Amateur Hour

by Bryan

Third, and probably angriest, column from yesterday. If you read all three, you’ll notice something familiar in here.

If you want to know why Democrats can’t govern, look no further than the fallout from the announcement that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Europeans are injecting their politics into this, one liberal friend wrote on Twitter. Isn’t diplomacy part of the job description? blared another, on Facebook. Way to lower the bar, Nobel Committee, said a third. And finally, the most common criticism: He hasn’t done anything yet.

Sure he has! He won the Nobel Peace Prize!

Just as Obama’s “flunking” the International Olympic Committee test brought about a nauseating response from Republicans, Obama’s Nobel Prize victory was Amateur Hour for the left. On Twitter and Facebook, self-professed Obama supporters shat all over his credentials for an award handed out by a small group of people in Norway.

Why today? Because we are mad that the Europeans are getting involved in our politics, fearing, I guess, that praising Obama during the tough times will embolden him. These are the same people who literally believed “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” as literally as fundamentalist zealots believe the Bible. He was too smart to let them in on the real secret, that in many, many ways he’s more similar to George W. Bush than he is different. Those differences, however, are of paramount importance to the country and the world, and they are so big that transcending them resonates from Washington to Oslo in fundamental ways.

Are the Europeans “injecting their politics into the decision?” Yes! Of course they are! The better question is when this wouldn’t have been the case. In effect, the Nobel Commitee has said: We know how hard of a time President Obama has had governing, dealing with a system that gives a minority of its citizens power to stop his nearly every move domestically, but we will overlook that in favor of the good he has done for world relations. They see our system and laugh at the roadblocks other politicians have put up for him. Many of these people come from Obama’s own party, eager to “get theirs” now that the gettin’s good. They want what’s good for them, not necessarily what’s good for the country. They waited eight years for this!

Well, I’ve got news for them: so did the rest of the world. They want American leadership that isn’t regressive and inward-looking. They admire certain qualities in an American President, and they’ve found those in Obama. His prize is that he gets to answer questions back home from a skeptical media about whether he thinks he “deserves” it—questions taken straight from the GOP playbook, but intoxicating to too many on the left as well. Why is it? I have no idea. Maybe it’s sheer egoism, or maybe it’s just ignorance that a commitee of European award-givers has no power to sway, alter, or morally ratify the foundations of America. The Nobel Prize is, like all trophies, just a trophy.

Am I happy Obama won? Yes. But I’m happy when the movie I prefer wins the Best Picture award too. When it doesn’t, I’m annoyed, but I don’t put too much stock into it. The world is no different today than it was yesterday at this time, except a gold piece of hardware will be transferred from Norway to the White House. While some people have taken it as such, it’s no more an opportunity for anyone to pass judgment on the President than each sunrise is. That‘s what makes this country great. Let’s not forget that.