...if you've done nothing to earn it! It was a travesty when Al Gore won it in 2007 for espousing faulty science and a bad movie. Never mind it had nothing to do with "peace" except in the most abstract of terms.
Now Obama has won it on the come. Nominations closed February 2. He took his oath of office January 20. He got the award based on campaign rhetoric. The award has been diminished to the point of being meaningless no matter how hard the committee tries to justify it.
In response to the curiosity expressed by a friend in New Zealand, here's one American's take on the whole situation. I see Obama as a man with few convictions beyond raw ambition, a vision of the country that frightens most of us, a timetable meant to overwhelm opponents into paralysis, and a man unable or unwilling to make tough decisions.
I'm going to ignore everything the pundits are saying as to how this award will help or hinder his presidency. This is what I observe. If he's not out campaigning, he's dithering. He campaigns for a concept in health care reform that has the country up in arms and his own party at odds with themselves. He campaigns for a bill that has yet to be finalized, making promises that cannot be kept.
He has abrogated responsibility to Congress. This is not leadership. Pork abounds. Threats of veto's are non-existent.
He has Czars roaming the country dictating pay for executives while ignoring contract law. This isn't leadership, this is abrogating responsibility to unelected individuals who consider their dictates to be above the law.
He sits at the head of the table while his security advisers haggle over strategy for Afghanistan. Again, there is discord within his own party. Say what you will about Bush, he was able to make a decision. Obama agonizes while troops continue to die for a cause yet undefined. This is not leadership.
If he spent as much time with health care and insurance experts defining and redefining our health care needs as he is with his national security team, I might feel better. I fear though, the reason why he hasn't is because his expertise is in selling rather than formulation.
I listened to a pundit complain about his Sunday's spent on the golf course. What difference does it make? He's not governing. I wonder how long it takes him to play a round. There are decisions to be made. How long does it take for him to decide which club to use? Or is his caddy named Rahm? He'll call the shot.
There once was a time the Nobel Peace Prize was a coveted award based on extraordinary accomplishment. Those days appear to be gone forever. Like so much else this country used to hold dear.
Never again will I be swayed by rhetoric alone. Friends who questioned my passionate defense of Obama warned me. But like the country, we saw what we wanted to see rather than what really was.
I've learned and I fear the country has too. It's going to hurt.