Friday, October 09, 2009

Nobel Prize Will Cement Early Obama Narrative

The Nobel Peace Prize ceased to represent anything remotely associated with “peace” long ago. In recent years, the once prestigious award has been bestowed upon a terrorist in Yasser Arafat and an enabler of dictators in Jimmy Carter. In giving the award to President Obama the Nobel selection committee has proven once and for all that the award itself is more of an honor that recognizes those who talk about “peace” rather than those who take meaningful steps towards actually achieving it.

But today’s shocking development will do more than serve as a reminder of the meaningless nature of the award itself. When viewed in the context of recent events, today’s announcement will undoubtedly serve to highlight just how little Barack Obama has actually accomplished during his time in office and that much of the praise heaped upon him by his promoters is largely undeserved.

The talking heads and Internet pundits are still abuzz over Saturday Night Live's recent decision to finally take the gloves off and chide Obama for his lack of effectiveness since taking office. This portrayal was met with a sense of relief from the Right, which was unsure if late-night comedians would ever begin subjecting Obama to the same level of good-natured comedic scrutiny that all of his predecessors enjoyed. It was met with relative silence from the Left, which may not have thought SNL’s jabs were very funny but knew in their hearts that such mockery was warranted.

I fully expect that at 11:30 tomorrow evening SNL will use today’s development, which is laughable in its own right, to once again shine light on the fact that Obama has done very little to deserve such adulation and praise.

By presenting Obama with Nobel’s highest honor, the committee may have just completed the caricature that SNL began drawing last weekend. Comedy has always been an important factor in defining our political leadership. It was SNL and the late-night talk show hosts that successfully branded Bill Clinton as a fast food-loving, womanizing scoundrel. They portrayed George W. Bush as an imbecilic man child and that portrayal helped to solidify the conventional wisdom of many of his detractors. They mercilessly mocked Sarah Palin to the point that many could not differentiate between statements actually made by the former governor and those made by Tina Fey. These over-the-top portrayals of our elected officials can have a very real impact on the evolution of the American people’s perception of them. The fact that Obama’s lack of accomplishment is being met with awards from the world community rather than its skepticism should make him a huge target, even for the liberal, late-night jesters.

Again, Obama talks a good game, but thus far that talk has led to no meaningful action. While Obama is lauded for promoting “peace,” he dithers as Afghanistan plummets further into chaos. As he calls for a world without nuclear weapons, he seems hesitant to take a hard stance as Iran’s Mullahs come ever closer to acquiring them. The discrepancy between the way Obama is treated by his adoring fans and his effectiveness should become the comedic narrative used to define Obama’s young presidency. As we know, these satirical send-ups have a way of taking on a life of their own.

-Dan Joseph

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