October 9, 2009

Cult of Personality

So Barack Obama just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Why? He hasn't done anything yet. Apparently he was nominated for it as early as February when he had only been president for a couple of weeks.

It's great that a sitting president of my country has been awarded this prize, and I'd certainly rather have him get it than, say, Yasser Arafat, but is it too much to ask that he first broker a peace treaty somewhere?

UPDATE: Don't miss Nick Gillespie's coverage at Reason TV.

UPDATE: I'm afraid I agree with Noah Pollak today:

Here is the test of whether Barack Obama and his senior advisers are in touch with the real world or whether they indeed have floated off into Neverland on an opium cloud of narcissism and self-regard. If Obama is capable of the slightest political sobriety, he will quickly reject the Prize, for all the obvious and sensible reasons — and for the political benefit of helping dispel the growing perception that he is out of touch with basic bourgeois modesty and is completely in love with himself. If he accepts it, the notion that Obama is arrogant and does not understand the fundamental difference between words and action, leadership and celebrity, competence and theater, will be given a tremendous boost.
Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 9, 2009 1:53 PM
Comments

Well,
I guess its not too surprising when today a kid just has to show up at school and demand at least a "B" for just being there.
Hey, and why do any work when the main goal is just to feel good about yourself.
Is there a Nobel prize for "wishful thinking".
I don't know what's worse, being given the prize or Obama's acceptance.
"What a world what a world" Maybe the Nobel Committee should just melt away.

Posted by: JB Author Profile Page at October 9, 2009 2:53 PM

The award of the Noble Peace Prize for 2009 to President Obama is most fitting and a cap to his political campaign for the presidency: "Hope and Change." However, IMHO, Obama is seeking the peace of the "forever eternal" for this country and that should not be.

The Reason.TV parody on the Obama award says it for me. A ridiculous award to a ridiculous person.

Posted by: ColdWarWarmHeart Author Profile Page at October 9, 2009 3:48 PM

Pathetic joke.

Posted by: Paul S. Author Profile Page at October 9, 2009 5:53 PM

Here's an excellent short summation by Daniel Pipes. See if this link works:

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2009/10/that-nobel-peace-prize-bashes-bush-handcuffs-obama

Posted by: Morningside Author Profile Page at October 9, 2009 6:14 PM

Pipes: "Second, the prize committee hopes to constrain Obama's hands vis-à-vis Iran."

I do not think Pipes makes a good point. It is not Obama whom Norwegian Leftists should be worried about.

And regarding actual Nobel Prize award, I want to see what Obama is going to about it (words do not count) before I label him anything. I give him a week, I think it is sufficient. Although I must confess, I do not hold my hopes high.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at October 9, 2009 7:17 PM

So, here's where we stand:
The inventor of dynamite established a prize for Peace which is awarded by a small committee of Norwegians.
This prize has accreted layers of prestige over the years; and, if we believe a large portion of the world's open mouthed astonishment at Obama's receipt of this...when nominations were closed eleven days after his inauguration....it seems that any value associated with it has now evaporated.
No one's silky phrases can alter that reality. The Peace Prize is now cheapened for whoever else may receive it.

Posted by: Morningside Author Profile Page at October 9, 2009 8:06 PM

"The Peace Prize is now cheapened for whoever else may receive it."

After Arafat and Gore anything goes.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at October 9, 2009 8:37 PM

I am frightened by this award. People are not separating spectacle from reality. Things are at a crisis.

Posted by: LarryL Author Profile Page at October 9, 2009 8:57 PM

When the Nobel brain trust gave it to Arafat is when they drove their franchise into the ground. I haven't paid attention to it since.

Pipes is right - Obama should decline to accept. Shyeahh, as if.

Posted by: Li'l Mamzer Author Profile Page at October 10, 2009 5:27 AM

The Nobel Peace Prize has for a long time largely been a facade for lending support to anti-American personages or agendas.

Posted by: Squires Author Profile Page at October 10, 2009 6:43 AM

I happen to agree with Friedman on this one (which, while rare, does happen)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/opinion/11friedman.html?em

Posted by: AO Author Profile Page at October 12, 2009 7:34 AM

And in other news ...

The pope has recently announced the canonization of several new saints, Mr. Obama among them.

/sarcasm

Posted by: Boojum Author Profile Page at October 12, 2009 10:02 AM

"sarcasm"

Do not rush to judgment.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at October 12, 2009 10:12 AM

My initial response (and I voted for Obama) was that it doesn't say very good things about the Nobel committee. Your original comment, Michael, is word perfect. And I can see Noah Pollak's argument- in fact as regards Obama himself I agree with it.

On the other hand, a certain part of this is a signal from a part of the European left that they are willing to look to America for moral leadership again. I think that rejecting the prize would send the wrong message to this political constituency, with potential costs for the US when we look for additional NATO support in places like Afghanistan. If it provides a little extra running room for those who want to defend the ideas of democracy and freedom against Muslim totalitarianism, it might be worth it. If it constrains them more, it's a bad bargain.

Posted by: gnana Author Profile Page at October 12, 2009 1:13 PM
Post a comment









Remember personal info?




Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Read my blog on Kindle



blogads-blog-button.png


Recommended Reading




Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/mjt001/public_html/archives/2009/10/cult-of-persona.php on line 322

Warning: include(http://michaeltotten.com/mt_essays.php): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/mjt001/public_html/archives/2009/10/cult-of-persona.php on line 322

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://michaeltotten.com/mt_essays.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/mjt001/public_html/archives/2009/10/cult-of-persona.php on line 322