Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama, that Nobel Peace Prize, and all those complainers

I was dismayed by Ross Douthat's column in the New York Times yesterday, but I think Ezra Klein has the perfect rebuttal to all these people complaining that someone more deserving should have received the Peace Prize:

It's strange to watch op-ed columnists using their valuable and finite real estate to complain that the real problem with Barack Obama accepting is that there were more deserving recipients. One might say the same about these op-ed columns, which could surely be about something more useful.

Ross Douthat, for instance, says it will be "offensive when Obama takes the stage in Oslo this November instead of Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s heroic opposition leader." By that same logic, it seems a bit offensive for Douthat to spend his column arguing that Obama should give back the Nobel rather than devoting his column to the struggles of Tsvangirai, who has never before been mentioned in one of Douthat's op-eds. That's all the more true given that Douthat chooses the subject of his columns, while Obama does not choose the recipients of the Nobel.

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