Friday, October 9, 2009
Whether 'tis Nobel-er in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Let that sink in for just a moment... Barack Hussein Obama, won a prize that he was made a nominee for 12 days after taking the oath of office. I am not outraged, nor am I mad that he was awarded one of the most well known awards in the world because let's face it, he was getting it sooner or later. I do wonder how though. The nomination process includes a group that I am pretty sure it came from; University professors of history, political science, philosophy, law and theology, university presidents and directors of peace research international affairs institutes. It could have been from past winners as well, those are the only two groups that seem likely.
Just what was it in his first 12 days in office that qualified him for this award? In his own words this morning at the White House he claimed that "I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many trans-formative figures that have been honored by this prize," Obama said. So would that mean you would be giving it back? What about the money included with the prize?
According to the Government the President can keep some gifts and awards. Since the Medal that comes as the prize has no real monetary value he will get to keep that. I have no problem with that. The award comes with a check for a reported $1.4 million which he has already stated will go to charity. Excuse me Mr. President? That check belongs to the American people as outlined in the Constitution Article 1 Section 9. Granted, $1.4 million is a drop in the bucket, but that would be that much less that we or our children would have to pay back to the national debt. Certainly in Obama's new transparent Government he would disclose the charities, he wouldn't give it to, say, Chicago based charities or ACORN would he?
What was Alfred Nobel's original intent for this prize? Thanks to the wonders of the internet I have that answer. According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." Oh... ummm... yeah.... he did all that in his first 12 days, don't you remember? Once again I am not blaming President Obama for this, oddly enough in a recent precedent if he had gone overseas to lobby for the prize odds are we would not have got the award, it would have went to Luiz Inácio da Silva, the President of Brazil. Rather I blame the current committee charged with caring for Nobel's vision and legacy. The bones of Nobel are probably rattling in the grave tonight. Below is a picture of Alfred Nobel (possibly suffering from a toothache) and his Medal.
This won't be the last of the major accolades coming the way of President Obama I am sure. It would be nice if they would wait until he did something of note to hang the nomination on first. You know, like Ronald Reagan who ended the Cold War and saved the lives of hundreds of millions of Europeans. Reagan never received the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Cold War. Or Richard Nixon who ended the Vietnam War. It was won by Yasser Arafat though, he brought peace to... um... what exactly did he bring peace to again?