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Barack Obama, Chauncey Gardiner, and the Nobel Prize

Updated on October 13, 2009

That great American philosopher Woody Allen said that “eighty percent of success is showing up.” And to this point, “showing up” could be described as President Obama’s governing credo. We all woke up Friday morning to hear that the Nobel Committee had given the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama. Fidel Castro and other Obama apologists immediately went into their usual genuflections praising Obama and the Nobel Committee for making this surprise presentation.

The Nobel Committee has been oft criticized for taking the peace prize and turning it into a political hatchet job, and 2009 is no exception, giving the prize to the man who has yet to demonstrate any leadership ability besides that of “showing up.” Of course, this will not be the first time that something rotten went down in Scandinavia. All in all, the Vikings should have stayed home and we still haven’t forgiven the Swedes for releasing ABBA on the rest of the world.

Democrats are quick to point out that Obama is attempting so many good things. But when did good intentions, without productive results, count for anything? (besides the Academy Awards, I mean). If “good intentions” were enough, where is all the credit for George W. Bush? He certainly meant well and tried very hard to keep the nation safe.

Come to think of it, he actually did that.

Yet Bush continues to be bashed long after having passed from the scene. Like a cat playing with a dead mouse, Democrats can’t leave Bush alone. Dems still flop him around and bite on him every now and then for the pure pleasure of it.

But, Obamaphiles are elated that the president got the Nobel Prize for having done nothing because it proves to those crusty conservatives that you really can get something for nothing. Producing something for nothing is a fundamental principle of a liberal’s metaphysic. It’s the stuff that dreams, and welfare checks, and fiat spending, and rights to abortion are made of. Progressive atheists believe that the universe came from nothing and by nothing, but for something—an ontological Gettysburg Address for unbelievers.

But some good may come of the President receiving this award. At least liberals who have been so ashamed of America in the face of Europeans can now hold their heads high with pride knowing that their president has done even more than the French to advance the cause of international security.

When someone receives the Nobel Prize, everyone should be cheering instead of laughing. If we wanted to laugh, we could have tuned to the Ig Nobel Awards which this year’s prize in physics went to three physicists who analytically approached the question of why pregnant women do not tip over. Unfortunately, the Nobel Peace Prize has become the Darwin Award for international peace, an award given to well-meaning, but “do nothing” international busybodies like Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter. Perhaps in keeping with the spirit of this “unaccomplishment” the Nobel Prize could be presented by former House Majority Leader and more recently, dancer extraordinaire, Tom Delay. You laugh, but why not? Both are dancing their way into obscurity. Somehow, it seems a fitting gesture.

Actually, it’s really not fair to say that President Obama has done nothing. While only a few months in office, the president has managed to offend the queen, show the Saudis “who’s who” by bowing before the Saudi king, and has apologized profusely for America’s existence (we use to call it “excuse me for living….”).

I actually think the Nobel Committee made a mistake: they were supposed to give President Obama the “Nobel Appease Prize,” not the “Nobel Peace Prize.”

Let’s see….he’s managed to appoint five tax cheats to cabinet positions, double the national debt, and kissed Hugo Chavez on the cheek. Such affection among leaders is reminiscent of that kiss Leonid Brezhnev and Jimmy Carter gave each other upon signing SALT II in 1979. Carter kissed Brezhnev in June and Brezhnev returned the gesture six months later by invading Afghanistan.

In the movie Being There, Peter Sellers plays Chance the Gardener who is transformed through a misunderstanding into “Chauncey Gardiner.” Chance is a blank slate, but is exalted throughout the film because his behavior provides a backdrop on which other characters in the film can impose their own interpretations of reality. Chance is advanced throughout the film, although he does nothing more than become whatever people want him to be at that moment.

President Obama is distinguishing himself as the Chauncey Gardiner of the Democrat Party, where "being there" is all that counts.


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    • Karrl profile image

      KARL JONES 7 years ago

      Some just cannot handle the truth because they are committed to party or race.

      Great hub!

    • T_Augustus profile image

      T_Augustus 8 years ago from Detroit, MI

      "I don't think I'm bitter--I just poke fun at what strikes me funny."

      Fair enough!

    • Bibowen profile image

      William R Bowen Jr 8 years ago

      TA, I like your style. No name calling. On this post you took on what I said and confronted it. I don't think I'm bitter--I just poke fun at what strikes me funny. If it makes anyone mad, I apologize in advance. Thanks for reading...

    • T_Augustus profile image

      T_Augustus 8 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Fun hub to read, some I agree with, some I don't - such is life. It tickles me pink to watch Republicans complain and whine like my kids. I digress.

      You said:

      "Progressive atheists believe that the universe came from nothing and by nothing"

      Not that I'm an atheist (and I'm not), but in defense of them, isn't this statement actually backwards? Atheists believe all things can be explained through science, and that the "God" theory is a lazy way of avoiding the research. "Believers" are those that believe some superior spirit we can't see, can't touch, can't hear, can't smell, and with any sense known to man - can't prove, exists and created this world out of...nothing. In essence, that is literally saying the universe was created from nothing, by nothing.

      "liberals who have been so ashamed of America in the face of Europeans"

      Please clarify who these people are? You lost me...I hope.

      "If “good intentions” were enough, where is all the credit for George W. Bush?"

      He got plenty of credit in the post-911 era of his presidency. He was praised when he spoke out after 911, went after Bin Laden, the Taliban, and Al-Queida. He had a 98% approval rating - that's credit! It was the Iraq War that was laden with "bad intentions", lies, and personal vengeful "family business". That's when his intentions came into question, and his approval rating went to the cellar. He took advantage of America's patriotism when he was "keeping the country safe", and abused his power to put the country in danger! If it were the Nobel War Prize, he would have 2.

      Great hub - enjoyable, sarcastically bitter, and very well written.

    • Bibowen profile image

      William R Bowen Jr 8 years ago

      Thank you Madame X--I'm glad you enjoyed it. Best wishes.

    • profile image

      Madame X 8 years ago

      Chauncey Gardiner, I love it! What a fun - an accurate - description of what's going on. Great hub!! :)

      Beautifully written too!

    • Bibowen profile image

      William R Bowen Jr 8 years ago

      Ken and James, thanks a lot. You made my day! Best wishes.....

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      I love the analogy. Perfect! Good thinking. This prize is as ridiculous as its gets. I thought it had to be a joke at first. Lord, have mercy. I love your article. Thanks.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Well said. The committee has now proven beyond all doubt that the Nobel Prize has nothing to do with peace & everything to do with politics.

      Thanks for writing this piece.