Commentators on the hawkish right are furious that Barack Obama can win a Nobel Peace Prize only eight months into his presidency.
The same commentators were quite comfortable in blaming the 2008 economic meltdown on Obama even though he hadn't taken office yet. And only a month into his presidency, they were quite convinced that Obama had scuttled the American economy beyond repair.
But when it comes to his re-establishing a spirit of international cooperation, they say October 2009 is too early a moment to assess whether he is being successful.
Can we all just agree that they hate Obama in an irrational way? It's similar to how they are asking that George Bush be given a generation before we assess his body of work, while they feel that there's no time to be lost in magnifying any mistakes on Obama's part.
I asked a friend today, a conservative Protestant pastor, if he's as delighted to see a devout Christian president of our nation being honored by the international community as he was to see America lose an Olympics bid a week ago. He hemmed and hawed and attempted to minimize how tickled he and his friends were to see that Obama couldn't cast a spell over Copenhagen in last week's Olympics voting. Yet another Scandinavian setting has now weighed in directly on Obama, and has stated that the world really does love him after all, because of what he is seeking to do for the world.
This reminds the hawks of the far right of why they hate this rotten, no-good world, even the parts occupied by allies. They are unspeakably bitter about how the detested "global apology tour" would result in such powerful recognition.
As such, there's really no point in listening to the far right bloviate about who should win a Nobel Peace Prize. Their dismissal of Obama's "apologies" shows they do not value global reconciliation or peace in the first place -- they merely value bluster that they naively think will snap the rest of the world into line.
As for the Nobel folks, they certainly could have waited a few years to honor Obama, and could have hung their honor on some more tangible achievements.
But what truly deserving champion of peace did they slight this year in the process? None to my knowledge. Many past recipients and current contenders have been humanitarians and martyrs, not actual peace-advancers.
They are free to use their award to honor someone who symbolizes their goals on the global stage. They have done so. And as Americans, we can be proud.