I’m with Radley. I think the best thing Obama could do is decline the Nobel Prize. He won’t, since he can’t resist a chance to make a speech. But as Balko notes:
It wouldn’t just be admirable, I’d imagine it would be hugely poitically popular, too. And it would take the wind out of the sales of the righty pundits dogging him this morning for a decision he had no part in making.
Let me put it this way. My opinion of Obama would go up several notches even though I would know it was a political decision.
PS – My reaction to this is more astonishment and amusement than OUTRAGE! The Peace Prize has long been rendered meaningless since they started handing it out to terrorists and wealthy crack-brained politicos. I wish we had something that legitimately recognized peace-makers in the world. Because there are many many out there who deserve recognition more than the most famous man on the face of the planet.
Update: I’ve been thinking more about this and why it bugs me. It doesn’t OUTRAGE me, but I’m not happy about it. And what I’m finding, to my astonishment, is that it’s because I’m somewhat idealistic.
Maybe it’s crazy, but I think the words “Nobel Prize Winner” should mean something, despite some of the extremely poor choices that have been made in the past. It should mean Norman Borlaug, who saved a billion lives. It should mean Martin Luther King or Gandhi, who liberated millions without firing a shot. It should mean the Grameen Bank, who are trying desperately to create an economy in Bangladesh. Hell, it can even mean Jimmy Carter, who made peace between Israel and Egypt.
What it should not mean is a glib, sliver-tongued politician whose primary qualification is that he isn’t as bad as George W. Bush. And let’s be honest. As bad as Bush was, it wasn’t like he was Genghis Khan or something. Rewarding Barack Obama for comparatively minor breaks from Bush’s policies is an absurd over-reaction. And the claims that this will force Obama to follow through on his promises are beyond ridiculous. That’s sleeping with someone in the hopes they’ll be nice to you.