The Nobel peace prize might have been shocking to some but it was simply the cherry on top of a massive cake of denial that has been baking these past nine months (but in the oven much longer). As the SNL actor said correctly, Obama won because he's not George W. Bush. Why is that funny, though? Did Bush not want peace?
To many in the liberal intelligensia, mainstream media, and Democrat political circles Obama likely represents more than just peace but that always gleaming star of hope for Utopia on earth, a concept strongly under-girded with an irreligous institutional denial at many levels. The very definition of a conservative is to NOT believe in such a concept, so it's little wonder most conservatives immediately reacted negatively to this award (aside from pettiness and racism, which must be considered). The idea of a pre-emptive award for creating peace just doesn't compute in a rational mind. For Christians (and Muslims, presumably) it's close to blasphemy. There can only be one Heaven, and it ain't gonna be here.
So, it's little wonder conservatives reacted as they did and little wonder liberals were unable to readily understand that reaction and therefore saw it as hate or partisanship.
Don't misunderstand--the world needs dreamers. But dreams are still just dreams until put into practice. The collectivista seems to have a hard time with the hard men who make up the terroristas, which is why Obama figured he could change behavior by simply calling the GWoT the "overseas contingency operation", or proclaiming we don't torture, etc. Rather than face reality it's easier to assign a convenient bogeyman, in this case George W. Bush and his sidekick Dick.
That's why Obama ran against McCain using Bush's failure in Afghanistan. The left probably never figured Obama would devote very much much time to it, certainly nowhere near the domestic issues they really care about. Besides, his mere presence would calm the waters and cool the hostilities even if he did nothing. Nobel was confirmation of that that thought process. Michael Moore laid it out pretty well in a recent piece:
We are weary, weary of war. The trillions that will have gone to these two wars have helped to bankrupt us as a nation -- financially and morally. To think of all the good we could have done with all that money! Two months of the War in Iraq would pay for all the wells that need to be dug in the Third World for drinking water! Obama is moving too slow for most of us -- but he needs to know we are with him and we stand beside him as he attempts to turn eight years of sheer madness around. Who could do that in nine months? Superman? Thor? Mitch McConnell?Moore is an idiot but he's not stupid, yet he's apparently stupid enough to allow a delusion that America ended up on two battlefields because of Bush and not because terrorists have been escalating their jihad on America since the Gulf War ended. If only Bush would have given AQ universal health care with a public option they would have become our BFFs.
On the same token denial also caused the 9/11 truther movement (by no means an exclusively liberal population although more libs than conservs). It was a way to assign blame for that horrible reality on something other than reality; something that was easily removable--like a president. Get rid of the president and the problem goes away. The libs feel the same way sans the conspiracy part.
Despite his followers Obama is far too smart to be a Utopian dreamer. He says the right things to the right audiences at the right times to get what he wants. He works the system. His voice even changes depending on what crowd he's speaking to, listen for the subtleties (Bush did this as well with the Texas accent but he didn't morph into different ones). Obama knew America was tired of wars, ran on it, and it worked like a charm.
Unfortunately for him the enemy didn't go away. The Taliban attempted to take over the Pakistani Army HQ this past weekend and a new round of North Korean nuke tests is at hand. Iran is still Iran. AQ is still AQ. Mullah Omar is still revered. Nothing has changed since Bush left except the poll numbers.
The Nobel committee can see this and perhaps picked Obama to help artificially throw some global love on the man before reality bites his ass clean off. They are attempting to affect his decision-making yes, but Obama was likely going there anyway. Already the doves are defining any retreat as "peace in Afghanistan" (as if we're the ones responsible for war) and professors and pundits will spin it even worse. The man on the street will know the score--we lost--whether in Queens or Kandahar. But losing isn't a word allowed in Utopia.
This windy rant is in no way meant to impugn anyone's patriotism or hopes for peace. In the long run Afghanistan might indeed be a trap and there's no need to think that increasing troops will make it end successfully. Sure, it could end the same as Vietnam but history teaches us a loss will not be like Vietnam nor any other conflict in the past. We retreated from Lebanon, Somalia, and Kuwait but our reward was 9/11. Both bin Laden and Saddam said as much. Pretending only makes people feel better--the enemy felt no different back when the former first black president was in office. Matter of fact they wanted to assassinate him because he was an infidel, just like Bush, just like Obama.
But here we are. During the Bush years liberals took pride in calling themselves the 'reality-based community'. Reality appears to be a little fuzzy after nine months and little change so maybe Obama was given the peace prize to clear up that fuzzy picture again, to reinforce the notion that peace can come without tough men fighting back against hard enemies or by politicians calling a spade a spade. All they are saying here is give peace talk a chance. Sure, it fails almost every time it's tried but what a great world it would be if only.