As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, October 09, 2009

Did They Not See The SNL Sketch?

The Nobel Peace Prize? Really? Really. Um, really? Srsly? OK. No, wait, really?

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday

Say that again.

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday

I'm going to have to ask for it one more time.

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.

Nobel observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline.

OK. I've digested it.

Important to note that the President didn't go to Oslo to ask for this. He didn't have a team of lobbyists swirling around Norway. In fact, they seem as taken by surprise as anyone else.

FWIW, I think putting the United States on a path of diplomacy and multilateralism HAS made the world a more peaceful place. I think calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons IS noble. I think engaging the Muslim world WILL yield rewards. Cheneyist foreign policy was so damaging to the global equilibrium that anything contrasting it necessarily is a marked improvement.

That said, this is just weird. Not so weird that you have to be a malingerer about it like Richard Cohen or a concern troll like Mickey Kaus or a straight-up attack dog like the entire Republican Party. But weird, nonetheless.

I think Spencer Ackerman has as good a take as I've seen.

But turning it down would be a slap in the face to an international community that is showing, in the most generous way possible, that it wants the U.S. back as a leading component of the global order. The issue is not Barack Obama. It’s what the president represents internationally: a symbol of an America that is willing, once again, to drive the international system forward, together, toward the humane positive-sum goals of peace and disarmament. The fact that Obama hasn’t gotten the planet there misses the point entirely. It’s that he’s beginning, slowly, to take the world again down the path.

Still weird, but that's the closest interpretation I can manage. This is basically a real gift, and Obama can choose to use it on the journey toward global peace, or he can reject through in his actions. Maybe the enormity of the prize and the willingness to follow through on the mission will keep him from stumbling off the path.

...Wow, the DNC hits back HARD.

"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. "Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize - an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride - unless of course you are the Republican Party.

"The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It's no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it's an embarrassing label to claim," Woodhouse said.

The Grayson effect has really stiffened the spines out in Washington.

...I think what this says about the world is that yes, the Bush era was really that bad. Josh Marshall and Steve Benen have more.

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