Obama Derangement Syndrome

Rachel Maddow makes the case for why President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this week.

I have to admit that my initial reaction was that it was a somewhat ridiculous gesture, but cast in the light of a “call to action” and, as some have described it, a down-payment on future action (as opposed to any actual achievement or tangible results), it’s perhaps not as absurd or simply contrarian (i.e. “not being George Bush”) as one might first think…

Concerning the ODS referenced in the title of this post, it seems there’s no question whatsoever that critics of Obama have become entrenched in the same psychological trap that reactionary haters of George Bush did in terms of maligning him for absolutely everything no matter what, or viewing him as little short of evil incarnate.

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51 Comments

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51 responses to “Obama Derangement Syndrome

  1. KOL

    …cast in the light of a “call to action” and, as some have described it, a down-payment on future action (as opposed to any actual achievement or tangible results),…

    They should give someone a ribbon for curing cancer – that will light a fire under these scientists’ asses. 🙂

  2. philosoraptor

    Wouldn’t a more appropriate analogous situation be to give someone a Nobel Prize for, say, discoveries that are important on the pathway to curing cancer?

    For instance, this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and, and, ….

    It seems that when you go back and look, just about every Nobel – even the ones considered REAL Nobels (e.g., physics, chemistry, medicine) – are given because they are considered to be honouring knowledge moving in the right direction….the right direction being, of course, those things that we’re interested in as pressing social or scientific issues. Like cancer. Or peace.

  3. philosoraptor

    Red,

    Looks like my comments are getting axed somewhere. Go ahead and delete the duplicates if you find the problem.

  4. philosoraptor

    Wouldn’t a more appropriate analogous situation be giving someone a Nobel Prize for, say, discoveries that are important on the pathway to curing cancer?

    Go back and look at the list of Nobels in Medicine. Just starting at the bottom, the awards from 2009, 2008, 2006, 2003, 2002, and 2001 relate directly to important work in the field of cancer research.

    It seems that just about every Nobel – even the ones considered REAL Nobels (e.g., physics, chemistry, medicine) – are given because they are considered to be honouring knowledge moving in the right direction….the right direction being, of course, those things that we’re interested in as pressing social or scientific issues. Like cancer. Or peace.

  5. Ti-Guy

    When it comes to pathways to peace, when was the last time an American president established a course that ended up with tangible results?

    American presidents just don’t have the time required to do much and are hampered by a domestic polity that has radically conflicting ideas about America’s place in the World (and one which, collectively, finds the notion that it’s a country like any other disturbing). I’d like to be optimistic, but after Jimmy Carter, I think the idea that this award will actually mean anything requires the rest of us to engage in magical thinking more than anything else.

    I won’t mind at all being proved wrong, of course. But the impediments to peace around the World have much more to do with economic injustice and ethnic strife, two issues America has very little to teach the rest of the World about and in fact, usually exacerbates whenever its starts focusing on them.

  6. philosoraptor

    Does it not feel like America is on a more peaceful path? I think that is the only real intent here.

    I should say, in the interests of full disclosure, that I’m not sure Obama’s win is of the same degree as some of the other recipients in the past. However, it does honour a very real sense that America is on a very different path now, and it may be my ignorance, but who else would have been more appropriate this year?

    Maybe it should have gone to the American people for voting for him. That decision surely wouldn’t have been maligned, no sir.

  7. Ti-Guy

    Does it not feel like America is on a more peaceful path?

    Domestically, the place seems more tumultuous than even during the Bush years. That’s just the impression of an outsider though gleaned from snippets of media I don’t much pay attention to. Still, I’m not convinced the country’s insolvency puts it in any position to do much, both domestically or internationally.

    When it comes to people with influence and power, it’s really more productive for the rest of us (especially foreigners) to remain skeptical and critical. I’m sure Obama is surrounded by enough cheer-leaders.

  8. philosoraptor

    When it comes to people with influence and power, it’s really more productive for the rest of us (especially foreigners) to remain skeptical and critical. I’m sure Obama is surrounded by enough cheer-leaders.

    Indeed. I hope he is more capable of seeing through the chatter than Bush was.

  9. Dave — Sorry your comments got shunted into the Spam Jail (numerous links will do that). Anyway, I approved the first one, deleted the duplicate and now will go actually read it…

  10. philosoraptor

    I thought that was the case, so I posted the same comment without all the links. That’s why it looks like I can’t shut up about Nobels in Medicine 🙂

  11. I’d agree that there’s something to be said for setting a course or “pathway” for future peace and it’s a bit silly to look at things in terms of supposed accomplishment given the gradual, incremental nature of such things. The world feels like a somewhat less scary, hostile place since the change in U.S. administrations and that alone surely that has to be worth something. I sort of like the idea of the prize giving some degree of added momentum to a direction that’s just a lot less arrogant, antagonistic and confrontational.

  12. The Blue Doctor

    There is no justification for his being nominated for the award just 12 days into office, and winning it 9 months later.

    Whether we take the date of the nomination, or the date the award was given, it remains the case that President Obama accomplished nothing even close to warranting this once prestigious award and the $1.5 million purse that goes with it.

    It amounts to little more than a bribe to the U.S. president to follow the Europe’s foreign policy.

  13. philosoraptor

    Red

    I have to admit that watching the TRMS segment made me look at it a bit differently.

    Ignoring for a moment all of the debate around his accomplishments, and the nature and purpose of the award, I’ve been blown away at the response of the GOP and the fanatical right wing. It seems that fanatics are all that’s left: they cheered when Chicago didn’t get the Olympics, and they booed when Obama got the Nobel. Jaysus, what happened to rooting for your country?

  14. Yeah, I kind of liked that sentiment, but it seems to have been lost these days amidst political turmoil which just seems to ruin everything and make it bitterly toxic. Maybe we’ll get back to a day when we can root for our country in a good way and then reconcile in a sportsman-like fashion afterward, but unfortunately there are a lot of people like “The Blue Doctor” or the innumerable people that comment on YouTube who seem perpetually angry and put out of sorts about… well, everything. Sucks for them, I guess.

  15. psa

    “Does it not feel like America is on a more peaceful path?”

    From screaming, bugfuck maniacal to ho-hum, everyday multiple warfare and tough guy posturing. How about giving Georgie an award for doing the world a favour and leaving office at last? Amounts to the same thing. Essentially Obama’s reward is for his election campaign and the nebulous hope & dreams & yes we can… maybe. This is the Nobel Prize for public relations and marketing.

    The Blue Doctor is correct, this is a speculative reward for work not done. I’m every bit as afraid of and afraid for America as I was a year ago, two years ago, three years ago. That nation is no less mad and the politics no less sinister. They just hired a new spokesmodel.

    Really RT the nomination deadline was two weeks into his presidency. He’s been in office for nine months. What the hell are we supposed to divine from this? That he’s actually done something to further peace that exceeds the notable achievement of not being Bush? Gitmo’s still open. Renditions still occur. Troop surge in Afghanistan. Iraq still burning up billions a month. Weak effort to get Israel and Palestine talking snubbed. Flaccid pressure on Israel to stop building settlements flatly ignored. Drone missiles still being peppered into Pakistan. Habeas corpus rights still denied illegally detained prisoners of war. No executive will or effort to prosecute war crimes or torture or rampant contractor corruption.

    So what’s this new climate all about if not about be other than Bush? And as far as the medicine analogy, how many of those dedicated professionals were recipients of the award during their residency and nominated two weeks after leaving medical school. They were solid professionals doing the work after putting in the long, lonely hours. They were doing work that promised to pay off and in many instances did just that. It is disingenuous to compare a guy who made some nice speeches to dedicated researchers and scientists.

    As a left leaning guttersnipe, I’ve been skeptical of the Obama phenomenon all along. If nothing else, this award just gives the right wingers something of legitimate weight to smack the guy with. And the right are not alone in questioning the wisdom of this prize. More than a few lefties are shaking their heads.

  16. Okhropir rumiani

    Weren’t a lot of people griping about Al Gore’s Nobel Prize?

    I really don’t know who deserved it less.

  17. slbk

    A man at war with two countires was awarded the peace prize. It’s absurd.

  18. PSA — I don’t really disagree with much of what you’re saying, but your withering criticism and relentless pessimism can be a little tiresome at times. After eight years of Dubya and the clusterfuck of catastrophically stupid neoconservative adventurism, I think the world is breathing a great sigh of relief and expressing some hope for a world less fraught with hegemonic overreach, “shock and awe” military violence or harebrained ideological crusades. While the Nobel Prize may have been awarded prematurely, it’s a reflection of an optimistic sentiment that may not be entirely misplaced. We’ll see, I guess.

  19. Ti-Guy

    Until I see a few influential figures from the Bush administration before American courts or The Hague, I won’t believe anything has changed.

    These people will be back in three to eight years time, guaranteed. The eight years under Bush provided a breeding ground for a new generation of proto-fascists who will come back to haunt us, in their prime and more experienced at what they do.

  20. Perhaps. In my more benign moments, I hope many of them will simply have cardiovascular “events” over the next several years that will conveniently spare us from their return to power. Other days however, I’m more inclined to favour a Committee for Public Safety or some such Jacobin remedy (if you know what I mean).

    But more seriously, yes, they should be brought to justice and held accountable for their war crimes and other breaches of the law. This idea of moving forward and ignoring the past is nice in theory, but is a dangerous and potentially regrettable precedent.

  21. Ti-Guy

    Top of my list is David Frum. His attempt to articulate a “new conservatism” impresses me not. You can’t fail that badly and still have the same career. Besides, he’s just cribbing what sensible conservatives and many liberals/lefties have been saying for years.

    Go away David Frum and never come back.

  22. Guzzeuntite

    “I’m more inclined to favour a Committee for Public Safety or some such Jacobin remedy (if you know what I mean). ” — RT

    “The eight years under Bush provided a breeding ground for a new generation of proto-fascists who will come back to haunt us ….” — Ti-Guy

    The authentic ones always look down their noses at the amateurs.

  23. Guzzeuntite

    “While the Nobel Prize may have been awarded prematurely, it’s a reflection of an optimistic sentiment …”

    Ah, I see. Well in MY humble opinion, the Norwegians should have done what my 5 year old’s soccer league did: What till the end of the season and give everyone an award, regardless of skill, effort, or results. The Nobel will be just a meaningful in three years.

    Sentiment! “Sentiment that may not have been entirely misplaced.”

    That pretty much sums up the leftist creed, doesn’t it? Award the man for sentimental reasons. Awesome. Perfect. Red, you are entirely right: That is exactly what those idiots in Oslo did. They based the Peace award on adolescent sentiment and nothing else. Just perfect.

    What a bunch of twats the left is.

  24. Ti-Guy — It’s kind of amusing that Frum is now reviled by a lot of conservatives. I love it when they get the old circular firing squad going.

  25. Guzzeuntite — What a bunch of twats the left is.

    Yep, everyone who doesn’t agree with you are just “a bunch of twats” — nothing adolescent about that.

    Wanker. 😉

  26. Ti-Guy

    Well in MY humble opinion, the Norwegians should have done what my 5 year old’s soccer league did: What till the end of the season and give everyone an award, regardless of skill, effort, or results.

    I’ve heard something like this at least ten times in the last week. “Everyone Gets a Trophy Day.” etc…

    I doubt you have a five year-old, or one that’s in soccer. Although that might just be magical thinking on my part that prevents from believing the bilious and juvenile idiots one comes across online really are parents.

  27. Guzzeuntite

    “I doubt you have a five year-old, or one that’s in soccer. Although that might just be magical thinking on my part that prevents from believing the bilious and juvenile idiots one comes across online really are parents.” — Ti-Guy

    Gosh, Ti-Guy, you’re right. I DON’T have a five year old. She’s ten now … but I’m sure you don’t believe that either, as it would be inconvenient.

    Nevertheless, if this not the first time you heard it, there’s probably a reason. For the terminally dense: The reason all 5 year olds get a soccer award at season’s end is the same reason Obama received the Nobel Peese Priz before he accomplished one damn thing, and RT summed up the reason perfectly in one word: Sentiment. Giving out peace awards based on sentiment is stupid and juvenile.

    “Yep, everyone who doesn’t agree with you are just “a bunch of twats” — nothing adolescent about that.” — RT

    Why don’t you ask Ti-Guy about the proper usage of “twat” in blog comments, Red? He practically invented it.

    “Although that might just be magical thinking on my part that prevents from believing the bilious and juvenile idiots one comes across online really are parents.” – Ti-Guy

    You said it, dad.

  28. Ehhh, it’s a popular right-wing meme. Do these dolts ever come up with anything original?

  29. Guzzeuntite

    How can we, when our opponents keep saying the same things over and over?

  30. Ti-Guy

    Nevertheless, if this [is] not the first time you heard it, there’s probably a reason.

    What does this even mean? By the way, I object to Obama receiving this prize…but it’s been cheapened before, so I don’t really care.

    Anyway, go find your ten year-old and show her how…Daddy? Mummy?…calls perfect strangers “twats” over the Internet, like a model parent should.

    Why don’t you ask Ti-Guy about the proper usage of “twat” in blog comments, Red? He practically invented it.

    Oh, Christ…another stalker sock-puppetting. What a bunch of cowards you all are. Too afraid to even comment under the same fake name.

  31. Guzzeuntite — As the father of four children who played soccer, T-Ball and so on when they were younger, I can tell you that they never received awards or trophies for mere participation (although I know that practice does go on some places and may arguably not be such a terribly bad thing — kind of like the token bronze crests most of us in school received as kids for fitness, or the various cub and scout badges doled out for fairly lame tasks, but that spurred us on to do more).

    But back to your point, yes, perhaps “liberals” are generally more concerned with “sentiment” and good intentions; perhaps they are driven by a sense of hope and optimism to always imagine better things are ahead — a concept you apparently despise for some reason. I happen to think that may not be such a contemptible notion. You may consider yourself to be a completely rational, logical being unaffected by and dismissive of such “adolescent” or “juvenile” ideas and emotions… If so, I’d be interested however to know why you think otherwise (and not just why you may happen to “feel” otherwise, as that would be too ironic.)

    If you watched the video, Maddow makes the case that in many instances the Nobel Prize is intended to add momentum to various causes the jury finds embody a positive direction in the evolution of world affairs. If that concept is revolting to you, or if you feel that it’s simply not worthy of recognition, well, you’re entitled to your opinion of course, but I guess we’ll just have to see over time whether their wager was placed appropriately or not.

  32. p.s. I think the avatar for “Guzzeuntite” is particularly fitting.

  33. Guzzeuntite

    “As the father of four children who played soccer, T-Ball and so on when they were younger, I can tell you that they never received awards or trophies for mere participation (although I know that practice does go on some places and may arguably not be such a terribly bad thing — kind of like the token bronze crests most of us in school received as kids for fitness, or the various cub and scout badges doled out for fairly lame tasks, but that spurred us on to do more).”
    For five-year olds, I can’t disagree that it’s not entirely a bad thing … but the president of the United States isn’t five.
    “But back to your point, yes, perhaps “liberals” are generally more concerned with “sentiment” and good intentions; perhaps they are driven by a sense of hope and optimism to always imagine better things are ahead — a concept you apparently despise for some reason. I happen to think that may not be such a contemptible notion.”
    I don’t think that I considerate it “contemptible” in this circumstance. It’s closer to hilarious. As far as hope or optimism in general goes, though I am sure you would disagree, that emotion imbues both sides of the aisle.
    “You may consider yourself to be a completely rational, logical being unaffected by and dismissive of such “adolescent” or “juvenile” ideas and emotions… If so, I’d be interested however to know why you think otherwise (and not just why you may happen to “feel” otherwise, as that would be too ironic.)”

    You are a little confusing here and, I think, maybe confused. There is nothing wrong with sentiment in its proper place. Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize based on this emotion is silly, juvenile, and more than a little strange. It does violence to logic, yes, but it is far from “ironic” (unless you subscribe to the Alanis Morrisette definition of the word) to experience such emotions as disgust or hilarity when you see such idiocy expressed by people who purportedly take themselves seriously.
    “If you watched the video, Maddow makes the case that in many instances the Nobel Prize is intended to add momentum to various causes the jury finds embody a positive direction in the evolution of world affairs.”

    That’s almost total B.S., though. Sure awards are given to encourage others to take similar paths, but to say they’ll give an award for peace to one who has done nothing that has brought peace to anyone, is a smokescreen to cover a purely political act.
    “If that concept is revolting to you, or if you feel that it’s simply not worthy of recognition, well, you’re entitled to your opinion of course, but I guess we’ll just have to see over time whether their wager was placed appropriately or not.”

    It doesn’t matter whether Obama eventually brings peace unto to the nations of the world. The Nobel should not be used as encouragement to the prize winner to do something or as a talisman to predict or affect the future.

    “p.s. I think the avatar for “Guzzeuntite” is particularly fitting.”

    I did not choose it, of course. You are the one who picked the booger. But thank you.

  34. Guzzeuntite

    Ti-Guy,

    “What does this even mean?”

    Oh, why don’t you try and guess? But perhaps the same thing as this:

    “Although that might just be magical thinking on my part [,which] prevents [me] from believing [that] the bilious and juvenile idiots one comes across online really are parents.”

    Ouch.

    “By the way, I object to Obama receiving this prize…but it’s been cheapened before, so I don’t really care.”

    Then stop talking about it.

    “Anyway, go find your ten year-old and show her how…Daddy? Mummy?…calls perfect strangers “twats” over the Internet, like a model parent should.”

    Call it an “experiment.”

    “Oh, Christ…another stalker sock-puppetting. What a bunch of cowards you all are. Too afraid to even comment under the same fake name.”

    Don’t flatter yourself, Mr. Ego McEgosovain. It’s not all about you.

  35. Guzzeuntite

    I’m sure you’ve always found that effective.

  36. Ti-Guy

    When dealing with adolescents, absolutely.

  37. Guzzeuntite

    El nombre nuevo por ellos que comen cabezas de mierda como tu es el nombre nuevo. Sabes?

  38. Ti-Guy

    Why on Earth would I? I don’t speak psycho.

  39. Guzzeuntite

    Yes, you do, Ti-Guy.

  40. Ti-Guy

    No, I only recognise it. I don’t speak it.

    ..now take your Thorazine.

  41. Guzzeuntite

    “Take you Thorazine.”

    Har! Good one, Ti-Guy!

    “No, I only recognise it. I don’t speak it.”

    Ti-Guy, you call everyone on the right crazy. You throw the insult around with such reckless abandon, it has zero value and no meaning.

    Except to make us laugh. Your odd tick reminds me of what is said about psychologists and psychiatrists: They go into the mental health field in a vain attempt to figure out what makes themselves such mental basket cases, and they diagnose neuroses, perversions, and mental defects that they see in themselves.

  42. Ti-Guy

    I think I call y’all irrational more than crazy. There’s a difference, although to the rest of us, it’s largely irrelevant.

    Now…all the pills this time…

  43. Guzzeuntite

    “I think I call y’all irrational more than crazy.”

    If you say so, doc. It is funny that you should say that I and others on the right are “irrational” in this thread, the premise of which is that sentiment is a more valid reason than rationality to give a man the Nobel Peace Prize.

  44. sapphireandsteel

    Seems like the conbots are trying an organized effort to shame Ti-Guy offline. Hence all the new commenters on all the blogs who seem to be too intimately aware of Ti yet never seen before on those blogs. Oh yeah and Canadiansense too, but he’s still on his Ignatieff masturbation fantasies when not joining in on the Ti-Guy pileon.

  45. Guzzeuntite

    “Conbots.” Clever!

    “Masturbation fantasies.” Hmmm. Not as clever. Do you really mean fanatasies about masturbation? Or something else entirely?

    As to your intimation of a conservative conspiracy against poor maligned, lying, guttermouth, hypocritical* Ti-Guy, well, that’s the least clever thing you said in your comment, paranoiac.

    _____________

    * The greatest sin in the dimwitted Leftist list of sins.

  46. Ti-Guy

    Seems like the conbots are trying an organized effort to shame Ti-Guy offline.

    I know! And it’s really hurting my feelings.

    Hence all the new commenters on all the blogs who seem to be too intimately aware of Ti yet never seen before on those blogs.

    The only thing they seem intimately aware of is that I swear a lot. Which is typical for these ADHD-afflicted cunts.

  47. Guzzeuntite

    “The only thing they seem intimately aware of is that I swear a lot. Which is typical for these ADHD-afflicted cunts.”

    Not exactly true with me. I also know you lie and project a lot. Oh, and you like to admonish me (and others?) for using “twat” in a comment … which makes you … what is that term used by Paladieaiaea and the other ill-educated teeny-boppers every two minutes? … hippo … hippacrat … hippiecritter!

    My experiment in now complete. QED!

  48. Guzzeuntite

    Now can’t we all just get along?

    Achoo!

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