Defenders of Obama’s Nobel prize

A useful thing about the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama is that it brings out who the true blue Stalinoid liberals really are, namely the people who attempt to justify this embarrassment. People like Eleanor Clift, or the despicable E.J. Dionne, who turned it into an occasion for attacking conservatives as racists. Another in-the-tank liberal is Andrew Sullivan, the formerly “conservative” homosexual who furiously abandoned conservatism in 2004 because President Bush had given lip service to the marriage amendment. Below is the first paragraph of Dan McLaughlin’s article at Red State about the Nobel, followed by his critique of Sullivan’s amazing argument that Obama deserves the Nobel.

A Nobel Prize Only Andrew Sullivan Could Love
Friday, October 9th at 2:00PM EDT

Today’s announcement that Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize—having been nominated a grand total of 12 days into his presidency—officially places Obama and the Nobel Committee alike beyond parody. There’s no stereotype of liberals they won’t embody. Could you possibly come up with a storyline that more perfectly captures the whole idea of Obama—all talk and promises and of course self-congratulation, and nothing to show for it? At least they haven’t (yet) renamed the prize after him, but I assume that future winners will be given a framed commemorative picture on black velvet of a shirtless Obama astride a unicorn. This is the most self-evidently ridiculous award since Rafael Palmeiro winning Gold Glove for season when he played only 28 games in the field. The ESPYs are now a more prestigious award than the Nobel Peace Prize….

Unsurprisingly, the most sycophantic reaction comes from Andrew Sullivan. Even Sullivan has to admit the award is “premature,” but then goes on to gush that “this is thoroughly deserved” and

Americans … haven’t fully absorbed the turn-around in the world’s view of America that Obama and the American people have accomplished.

As usual with such statements, Sullivan bypasses evidence and declines to specify who he means by “the world”—Putin? Hugo Chavez? Al Qaeda? The man on the street in Beijing, who has no political voice?—or what sort of results one would expect to see, if in fact “the world” was more favorably disposed towards the United States. Sullivan then ejaculates:

I hope more see both the peaceful intentions and the steely resolve of this man to persevere.

I’m at a loss to think of even a fictional, hypothetical example of Obama displaying “steely resolve,” but whatever gets you through the night, I guess.

This president has done a huge amount to bring race relations in this country to a different place … [the “far right”] know he threatens their politics of division and rule.

Leaving aside what any of that has to do with world peace (Bishop Tutu, he’s not), what place would that be? Henry Louis Gates certainly didn’t seem to think so. I doubt very much that we’re going to see anybody arguing from the left that any issue of race relations has improved sufficiently under Obama so as to justify an end to race-conscious government policies or policies premised upon arguments about racial inequality. I can predict with 100 percent confidence that the left will continue to spend far more time talking about race throughout Obama’s presidency than the right. All that has changed is the benefit to Obama himself of Obama getting elected.

He has also directly addressed the Muslim world, telling some hard truths, and played a small role in evoking a similar movement of hope and change in Iran, and finally told the Israelis to stop cutting their nose off to spite their face.

One could spend weeks unpacking the untruths in this single sentence, a masterpiece of dishonesty and self-deception for which I can only tip my cap to Sullivan. The Cairo speech was, as I have previously discussed, full of at best half-truths and appalling moral equivalencies, Obama’s response on Iran was far later and more muted than similar statements on Iranian liberty by his predecessor (and the Iran crisis undercut the whole point of his Cairo speech) … but yes, I’ll give him “credit” for disagreeing with the Israeli people and their elected leaders as to matters of Israeli national security.

[W]e were facing a spiral of conflict that, unchecked, could have taken the world to the abyss. I see this prize as an endorsement of his extraordinary reorientation of world politics, and as an encouragement to see it through….[T]his is an attempt to tell us: look up for a moment, see how far we’ve come in pivoting away from global conflict, and give this man a break for his efforts and the massive burden he now bears.

And, in the darkness that still threatens, know hope.

This is hyperbole not on stilts but aloft in a zeppelin, and one can only extend best wishes that Sullivan survives the altitude. And as usual with Obama, it measures his accomplishments entirely by positing an unknowable “but for” world of unimaginable horror, then simply assuming that everything that didn’t happen is a positive accomplishment. He’s being lauded here for peace “created or saved,” the alternative to which is unprovable—the very definition of a faith-based standard of accomplishment. And even on these grounds, Sullivan can’t begin to specify what concrete thing Obama has done or will do, since that would open him to having to move his goalposts when reality intrudes in his castles in the air.

Today, we saw the real fruition of Barack Obama’s international ambitions. He delivered the one thing he’s really good at: accolades and money for Barack Obama.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 12, 2009 12:51 PM | Send

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