On Peace

Apparently, the President won the Nobel Peace Price this morning. Knee-jerk reactions predominate.

On first glance, it’s a little odd. He’s barely out of the gate. And the U.S. is still fighting two wars. What gives?

On second glance, I can’t think of anyone in the last year that has done more to promote world peace. His election has completely changed the world political stage, and his foreign policy is, so far, largely consistent with what he campaigned on.

On third glance, I wonder if he should turn it down. I don’t see any downsides to doing so, and quite a few upsides. The GOP storyline about Obama is dependent on interpreting everything that he does as snobbish, elitist, naive, disconnected, and in Europe’s pocket. A polite decline undercuts all of that. He has to word it right, though.

UPDATE: Well, Obama took a middle road while I was typing, accepting it but saying that he doesn’t deserve it: “Let me be clear, I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.” I’m not sure that was the best move. We’ll have to wait and see what his acceptance speech consists of.

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