Prize and Parody

Article excerpt



News early Friday that the Nobel Peace Prize would go to President Obama shook the journalistic establishment, Eleanor Clift wrote Friday at

"Perhaps it was a spoof, just like the 'Saturday Night Live' parody last weekend that made fun of Obama for his meager record compared with his grandiose campaign promises. The right will make it seem like a kids' trophy for soccer participation, rather than accomplishment. That's overly harsh, but correct in the sense that the award is more aspirational in recognizing what this gifted young president can do than about concrete achievements. ..

"Coming as it does so soon after his failure to win the

Olympics for Chicago gives it the whiff of a consolation prize It also points up the gulf between how Obama's conservative critics shape the debate in this country, and how much of the world looks at Obama. ..

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee was

driven by a belief in Obama's potential, along with a rejection of Bush-era policies Coming just [8 1/2] months into Obama's first term, the prize is far from an unalloyed blessing. It creates expectations that a single human being, even the leader of the Western world, is unlikely to fulfill. And rather than dispel the unfortunate narrative advanced by 'SNL,' it is likely to feed into it," Mrs. Clift said.

The parody wouldn't be funny if there wasn't an element of truth.


In the last three months, much has been made of a supposed military 'coup' that whisked former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from power and the supposed chaos it has created, Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, writes in the Wall Street Journal.

After visiting Tegucigalpa last week and meeting with a cross-section of leaders from Honduras's government, business community, and civil society, I can report there is no chaos there. There is, however, chaos to spare in the Obama administration's policy toward our poor and loyal allies in Honduras, Mr. DeMint said.

"That policy was set in a snap decision the day Mr. Zelaya was removed from office, without a full assessment of either the facts or reliable legal analysis of the constitutional provisions at issue. Three months later, it remains in force, despite mounting evidence of its moral and legal incoherence.

"While in Honduras, I spoke to dozens of Hondurans, from nonpartisan members of civil society to former Zelaya political allies, from Supreme Court judges to presidential candidates and even personal friends of Mr. Zelaya. Each relayed stories of a man changed and corrupted by power. The evidence of Mr. Zelaya's abuses of presidential power - and his illegal attempts to rewrite the Honduran Constitution, a la Hugo Chavez - is not only overwhelming, but uncontroverted. ..

"The presidential election is on schedule for Nov 29. Under Honduras's one-term-limit, Mr. Zelaya could not have sought re-election anyway. Current President Roberto Micheletti - who was installed after Mr. Zelaya's removal, per the Honduran Constitution - is not on the ballot either. The presidential candidates were nominated in primary elections almost a year ago, and all of them - including Mr. Zelaya's former vice president - expect the elections to be free, fair and transparent, as has every Honduran election for a generation. …