President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize: Prepare for Racist Backlash

Today, the leading news story is that President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.”

Given the vitriol that’s been directed at Obama throughout his campaign and since his election as president, much of it fueled by racism, I predict that this amazing news will prompt a torrent of racist backlash.  There’s some precedent for this if we look to the historic example of the reaction when Martin Luther King won the Nobel Prize in 1964.  As James Fallows wrote in 2007 (after Al Gore won the Nobel):

“I am old enough… well, there are many ways to end that sentence, but for now: I am old enough to remember, from my school years, the disdainful reaction in my home town to the news that Martin Luther King had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

The reaction was, of course, racial at its root. This was a majority-white, minority-Hispanic small town with very few black residents, which went for Barry Goldwater over Lyndon Johnson in the presidential election that same fall.

But the stated form of the objection concerned not King’s race but his obnoxiousness as a man. He was a windbag. He was pompous and self-dramatizing, He was holier than thou. Plus, he had started getting involved where he didn’t belong, in raising questions about the Vietnam War. Through the rest of Martin Luther King’s life, the father of my best home-town friend always went out of his way to refer sneeringly to “Martin Luther Nobel.”

I’d be happy to be proven wrong on this prediction and see everyone celebrate this award.

Comments

  1. Hannah

    I have decided not to get on any social networking sites today; I have already seen some comments such as “we’re giving out Nobel Peace Prizes for nothing?” from white users. Who is we? White people? Jessie, I don’t understand how you handle looking at all this cyber racism. It is exhausting and upsetting. Thanks for all you do on this site. It is so important, and I don’t think I could do it.

  2. And yet, what about those of us who truly believe that Obama doesn’t deserve this prize? Those of us who realize that he has only reinforced Israel’s apartheid policies by refusing to insist that Israel not only stop building (which they haven’t) but also demolish settlements.

    Frankly, Obama is only playing into the hands of Israeli racism toward Arabs. I don’t think that’s Nobel-prize worthy at all.

  3. Jessie Author

    Thanks, Hannah. I don’t actually seek out the cyber racism (especially now that I’m done with the book) but I seem to run across it pretty frequently, perhaps most disturbingly, here at this blog. (I continue to delete hate-filled comments on the recent post about the attack on the interracial couple.)
    .
    Just listening to President Obama’s speech and his call to “pursue a new beginning…based on mutual respect” across all kinds of differences, racial, ethnic and religious. I do really wonder about how to work toward that when so many still seem so deeply entrenched in profound racism.

  4. Jessie Author

    Jillian ~ you slipped in while I was commenting. Yes, you raise an excellent point and clearly, Obama is among those who doesn’t believe he “deserves” this award. I thought it was admirable (and smart) to say that he was accepting the award as a “call to action.” I fully recognize that people may honestly be dismayed that he’s been given this award and it has nothing at all to do with racism. My point in the original post was that there will be a quite-specifically-racist reaction to his award.
    .
    We’ll see how he is able to realize all the changes he mentioned in the speech. I worry about the frequent comparisons to Jimmy Carter, who has no doubt done more good after he left office than while he was president.

  5. Thanks Jessie – I probably prematurely took offense because I’m one of those people out there being loud about this…but my perspective comes specifically from looking at the promises Obama made to the Palestinian people and how he continues to fail them thanks to this country’s omnipresent (and um, omnipotent for that matter) Israel-focused lobby and government.

    Regardless, I do hope Obama takes the call to action. I voted for him with hope.

  6. Jessie Author

    Sure thing, Jillian. I agree that Obama’s stance with regard to Palestinians is, as you suggest, beholden to an Israel-focused lobby. I also think that he’s been pretty abysmal on ‘gay rights’ issues (we’ll see what he says Saturday). I think his economic policies are far, far too wedded to the people that run Wall Street firms. And, I think he’s far too willing to compromise on getting any real reform on health care in such a way that significantly addresses racial health disparities. So, I disagree with him on a lot of his policies which are much too centrist for me.
    .
    That’s a qualitatively different thing than the racist vitriol that is (already) flowing out about him winning the Nobel Prize. That’s all I was saying.

  7. Joe

    A blogger over at Dailykos.com gives 30 reasons why Obama deserves the Nobel prize: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/10/9/791412/-30+-Reasons-Obama-deserves-the-Nobel-Peace-Prize

    For all our continuing militarism aand such, He has moved this country mostly toward international diplomacy, intelligent engagement, etc, and away from the extremism of the Bush years.

    Also here is what the Nobel committee said: http://nobelpeaceprize.org/en_GB/home/announce-2009/

    “The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons. Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.”

  8. Joe

    And Msnbc has a story that explains one reason he got the award. The world generally likes his orientation to the world and diplomacy:
    “Obama’s election and foreign policy moves caused a dramatic improvement in the image of the U.S. around the world. A 25-nation poll of 27,000 people released in July by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found double-digit boosts to the percentage of people viewing the U.S. favorably in countries around the world. That indicator had plunged across the world under President George W. Bush.”

    Odd that the world celebrates his humanity, intelligence, and accomplishments more than many Americans? Online, large but nonrandom, Polls seem to be showing only a quarter of Americans think he deserved it?

  9. Dave Paul

    It seems I am encountering nothing but negativity in this one… even from quote “liberal” colleagues.

    Most people say “He hasn’t done anything to do deserve it.”

    To which I respond, “His place, his person, and his calling represent everything that we hope to achieve in promoting world peace. The fact that he is America’s first Black President and is trying to bridge the partisan divide should be reason enough.”

  10. Lynn Roberts

    This will not be the first (nor, sadly, the last) time that a majority (by who’s count??) of the American people are out of step with the rest of the world. Nobel laureate Barack Obama represents the world’s best hope for a new order, whether he can live up to that expectation depends not only on him, but on all of us. That’s the part that concerns me the most.

  11. Darin Johnson

    This is just the latest edition of the ongoing Nobel farce. Even if you think Obama’s plans are all fantastic and even if you think everything he stands for us just great, how can you possibly argue that he deserves some sort of award at this point? Remember, now, the nominations were due February 1, which means Obama had been in office less than two weeks when he was nominated.
    .
    Maybe “community organizing” in Chicago, or voting “present” in the US senate is enough to get you a Nobel prize. That could be. I really loved the “30 reasons” post on Daily Kos. They left out a few, though:
    .
    Reminded both daughters to brush their teeth daily.
    Passed up seconds on sausage-mushroom-and-olive pizza.
    Maintained bowling average of 37.
    Exuded Hope.
    Hosted three-way peace conference between friend, cop, and VP (drank beer!)
    Appointed first female Secretary of State. What? Okay, second.
    Increase sibilance.
    .
    If I were an Obama supporter, I’d be dismayed by his lack of progress and seeming inability to actually DO any of the things he talks so much about. For me, I’m glad he can’t get anything done because I think pretty much everything he wants to do will make America weaker, worse, or both. But if I voted for Hope and Change and instead got… this, I’d be steamed. I wouldn’t want to give him an award, I’d want to give him a kick in the behind to get him going.
    .
    So who wants this? I can think of two groups.
    .
    1. Those who see this as a way of getting a jab at the former administration. The Euro-left and many groups in America, represented fully on this website, hated Bush, and this is another opportunity to poke him. Incidentally, this motive was made explicit by members of the Nobel committee when Jimmy Carter one the award in 2002.
    .
    2. Those who believe that giving Obama this award will constrain him from pursuing America’s interest in the Middle East and elsewhere. America doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring Iran, Russia, China, and others.
    .
    One small consolation. Giving the award to Obama is not as bad as giving it to Arafat. So that’s good. Way to go, committee!

  12. ellen says

    I’m actually Thrilled and Excited! Maybe I sound naive, but I hope the entire world realizes what a Fine Human Being Obama is. I actually think this will stifle some racism against Obama. The most prestigious award on planet Earth is not given to someone who is in the least affected by Such Silly People as Beck or Limbaugh. {I seriously doubt you were even considered for the prize Glenn..but you can only hope.lol}

  13. @ Joe – Thanks for mentioning those points.

    @ Lynn – I hardly think it’s a “majority.” You’re right “by whose count?”

    @ Gillian – He has publicly stated his opposition to Israeli settlements. That Israel continues to grow is Israel’s on thing. They don’t have Obama’s support. Or mine. And he did manage to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to publically shake hands. That’s something, right? I mean, do they have a Nobel “Damn! I never thought I’d live to see this wonderful day!” Prize?

    @ Hannah – Yes, who is this “we?” Americans have nothing to do with deciding who gets this award.

    @ others in general – I guess I’m in the crowd that doesn’t think Obama has accomplished a great deal. But he’s the first person of color to become state leader of a Western nation. And the US no less! That’s gotta count for something!

    To the original post, one refrain I keep hearing is that Obama can’t deserve the award because he hasn’t been in office that long. He was nominated only 12 days after the inauguration. And to that I say if he hasn’t been in office long enough to deserve this incredible honor, he hasn’t been in long enough to justify that incredible fear(mongering). I’m looking at you, 9/12ers and tea-partiers. (This is definitely off-topic, but really. The Boston tea-parties took place in 1767. 1767 or thereabouts. That should be our first clue as to the racism in that movement.)

  14. MOM

    I just found out about the Noble Peace Prize that was given to our President..I feel it’s wonderful that the world is finally looking at America as a “peaceful” Nation. However, there are critics, but really, don’t have a leg to stand on. Only because of the kind of award that had been given to President Obama. The critics are just making a** out of themselves, and people everywhere are starting to see the differnce. In other words, they are starting to look like complete morons to most anybody with half a brain.

  15. Darin Johnson

    Ellen, what’s your basis for saying Obama is a “fine human being”? Other than his politics, which I assume you like, and the fact that he’s black, which atones a vague guilt some people seem to carry, what has this guy actually GOT? As far as I can tell, not much. Clue me in.
    .
    Oh, and he also reads a mean speech. Mustn’t forget that.
    .
    No1KState, you have got to be kidding. Please tell me you’re not serious when you say that the fact that an event happened in the eighteenth century is reason enough to believe it was inspired by racism. You know better than that, don’t you? It’s nonsense on stilts.

  16. ellen says

    @ Darin:
    You first. You tell me who You Think Should receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Also, name a president whose policies and administration You Actually Approved of and Why? I always hear bazillions of ‘don’t likes’ ‘think it’s illogicals’ ‘who him?’ from you. That’s the easy way out. How about some ‘This is Who I Do Approve Of’. I’ll wait. No backing out!

  17. @ Hi Mom. I just took a sabbatical of sorts. What questions?

    @ Darin – I meant the racism in today’s tea parties. With that understanding, to your question: Did I say that the fact that a pity-party is inspired by an event in the 18th centurty is reason enough to believe it was inspired by racism?

  18. Darin Johnson

    Oh, I don’t care who they give it to. I think they whole thing is a joke. Maybe they could give the million bucks to the US Marine Corps, which has done more to promote world peace than all the prize winners put together.
    .
    A president whose policies I agree with. Hm. Calvin Coolidge? Herbert Hoover? I don’t really know, to be honest with you. I’d like a president who doesn’t have policies, who isn’t intent on fixing the whole world, who doesn’t have big dreams, and who will leave me the heck alone. Have you got anyone like that?
    .
    There are things I like about lots of presidents. I like that Reagan cut taxes dramatically. We will reap the benefits of that for a hundred years. I also like the fact that he called BS on the Soviets. When I hear people like Mom say that “the world” finally looks on us as peaceful, I think of the millions of people who have a chance to live in relative freedom because people like Ronald Reagan refused to accept peace on the terms presented. Where’s his Nobel prize?
    .
    I like that Bush 43 stood up for America’s interests in the face of extreme disapproval — but I don’t like that he had such a pie-in-the-sky vision. We should have stormed into Baghdad like the devil himself, smashed the place up, and turned the keys over to the nearest warlord along with a stern warning to behave himself. That or we should just behave like a the empire everyone seems to think we are anyway and quit pussyfooting around. The nation-building business doesn’t work. I don’t care if Afghans vote, I care if they shelter people who want to kill me.
    .
    I like that Jimmy Carter was voted out after only one term.
    .
    I like Ford’s line about a government big enough to give you everything you want being big enough to take away everything you have. That’s a great line, but he didn’t seem to do much about it.
    .
    I like that Nixon failed to serve out his second term.
    .
    I don’t like anything about Johnson, except that he seems to have been a first class a-hole. I have a grudging admiration for that.
    .
    I like that Kennedy was very pretty and that he took a stand against the Soviets in Cuba. (No peace prizes for taking on communists, I guess.)
    .
    I like Ike.
    .
    I like Truman’s suits.
    .
    I like the fact that Roosevelt fought a war like he meant it. He was a complete economic ignoramus, though. And a bit of a utopian – yuck!
    .
    That was fun.
    .
    But come on, now, be honest. You don’t really think Obama got this award because he DESERVES it in some way, do you? He got it because giving it to him conveys a certain message. It’s not about honoring the recipient, it’s about preening. It’s about signaling moral superiority. In fact, I’ll go a step further. Many, many of the votes Obama received in the last election he received for exactly the same reason. People wanted to be associated with him for reasons wholly unrelated to his capabilities or policies.

  19. ellen says

    Darin Said:
    ‘People wanted to be associated with him {Obama}for reasons wholly unrelated to his capabilities or policies.’
    Uh oh..I see a trap Darin. You have always stated that Obama’s critics castigate him Because of his Policies…has Nothing to do with Racism you say. However, now you claim people want to associate with him based on Other Things than his Policies.
    Thus, are you saying 1.People want to be associated with Obama becaue of his Race, BUT 2. People castigate him because of his Policies. Ew-w-w-w. A little Freudian slip there. Explain please. Do people see Race when they see Obama or not? Hmmm? {‘Gotcha..gotcha’, she said, while dancing around the room with delight! lol}

  20. ellen says

    I don’t like that Kennedy was a womanizer. I read in The Dark Side of Camelot that Kennedy would sit around the White House swimming pool with Bobby with a dozen bathing beauties {that he would pick out of a crowd of campaign worshippers!} while Jackie was out of town.
    The Secret Service continuously warned him how dangerous this was because the only criteria for getting into Jack’s bedroom was a slender female figure. Nobody knew if the particular lady for that night was Olga from the Volga or Minnie from Missouri.

  21. ellen says

    I love Abraham Lincoln. I read Carl Sandberg’s definitive 5 volume work on Lincoln. Lincoln was unbelievably brilliant and hated slavery. He witnessed a slave auction once when he was 20 in New Orleans, and said it was the most sickening sight he ever saw. He also though it was Wrong that a man should work for something with his own two hands, and then not be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
    However, he did not declare war on the Confederacy {as everyone knows} to end slavery, but to maintain the Union. He thought it was imperative not to allow the country to split. He abolished slavery 1.to boost the morale of the Union soldiers. he thought if they believed they were fighting for human rights, they’d hang in there longer. 2. and because he did believe that all men should be free.
    That said, he was concerned how free black men would manage with no education or knowledge of the world outside their plantations. Many slaves had Never been off the grounds of their individual little section of the world.

  22. ellen says

    By the way, Yes, I believe a man’s moral character is Relevant when he’s given the responsibility of president {regarding Kennedy}. JFK’s philandering indicates a cavalier attitude about lying, and a callousness toward his wife and women in general. Everybody knows he was a chauvinist pig.

  23. Mom@Darin

    @DARIN – First, I don’t know why you are so upset they the Nobel Prise went to the highest leader of the US. That award was not only given to Obama. I feel that award was also how the rest of the world is starting to view WE as a nation, as well. And, what’s wrong with the world viewing the US as a peacful nation? Let me tell you something right now just because we the world may be starting to view us as a peaceful nation never mistake kindness for weakness.

    Regan HA! He did do a dam thing without consulting his wife Nancy who in fact consutlted her astrologer. He ran the country by the star alingment. LOL

    Bush- Well all I go to say about this is that he went into Baghdad to finish what his Father could not do. We went after a person that had nothing to do with 911. And, when we found that person, he was hung, and the US should of been out of there the next day. Since, the Bushes had been in office our country has literally fallen apart. How many years have we’ve been in the war now? And, who are we looking for? Please!! How many billions of dollars have been spent? How many people have died? It’s a bunch of BS.

    However, since Obama has been in office, which any person with 1/4 of a brain would understand the mess that had been created by yours truly (Bush), and expect that person to fix 8 years of turmoil, a collapsed economy, world politics, and any other thing that went down the tubes because the the search of Bin Laden and he little band of Taliban in approximately 7 or 8 months is completely irrational thinking.

    I feel, that Obama won that Nobel Award because he had the courage to attempt to go after some really big player’s that are responsible for a lot of damage in this country. CIA, (I do believe that building is named after Bush Sr) Insurance Industry to name a couple. I also feel that being that he’s the first “black” president in the history of the US that the world is viewing this country for the first time in history as changing for the betterment of MAN. Maybe that is why he won. And another thing, I feel we all should sign a deepest sympathy card and send it to our President because of the mess that he was left with to clean up after years and years of damage that had been created by some of our fore fathering presidents.

    Darin Let me tell you something. President Obama is a man that thinks for himself, and is not a puppet on a string. Do you really think he runs to Daddy with his problems? No, I think not. I feel he deserved that Noble Award because he is an innovated thinker, and you know what, we really don’t have too many political leaders that come along that actually thinks for themselves, and that in itself, should be the only reason why he won that award. However, I guess you would not understand what it’s like to think for yourself because after looking at some of your post you think like a political propaganda righty.

  24. Darin Johnson

    Ellen, you’re right, that was a trap. Unfortunately, you’re the one who fell into it. Who said anything about Obama’s race? I didn’t. I don’t think his race was a major factor in the decision to give him the prize — in fact, it’s his policies, which are fully Euro-lefty. So I’m sticking to my guns on this one. (Actually, it’s only his rhetoric they like, his policies are mostly mush and sleight-of-hand.)
    .
    I’ll tell you another one I’m pretty sick of hearing about: Teddy Roosevelt. He’s got a great reputation, even among conservatives, but he was really a progressive. He did two very bad things:
    .
    1. Increased the power of the presidency.
    2. Split the Republican Party, resulting in the election of Woodrow Wilson, perhaps the worst president we have ever had. I mean ever — worse than Carter, worse than Johnson, worse than either Roosevelt. Worse than Nixon. Wilson had an academic background, which should have been a clue.
    .
    MOM, Obama was given an award based on his first twelve days in office. Do you honestly think he DID anything to change the world’s perception of America in that span? Of course not. If he did, then the award should go to the American voters, not Obama.
    .
    I fully agree with you about the war, though. We should have broken up the furniture and left years ago. Although the war itself was important, the nation-building “freedom burning in the heart of every one” nonsense is just not. It won’t work, and even if it would the benefit/cost from America’s perspective is not even close to 1.0.
    .
    Obama is an innovative thinker? Hm. He sure doesn’t seem that way. In fact, he seems exactly like every other over-educated liberal I’ve known. Please, tell me, what are his original thoughts? Give me some ideas he has that aren’t simply part of the left-liberal boilerplate we’ve been hearing for the last forty years.
    .
    Finally, it’s pretty preposterous to say I don’t think for myself considering how much I stand out around here. Maybe you should reconsider that line of attack. I’ll give you a chance to take it back.

  25. Jenni M.

    @ ellen – Since you are a Lincoln fan you might be interested in reading the book “Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream” by social historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. – it is provocative but extremely well-researched. I think you will find that Lincoln’s position on slavery and black Americans is more complicated than your post suggests, and Bennett deals well with Lincoln’s (sometimes conflicting) private musings and public actions.

  26. MOM@Darin

    LOL Darin did I get under your skin? HuM?

    Let me tell you something, please. I’ve never in my life time, ever, seen the President of the US broadcast on TV that WE should Unite as a Nation, regardless, of our ethnic background, have you? Nope, the average President gets into office, and the only time we would hear from them is when the Nation was in somekind of trouble. That’s what I meant about President Obama thinking for himself, being his own Man, sort of speak. Now, I also see him on different talk shows etc. I’ve never in my life have seen this kind of behavior from any President that we have had. I feel, this is innovative on his part. So, you can complain all ya want about Obama, cause I happen to think he’s a breath of fresh air in comparrison to some of the other “snooty” President’s that we’ve had in the past, who actually thought that they were better then the average person, or that we worked for them, or whatever goes on in there prideful heads.

    Now, I will agree that you do stand out because you never agree with anybody, and we’ve had this discussion before about changing people, right? LOL

    I think that Obama’s name was nominated for the Noble Peace Award, and I am sure there were other’s that were nominated at the same time, but he was actually given the award the other day, and I’ve got to tell you again, that Obama is really trying to make a difference in this country, but everything the man does he gets ridiculed for, which is an out right disgrace. “Tea Party’s” Please! And, to be honest I really don’t know how he can stand the stress of a bunch of whiney complaining people all the time. So, if the world recognizes our President as a “good person” then that’s good because there are a lot of people in this country that need to straighten up and let him do his dam job without harrassing every single move that he makes. I say Kudos for Obama, and if they keep harrassing this man maybe the next thing that will happen is the Pope making him a Saint. Geezzz

  27. ellen says

    Darin Said:

    ‘Many, many of the votes Obama received in the last election he received for exactly the same reason. People wanted to be associated with him for reasons wholly unrelated to his capabilities or policies.’
    Once again, your trap, not mine. You stated that 1.Citizens who Criticize Obama Today don’t see race, rather policies. Then in the same breath you Claim:
    2. Citizens who voted for Obama voted For Other Reasons Than His Policies.
    So, which is it? Who are the color-blind people? The ones who voted him in are Fully Aware of His Race..but..the Ones Who Criticize Him Don’t See Race? That’s hard to believe Darin.
    ‘ Wilson had an academic background, which should have been a clue.’ What the heck is that supposed to mean? Maybe he should have been a car mechanic..that would have made him a more competent president? Now what are you saying? All people in the education field make lousy politicians? Where do you get this Darin, really.
    Also you stated: ‘Finally, it’s pretty preposterous to say I don’t think for myself considering how much I stand out around here.’ Well, hello! You Just Took the Words Right out of Barack’s Mouth! lol. {No applause please!} Maybe that was Mom’s point about Obama.

  28. ellen says

    @ Jenni: Thanks for the recommended book. Honestly, though, I am Very Aware Lincoln was not an abolitionist in the strictest sense of the word. He did actually think black people weren’t ‘ready’ to assume citizenship Not Just Because They were of necessity provincial, but because he thought they weren’t as highly developed/innately intelligent as the white man. I read that in Sandberg’s volume also. I actually {the truth here folks} didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by stating this. It hurts me to write these things about black people. It’s hard to say this stuff.
    When I was a teacher, I had to ‘explain’ racism to children. Well, I never singled out black people cause I had to look these little black children {babies really!} in the face as I was talking. I couldn’t stand there and break their hearts!
    Thus, I always explained that Racism meant Judging Any People on their appearance And skin color. I told them there were many different skin colors ..yellow, brown, white, black and many different racial features. I would tell them Rosa Parks sat at the front of that bus for All Races. Which she did actually.
    That seemed to take the ‘sting’ out of the horrific white versus black strife this country has always experienced. Please understand, these kids were in the 3rd grade!
    Back to Lincoln, for the Time Period, however, he was pretty far-sighted and kind hearted. He did appreciate the human value of a slave, and certainly didn’t see black men as beasts of burden. He also firmly believed it morally wrong to deprive any man of the food he himself worked for.
    However, I am interested in that book.

  29. Nquest

    One thing that seems to get lost in the reaction to Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a consideration for the overall outlook people have around the world. Sure, every people or nation around the world may not be among those who, because of Obama’s election and foreign policy change in tone/posture, if not concrete policy, view the U.S. as the most admired country… But there is something there that we, in our selfishly narrow reactions as Americans, just aren’t listening to. Which may be the very reason why Obama is held in such high regard internationally — he at least appears to listen.

    Re: The Israeli/Palestinian conflict… Like Jillian (I suppose), I’m partial to and openly side with the Palestinian cause (perhaps like Obama’s former pastor and persona non grata, Rev. Jeremiah Wright).

    That said, Obama’s speech in Cairo with his vocal stance on settlements, let alone his comfort with the Qu’ran, etc. again, at least gives the appearance that he listens and is as willing as any American president in recent history to be as fair a broker in the conflict.

    PS: I also share Jillian’s frustrations with the many times (except for the Cairo speech) that Obama has been almost enthusiastically beholden to AIPAC… But then that would be me ignoring what’s almost Politics 101 in the U.S. Loyalty to Israel is damn near obligatory for any mainstream politician. To not swear such loyalty would be as close to a deadly sin as anything. I’d put it up there with vocally advocating reparations for African-Americans… and I’m African-American and big time in favor of reparations.

  30. Darin Johnson

    Ellen, like I said, I think it’s his rhetoric — what he says his policies are, which has almost nothing to do with what he actually does.
    .
    I’m being a little shifty here, I might as well confess. I assume lots of people voted for Obama because of his race. And I’m also sure a few (probably a much smaller number) dislike him on account of his race. But the energy on the right is about policy — specifically the policies Obama is trying to implement regarding health care and, to a lesser degree, regulation of carbon. I am sure the Right would have no trouble supporting a black conservative. In fact, it would not shock me to find out that Clarence Thomas is the most admired Justice among those on the right — ahead even of Scalia.
    .
    I never said they don’t “see” his race. I said his race is not a significant factor in the outspoken opposition to Obama. As usual, the Left is projecting.
    .
    Was my criticism of Wilson not clear enough? Only someone very intelligent and very educated could be as stupid and ignorant as Wilson. Stupid and ignorant about how the world actually works, about human nature, and about the ability of elites to actually improve anything. That sort of progressivism has led to more pain and bloodshed than anything else — even more than Islam! (I give you the Marxists, the fascists, the Maoists…)
    .
    You think Obama stands out?! I think he blends in perfectly. He stands out only in being the perfect example of a race-hustling, over-educated progressive politician who has never once done an honest day’s work in his life. There are thousands just like him. I bet they all buy their suits at the same place, even. Truly, I don’t understand where this idea that he’s some kind of visionary comes from. Pure boilerplate.
    .
    So now it’s your turn. What does Obama talk about that’s innovative in the least (other than perhaps being even more extremely liberal than most other politicians are able to get away with)?
    .
    MOM, I get that you like Obama, but I’m still waiting for you to tell me about his original ideas and great accomplishments. Maybe he’ll have some of the latter later, but he seems to have none of either now. As for his call to “unite” the country, I’m struggling to think of a single contemporary president who has NOT called for that. Isn’t that what all these Wars on X are about (i.e., drugs, poverty, terrorism, racism, blah, blah, blah)?

  31. MOM

    I’ve studied President Lincoln in one of my Pathology classes, believe it or not. President Lincoln was thought to have a disease called Acromegaly . This disease causes your extremities to grow larger then you body, such as, ears, nose, hands, etc., and he also was thought to suffer from depression very badly. In fact, he was the one that made up the saying, “that most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be” I watched a documentary about Lincoln, which stated that President Lincoln did not want to abolish slavery; what he had in mind was to contain it in the South period. However, the South did not want to go for it because they wanted to not only continue with the slavery in the South, but wanted to travel West. President Lincoln said NO, and to make a long story short the Civil war was born. I guess we all know the ending. However, Lincoln then decided to abolish slavery throughout the whole country, and was shot in the end. And, the US did not treat Lincoln’s wife very nice after his death either.

  32. MOM@Darin

    The wars on terroism? HA the wars on oil maybe. Come to think of it maybe, if we deplete every other countires natural resourses we could start using our own. Humm YOU BETCHA, JOE! As far as innovate, maybe I used to wrong word maybe more like genius. Now don’t break your nails typing because I make up my own mind Darin just in case you haven’t figured that out yet. So, please stop trying to persuade me into your way of thinking. I have my own ideas, which are a little more intuned with the way that Obama is being treated. How about maybe if the little “tight a**” , right a@@, leave him alone for 5 minutes, so he could do his job just like every other President had the chance to do/screw things of rather; then maybe, just maybe, Obama could actually relax a little and think without defending his every thought, word, action, and maybe, be able to go to the bathroom in peace. This is reason why I don’t watch too much news or listsen to talk radio. I get all that negative information from everybody else that I need to know about. Your jealous because you didn’t win a prize. Don’t worry Darin I think you a great little writer….;)

  33. siss

    Unfortunately, I’m one of the few who think this decision was a bit hastey. I love Obama and what he stands for in the way of policies and visions, but having been nominated only after 12 (or so) days in office is just Not Enough Time!

    He’s potential is unlimited but thus far its still in it’s early stages…. and not Nobel prize-worthy. :- (

  34. ellen says

    Darin Said: ‘I’m being a little shifty here, I might as well confess. I assume lots of people voted for Obama because of his race. And I’m also sure a few (probably a much smaller number) dislike him on account of his race.’
    FINALLY! Darin confesses a sleight of hand..now you read me saying that..now you read me covering my tracks! Ha!
    >Perhaps for the Nobel committee, merely altering the tone out of Washington toward the rest of the world is enough. Obama got much attention for his speech from Cairo reaching out a U.S. hand to the world’s Muslims. His remarks at the U.N. General Assembly last month set down new markers for the way the U.S. works with the world.

    >I think NQuest hit the nail on the head.
    ‘But there is something there that we, in our selfishly narrow reactions as Americans, just aren’t listening to. Which may be the very reason why Obama is held in such high regard internationally — he at least appears to listen.’

    >Nquest also said: ‘Obama’s speech in Cairo with his vocal stance on settlements, let alone his comfort with the Qu’ran, etc. again, at least gives the appearance that he listens and is as willing as any American president in recent history to be as fair a broker in the conflict.’

    >Nquest recognizes that Obama’s Hope For Peace and Reconciliation will be Furthered {are you listening Darin?} by receiving the prize to begin with. It’s called Self Fulfilling Prophecy in the teaching profession. You treat a kid As If he’ll succeed and you raise his expectations of his own abilities and voila. He improves. With teaching it can be subliminal. This is not subliminal.

    > Also, the award could be as much about issuing a slap at Obama’s predecessor, former President George W. Bush, as about lauding Obama. Bush was reviled by the world for his cowboy diplomacy, Iraq war and snubbing of European priorities like global warming. Actually, the Nobel prize has a long history of being awarded more for the committee’s aspirations than for others’ accomplishments – for Mideast peace or a better South Africa, for instance.

    >Three other presidents that have won are Jimmy Carter (two decades after he left office, and for his part in the Middle East Peace process), WOODROW WILSON (for helping create the League of Nations) and Theodore Roosevelt (for helping broker the end of the Russo-Japanese War).
    As you know, dear Darin, the League of Nations was the former moniker for the United Nations. Not bad for an academic ivory-tower, Plato and Socrates reading, ‘removed from hard-nosed reality’ college professor.

    >What would the world do without the United Nations. Many countries who have tried sneaking around to accomplish nefarious dastardly deeds Have Been Deterred If the UN raises its eyebrows at them.

    >The UN acts as a Vehicle of Exposure for the entire planet. It can’t terminate all evil, but it Helps A Great Deal. So much for your poo-pooing Woodrow.

  35. Steve the Sailor

    What’s with all this concern with Obama having been nominated only a few days after taking office? For one thing, wasn’t taking office, and thereby dislodging a rapacious, war-mongering party from that seat of power, a major accomplishment? Remember how hard that was?

    But the other problem with that argument is that the committee didn’t vote on what he did before he was nominated — they obviously got to include what he did afterward as well. And as Kos article provided above by Joe notes, that ain’t been no small potatoes either.

    I also like how the award is sometimes an effort to affect future actions — Americans are so hung up on an award being only for accomplishments, something the recipient has already earned. Aside from the many steps Obama has already taken to steer the ship of state away from various icebergs, it will indeed be harder now for him and the U.S. govt in general to escalate the current saber-polishing against Iran into full-scale saber-rattling. Who knows, the Prize Committee may have helped to avert yet another disastrous round of death, destruction, and resource-grabbing.

  36. Lynn Roberts

    Just to clarify – the deadline for nominations was Feb 1st, but the Nobel committe voted last week – after Obama’s first 9 months in office. They based their voting on several events that have transpired during that time (e.g., Obama’s declaration to close Guitanamo, his Cairo speech, his visit to Ghana, the Global Summit, his speech at the United Nations, his willingness to talk with Iran, etc.), all of which are more than many past presidents did in their 4-8 year terms. Still it is not enough. But, last time I checked, none of the previous Nobel Laureates has accomplished peace, to date. The way I see it, the Nobel prize is not an end of year report card, it’s a progress report – saying we see what you are doing and we want you to keep up the good work! If only all of the children of America could receive the same, maybe peace would come sooner.

  37. MOM

    I do believe that people recieve a Noble Prize for their humanitarian efforts like MLK and Mother Theresa. Those two people helped many, many, many people because of their actions as GREAT human beings. NO, I don’t think that there is one person on this planet that has been able to accomplish world peace; that would require the complete sacrafice of self. There are not too many people on the planet that would do that. However, the people that are able to alter the course of history because of self sacrafice should be acknowleded with more then just a Noble Peace Award. Nothing can replace a person’s own self, but just to make this a little clearer every person that has done that has been writen in history or remmeber as being Noble. In other words, there are many Noble people that go unnoticed, but make a big difference everyday in the lives of every human being that they come into contact with. So, in reality, who are the true Noble ones. “Making your mark some people say is what your driving along the way, but I beg to differ because you see ;that making your mark is known by your legacy.” Hope this helps to understand what I’m trying to say. LOL

  38. siss

    For one thing, wasn’t taking office, and thereby dislodging a rapacious, war-mongering party from that seat of power, a major accomplishment? Remember how hard that was?

    Agreed! But certainly not NP worthy.

    I also like how the award is sometimes an effort to affect future actions — Americans are so hung up on an award being only for accomplishments, something the recipient has already earned. Aside from the many steps Obama has already taken to steer the ship of state away from various icebergs, it will indeed be harder now for him and the U.S. govt in general to escalate the current saber-polishing against Iran into full-scale saber-rattling. Who knows, the Prize Committee may have helped to avert yet another disastrous round of death, destruction, and resource-grabbing.

    I hope you are correct. The best of luck to BO in that he is able to prove everyone (me included) wrong who said he was undeserving!

  39. ellen says

    >OSLO – Members of the Norwegian committee that gave Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize are strongly defending their choice against a storm of criticism that the award was premature and a potential liability for the U.S. president.

    >Asked to comment on the uproar following Friday’s announcement, four members of the five-seat panel told The Associated Press that they had expected the decision to generate both surprise and criticism.

    >Three of them rejected the notion that Obama hadn’t accomplished anything to deserve the award, while the fourth declined to answer that question. A fifth member didn’t answer calls seeking comment.

    >”We simply disagree that he has done nothing,” committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told the AP on Tuesday. “He got the prize for what he has done.”

    >Jagland singled out Obama’s efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

    >”All these things have contributed to — I wouldn’t say a safer world — but a world with less tension,” Jagland said by phone from the French city of Strasbourg, where he was attending meetings in his other role as secretary-general of the Council of Europe.

    >He said most world leaders were positive about the award and that most of the criticism was coming from the MEDIA and from OBAMA’S POLITICAL RIVALS. {caps are mine}.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091013/ap_on_re_eu/eu_nobel_peace_obama

  40. Darin Johnson

    Ellen, the League of Nations cum United Nations is exactly the kind of fuzzy-headed utopianism that makes intellectuals like Wilson infamous. You think the UN works? How? Other than serving as a megaphone for every tinpot dictator and anti-American totalitarian, I mean.
    .
    The UN is a fantasy in principle and a disaster in practice. I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about it except that William F. Buckley once served as the US delegate. Oh, and Jeane Kirkpatrick. I’d come down pretty firmly on the side that says the US in particular and the world in general would be better off without the UN. What good has it done?
    .
    By the way, you still haven’t suggested anything original about Obama. I assume you can’t.
    .
    Reading the Norwegians defending their decision is almost comical. “He’s made the world safer. Well, less tense.” Huh? “He rejected the missile shield in Eastern Europe,” just months after he praised the Eastern Europeans for having the courage to build it.
    .
    At some point, Obama is going to be obliged to deal with Iran. An American president does not have the luxury of ignoring Iran and pretending it doesn’t exist like a European paper-pusher does. Iran doesn’t care about the Nobel prize. He’ll have to deal with them in a forceful, probably violent way. What will the Norwegians say about Obama, then? Will they say he did it more in sadness than in anger, so they forgive him? Or will they ask for their trophy back?
    .
    What a joke. Obama and the Nobel Committee deserve each other. Maybe they can trade iPods with their speeches pre-loaded. That would at least spare the rest of us having to listen to any more.
    .
    MOM, don’t worry, the last thing I’d ever want to do is persuade you of anything. Your preconceptions are safe with me!

  41. MOM

    Darin that’s OK you have said a lot in that statement about yourself, and your right, most people don’t understand. However, the people that are able to graps some of the concepts that I have are usally viewed a little differently, as well . LOL Although, I will tell you, that regardless, of what people think, I am very content with being who I am, and others that think a long the same lines are greatful for my understanding. Thanks.

  42. ellen says

    @ Darin:
    I’ll deal with you tomorrow Sir. I’m tired tonight. I need to regroup and then..well..you’ll feel ridiculous as usual as the victim of my superior intellect. LOL! {Just kidding..but you will feel silly..Count on it!}

  43. Mom

    “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”

    This is why OBAMA won the Noble Peace Award. And, you know what, he has been trying to strengthen international diplomacy. So my suggestion is to shut the “Yuck” up, and read, why, who, and how it’s done. There are many people from different parts of he world and many learned institutions/professions that have won for their extraordinary EFFORTS, and not as many accomplishments. Humm I wonder who will be next person…?

  44. Toby

    I voted for Mr. Obama but do not think that he deserved the Noble Peace prize. The prize should have been awarded to someone who has a proven record of working for peace and not for someone who may have to respond to foreign agression with war.

    An NPR commentator had it right when he said that giving this prize to Obama was a slap against the policies of George Bush.

  45. jd

    You are all idiots. Hey, I have a great idea! I have only been working at my new job for 2 weeks now, lets promote me to CEO of the company I work for and treat me like I saved a bus of school kids! Unlike Obama, MLK actually DID SOMETHING to deserve the award, not HOPE to do something to deserve the award. I will laugh when you realize in a little over three years that nothing ever CHANGED and HOPE was just a tool to get your vote.

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