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Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize…

Obama at the UN last month: this probably had something to do with it
Obama at the UN last month: this probably had something to do with it

… and Glen Beck’s head explodes. (While Rush Limbaugh fat gut explodes).

It was surprising news today… great news, but still surprising. There’s been some headshaking from all sides, but pleasant congratulations from anyone sane enough not to be a jerk (that includes John McCain, oddly enough)… but a lot of talk all the same.

I mean, the nice complaint is just to wonder if it’s too soon and not tied to enough achievements… while the insane response is, well just read them at TPM. Go you wacky wingnuts.

After some reading, I have a better idea of what it’s about, and while there’s a little bit of “he’s not Bush”, this is as much about promise and the future as about this year. Obama has made such a big change to world discourse, and changed the tone of everything in world diplomacy, that the Nobel committee just couldn’t ignore it. And as Obama has even said, it’s a “call to action”, rather than anything to rest on.

There’s also been talk about the nominations closing on February 1, just two weeks after his inauguration. But it’s clear that while he was nominated early, the vote is not until September/October, and it’s taken into account his many actions… like being the first US President to chair the UN security council in person, organising serious nuclear disarmament efforts, dealing with Russia in a new way, deals with Iran… and really, putting the position of the US in the right place with the world.

So that is partially “anti-Bush”, but also partially about taking the powerful entity that is the US, and getting its aim right again. Let’s hope he keeps it that way.

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