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Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God

By Michael J. Smith on Monday October 12, 2009 07:16 PM

I happened to be listening to NPR this afternoon, and there was a discussion of whether Obie "deserved" the Nobel Peace Prize, with screened callers-in and emailers-in, the usual contrived corporate-media pantomime of conversation.

I would like to think that there were a few truth-tellers who were screened out; but really, who knows? At any rate, the range of post-screening opinion ran from enthusiasm (Obie will save -- no, has already saved us all) to timorous reservation (perhaps the prize was a bit premature, since Obie hasn't really, erm, done anything yet.)

Of course the fact is that the prize isn't premature at all: it's postmature. Obie's done plenty. He has plunged con brio into the management of one war, the expansion of another, and the threat of a third. He could lean on Israel, but he hasn't, and he won't.

He may very well be the least eligible human being on earth, right now, for a "peace prize", since he has the actual power to make a difference, and to the extent he has exercised that power, it has been in the wrong direction. And big-time, too; as a murderer, he makes John Gotti look like St Francis. Figures don't lie.

But NPR was able to find plenty of callers and emailers who have kept the faith. Some of them really seemed to think he had ended the Iraq occupation. Others were a bit better informed but opined that he deserves a lot of credit for making us feel "hopeful".

This hopefulness thing interests me. Does anybody else remember Laetrile? That gave people hope too -- while it poisoned them, and kept them from seeking other solutions to their problem.

Hope is not always a virtue. It depends on what you're hoping in -- and for. I hope to resell my house at a huge profit. I hope to win the lottery. I hope the slave-driving little startup where I toil for seventy ill-paid hours a week will go public.

Better no hope at all than hopes like these.

Hoping in Obama is not quite as vile as hoping in the real-estate lottery, of course. In fact it's not vile at all. But I am tempted to say that it's stupid.

The time for hope -- if there ever was such a time -- is past with this guy. He has shown us what and who he is.

Wake up, hope addicts, and find something better to hope for.

Comments (8)


Ouch, NPR. Any vicodin around to munch on afterwards?

I heard someone from Argentina wrote about the ways of surviving their socioeconomic collapse, and that it might be a handy guide for us. For starters, we're hanging on to our VW bus as a fall back home as things fall apart. We started life here in San Francisco living in it, and may end our days here doing the same. Global Guerrillas blog occasionally writes on resilient communities and survival in an imploding global economy. Living life as festival isn't easy, but it is one of the few things worth doing.


Obama is the Pablo Escobar of Hopium. Surely he deserves some recognition for making us all feel good again.


See Tom Tomorrow's latest cartoon "The Idea of Obama", versus, y'know, the real dude. Clearly Michael Moore is a believer in "The Idea of Obama" that Tomorrow satirizes.


Wonderful essay. Too many of my coworkers, friends, and relatives are either believers in this "Hope" or believe Obama is a secret Muslim communist. They cannot accept that he is more of the same, more W, more HWB, more Nixon. More Johnson, to be accurate.


bk -- I think you're a little unfair to Johnson. In his heart of hearts, LBJ was a real old New Dealer, which Obie is not. Obie is at best a technocrat and at worst a meritocrat.

Johnson couldn't get away from the warmonger side of the Democratic Party legacy, but he could get away from the Jim Crow side -- and famously observed in doing so that he was "signing away the South for fifty years," a prophecy which proved quite accurate, right down to the timing.

Sure, he was bowing to the threat of insurrection, but that's the best you can expect from any American president.

And consider Medicare and Medicaid. They seemed so half-hearted at the time, but they're rank Bolshevism compared to anything we can hope for from Obie & Co.

Back in '64, Barry Goldwater was pushing a plan that would have subsidized poor people to buy private insurance. Forty-five years later, he Goldwater plan has now become the best that liberal Democrats can hope for.

I don't know whether Barry's plan included the additional punitive fillup of forcing people to pay for these plans. I bet it didn't. Goldwater, after all, was just a crackpot simpliciter. I bet we owe that refinement of cruelty to crackpot realists.


"Sure, he was bowing to the threat of insurrection, but that's the best you can expect from any American president."

massively apropos
especially as in this case
if the insurrection could be smashed


Point taken, MJS. It's easy to forget what he accomplished. My God, we have really fallen, haven't we? Even Nixon now appears to be a communist. (Almost...I'm kidding, of course)

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