Friday, October 09, 2009

How to Win the Nobel Peace Prize In 12 Days

Cartoon source

I can hardly believe it took them that long. He'd already written an autobiography at 30...surely he already knew how great he was, right? After nominating Hitler and Tookie the Cop-Killah, and actually awarding this prize to Yassir (strap-a-bomb-to-a-kid) Arafat, I can hardly see how this award has any credibility left.

Editor's Note: Although President Obama had only been in office for 12 days before the nominations for this year's Nobel Peace prize closed the entire process actually takes a full year. According to the official Nobel Prize Web site invitation letters are sent out in September. Every year, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sends out thousands of letters inviting a qualified and select number of people to submit their nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The deadline to submit nominations is February 1. -- Two hundred five names were submitted for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, 33 of which are organizations. A short list of nominees is prepared in February and March. The short list is subject to adviser review from March until August. At the beginning of October, the Nobel Committee chooses the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates through a majority vote. The decision is final and without appeal. The names of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are then announced."

Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize this morning. Over the last decade the only requirement to win the prize was that the nominee had to be critical of George W. Bush (see Al Gore, Mohamed El Baradei and Jimmy Carter).

President Obama has broken new ground here. Nominations for potential winners of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ended on February 1. The president took office only 12 days earlier on January 20.

Let’s take a look at the president’s first 12 days in the White House according to his public schedule to see what he did to deserve a Nobel Peace Prize:

January 20: Sworn in as president. Went to a parade. Partied.

January 21: Asked bureaucrats to re-write guidelines for information requests. Held an “open house” party at the White House.

January 22: Signed Executive Orders: Executive Branch workers to take ethics pledge; re-affirmed Army Field Manual techniques for interrogations; expressed desire to close Gitmo (how’s that working out?)

January 23: Ordered the release of federal funding to pay for abortions in foreign countries. Lunch with Joe Biden; met with Tim Geithner.

January 24: Budget meeting with economic team.

January 25: Skipped church.

January 26: Gave speech about jobs and energy. Met with Hillary Clinton. Attended Geithner's swearing in ceremony.

January 27: Met with Republicans. Spoke at a clock tower in Ohio.

January 28: Economic meetings in the morning, met with Defense secretary in the afternoon.

January 29: Signed Ledbetter Bill overturning Supreme Court decision on lawsuits over wages. Party in the State Room. Met with Biden.

January 30: Met economic advisers. Gave speech on Middle Class Working Families Task Force. Met with senior enlisted military officials.

January 31: Took the day off.

February 1: Skipped church. Threw a Super Bowl party.

So there you have it. The short path to the Nobel Peace Prize: Party, go to meetings, skip church, release federal funding to pay for abortions in foreign countries, party some more.

Good grief.

Read more Tommy De Seno at

h/t Bp. Chuck


Sara said...

I can do that, how do I get my name submitted? Pick me. Pick me.

The reactions have been interesting. They don't fall along party lines, they are along racial lines.

How do you react to something like this? Does this now put more pressure on Obama toward that end, or does he let it go to his head and think he's already there. It's time to sit back and observe.

Fr. Chris Larimer said...

Can you submit proof of that statement? (That criticism is along racial lines?) I know white people that are thrilled about it and black people that thinks it's ridiculous.

I really appreciate that people of different ideological stripes are recognizing the folly of this action.

Sara said...

It's just been among acquaintances, nothing scientific. I'm pretty isolated, I don't have a diverse group of American friends. However, my Chinese and European friends all are thrilled. I know white people who NOW are thrilled with it but initially went, "WHAT? "

Fr. Chris Larimer said...

I'm glad no white people were ever opposed to George W. Bush's policies. The White Choice is the Right Choice...all race, nothing ideological.

(I think fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Jimmy Carter said roughly the same thing. Since I'm white, male, and Southern I guess I have no choice but to agree.)

Sara said...

Do you think it will ever be possible to remove race from the equation? I have yet to live anywhere that doesn't have racism. There is always a group that has the power, always based on ethnicity.

In the west, we seem to strive toward some sort of equality, but we don't know how to achieve it. We overreact, overcompensate, and yet seem to fear relinquishing our grip on power.

I don't know if Obama deserved the prize or not, it's not my call. I'm not even sure that the prize means anything anymore. I am enjoying watching the reaction, it's really educational. People are so much fun to watch!

Fr. Chris Larimer said...

Mr. Obama himself said he didn't deserve it...and I agree with him. I'm post-modern enough (heck - a firm enough believer in total depravity) to be skeptical of any claim to absolute unbias. But I don't think race is the basis of the critique. After all, the Rev'd Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. won the prize for his civil rights work; he was black, and I think he deserved it. (Of course, that could be my bias, seeing as he was a life-long Republican.) Abp. Desmond Tutu also won the prize, for his work in dismantling - then healing - Apartheid. While I didn't always agree with every method he took, I agree he earned the prize. (But again - I'm an Anglican now, so I could be favorably dispositioned towards him.) I thought Nelson Mandela, another black man, also deserved it. (But I should caution you - we're both members of the human race, so I could be biased here.)

Why don't we just admit that Obama has done nothing to merit this once-great honor. Find anywhere in his track record in the time leading up to the decision to award the prize that would justify the claim that he earned it "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

WHEN? WHERE? As a lawyer and law prof? As a junior senator in Illinois (who used a technical error to unseat a real living legend of the civil rights era)? As a junior senator to the US (where he spent most of his time campaigning to be president)?