I should stress that I by no means want to deny the President the Peace Prize. I think the decision reflects that the Peace Prize is a political statement, not an award for actual signal accomplishment on the path to peace; I much hope that President Obama can promote peace, and if he does I’ll applaud him for it (of course unless the peace is bought at too high a price), but it seems to me that his steps so far have been in the hope, intention, and planning phases and not in the actual accomplishment phase.
Sadly, though, the Nobel Committee has cheapened the prize so much in recent years that it's hard even to take it seriously anymore. Al Gore, who's done what for peace? Mohamed El Baradei, the most incompetent UN official ever? Jimmy Carter, who never met a dictator he didn't like? Yassar Arafat, no explanation needed? Rigoberta Menchu, whose book was exposed as lies? How these people got on a list with such greats as Lech Walesa, Mikhael Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Dr. King, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela, I cannot understand.
Know what American I would recommend for a peace prize? David Petraeus.
Update, 10/10/09: Here are some editorial cartoons on the subject. Some are funnier than others.
Update #2, 10/10/09: This from the LA Times, hardly a right-leaning paper:
For our part, we're fans of the president. We endorsed him for the job, and we greatly prefer him to his predecessor. But it's difficult to see why he deserves the peace prize so soon after taking office. The Nobel committee didn't just embarrass Obama, it diminished the credibility of the prize itself, which traditionally rotates among world leaders (Willy Brandt, Mikhail Gorbachev), charitable organizations (Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders) and humanitarians (Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa)...
It's hard to escape the impression that Obama was honored because he isn't George W. Bush.
George W. Bush freed over 30 million human beings from the yoke of tyrannical governments.