How can you criticize a peace prize?

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Barack Obama was president a mere 12 days before the Nobel Peace Prize nominations closed and he still won.

I know, I know. “He showed early promise.” Talk about handing in an “A” paper at the beginning of the semester. Less than two weeks in office and he earns himself a Peace Prize.

This guy is good. Of course, you got to remember, the potential recipient list for a Peace Prize is not what you call your deep field. Never has been. Hence: Kissinger, de Klerk and Arafat.

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What worries me is, what kind of message are we sending kids? Bomb the Moon. Win a Peace Prize. You know what’s next. People are going to want to bomb Mars. Just to see what happens. Trigger an announcement from the Vatican? Causing a nuke to be tossed at Uranus. Detonative planetary creep.

You could say, this is a “most likely to succeed” sort of deal. Not so much a pro-Obama message as much as it is “thanks for rescuing the planet by changing administrations” message. An award that could have pretty much gone to any American not named George W. Bush. Then again, the tactical use of beer to arrange a diplomatic summit may have been a crowning achievement in the minds of the five Norwegians.

Or perhaps the intellectual community is so excited to be out of the doghouse and rejoining the conversation that they are banding together to encourage Obama. Expect the MacArthur Genius Grant people to come calling. Then he’ll win a Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation Grand Prize from France for reducing global stress and increasing cardiovascular efficacy. And finally, next spring, Neil Patrick Harris presents him with a Special Tony Award for the sensational fashion in which he tap-danced his way into our hearts.

As expected, the lunatic fringe finds all this further fodder to continue its harangue. Which I don’t understand. How can you criticize a Peace Prize?

I don’t care if the Keebler Elves are excreting them like tear shaped lemon bars from a hollowed-out tree stump. It’s a Peace Prize. It’s not like he’s getting a bronzed bazooka from Warmongers Weekly.

“You know Hitler was nominated.” Yeah, once. By one guy. And Pat Paulsen was almost president. The same crowd who cheered losing in Copenhagen is now grumbling about winning in Oslo.

Totally unfamiliar with the grand Scandinavian tradition of make-up calls. The toughest part has to be keeping a straight face when expressing concern over the Nobel Committee’s credibility.

Certain talk-show hosts have worked themselves into such a tizzy I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of them pull a Kanye West, and crash the stage during the award presentation, yelling Dick Cheney was more deserving. Should the Prez actually attend the ceremonies, that is.

On the off chance he doesn’t find himself too busy to personally accept the Peace Prize due to the time-consuming nature of commanding two wars.

Now might be a good time to abandon the high road and shove it in people’s faces by wearing the medal around his neck everywhere he goes. Like Flavor Flav. “What? This old thing?” And when he does donate to charity the $1.4 million that accompanies the prize, I’m thinking ACORN. Stop your belly-aching. So Obama got an award. Bush got a shoe.

Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. E-mail Will at