NORWEGIAN HUMOR

I have to admit that I really like the Norwegians' decision to award this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the incumbent President. Not because he deserves it or did anything to earn it, as it is so premature and shoddily justified that it's almost embarrassing. Scratch that – it is embarrassing to see the kind of obsequiousness rained on George W. Bush by conservatives circa 2002 lavished upon Obama. Frankly I'm surprised he accepted it, as self-aware people are generally uncomfortable with being fawned over. But perhaps the committee and the President are in cahoots and share a twisted sense of humor, in which case this is merely a bar bet on a grand scale between two parties interested in seeing if they can make Glenn Beck's head explode.

The reaction has been predictably hyperbolic and easily matches in intensity the extent to which the prize is undeserved.
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Call it Obama Derangement Syndrome or whatever you want. Going forward, this could be a component of an effective strategy for the White House.

In 2004 the Kerry campaign was (justifiably) criticized for chasing rabbits; that is, every day the Bush campaign threw out some nonsense to distract them, to knock them off of their message (whatever that was).
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The Kerry people obliged, of course, dutifully running after every lark like the Bob Shrum-led idiots they were. Here's the thing. I just checked with some scientists at the University of the Obvious, and they noted with great certainty that Glenn Beck and his kind are all idiots too. So perhaps Bill Maher was onto something when he recommended in jest that the President repeal "don't ask, don't tell" to make Limbaugh freak out. We know these people lose whatever tenuous association with reality they have at the mention of words like "gay" or "feminism." So why not endlessly distract them from the administration's real agenda with a series of meaningless, non-binding resolutions? How hard is it to get Congress to declare something Harvey Milk Day or to rename an airport concourse after George Tiller?

These people can be played like a fiddle. No matter how furious "socialized medicine" and "negotiating with terrorists" make wingnuts, they just can't help themselves when it comes to the godless homos, abortion, bra-burning 1960s feminism, and so on. All of those issues are legitimate ones, of course, but they're not being dealt with directly right now and they make fantastic diversions. We can't help but notice how an Olympics and a symbolic award destroyed whatever capacity for logical thought exists on the right. What did Sun Tzu say about using every available weapon in war?

14 thoughts on “NORWEGIAN HUMOR”

  • I have been regularly pinching myself while reading the news. Apparently, I am not dreaming and these really are the stories… I half expect to see that Michelle Obama will make a personal visit to the moon or something.

  • I think Obama has been doing this for a while. Maybe since he declared he wanted to be a transformative president, like Reagan. Remember "lipstick on a pig?" And when he shook hands with Hugo Chavez? Or "I don't want the folks who got us into this mess doing a lot of the talking?" If anything, the Olympics/Nobel issues just show Obama hasn't been thinking big enough when it comes to misdirection. He should throw a couple Nobel bucks to ACORN, praise Rigoberta Menchu, put Evolution of Species in a prominent place in the Oval Office…

  • Slightly off topic, but I saw the theory elsewhere that the committee is being more manipulative than fawning. By giving Obama an award that implicates climate issues and requiring him to be in Copenhagen just prior to the Copenhagen climate talks, it both ensures his attendance at the talks and ups the ante for his pushing legislation.

  • Chris "The Limey" Lewis says:

    Being from Blighty, it's kinda funny watching how American conservatives/nutjobs/idiots (there's a fine line between idiocy and nutjobbery) go insane when Obama proposes all sorts of (eventually scaled well-back) legislation.

    'Cause over here, we love him, compare him to JFK, FDR, Truman, Lincoln and all the other Presidents you admire etc, and our politicians – notably the Conservative party – are now attempting something of his imagery.

    For instance (look him up) David Cameron, rubber-faced rich white guy, is adopting Obama's mannerisms and slogans. *sigh*…

    I think this goes some way to explaining the hysteria over Obama over in Europe, because we feel kinda guilty for making the United States (it's true) and now things look like they're finally being put right, 40 years after the last true reforming president, so Europeans can't help but soil themselves over the guy.

    The Nobel Prize is sheer brownosing and ignorance on the Nobel committee's part. Hell, Henry Kissinger deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for detente more than Obama does for doing, uhh, nothing.

  • It's a prize for trying to do something, not for doing something. I don't see a free Burma, but no one says What's-her-name is a do-nothing loser who has no accomplishments. When Bishop Tutu won he couldn't live in any neighborhood in South Africa unless he was serving as a butler, and even then he probably would have needed his white employer's signed statement to keep from imprisonment for vagrancy or trespassing or trying to rape the white women. And Kissinger tried some diplomacy, too. He was also working hard at getting the correctly-shaped table for the Paris talks to end the Vietnam conflict while simultaneously not bombing neighboring regions outside the conflict's stated borders, but still he was kinda-sorta trying to get something done.

    So is Obama's Peace Prize premature? I say yes and no, but it's definitely not Obama's fault he got it. If any one person is to blame for this prize, it is George W. Bush. He's the guy who was such an awful predecessor that even a do-nothing, no-resume, no-accomplishments guy such as Obama could elicit so much hopeful emotion. All the talk about a big ego, narcissism, blind ambition, and arrogance should be directed at Bush, the man so awful he made Obama not just seem to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner in comparison, but actually caused it to become true.

  • The Prize was to demonstrate faith trust and support for the president and his stated objectives. Unfortunately Americans no longer possess any of the above attributes.

  • "..whatever capacity for logical thought exists on the right."

    That's why I come here, for the incredible imagination and humor. Who would have thought that "logical thought" and "the right" could be put together in a meaningful sentence that didn't involve either a negative or some indication of hysterical laughter?

  • Matthew Laird says:

    My theory was always that Obama got the award because a fairly significant portion of the world was so fucking relieved when Bush left office that they relaxed, and any number of tense situations that could have erupted into violence dissipated. So basically, he got it for not being Bush II. And I have no problem with that.

  • Some modest suggestions: the European Union could appoint Michelle ambassador-at-large. Next, surely the United Nations could find an honorific medal or two to give Barack. George Soros might oblige by setting up a charitable Obama Fund for Americana kids without health insurance.

    I just hope one of the EMS people snaps a pic of Limbaugh's deep-blue face when they find him lying down soaked in the juices of his own exploded head — and then posts it on Something Awful.

  • That's 'American kids,' obviously. Americana kids would be creepy old Yankee fetuses pickled in formaldehyde a long while ago.

  • Ya, I heard Maher suggest this "distract them with teh ghey" strategy too, only I'm not sure if it would work…

    The thing I can't figure out, is does it require public pressure on congress to keep them moving forward, or will they move anyway unless pressure stops them. In the latter case, then make a big distracting noise, the wingnuts take a pavlovian crap all over their shoes, phone calls to congress about killing granny subside, and health care sales through relatively quietly. In the former case, you make a big stink about gay rights, and all of the political oxygen gets sucked from the room, polarizing lies get ratcheted up past their normal '11', and congress actually stalls out on health care, as everyone is too distracted, trying to reassure their rural constituents that they really are a red blooded murkan, gosh darn tooting all to heck.

    One of you political science guys should figure this out. It's clearly important.

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