Apparently, among "progressives" unless the African American President of the United States of America does not satisfy the very exacting specifications of each individual's idea of what should be done, he is a sell-out do-nothing.Normally, when I am discover such flawed reasoning, I fall into "teaching mode" and try to approach the proponent with diplomacy. But plvb's argument does not warrant such sympathetic treatment.
There's no conclusive way of determining what's at the root of that, but as I thought about it, I did come to an excruciating, embarrassing, and sad end to my contemplation.
As my mental wanderings led me down path after path in trying to find an explanation, I came to dead end after dead end. Only one seemed to provide any possibility of an explanation. Regretfully, I concluded that even among progressives, this is a racial thing. Even for them, President Obama has got to do more, do it better and in less time than anyone else on the planet, in order to prove that he is 'worthy' of the presidency, or our support or the Nobel Peace Prize . . . .
Committee Could Have Made a Better Choice
Pvlb's analysis is extraordinarily misguided (but gaining traction on Daily Kos). First, President Obama did not award himself the Nobel Peace Prize. Therefore, criticism of the award, at least from my perspective, is directed towards the prize committee -- not Obama.
Also, there are more deserving people the committee could have selected -- like Representative Barbara Lee, whose actual work embodies an actual commitment to peace. Lee is the only member of Congress who had the courage to oppose the war in Afghanistan in 2001. She has also introduced a measure to deny funding increases for Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama, by contrast, describes the war in Afghanistan as a "just war," and he is currently considering a second troop surge.
Obama's position on Afghanistan does not represent a strong commitment to peace. It certainly does not represent a greater commitment to peace than the advocacy of others -- like Lee. Lee, by the way, is a very progressive -- far more than Obama -- black woman. My argument that Lee is a better candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize than Obama should neutralize plvb's immensely ridiculous claim that progressive criticism of the prize decision (or of Obama's policies) results from racism. Pvlb is so stuck inside of his/her own "contemplation" and "mental wanderings," however, that I am not sure whether he/she will notice this very basic fact.
In addition to escalating the war in Afghanistan, Obama has maintained many of Bush's antiterrorism practices -- like rendition, military tribunals, indefinite detention, and the denial of habeas to certain detainees. When liberals criticized Bush for engaging in these practices, they were not racist. When the few liberals who believe in logical consistency criticize Obama for embracing these same practices, they are still not racist. Furthermore, these policies are inconsistent with the pursuit of peace among nations and people.
Indiscriminate and Unnecessary Use of Race Is Harmful to Racial Discourse
Undoubtedly, some of Obama's critics are racists. But the simplistic and kneejerk equating of criticism of his policies with racism needs to end. This line of analysis began during the Democratic primaries. Committed racial progressives like Sheila Jackson Lee and Maxine Waters were called self-loathing "racists" for supporting Hillary Clinton over Obama. But after he secured the nomination, Obama used the Clintons ("two racists") on the campaign trail, and he chose Hillary as Secretary of State after he was elected.
Ironically, Obama receives vigorous race-based advocacy, but he strives to avoid racial discourse himself. The first and only racial criticism he made as president ended comically with him having a brew with Joe the Cop.
Although Obama runs away from racial issues, many of his most ardent defenders continue to wield "race" as a knife aimed indiscriminately at progressives and conservatives alike. This is an absolutely bankrupt and ultimately unhelpful approach to race relations.
Update: A response to Michael Moore's criticism of Obama's progressive critics: To Michael Moore: Absolutely Not!