Nobel Laureate Barack Obama, the Left, and the other Left

Twenty-four-plus hours after the fact, and the blogosphere is still in an uproar over Nobel Laureate Barack Obama.

By the way, whose mirror do you think heard that phrase — Nobel Laureate Barack Obama — more over the past day: Obama’s, or Hillary Clinton’s?

Anyway. Something like this makes it easy to separate the ideologues from the partisans. An example of the latter: Josh Marshall. He writes:

This is an odd award. You’d expect it to come later in Obama’s presidency and tied to some particular event or accomplishment.

See, that Obama got the award — that was a foregone conclusion. Everybody knew he was going to get the award. The only question was: when?

Other Lefties – other than Marshall – are a little surprised that “when” turned out to be “now.” Glenn Greenwald:

…there are simply no meaningful “peace” accomplishment in his record — at least not yet — and there’s plenty of the opposite. That’s what makes this Prize so painfully and self-evidently ludicrous.

The guys at Open Left are similarly conflicted, I think.

But not Marshall. He writes:

…the unmistakable message of the award is one of the consequences of a period in which the most powerful country in the world, the ‘hyper-power’ as the French have it, became the focus of destabilization and in real if limited ways lawlessness. A harsh judgment, yes. But a dark period. And Obama has begun, if fitfully and very imperfectly to many of his supporters, to steer the ship of state in a different direction. If that seems like a meager accomplishment to many of the usual Washington types it’s a profound reflection of their own enablement of the Bush era and how compromised they are by it, how much they perpetuated the belief that it was ‘normal history’ rather than dark aberration.

A dark period. A dark aberration. A time of war, and failing civil liberties, and …

And…has Obama changed any of it? We’re still at war — read Greenwald’s piece for a good Lefty view of that. The administration is supporting the PATRIOT Act. And if they’ve changed course on extraordinary rendition, it’s a little hard to tell.

It would be fun to watch the Nobel Committee try to justify themselves six, or twelve, or twenty-four months from now, if Obama keeps on this path. Except they won’t: they’ll just ignore it, and there’s no media outlet both powerful and tough enough to stop them.

So we’ll just have to enjoy watching Marshall. Except…yeah, he’ll just ignore it, too.

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