The absurd decision to award an undeserving President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize made a mockery of a once-prestigious award.
We can live with that. And we can tolerate the disappointment of those who actually deserved the award: brave dissidents in Vietnam and China who risk their lives standing up to oppressive dictatorships.
However, we cannot see an already off-track, floundering and indecisive Obama emboldened by yet another injection of egomania because of this award.
The key here is how Obama will now see himself. If he shares the view that this was really an award to Mr. Anti-Bush, then he will keep things in perspective. He then will see that this was given to the successor to Bush — no matter who it was provided he/she was a total break from Bush. A normal person would just chuckle — and admit to himself and those close to him, “It’s nice. But I didn’t do anything to deserve this. I might not even accept it — because I didn’t earn it.”
But — and this is where we have to worry — if he takes this prize and adds it to other recent gifts such as Time magazine's Man of the Year award and two Pulitzers for the audio versions of his books and falls even more in love with himself, then we will all pay for it.
If Obama reads this award as further proof that he is different or better or — his favorite term, transformative — as opposed to other leaders, then that will reinforce what we already have learned about him: on foreign and defense policy he is blindly naïve (pulling missiles out of Eastern Europe without getting anything in return from Putin), vacillating (his inability to get a plan in place for Afghanistan), and a poor manager (announcing the closing of Gitmo without having a plan in place to replace it with another facility).
After nine months of his presidency, Obama has not been transformative at all. He has not changed policy on either Iraq or Afghanistan. But he has managed to infuriate the senior ranks of the Pentagon because of his dismissive, casual handling of Afghanistan. He has too many chefs in the kitchen; he has several foreign policy czars, plus Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton all talking to him. He is on track to emulate another U.S. president who won the Nobel — Jimmy Carter — he of the hostage crisis and a naive weakness that was exploited by America‘s enemies in the Soviet Union, Iran, and Cuba.
Meanwhile, behind the din of the Nobel — and the recent loss of the Chicago Olympics — both houses of Congress are moving toward bringing healthcare bills to the floor. The "public option" again will be debated. This is going to be a cause of major political trouble for the Democrats.
The continuing deterioration of the job situation is the one and only political issue in this country. Despite that Obama continues to push the health care issue — and his ratings correspondingly fall.
There is a growing unease among all Democrats — liberal and moderate — that Obama may not be quite the Great Leader they hoped for. They are whispering that Obama is “all talk and no action.”
This Nobel Prize story threatens to embolden Obama that his way is indeed the divine way and thus the only way.
If that happens, then — ironically — he becomes another version of G.W. Bush all over again.
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