By Daniel Greenfield
Brilliant misstep that was meant to honor Obama, but in reality humiliates him
Part of the fun of living under the Obama Administration is having your news headlines keep turning into April Fool’s Day. This belated April Fool’s Day, a bunch of aging left wing Norwegians decided to give away the Nobel Peace Prize to one Barack Obama… for just being himself.
This is actually a brilliant misstep that was meant to honor Obama, but in reality humiliates him, because not even his defenders at home can point to anything he’s actually done to deserve the award.
Had the Committee of Eccentric Left Wing Norwegians waited a bit and handed the award to Obama for pushing for Israeli concessions or some of his diplomatic roundtrips, it would have significantly burnished his image. Instead what they’ve done is turned both Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize into laughingstocks.
When even the same unfailingly worshipful media is seriously questioning the award, it’s not a good sign. The Committee of Incontinent Peaceloving Norwegians has said that they wanted to “encourage” Obama, which is patronizing and condescending. And it gives the entirely accurate impression of the slow kid who’s given a trophy just for showing up.
Domestically this award is a disaster for Obama. It’s something not even his closest media backers can claim he deserves. It’s not something even he can claim he deserves. It turns him into a joke. And even ABC is now running a list of Obama Nobel jokes.
About the smartest thing Obama could do now would be to decline the award, but he isn’t likely to do it. The award gives him a forum, but not a whole lot less. Mostly it shows him up as being an empty chair and the Nobel Committee as being a bunch of dishonest agitators who have no interest in rewarding achievement, only in promoting agendas.
The prize citation reads, “The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” But what “extraordinary efforts” are those, no one has any idea. And what form has this cooperation taken? No one has any idea either.
The official Nobel mandate states that the 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”. Does anyone seriously think that’s Obama?
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When then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama promised not to sign major legislation until it had been posted on the Internet for public reading at least five days, trusting voters took him at his word. Now they know better. Not only is the actual language of what is likely to become the main legislative vehicle for Obama’s signature health care reform not available on the Internet, it hasn’t been given to members of the key Senate committees or the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), either. All that is available to those worried about a massive government takeover of our health care system is a 262-page description of the bill’s provisions. Bill descriptions mean nothing and bind nobody.
Brian Darling, a legislative analyst with the Heritage Foundation, believes the Senate Democratic leadership intends to use an obscure parliamentary maneuver to bring the actual health care reform proposal to the Senate floor in order to prevent a Republican-led filibuster. Once debate starts in the Senate, Democrats will only need 51 votes to add the public option provision they have long favored. The White House and the Democratic congressional leadership know that passing so monumental a proposal in this manner violates the president’s promise of greater transparency, but they don’t care. That became clear last week when Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Jim Bunning, R-KY, offered an amendment requiring the actual legislative language be posted on the Internet for 72 hours prior to final passage. Bunning’s amendment was soundly defeated. As The Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio reported yesterday, there is no reason to think that situation will change before a vote on final passage.
Technically, Senate and House rules require that all bills be read in their entirety three times before debate begins, with a 24-hour and one-week respite between readings to allow elected representatives to digest what’s in the bills before voting on them. But rules are made to be suspended, as frequently happens on Capitol Hill. Indeed, earlier this year, hardly any member of Congress read the 1,100-page stimulus bill because copies of the bill only became available barely 13 hours before the final vote. Passing the even more massive health care reform bill without reading it or allowing the public to do so will qualify as among the worse instances ever of legislative malpractice. The shameless message Democrats are thus sending to the American people, with tacit approval of the White House, is this: “We won’t read the bill, and neither will you.” The public’s response ought to have a familiar ring to it: “You won’t tread on me.”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )