The title is a quote from Eugene Robinson’s latest effort in which he indulges himself in another leftist “history began January, 20th, 2009” moment. His ire and the reason for his rhetorical question comes on the heels of the announcement that Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize and the derision by which that was met on the right.
Robinson then spends the rest of his article taking pot shots at those who find the award to be a travesty. But in the entire 700 to 800 word spread, he never once even attempts to justify the award. The best he can do is this:
Obama has shifted U.S. foreign policy away from George W. Bush’s cowboy ethos toward a multilateral approach. He envisions, and has begun to implement, a different kind of U.S. leadership that I believe is more likely to succeed in an interconnected, multipolar world. That this shift is being noticed and recognized is to Obama’s credit — and to our country’s.
Of course, as any student of foreign affairs will tell you, that all remains to be seen. But again, one has to pretend that there was no multilateralism in existence prior to Obama to make this sort of a claim. And, of course, that’s simply not the case. So if Robinson’s reason for the prize is to be taken seriously, then the detractors are correct – it’s a travesty.
In the short term at least, it has become what most thinking people realized when it was awarded to Jimmy Carter – the “You’re Not George Bush” award. In reality, the Nobel Peace prize has degenerated into a political award given to those who best reflect the politics of the decidedly leftist award committee. It has little to do with peace. It has nothing to do with objectivity. It has everything to do with partisan leftist politics.
There are certainly many more worthy candidates who’ve worked very hard to bring peace to troubled areas. But they simply don’t provide the committee with the political visibility it craves. And they certainly don’t provide the committee the platform from which to make some sort of statement about what it finds acceptable in US politics and, frankly, what it doesn’t.
Anyone who brings as weak an argument to the table as has Eugene Robinson must in the back of his mind realize how undeserving Obama is of this award. To say he’s really accomplished nothing of substance in his first 9 months as president is an understatement. But it is also a fact.
One of the reasons the Medal of Honor is so difficult to earn is because the standards of courage, sacrifice and bravery required are set at an almost unachievable level. And those standards are never compromised for politics or any other reason. That’s why when you see a man wearing the MOH, you know without having to wonder that he met those standards. And when he meets another MOH recipient, there’s no doubt in his mind that recipient also met the very same high standards of courage under fire that he did.
That’s why the MOH is revered so highly.
The Nobel Peace Prize has, as critics are now claiming, has become a travesty driven by partisan politics. It isn’t “highly revered” anymore. The fact that Robinson wants to keep up the charade that this “honor” is something worth having (much less deserved) because it is politically useful for his side to do so speaks volumes about his integrity. He claims the right thing to say is “congratulations”. But I have little doubt that had the committee awarded George Bush the peace prize for ousting Saddam, defeating al-Qaeda in Iraq, and returning the country to the people, Robinson would have been among the first on the “travesty” bandwagon. The last thing he’d have said is “congratulations”. He’d also have been among the first to wonder why he was being accused of “hating America so”.
Those who remember the period before January, 20th 2009, remember when the Eugene Robinson’s of the world thought dissent was the highest form of patriotism. Now, with history beginning on that date for those like Robinson, dissent is just plain old hate.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?