Friday, October 9, 2009

Big Mistake, Barack

Barack. Buddy. We gotta talk.

Listen, I know you're doing everything you can to engage with other nations and lay down some real diplomatic roadways so that the US can crawl its way out of the international relations morass your predecessor created. Really. We all get it. We know you're working hard out there.

But this Nobel Prize thing? Honestly? Not a good move.

Sure, many of my friends on the left will look at me askance here. We (in general) love our President and want him to succeed. On the surface, the Nobel Prize for Peace looks like a giant win. It looks like affirmation from the world that Barack Obama is respected and a positive change from The Last Guy.

Unfortunately, the local ramifications are troublesome. Let's face it: the guy is in the PROCESS of accomplishing things, but there isn't a whole lot to hang a Nobel Peace Prize on yet. I am willing to wager that he'll have accomplished a lot of good by the end of his term (hopefully two terms), but he's not there yet, and the awarding of the prize is embarrassing.

If, on the other hand, the President had graciously refused the prize, he would have earned himself an ENORMOUS amount of political capital. Can you imagine the speech? "I cannot accept the honor of this accolade until we have accomplished what we've set out to do." I mean for God's sake, it practically writes itself. The Republicans would have been falling all over themselves trying to find some way to criticize it.

And yet here we are with a Nobel awardee President and massive amounts of fodder for conservative attacks, with no additional "oomph" for the President's agenda.

Bad form, Barack. Bad form.


Henry Vasquez said...

I couldn't agree more. Should have turned it down. They would have given it to him another (more deserving) time anyway. It would have been a very classy move to make.

BTW- Why the HELL do people blame Obama because someone else is giving him an award? That's like me making fun of you because some nasty chick has a crush on you. How childish!

Bill said...

The worst part is that nominations for the Nobel Prize had to be postmarked by February 1 of this year. So Obama had been nominated after literally having accomplished nothing

Anonymous said...

What are the actual chances of him getting the award at some other time if he had turned it down? Doesn't seem likely. But Obama NOT getting this (now or in the future) doesn't detract from the things he's working toward; on the other hand, his receiving this award did retract from those who could use the press and recognition.

Of course Obama receiving this award was not his fault. It was poorly thought out by the Europeans if they were trying to do him any good, since it seems rather obvious they didn't. But turning it down would have possibly caused some unneeded tension with our European friends, who seem a tad overenthusiastic about our fortunate change in political leadership.

A frustrating story to have to hear for many, sadly.

LeftCoastLefty said...

Bad form? Come on. Let's all simmer down now... it's not like he was out lobbying for this or something, it was bestowed upon him by people who thought this through pretty well.

Rachel Maddow's segment on this tonight was excellent.

The part of this criticism I really disagree with is when you mention how it provides needless fodder for Republican critics. Come on. These assholes celebrated when America lost it's bid for the Olympics. Fuck them. They will complain about everything and everything the President does. As Congressman Grayson said in a speech on the House floor, if the President order's a BLT today, the Republicans will ban together to outlaw bacon tomorrow.

I understand your reservations about this. I was surprised myself. But the more I looked into it, the more I agree with the decision. I think it is a bold statement of acceptance of the strides the President has tried to make so far in restoring our nation's relationships with the world, and the pursuit of noble goals like nuclear arms reduction. And on top of that, it really raises the standards that he must live up to. And I am happy with that.