How To Win A Nobel Prize

The announcement this morning that His Holiness The One, Galactic President Barack Hussein Obama – mmm-mmm-mmm, has picked up a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at, er, well, for his efforts, reminds me of an old Cajun joke, which goes like this…

Thibodeaux, on his way to work every morning, drives past the sugar-cane fields of his friend Emile. But on a particular Monday he sees his friend loitering among his cane stalks with no apparent purpose.

This being an unusual sight, Thibodeaux notices the event as somewhat remarkable and then proceeds to go about his business. But on Tuesday, on his morning commute Thibodeaux notices once again that his friend is lingering in the same position – with precisely the same attire. Based on his rather disheveled appearance, it doesn’t appear he has moved since the previous day. Thibodeaux begins to get concerned, but knowing as he does that Emile is something of a strange bird he reluctantly puts the spectacle out of his mind and continues about his day.

When on Wednesday Thibodeaux spots Emile clad in the same attire, looking more disheveled and standing in the same spot, he decides he has had quite enough and pulls his truck over.

“Hey Emile,” he bellows. “What you doin’ out here? All week you been out here in that cane. You crazy?”

“Hell, no,” comes the reply. “Me, I’m winnin’ one of dem Nobel Prizes.”

“Say what?” asks Thibodeaux. “You ain’t doin’ a thing. How you gonna win a Nobel Prize?”

“Simple,” says Emile. “I’m goin’ by de book. It says all I gotta do is be out standin’ in my field. Dey don’t say how long I gotta do it, though.”

No, that joke isn’t exactly appropriate to describe Obama’s honor today. It is, however, somewhat descriptive – for after all, our president hasn’t really done much more to further the cause of world peace than our friend Emile. In the nine months he’s been president he’s largely stood around in the figurative sugar cane.

The Nobel committee, which apparently voted Obama as their winner sometime around Feb. 1, when he had been president for all of 10 days, claims their prize comes as a result of actual achievements. Even spotting Obama the 8 1/2 months since that vote, the most concrete achievement in bringing peace our president has had was the Beer Summit between Skip Gates and James Crowley after creating a national controversy with stupid statements in the first place.

So far it’s pretty clear Obama has been “out standing” rather than outstanding in his field. But given his obvious agenda to relinquish American prestige and power in favor of joining into some multipolar utopia, it’s little surprise that the “international community” sees him as a star. As such, Obama is being rewarded for his attitude and stance as a citizen of the world rather than the leader of a great nation – and that means actual accomplishments are of no real import.

Two pieces on these events today are of particular merit. The first, by Benjamin Kerstein at The New Ledger, points out the ridiculous nature of Obama earning the Nobel and the almost Monty Python-esque character of the situation:

“He’s not the messiah! He’s a very naughty boy! Now piss off!”

The other is a somewhat unrelated piece by Charles Krauthammer in the Weekly Standard which addresses the issue of national decline. Krauthammer’s thesis is that America’s decline from global hegemon to just-another-one-of-the-guys at the United Nations is a choice we’re making, and it’s a choice we should be very deliberative about. He posits that the Left in America, as personified and led by Obama, wants badly to reduce our role in world affairs for two reasons – first, America lacks the moral capacity to be a superpower because of whatever perceived faults (see the Obamapology Tour of 2008-09 for specifics), and second, because in reducing this country’s role the proceeds might be invested in a welfare state which will help keep Democrats in power and help prevent further moral degradation and aggression on the world stage.

Per Krauthammer, America would thus be a larger version of the Western European social democracies, with their pitifully weak militaries and cradle-to-grave nanny states. The Europeans are incapable of aggressive military action – they can’t project power beyond their own borders for the most part, not to mention the fact their populations are militantly pacifist – and thus they are morally superior to the United States. As he notes, however, this flaccid existence is made possible at present by the protection and fidelity of the American armed forces; should America join Europe in comfortable decline, who will protect us?

That question, at the end of the day, is the real one Obama’s prize brings forward. The Nobel committee applauds a president whose vision of America is humble and doesn’t lead – it is by no means given, however, that such a vision promotes peace or security for either America or the planet, nor is it clearly shown that abandoning 70 years of U.S. strategic policy satifies our national interest.

One of the more prevalent criticisms of Obama getting the Nobel prize is that it’s far too soon. You would think the Nobel committee might have learned that lesson after Yassir Arafat pocketed his prize and then commenced a war against Israel, but obviously that wasn’t the case. The sense here is that our president’s policies with respect to North Korea, Iran, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe will result in less peace rather than more, and his pursuit of an emasculated, beta-male America will embolden international tyrants and adventurers rather than placate them. And then, in that much more dangerous world, we’ll see whether Obama is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.

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