Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

Just one word:



EDIT: Okay, more words since I am a blogger after all and I can't shut up about my opinion.

To the Obama Nobel Prize haters saying he hasn't done anything yet - inspiring hope in not just the US, but the entire world is an amazing feat. Making many nations stop utterly loathing the US is an amazing feat. Averting possible new wars is an amazing feat. He has been trying to do so much, but when stubborn, uncompromising Republicans do nothing but stop progress, what do you expect? If anything, receiving this prize will give him even more clout, and make the path towards the goals he envisions even easier. Remember, the Nobel Peace Prize isn't necessarily given out for successful accomplishments - it is also given to people with great visions who are working hard for human rights and democracy. It is used to help them achieve their goals.

Okay, continue discussing.


  1. Seems pretty crazy to me since he was nominated before doing anything besides unpack.

  2. Well, it IS to early. I hope he lives up to the expectations...

  3. I like the point of view NPR gave about why he possibly deserved it, but I'm still on the fence. This weekend will be crazy for Fox though.

  4. Is stupid, USA president declares war on Iraq, another USA president say it gonna stop it, Nobel prize to the last one... Let's destroy a country and then regret to do it, and win a Nobel prize too!, you can't lose, is good to be american! The problem is I'm not one.

  5. He is a better choice than Arafat...

  6. Yeah I know that is like saying, "Oklahoma at least we aren't Arkansas"

  7. Added my two cents because I couldn't shut up about this

  8. I'm afraid I'm squarely in the "too soon" crowd. We need to stop giving Obama a free pass -- he hasn't even done the things he could do (cough, cough: shut down gitmo, end don't ask don't tell).

  9. (Also, what about his attempt to suppress Abu Ghraib photos? Really, covering up for torturers earns you a Nobel peace prize?)

  10. I agree with Jen. Though I think it might be too soon, he has given hope to many people and his mere victory paved the way for many peaceful reunions hence avoiding certain confrontations. Let's hope this helps him achieve what he must and that it was not awarded in vain.

  11. They should have waited until we were out of Iraq or fixed Afghanistan. I can't wait to see the reaction of the wingnuts though. It's going to be an amusing weekend.

  12. Has the peace prize ever been given to a sitting president before? It seems extremely premature, particularly when he's still occupying two different countries and operating Guantanamo bay.

  13. Frank: Yes, Teddy R. won it for his efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War?

    Everyone else...Barack Obama has been the most visible president in the Muslim world in a very long time. His speeches in Cairo and Ankara, as well as his outreach to Iran, have been very influential. Have they made positive changes? Unknown.

    In addition, Coalition soldiers are withdrawing from Iraq, and it seems to be moving towards its own stability. For how long I don't know. However, the man himself seems very shocked by it. I sure am.

  14. Also, Woody W. won the Nobel for creating the League of Nations. That one doesn't look so hot now.

  15. Something I just saw on another forum,

    Obama would have been in the White House for less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline for this year's prize.

  16. I don't always agree with the Cato Institute, but I think they were spot-on in their reaction to this.

  17. It's a PEACE prize. I think fighting two wars should be an automatic disqualifier.

  18. As a bisexual transsexual woman, I really do hope that he seriously starts fulfilling the promises he made to the LGBT community. After all, we can still legally be discriminated against for housing, employment, public accommodations in many states. There also needs to be proper hate crimes laws and I hope that the Matthew Shepherd Act gets to Obama's desk pretty soon.

    However, I do feel that based on all of the things that he has promised, he is underachieving. Still, it is better than if McCain and Palin were to get into the White House...

  19. As a straight man, I had to respond to Jen's "points" on my blog.

  20. What the hell does being a straight male have to do with anything? Does having a Y chromosome make your insights suddenly more intelligent? Do you have better opinions on world affairs because you're heterosexual?

  21. Could it be seen maybe as a downpayment on Obama's future behaviour?

  22. Been pondering this all day, and here's what I have to say about the matter: people mention what Obama hasn't done. But the Nobel Peace Prize committee couldn't care less about DADT, health care, etc. because they don't affect the world.

    Fact: Barack Obama has contributed to the lessening of tensions between most Arab nations and the Western world by twice fulfilling his promise to speak to the Islamic world from within a major Islamic city.

    Fact: Barack Obama immediately fulfilled his campaign promise to reach out to Iran, doing so with a series of addresses and speeches.

    Fact: Barack Obama signed an executive order commanding that the Guantanamo Bay prison camp be closed. That funding to do so is lacking is not his fault, but the fault of Congress.

    Fact: Barack Obama became the global leader for the united stimulus packages released by the G8 nations and much of the EU, stimuli packages that have directly resulted in the softening and likely end of the 2008-09 recession.

    Fact: Barack Obama became an international beacon during the 2008 presidential campaign, inspiring billions of people with his simple messages of hope, change, and "Yes we can", a short call that is being echoed in political campaigns throughout the world. He has inspired an entire generation, globally, to engage in local, national, and international politics.

    Find someone else in the last year who did better, please.

  23. "but when stubbon, uncompromising Republicans do nothing but stop progress, what do you expect?"
    I'm from the Great Frozen North, and tbh I don't claim to be an expert on the American political system... but don't the Democrats(and by extension, Obama) have a supermajority in Congress?

    I really don't think it's the Republicans stopping the Democrats from getting what they want done, done. It's the Democrats keeping the Democrats from letting the Democrats do what the Democrats promised to do/are publicly saying they WANT to do right now.

    Protestations on the news and such (from Democrats) about the Republicans stopping them rings kinda hollow.

  24. Kassul: the US political system is far more complex. A 60 member supermajority in the Senate means that each individual Democratic senator can upset the entire cart. Ben Nelson (D-NE) is rather more conservative than four or five Republicans I can name, and each of the Senators brings their own unique agenda to each discussion.

    Unlike in Canada, the President doesn't have each Congressperson in line, wherein he can whip them to doing what they want. There's three different lines from the Democrats as to what is going on: Pelosi, Reid, and Obama. They don't always work together, and that's one of the reasons they get slowed down or stopped in doing what they want to do.

  25. @Veritas: Well, if you put it *that* way …

  26. I get that the president doesn't have as direct a control over the people in Congress as the PM does in the House of Commons up here, but there are boatloads of Democrats in both the legislative and executive branch down there. I find it rather difficult to swallow the idea that they can't get much in the way of significant legislation passed because of "the republicans"

    Sure, at least half of the republicans in congress are probably complete assholes, but even if some of the democrats(eg: the ultra right ones that are even further right than the republicans) jump to the other side on some votes, surely they can get one or two Rs(the ultra left ones, that are further to the left than those crazies above?) to lend their aid to a bill.
    You don't need to get a 1:1 exchange rate here or anything unless large numbers of democrats are voting against the bills in question.

    And if huge numbers of Ds are blocking the bill, surely it'd make more sense to castigate THEM rather than the Republicans who at least are voting in ways that are consistent with their party's general outlook?

  27. Kassul, I'm a Canuck too (Nova Scotia), but US politics just isn't that simple. Remember that for large portions of this year, the Democrats didn't have the supermajority - before Al Franken finally won his case, and after Teddy Kennedy's death. That's the first goal.

    Secondly, brand loyalty still smacks hard with both sides. Individual Republicans stand against things they might personally be in favour for; the Democrats do the same. And it is exceedingly rare for either a sitting Republican or Democrat to be challenged by their own party. I can only think of a few instances where it has happened.

    The Republicans' obstructionism is primarily done through the public. By inciting their base in certain areas that have Democratic representation they are able to convince some Democrats to be less aggressive with the liberal agenda many people in our online circle favour.

  28. Jen,

    I was mocking the previous commenter, and you know it. Don't play dumb. And if you're really upset about my phrasing, why didn't you react to Jessica Sideways?

    Your hypocrisy is showing.


    And thanks for tweeting your lie as well. Classy.

  29. Oh, I didn't see that. Well, I guess that makes a little more sense than you just saying it out of the blue... But it's still weird because Jessica Sideways being a bisexual transexual woman is actually relevant since she was talking about her interest in Obama's GLBT policies. So, alright then, mockery fail on your part.

  30. Hey, Tom;

    Jessica had a legitimate point about the president and there was no need to mock her. I looked at your comment and thought..."Hmm. Tom could be mocking someone who is disappointed in the president's inability to push forward on LGBT issues, but even he's not that much of a douchebag, right?"

    I was wrong.

  31. Tom,

    You are being a jerk again. Just thought you should know.

    Your friend in Odin,


  32. Thanks for the correction here and on Twitter.

    For the record, I ALWAYS think it is silly to say, "As a ...... Your ethnicity and sexual preferences have nothing to do with the validity of your opinion. If you don't think Obama has done enough to help LGBT's then say so, and say why. I'm sure there are lots of straight people who don't believe Obama has done enought either, is there opinion weighted differently because they're not gay? No.

    I was simply pointing out the silliness of prefacing your statement with a declaration like that.

    You can go back to calling me names now.

  33. Well, in Jessica's case it's relevant to the point that she was making. Or did you not read the rest of her comment?

  34. Tom. Go back and look at your post. You said "As a straight man, I had to respond to Jen's "points" on my blog."

    Not Jessica's but Jen's.

    If people are making fun of you, its because you are a joke and deserve it. You should apologize instead of acting like a brat.

  35. Tom: people's ethnicity and sexual preferences affect how they vote, just as their religion or lack thereof does, because ethnicity, sexual preferences, religion, and a thousand other factors make up a person's value system.

    For instance, would you vote for a pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion candidate? Likely not, and it's likely due to the values you draw (based on your blog) as a Christian. Which is fine, and that's your choice.

    I, too, am disappointed in the President's inability to move forward on LGBT issues. But I have hope he'll get it done. No prefacing, but I imagine if I fit into the LGBT group, I'd probably be angrier than I am about it.

  36. Tom,

    Your point is silly. Prefacing one’s argument with a qualitative statement can be entirely relevant to what they say. Ever heard of “framing”?

    Nevertheless, whether it was silly or not (and it wasn’t, in the context Jessica was using it), you still A) mocked someone for no reason, and what’s worse, B) failed. Mocking has to be evident, which yours wasn’t.

    Then, C) You show yourself to be a four-fold hypocrite by falsely claiming that Jen purposefully misunderstood what you wrote, when she obviously made a mistake.

    Finally, D) You, of all people, have absolutely no right to call others out for being mean, snarky, dishonest, or anything of the sort, considering the type of hateful, bigoted and ridiculously false garbage you yourself lay out each and every day on your blog. Unless your quest for hypocrisy is neverending. Thank you.

  37. Off-Topic, but why don’t these bloody eMail subscriptions work anymore? Err.

  38. I have a legitimate interest of who is elected president beyond being a citizen of the United States. As a transsexual woman, I see the suffering of my sisters as they are denied medical care again and again. Our health care options are so good in this country, I *HAD* to go to Thailand to have my surgery. We are constantly discriminated for employment, housing, whatever in any state that does not have a protection clause for it's trans citizens. I happen to live in a state that does have such a protection clause, which the religious reich vehemently protested.

    As a bisexual, what if my attractions lean towards a female that I know? I am not always attracted to men, you know?

  39. Unfortunately, giving Obama a nobel peace prize now is wrong.

    He hasn't done enough to deserve it, but the sad thing is that I think he will and that if they had waited he could have received the award without backlash or mockery.

  40. I think giving our president the Nobel prize is like giving Michael Phelps the gold medal before the swim meet. Sure we're extremely confident he will earn it, but we should wait until he's furthered the cause of world piece by ending one of our wars.
    As for the LGBT issues, I share your frustration, I like to think that he's just moving slowly. But it would be nice to see him do something like ending don't ask don't tell.

  41. Rather than starting with an "As a..." I'll say that I'm probably the only Norwegian here, and can report that the country was very divided over the NPP. We are in general very well-disposed to Obama, but there have been many echoes of the guy who said we might as well give it to the beauty queens.

    Jen writes: "Remember, the Nobel Peace Prize isn't necessarily given out for successful accomplishments - it is also given to people with great visions who are working hard for human rights and democracy."
    It has certainly been given to campaigners who have not yet entirely won their battles, or not won them at all, like the Dalai Lama, but this is in fact a question at the heart of the whole institution -- considering that the other prizes are in fact awarded (by the Swedes, not us) for well-established accomplishments, often decades in the past. Unfortunately we have also given it for what subsequently proved to be smoke and mirrors, like the Oslo Accords. So I personally would like to move the slider somewhat away from the "encouragement of pious hopes and good causes" setting.

    If the prize was given to Obama for "not being George W. Bush", one might say that it should equally well have been given to all you who elected him on that basis. Don't ask me who would come and collect it in that case.

    If anyone is interested, the Committee was originally three to two against the award, but was either sweet-talked or arm-twisted by its chairman, Jagland, a former prime minister. Malicious tongues here suggest that Jagland wanted to meet the great man, and this was the only way.

  42. @ Veritas

    Obama deserves the Nobel Peace prize because has "inspired billions"?

    Norman Borlaug got the Nobel Peace Prize for saving 1 billion peoples lives through superior maize and wheat strains.

    I guess a vague assertion of "inspiring" a sizeable portion of the worlds population is more important than that.

    Got any stats to back up billions of people being inspired? How is "inspired" defined? And what positive effect has it had? this is a null point

    "Fact : He ordered Guantanamo to be shut"

    Except he's gone on record saying he has no problem with military tribunals (i.e. trials without juries) for terrorists. IF and when Guantanamo does get shut down, the majority of prisoners will just go to other prisons.

    "Fact : He's reached out to the Islamic world, spoken in Islamic cities"

    I guess that makes up for ordering 30,000 troops into Afghanistan, and continuing drone attacks in Pakistan and other middle eastern countries.

    Let me guess, its congresses fault.

    I could forgive the Obama hysteria prior to his election, hey, its great George Bush has gone, but its time to face up to reality.

    He's continuing, and in some places escalating the wars in the middle east.

    He's done practically nothing to restore civil liberties (PATRIOT act? military tribunals? CIA powers? State surveillance?)

    He's done nothing to reform the disasterous drug prohibition in the US.

    Why? Even if he actually cared about changing these things, he wouldn't do it because he cares about re-election too much.

    The successful politician has to (try) and be All things to all people. He can point to shit to say he's tough on terror (30,000 troop surge), and he can point to things that say he's going in the opposite direction (kinda closing guantanamo, doing talks in middle eastern countries).

    But at the end of the day he's just as politically minded and self serving as the vast majority of other politicians.

    It was entirely naive to believe any significant change would come (and I believe it hasn't, and won't), because we have a democratic system that pushes all politicians to play for the center ground, to be all things to all people, to chase the swing votes, and to essentially stand for nothing.

    The dream is over, now lets get real, and aim for some real SYSTEMIC change, rather than going into denial based on an insane cult of personality, the Nobel Prize being one symptom of that.