Saturday, October 10, 2009

Roundup of Reactions to Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

69% of Twitter users don't get it. Like Stephen Dubner, when I first read about it I thought it was a joke. When I mentioned it to friends at school yesterday, their first question was "uh...for what?" That was is my question too.

Jonathan Alder wasn't shocked. Both Obama supporters and detractors seem to be perplexed. Ezra Klein thinks that it was ridiculous and undeserved (but thinks its an absurdity worth celebrating).

Megan McArdle thinks Obama might one day deserve it, but hasn't had time to do anything yet.

Paul Caron looks at the tax consequences of Obama's Nobel Prize and Eugene Volokh wonders if an act of Congress would be required to allow President Obama to accept the Nobel Peace Prize? (Federal employees have strong prohibitions against receiving personal gifts -- particularly from overseas governments.)

Here is a roundup of cartoonist reactions:

Tyler Cowen wonders if the prize will make it harder for Obama to bring about peace? This is a question many others are asking.

AP News interviewed Americans about Obama's prize and many seem skeptical of awarding it to Obama:

To say Peggy Noonan is displeased is an understatement. Jonah Goldberg points out what is perhaps the most serious issue in awarding the prize to Obama:
The only thing that really bothers me is that this comes just days after the Obama administration turned a blind eye to the Dalai Lama and told the world that it's at least considering a separate peace with the Taliban. That's grotesque. Meanwhile, there are real peace activists and dissidents out there whose dungeons will stay just as cold and dark for another year because of this. Indeed, this news comes during a year when the Iranian people rose up against tyranny and were crushed. Surely someone in Iran — or maybe the Iranian protestors generally — could have benefitted more from receiving the prize than a president who, so far, has done virtually nothing concrete for world peace.
While I don't blame Obama for the ridiculousness of all of this, it is increasingly difficult not to think of the Nobel Peace Prize in a Seinfeld sort of way... as a prize about nothing.

Here are seven people who should have received a Nobel Peace Prize but never did. And if you haven't seen it yet, read about the first year grad student who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.

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