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Lindsay Beyerstein puts out the best defense I've seen of the Nobel Committee's choice here

Money quote: "Most commentators implicitly assume Obama won just for what he's done as president or what he promises to do in office. In fact, Obama earned the prize for waging a successful campaign to unseat a ruling party that rejected the rule of law at home and abroad.

[...]

If the 2008 election happened in Africa or the Middle East it would seem obvious that an opposition leader who restored the rule of law and set about reintegrating his country into the family of nations would be racking up points towards a Nobel Peace Prize before he even took the oath of office
."

Clearly Obama hasn't lived up to all of his promise, both the exaggerated image born out of last November's euphoria, and even the more restrained hopes that killjoys like me held (though at the time I said that he would be quite thoroughly hamstrung by America's thoroughly absurd poltical system and his desire to work within it rather than twist it into a pretzel like his predecessor).

It'll be difficult for many people with a more focused domestic (or near periphery) viewpoint to feel that he deserves this sort of accolade - and of course, given the sheer insanity of modern US political discourse, this may make things worse for him domestically. But, like I said in my initial post on the matter, at least he's not Kissinger - this is "unusual", not "absurd", and a preliminary effect on the biggest stage in the world might well mean more than something more solid on a lower level.

Call me an idealist, but I don't think the Nobel Committee should really consider political optics in making their choices.

Hopefully this is the last thing I end up saying on the matter - though at least it's marginally less banal than "Stephen Harper enjoys music, surely he isn't actually a Cylon" or "Governor General makes mild protocol faux-pas, gives Monarchist League their yearly dose of relevance", two other matters that've set Ottawa atwitter in the past week.

No (meaningful) news is good news, right? RIGHT? (wrong.)

Comments

( Walk among 3 shadows — Cast a shadow )
rumor_esq
Oct. 12th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
So which part of "indefinite detention", "extraordinary rendition" and "refusing to prosecute torturers" is restoring the rule of law, exactly?

This administration is the last one with a big happy face plastered on the front.
paleshadow
Oct. 12th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
The Smiler v. The Beast?
We've grown entirely too used to "taking what we can get" from the American electorate (who have in turn grown too used to "taking what they can get" from their various elites).

I think I may be being overly sanguine about all this just because I have low expectations of basically everybody that I don't personally know.

rumor_esq
Oct. 12th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Re: The Smiler v. The Beast?
Your reference is duly appreciated. ;)
( Walk among 3 shadows — Cast a shadow )