First, an acknowledgement: The Nobel Peace Prize is a thoroughgoing joke that just gets more ridiculous.
It’s honored a pretty impressive roster of people, true, but we didn’t need an award to recognize that Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel or Albert Schweitzer were awe-inspiring human beings.
On the other hand, the committee gave the imprimatur of the peace prize to war criminals like Yasser Arafat and Le Duc Tho, lumbering supranational bodies like the European Union and the United Nations, and other individuals of questionable deservedness, like Mikhail Gorbachev and Woodrow Wilson.
The committee’s recent use of the award to remark on American politics is a particular irritant.
In 2007, Al Gore won the award because, for all intents and purposes, he made a movie about climate change. That beats 2009’s winner, Barack Obama, who received the award for winning an election.