Column two that I didn’t post yesterday.
The last 10 years have been revolutionary for the science of baseball. The best team, it turns out, doesn’t always win, according to the number-crunchers. The winners just get lucky in October. The World Series title doesn’t really mean anything—it’s just won, year in and year out, by the team with the best combination of luck and skill in October.
This puts the fans of some World Series winners in a bind. You’ve won, the writers say, Now defend yourself. How could you be better than team X? Well, you’d say, we beat them. They would have a simple response: So what?
Today, the President of the United States won the Nobel Peace Prize and he is being asked to defend himself. For an award. Bestowed upon him.
At the press conference just now, a reporter actually asked press secretary Robert Gibbs if the award was based on talk more than action. Gibbs responded that the award signified America’s restored place of leadership in the world. Here’s what he should have said: it’s an award! Ask them what it’s about! They gave it to us!
The award is big news on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook has become something of a parliamentary chamber for debating out Obama’s chops. BARACKSTAR, one friend writes. An award by socialists, for socialists, writes another. Those in the middle hew against the committee, feeling this sends the wrong message to the President. It’s a bad precedent, they say. He hasn’t accomplished anything yet.
Sure he has: he won the Nobel Peace Prize!
Look, I haven’t agreed with every Best Picture winner at the Oscars. And I haven’t thought the best team has always won the World Series. But once it’s over, it’s over. The awards are handed out, and it’s time to move on.
I’m not sure what Obama’s detractors are expecting. Would they like him to refuse the award? To say something like: “I’m humbled and honored that the Nobel Prize committee has chosen me for this prestigious award. I, however, regretfully must decline accepting this honor, because I feel have not met the standards upon which I was apparently judged. I can do so much more for the world by rejecting an award promoting peace and togetherness. In the eloquent words of LOLCats, Pease Awards: UR Doin It Rong.”
It seems like just two weeks ago that member of the media were piling on Obama for pushing Chicago’s Olympic games bid. He’s too arrogant, they said. His campaign will never work, they said. It’s unbecoming of a President. He should focus on his job. Then Chicago lost the games, and the right celebrated. He got served! The world showed him what was up!
Now, having done nothing in the way of campaigning for another international award, and having gained it, Obama is being chastised for not deserving it. The hypocrisy would be oozing if it was just coming from the right, but it’s not. It’s coming from everywhere. Everyone’s got an opinion. His detractors say he’s simply undeserving. His supporters ask if he could do better.
That’s like asking if the Yankees could win five games in the World Series instead of four. It doesn’t freaking matter The Nobel Prizes go to the best candidates they can find. Barack Obama was the best candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, by the criteria for which it is judged. You know this, because he won. By being himself.
That’s the last thing he should have to apologize for.