Velict wrote:I don't see this being self-evident. Can you explain your logic?
You're right; it's not necessarily self-evident. (That said, I also don't feel like my logic is all that far-fetched.) Here's where I'm coming from:
First, we're talking about the Nobel Peace Prize. This isn't a daytime Emmy or even a Time Magazine "Person of the Year" award, and there is a certain amount of prestige and history that accompanies the institution. In that sense, the Nobel Institute has amassed credibility over the last century, and a couple of fairly recent controversial choices don't erase that credibility. To the contrary, the prestige and credibility should earn, at the very least, a charitable interpretation of why the award was given. In short, a historically meaningful award should not be written off as meaningless just because it is given once or even a few times to people whose political opponents feel don't deserve it.
The charitable interpretation which I feel is deserved is that the award was given, as stated, as a show of support and approval. I feel the folks at the Nobel Institute did a very good job justifying themselves
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
In other words, Obama, the leader of the most powerful country on Earth, holding what is arguably the most influential position in world politics, represents exactly the international philosophy that the Nobel Prize is intended to encourage. After all, this prize is not just intended to make people feel good about themselves. Its purpose is to promote peace; giving the prize to someone whom the world sees as representing a new era of cooperation and sanity does just that.
To a relevant loyal opposition with a legitimate point, this time would be an opportunity to demonstrate good sportsmanship and remind independent voters of the opposing perspective. The sitting head of state has just won the Nobel Peace Prize for ostensibly promoting cooperation and understanding ... say, "Congratulations to the president, we agree with cooperation and understanding, and we're glad that the world views America in a better light. We hope that the president will use this award to help promote such things internationally, but we would caution him against two things: failing to live up to the responsibility of promoting cooperation and understanding, and using the prize as a political tool domestically, since all the Nobel prizes in the world won't fix the economy, and a more logical fiscal policy is badly needed. Lower taxes, cut government spending, blah blah blah, etc." Or something to that effect. Don't just shit on the award, unless peace and cooperation really isn't a desired objective, because that's all it's intended to promote.
Philwelch wrote:So a bunch of retired Norwegian politicians use the Nobel Peace Prize to endorse a do-nothing Democratic president (rather than what the prize was intended for, to recognize actual peacemakers who have actually made peace somewhere), and the Republicans are the ones out of line for complaining?
No, and yes. He's not a "do-nothing" president, and see above.
EDIT: See, this is how it's done:
John McCain wrote:"I can't divine all their intentions -- but I think part of their decision-making was expectations, and I'm sure the president understands that he now has even more to live up to," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union." "But as Americans, we're proud when our president receives an award of that prestigious category."