason.

    I am hoping against hope that Obama will refuse the prize. As much as I would like to see much (but not all ) of his domestic agenda fail, it is vital that the office of the President of the United States not become a joke. It is fine for a leader to be hated and feared. Indeed, any leader of good character wants the bad guys to hate and fear them. Roosevelt like the idea that Hitler hated him and Truman like the fact that Stalin hated Truman even more. No leader, however, can survive being viewed as ridiculous. No institution can long survive with a ridiculous leader.

    Nothing makes a leader look more shallow, hollow and unworthy than unearned accolades. Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize after being in office for only 9 months makes him look like Saddam or some other dictator being awarded honors by the people he terrorizes. Just as the world laughed when Saddam won 100% of the Iraqi vote, the world will laugh at Obama (and by extension America) for winning a popularity contest among leftists based on two weeks of work.

    We should all cross our fingers and pray he does the right thing. Given the incredible and unconscious narcissism of Obama and those who surround him, I don’t expect him to have that much self-awareness.

    But, I can always hope he will change.

     

    20 Responses to “Why? Did They Have a Spare One Laying Around?”

    1. knirirr Says:

      Such is the bizarre nature of this award that I have even heard it said on BBC Radio 4, of all places, that Obama received it for “not being Bush.”

    2. Anonymous Says:

      As a friend pointed out, uchicago gets to add another nobel laureate notch to the pelt.

    3. Shannon Love Says:

      Knirirr,

      Such is the bizarre nature of this award that I have even heard it said on BBC Radio 4, of all places, that Obama received it for “not being Bush.”

      How sad is it to win an award because of the shadow cast by another person? Will Obama’s legacy be that “he wasn’t Bush?”

    4. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I’m not Bush … so, can I have a Nobel Peace Prize? I think the medal itself is sort of tacky, but I could use the money that goes with it… ;-)

    5. morgan Says:

      Obama’s awared: the triumph of BS and “spin” over sweat and toil.

    6. Robert Schwartz Says:

      The 1992 Peace Prize was given to Rigoberta Menchu “in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples”. Her sole accomplishment was being the subject of a fraudulent “autobiography” which was written by a Venezuelan “anthropologist” Elisabeth Burgos-Debray. She was the wife of French “philosopher” Regis Debray, who is chiefly famous for having been embedded with Che Guevara during Guevara’s ill fated 1967 attempt to foment a communist revolution in Bolivia.

      Hard to say which prize was lamer.

      Allow me to toot my own horn for my prescience:

      From these pages on September 4th, 2008 at 7:37 pm:

      Obama is an empty suit who has done absolutely nothing except work on his memoirs and run for office. He is a lawyer who never went to court. A law professor who never wrote an scholarly article. A state senator who voted present. A community organizer? Give me a break that is a meaningless title and job. Oh yes, a US senator, who spent his single term there running for higher office. I assume that if he loses, the next volume of his memoirs (working title: “Why Are Those People So Mean to Me”) will be out next year.

      Here is my question what is the best name for him: 0bama, ØBama, Nobama, N0bama, NØbama, Zer0bama, ZerØbama?

    7. Sgt. Mom Says:

      As a nickname for the current resident of the White House, I kind of like the Obaminator.

    8. Mrs. Davis Says:

      Obumble.

    9. Dan from Madison Says:

      Over at Wizbang they are encouraging people to write in BO for the Heisman Trophy voting at a poll on ESPN. He has done just as much to win that award as he did the peace prize imho.

    10. Tatyana Says:

      Milo, as one LJ blogger said: OK, Obama is not Bush. But who IS he?

    11. Helen Says:

      It could have been worse. They could have given the Peace Prize to a real terrorist who actually unleashed a war. Oh wait, they gave it to Arafat. Come on guys, how can you debase the Nobel Peace Prize? The science ones matter and the US, as usual did very well. The economics and literature ones are given on the basis of Buggins’s turn though this year the literature winner is, at least, not someone anybody can be ashamed of (there have been many of those). But the Peace Prize? A sick joke at best. I suppose Teddy Roosevelt deserved it.

    12. veryretired Says:

      As far as I’m concerned, whether Obama deserves the prize or not is not the significant issue.

      What concerns me is that this award is a fairly blatant attempt by the nobel elitists to manipulate the President of the US toward certain policy directions that may be very pleasing to a European intellectual, but might not be in the best interests of this country.

      The award says, “Don’t worry, Pres. Obama, we support you, especially as you seem to want to decide to wind down the war in Afghanistan instead of reinforce your troops there, and, even more importantly, we just know you would never respond militarily to any action by Iran. If you did, then you just wouldn’t be our big, strong peacemaker, would you?”

      An award for not being Bush? Certainly. But even more, a carrot to lead the easily taken in down policy paths held in high esteem by the very people who have abdicated any global responsibility beyond high talk and meaningless conferences to conclude toothless agreements.

      Beneath the superficial foolishness, there is a deeper and darker motive in play here.

    13. Jonathan Says:

      I agree with Veryretired. The USA has many competitors and adversaries. Not all of them use force to try to influence us.

    14. bgates Says:

      What concerns me is that this award is a fairly blatant attempt by the nobel elitists to manipulate the President of the US toward certain policy directions that may be very pleasing to a European intellectual, but might not be in the best interests of this country.

      That would be like Megan Fox giving Quaaludes to Bill Clinton to trick him into doing something that she might find enjoyable, but would not be in keeping with his marital vows.

      If anybody can figure out a blatant attempt to manipulate the President of the US towards certain policy directions that may not be very pleasing to a European intellectual, but would be in the best interests of this country, do it.

    15. renminbi Says:

      A worthy comment:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f61KMw5zVhg

    16. anon Says:

      America got the award! nah. predicable snarky remarks, with the expected negative nay saying that seems the very nature of any political remarks at the site instead of positive offerings…negativity is draining. go forth and change thy ways.

    17. Shannon Love Says:

      Anon,

      … with the expected negative nay saying that seems the very nature of any political remarks at the site instead of positive offerings…negativity is draining.

      Man, that’s just modern leftism in a nutshell. Attitude and words mean everything, actions and their effects mean nothing.

      Fine, have your way. Yea! America got an award for electing someone with a long track record of opposing democracy around the world! We’ve return to the mold of the people who brought “peace” (along with mass murder, tyranny and poverty) to Indochina! Hurray! The European chattering classes love us! Only those jerks in Eastern Europe like the old us better!

      You know, there is a lot of research in psychology that shows that people who who are bombarded with approval for being good people are less likely to make moral decisions than those who are criticized. You might think about that while your on your little self-esteem instead of accomplishments kick.

    18. AMac Says:

      When he flies to Scandinavia to accept the award, President Obama will be accompanied by Rev. Wright (for moral inspiration), Tony Rezko (for practical advice), and Bill Ayers (for help polishing the acceptance speech).

    19. Trent Telenko Says:

      Shannon,

      This the best one-liner I have heard to date on Obama’s NPP win:

      “Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize reduces the chances of someone trying to off him, because he’ll just rise after three days.”

    20. Trent Telenko Says:

      Shannon,

      In the hard to believe, but par for the course catagory is this statement from the DNC

      http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1009/DNC_official_GOP_siding_with_terrorists.html#

      “The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO.

      Considering that Pres. Bill Clinton — neither a conservative nor a Republican — imposed a just peace in Bosnian and Albania over Serbian agression when no one else would, thus saving the lives of millions of Bosnian and Albanian Muslims in the 1990’s from Serbian rape camps (young women), ethnic cleansing killing fields (all men) and lime kilns (for the bodies)

      And he got bubkis from the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

      While in the 12 days the Nobel comittee had to consider him, OBAMA DID NOTHING OF MERIT save start giving American tax payer money for foreign aid paid for abortions.

      Yet the DNC is defending Obama’s Nobel Peace prize as if American Republicans criticizing, by his choice, were doing the same thing as beheading innocents like the Taliban…?

      Proportion is not the province of the American Left anymore.