It was predictable that conservative heads would explode after they learned that President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
But what's fascinating is that some liberal heads are exploding too.
Peter Beinart, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes this on the Daily Beast:
I like Barack Obama as much as the next liberal, but this is a farce. He's done nothing to deserve the prize. Sure, he's given some lovely speeches and launched some initiatives--on Iran, Israeli-Palestinian peace, climate change and nuclear disarmament--that might, if he's really lucky and really good, make the world a more safe, more just, more peaceful world. But there's absolutely no way to know if he'll succeed, and by giving him the Nobel Prize as a kind of "atta boy," the Nobel Committee is actually just highlighting the gap that conservatives have long highlighted: between Obamamania as global hype and Obama's actual accomplishments.
But Obama will survive this award. The damage to the Nobel Committee itself will be greater. They've clearly fallen in love with celebrity, and with the idea of shaping the course of history--in other words, they've fallen in love with an absurdly grandiose conception of their role. The Nobel Prize Committee should be in the business of conferring celebrity on unknown human-rights and peace activists toiling in the most god-forsaken parts of the world; the people who really need the attention (and even the money). It should be in the business of angering powerful tyrants by giving their victims a moment in the sun. Choosing Barack Obama, who practically orbits the sun already, accomplishes the exact opposite of that. Let's hope Obama eventually deserves this award. And let's hope the Nobel Committee's decision meets with such a deafening chorus of chortles and jeers that it never does something this stupid again.