Friday, October 9, 2009

And The Nobel For Scorched Earth Politics Goes To....

Not too suspenseful is it?

Im not unsympathetic to the plight of my conservative friends, Im really not, but I don't feel badly enough for them to not notice how this Nobel Prize episode reveals what a struggle it is for them to assert policy narratives that can stand up to more than 15 seconds of pondering.

First the low hanging fruit.....

Conservatives of course will tell you that things like Nobel Prizes don't really matter, until of course they do matter for reasons that are entirely of their own expedient making. As a point of legitimacy I don't think there is anything wrong necessarily in poo-pooing the import of stuff like this, except of course they need to remember that things they find trivial should always be trivial and this they cannot do. I like to call this "Make Up A Story And Stick With It"

Now the story line struggling to take hold here is that this is yet another example of how Obama has been awarded for having done nothing and apparently disproves the adage that you can't fool all the people all the time. In fairness I don't think there is anything untoward in suggesting that we're hardly in Mother Teresa territory here.... but ... nothing? Really? Lets look closer shall we....

We're talking about a President who has committed the most powerful nation on earth to ending a war that is completely indefensible and unneeded. A President who has stated categorically that we will no longer rationalize torture or the illegal rendition of detainees,
a President committed to closing Guatanamo, a President who has taken our case for individual liberty directly to the Muslim world, and on the domestic front a President who has injected a degree of thoughtfulness, honesty, and depth into our national discussion on race that I thought I would never see.

Now, fish and loaves maybe it aint. But nothing?? Your dogmatic slip is showing.

So why doesn't the Right see this? Again, we know the answer. Their myopia is reflective of nothing more than the extent to which they have invested themselves in scorched earth politics. They cannot see how Obama's tack on foreign affairs might play in the rest of the world because they've tried, and obviously failed, to frame these as failures on his part. They are still struggling to accept that the last 8 years of Neo-Con babbling has been a horrid episode for America, or if they do accept it they try to pretend like it doesn't matter, and neither point holds.

And finally....

The deep personal disdain they hold Obama in is revealed in this nugget. Regardless of what you think about the Nobel Committee or their stinkin' prize or Obama for that matter Im struggling to grasp how anyone could not look at this and see how it works for the national good. Are we really worse off now that the world is more optimistic about our policy goals?
Does this really make it harder for us to deal with Iran, North Korea, Israel/Palestine? Of course not, but they have to feel as though it does somehow or just ignore that it doesn't because not to would mean they have to deal with the truth. And they don't want that.

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