Saturday, October 10, 2009

President Obama Wins The "Yasser Arafat" Prize And Vatican Congratulations

Obama's Nobel Prize Inspires Conservative Outrage And Confusion
Sam Stein-Huffington Post-10/09/09

The unexpected news that President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize early Friday morning has prompted a serious debate as to whether the award was deserved and what exactly Obama should do to commemorate the moment.

It's also created a remarkable bit of fury among the president's Republican opponents. One week after conservatives were exuberant with Obama's failure to secure the Olympics for his hometown of Chicago, they were left bitter and bemused that he was bestowed the world's most prestigious honor.

"The real question Americans are asking is, 'What has President Obama actually accomplished?'" reads a statement from the Republican National Committee. " It is unfortunate that the president's star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain -- President Obama won't be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action." (He's also the first President in US history for whom the opposition party has no constructive input what so ever all all. Apparently patriotism for Republicans has been reduced to nothing more than opposition to President Obama.)

The White House, itself, was surprised when it awoke to the news, with press secretary Robert Gibbs informing the president in the wee hours of the morning. And, from the moment it was announced, the prize presented as many political hurdles as they did moments of congratulations.

Even Obama's supporters raised questions about whether the reward was deserved, with progressives pointing to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a detention policy that still enrages civil libertarians as logical points of contention.

For Obama's critics, however, the Nobel Prize has touched a far more bitter nerve -- affirming their firmly-held beliefs that the president is more symbolism than substance and that he's accomplished little of note on the international stage except to serve as an emblem of U.S. repentance for the Bush years. (There is some truth to this, which goes to show just how needed that repentance might be for the rest of the world.)

"This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama," conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh told Politico via e-mail. "And with this 'award' the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States... They love a weakened, neutered U.S and this is their way of promoting that concept. I think God has a great sense of humor, too."

"I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota," wrote Erick Erickson, of the site, "but that is the only thing I can think of for this news." (It's amazing how affluent white males can't leave race out of anything having to do with PO.)

"Obama isn't the first American president to win the Nobel Peace Prize, but he's the first to win it without having accomplished anything," wrote John Miller, of the National Review. "Obama's award is simply the projection of wishful thinking." (Try hopeful instead of wishful.)

"The prize seems not just premature but embarrassing," wrote Mark Krikorian, also on The National Review, "this just reinforces the Saturday Night Live meme that Obama has done nothing. This really might be his Carter whacking-the-bunny-rabbit moment." (More likely it's a GW Bush getting his ass kicked moment.)

Indeed, an online petition was started just hours after the announcement was made, objecting to the "absurd decision to award B. Obama Nobel Peace Prize."

And so, in the immediate aftermath, the meme had already been established -- seconded by the usual purveyors of conventional wisdom -- that the Nobel Prize was more burden than benefit for the White House. The conclusion: the president needed to turn the prize down.

"I predict right now that he will find a way to basically turn it down," Time Magazine's Mark Halperin told MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I think he is going to say, I share this with the world or whatever. I don't think he'll embrace this. Because there is no upside."

"The damage is done," added Mika Brzezinski shortly thereafter.

UPDATE: Either sensing an opening to cast the Republican Party as actively rooting against America, or just fed up with the stream of negative responses, the Democratic National Committee put out an unusually blunt statement Friday morning. The gist: that the GOP sides with the terrorists.

"The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists -- the Taliban and Hamas this morning -- in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," wrote DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. "Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize -- an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride -- unless of course you are the Republican Party. The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It's no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it's an embarrassing label to claim."


I may be in the minority, but I wasn't surprised the President Obama was given the Noble Peace Prize. Like the Vatican I suspect it has a lot to do with his stance on nuclear arms reduction and push for the renewal of the two state solution in Palestine. Here is the Vatican's statement:

"The awarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace to President Obama is greeted with appreciation in the Vatican, in light of the commitment demonstrated by the President for the promotion of peace in the international arena, and in particular also recently in favor of nuclear disarmament. It's hoped that this very important recognition will further encourage that commitment, which is difficult but fundamental for the future of humanity, so that the desired results will be obtained."

The Republican Catholic Church is following Rush Limbaugh's lead, some going so far as to opine that the only people more naive about nuclear weapons than President Obama is Pope Benedict.

Funny how obedience to the Papacy never includes anything which contradicts neo con thinking.

I've always found it amusing that Republicans will rant on and on about the Iranian program but nary a peep about Israel, India, and Pakistan. It seems to this naive follower of Benedict--at least on the nuclear issue-- that India and Pakistan pointing nukes at each other is a much more iminent threat to peace than Iran maybe someday having a useable weapon.

The issue is to disarm and get rid of all of them. I can't help but wonder how much more secure Israel would be at this very moment if the billions and billions they have spent on their nuclear arsenal had been invested in Palestine. Investing in people, rather than weapons, is the real path to lasting peace. This is a notion the Vatican has been trumpeting for many decades. It's called Catholic social justice.

It's not surprising at all to me that the Vatican is once again in Obama's corner. PO really does seem to inspire hope in everyone but Republicans when it comes to issues of peace. The question still remains though, can he cash in on the hope and give substance to his words. Other wise this honor really is too much too soon.


  1. I love your blog so much ! Thanks for such great reading !

  2. Thanks for reading it Rox, and feel free to continue to add to the conversation.

  3. The only thing that will bring joy to the hearts of so many Loyal American Fakeriots will be the news that Obama is no longer President of the US. Until then, whatever he does or says will, ipso facto, be reason to rant and rave against him.

    When you have nothing positive to propose, all you can do is latch onto a spin on the news that isnegative.

    Jim McCrea

    Jim McCrea

  4. Amen-and I enjoy the spectacle of consternation among the wingnuts. They can go on thinking the rest of the world is against them. It is they who are against the rest of the world.

  5. If Jesus Christ were President of the USA, the Republicatholics would complain. The sin of Obama is not his being Obama, but his failure to be Republicatholic.

    The proverbial Martian, seeing all the fuss and feathers about the wickedness of inviting the satanic President of the US to Notre Dame, might have imagined that Obama was an RC "deviationist", rather than a Christian of another Church. Why should a Protestant Christian give a rat's posterior for Catholic doctrine on bio-ethics ?

    I hope that the award will strengthen his hand in international affairs.


  6. It seems to me the longer PO is president the more he means to the global community and the less he is doing for the American electorate.

    If PO can't lead congress in any meaningful sense, then he should stop giving domestic speeches and let Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi do their thing and let them take the heat from the right.

    I am not pleased with the bs he spewed forth Saturday night. Some reports have the DADT repeal on hold until 2014. Which is a patently political strategy in which gay rights will be kept hostage to democratic elections. Seems PO learned a great deal from GW on how to throw your supporters under the bus.

    I'm beginning to have a great deal of empathy for pro lifers, and great deal of anger with politicians. There are no real Repbublicans and Democrats, there are just bland employees of corporate lobbyists. End of rant.