S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Nobel's recognition of Obama will drive the Far Right even crazier.

My sentiments exactly -- The first thought of many of us was that this will drive the Republicans crazy. Matt Yglesias tweeted: "They should institute a Nobel Prize for driving conservatives crazy." As a matter of fact it is making the Right Wing even crazier than they were before. With a HT to Matt Cooper for this link, showing typical arrogance, The Weekly Standard invites you to "meet the people who were passed over for Obama." Politico quoted several very critical conservatives including RNC Chairman Michael Steele and strategist Craig Shirley. The publication also quotes Rush Limbaugh's reaction: "'greater embarrassment' than losing Olympics." To quote further,

"This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama," Limbaugh told POLITICO in an e-mail. "And with this 'award' the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States."

Limbaugh continued: "They love a weakened, neutered U.S, and this is their way of promoting that concept. I think God has a great sense of humor, too."

Later more sane reactions -- The Huffington Post linked to President Obama's Nobel speech, and provides more analysis of the selection of Obama, headlining that "Twitter explodes in response to the Obama Nobel win." New York Times "The Lede" gathered world reaction "to a Nobel surprise." McClatchy gives out "more updates." Matt Cooper spoke of President Obama's "elegant remarks" from the White House rose garden.

Earlier items -- The White House was surprised by the announcement, according to NPR. Taegan Goddard at the Political Wire reported on Twitter that "Obama will make a statement on the Nobel prize in the Rose Garden at 10:30." (It was just been delayed until after 11:00). Goddard also provided a round up of reactions to the Oslo announcement. Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic rounds up some fascinating opinions on why Obama should turn down the prize.

In conclusion -- Those who would disparage the Committee's award as merely honoring the President's "aspirational" sentiments dismiss it too lightly. One cannot be a peacemaker without engendering hope for peace in those who are in conflict. Those who dismiss the award as "not George W. Bush -- thank God he's in Dallas," diminish the strength of Obama's influence over people who do not live in the United States. Those who dismiss the award because we are still fighting in Afghanistan should take note of how much trouble the President is taking to figure out how to narrow the conflict and find ways to build bridges to the people of Afghanistan, including reconcilable members of the Taliban. Those who feel the President does not deserve the Peace Prize because of his civil liberties shortcomings should take note of his long commitment to denuclearizing the world. Those who dismiss the award because the President has yet to fulfill his campaign promises should take note of the unusually long list of serious problems he inherited from the previous administration. Sometimes it is enough to be hopeful, respectful of others, inspirational and willing to tackle anything. That is the elemental stuff of which real peace can be made.

Reference: The Nobel Committee announced that President Barack Obama is their selection for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. To quote in full:

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. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

Oslo, October 9, 2009

Posted via email from Southwest Postings

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