Is lutefisk hallucinogenic?
That's the question that first sprang to mind when I heard on NPR this morning that the Norwegian Nobel committee had awarded its peace prize to freshman President Barack Obama of the United States, a person who has been in office for too short a time (not even 9 months) to accomplish anything of lasting significance in the pursuit of international peace.
The Bloomberg news service inadvertently expressed the same sort of incredulousness with this headline:
The last U.S. President to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was Jimmy Carter (in retirement), which will no doubt lead to more and more explicit comparisons between him and Obama -- in terms of their naivete and their mismanagement of U.S. foreign policy.
Both Obama and Carter share a Wilsonian idealism -- that is, they lack a sense of Realpolitik -- that is also appropriate, since Woodrow Wilson won his Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Versailles Treaty after World War I.
And we all know how well that turned out.
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