October 9, 2009

Mickey Kaus wins the A.J. Liebling Award

Since everybody's handing out awards, I'm going to invent the A.J. Liebling Award -- named in memory of the journalist who boasted (accurately): "I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better" -- and give it to Mickey Kaus, who posted this on Friday at 2:48 AM (Pacific Time):
What Obama Should Do With His Nobel Peace Prize
Posted Friday, October 09, 2009 2:42 AM | By Mickey Kaus

Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he's honored but he hasn't had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory--and helps solve his narcissism problem and his Fred Armisen ('What's he done?') problem, demonstrating that he's uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he's started to realize it. ... Plus he doesn't have to waste time, during a fairly crucial period, working on yet another grand speech. ... And the downside is ... what? That the Nobel Committee feels dissed? ... P.S.: It's not as if Congress is going to think, well, he's won the Nobel Peace Prize so let's pass health care reform. But the possibility for a Nobel backlash seems non-farfetched. ... 2:48 A.M.

A reader writes;

Once, when writing about a boxer, Liebling said "'potential' just means he ain't done it yet".

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

27 comments:

Mark said...

I don't think there is a good way to back out of this award, unless he accepts it in Ronald Reagan's honor then lays the medal at Reagan's grave. Reagan, conveniently, never got a medal for fighting Communism, nor did Margaret Thatcher nor John Paul II.

The other thing he could do is turn around and boost troop numbers in Afghanistan (good for his tough guy image, bad for the US), or lay a few bunker busters inside Iran. The latter would demonstrate that he's not a wimp, and that he won't always kowtow to the so-called "international community."

Seriously - this whole fiasco is as much about Obama's supporters and their reasons for electing him as it is about Obama himself.

And note this essentially negative story at Time - "10 Obama Backlash Moments."

Got that? It's not "10 Obama Mistakes" or "10 Obama SCrew-ups" or whatever - it's "backlash." See, these moments weren't his fault - it's the fault of the backlashers. Even when the MSM criticizes Obama they can't actually bring themselves to say it.

jack strocchi said...

Damn,

I already had that thought. But I didnt write it down fast enough. So cant qualify for the inaugural AJ Liebling award.

But then probably milliards of people are in the same category as me on this one.

Kaus gets the award for doing what Kaus does best. Faster and better smart-arse responses to the real time news cycle.

Harry Baldwin said...

Not only is Mickey Kaus's blog great, he's the only interesting regular on Bob Wright's "Blogging Heads" program. If it ain't Mickey vs Bob, it can't hold my attention. Mickey needs a bug-time TV slot. Let's heave out the old fossils like Gergen, Barnes, Will and Kondracke, and give Kaus his shot at saving the networks.

Anonymous said...

turning the nobel down would be much more arrogant and narcissistic than accepting it

Andrea the Terrible said...

I agree with Kaus. And, while Obama's at it, he should turn down his presidency as well(and retroactively, his top position at the Harvard Law Review).
He would lose the world but would gain credibility. Finally.

airtommy said...

Reagan, conveniently, never got a medal for fighting Communism

No, but he got to live in the White House for 8 years in exchange for pretending the fight against Communism was still going.

Anonymous said...

Yo Obama, I'm really happy for you, I'll let you finish, but Bill Ayers has the best political views of all time.

Gene Berman said...

In my younger days, I'd have qualified for an award for "slow writing" (so slow that a team of psychmetricians had to hook my hand up to apparatus to make sure it was moving continuously) and another for "small writing" (so small that nobody--including myself--could read it without a magnifying glass).

Jerry said...

airtommy said...

[quote]Reagan, conveniently, never got a medal for fighting Communism [/quote]

"No, but he got to live in the White House for 8 years in exchange for pretending the fight against Communism was still going."

This comment has a good chance for being the most absurd and inane ever published on this blog... What is the point of comment moderation when this kind of stuff gets through???

Dave Trieste said...

Sorry, but I ain't much impressed with either this Kaus or Liebling. I see better commentary on YouTube every day. As for you, Steve, well, you're doing alright.

David said...

"What Obama Should Do With His Nobel Peace Prize"

Not only can I tell him what to do with it, I can tell him where to, etc.

Concerned Netizen said...

At this point Obama is in a box. He's been tarred (is that racist?) with the scarlet letter "A" for arrogant, and he'll never escape that.

He's like that snotty kid in junior high that gave the speeches in assembly. All the parents thought he was so great, and all the boys beat him up every chance they got.

Thing is, the Republicans don't offer anything to the average white guy so I don't know if Obama's unbearableness will matter much in terms of electoral politics. It will make him detested, though.

BigWaveDave said...

There once was a Nobel commission
That undermined its very own mission
In place of a deed
It awarded by breed
And for peace we're left hopin' and wishin'

Svigor said...

turning the nobel down would be much more arrogant and narcissistic than accepting it

(See? A white person with the sense to try to make lemonade out of lemons)

You'll have to do a lot better than that. It isn't arrogant or narcissistic to refuse to let another's embarrassing fawning spill over onto yourself, or refuse to be a part of a farce that plays right into what your critics have been saying from day one. A person with a sense of decorum turns down inappropriate, embarrassing offers like this. A buffoon accepts them.

The Nobel committee offers you the "the person Jesus Christ should have been, the true son of God and center of the universe" prize tomorrow; you're an arrogant narcissist if you turn it down? Please.

Epic SWPL check: fail.

Svigor said...

I don't think there is a good way to back out of this award, unless he accepts it in Ronald Reagan's honor then lays the medal at Reagan's grave.

Yeah, he could come up with a ploy like that to save face, but it would be spun as a cynical late-game face-saving ploy unless he chooses a grave like Reagan's, at which point he'd have leftists so frothing mad he'd loose more than he gained.

His chance came the moment the news broke, was halfway out the door as WH staffers were leaking that he'd accept, and had fully flown the coop by the time he was blustering about being unworthy as he reached for the prize.

The Nobel Committee offering, and Obama accepting, the Peace Prize: a political triple-lending shark-jump. Hellooo, Laughingstock! We're happy to be here!

Anonymous said...

BigWaveDave, that was great. The meter was a little off in the second line though. How about "That undermined gravely its mission"?

Svigor said...

So far I've noticed the trend seems to be along the lines of what the "Top 10 Obama Backlashes" commenter mentioned in the AA Nobel thread: this is everyone's problem but Obama's. The Republicans are bad guys for their criticism, the Nobel Committee embarrassed themselves (I think even the NYT admitted this), etc. But Obama taking part in this monumentally embarrassing farce by accepting? I'm sorry, I'm about to go through a tunnel, you're breaking up...

Grumpy Old Man said...

Liebling wrote a great book, The Earl of Louisiana about Gov. Earl Long, who was crazy (like a fox).

Berlusconi and Chávez are as close as we come to Gov. Earl nowadays. Don't hold a candle, neither.

Anonymous said...

This comment has a good chance for being the most absurd and inane ever published on this blog... What is the point of comment moderation when this kind of stuff gets through???


Jerry, settle down. No need to go all Derrion Albert on the guy!

Anonymous said...

In other news, we advise all commuters in downtown Oslo to keep their car's windows closed today.

Since Obama's arrival to pick up his Nobel, smug levels have risen by more than 500% and it is expected that the smug will affect visibility as well as your health.

Truth said...

"All the parents thought he was so great, and all the boys beat him up every chance they got."

Only the black kids, white kids don't do that.

And by the way, it is totally absurd to surmise that Obama would have benefited from turning down the award. A refusal is tantamount to an embarrassing back-handed slap to a committee that is well respected and holds you in high esteem.

He played an awkward situation perfectly; he very humbly accepted and deflected any and all praise deferring meekly to an institution at large (the USA).

Hyatt said...

He played an awkward situation perfectly; he very humbly accepted and deflected any and all praise deferring meekly to an institution at large (the USA).

The only question now is to which good cause(s) Obama will donate his prize money. Maybe a threeway split between the Red Cross, the Red Crescent and Planned Parenthood.

Anonymous said...

"And by the way, it is totally absurd to surmise that Obama would have benefited from turning down the award. A refusal is tantamount to an embarrassing back-handed slap to a committee that is well respected and holds you in high esteem."

No, it's not. The committe loves Obama and he is charming enough to decline the award without making it seem like a slap in the face to the committee. The MSM would then pretend this event never happened, late night talk shows would refrain from joking about it, conservatives would eat crow, and Obama would be able to salvage his reputation as a serious politician.

Mark said...

The committe loves Obama and he is charming enough to decline the award without making it seem like a slap in the face to the committee. The MSM would then pretend this event never happened, late night talk shows would refrain from joking about it, conservatives would eat crow, and Obama would be able to salvage his reputation as a serious politician.

No, because what the controversy really points to is the fact that we elected an unqualified president who has done absolutely nothing. It's more about his unhinged, adoring fans, in America and abroad, than it is about him. It's about the absurdly silly reasons we used for electing him. It's about the Cult of Obama.

There are two things he could do to help extract himself from this mess: 1) appear to act without regard for international respect, by boosting troops in Afghanistan or bombing Iran; 2) rhetorically bitch-slap the Nobel Committee on December 10, by pointing out the unending contributions of the American military to world peace and prosperity over the last century, and by not saying a single solitary thing about himself.

headache said...

Hyatt sed:
The only question now is to which good cause(s) Obama will donate his prize money. Maybe a threeway split between the Red Cross, the Red Crescent and Planned Parenthood.


Answering Troof is a waste. He is forever trolling and will say outrageous and untruthful things just to get people worked up. Maybe he even believes the crap.

I think Obama should use the prize money to pay for his trip, incl. the entourage. I'm sure the prize money will not even be enough to pay for the expenses. Of course that will be ignored by the MSM.

Truth said...

"There are two things he could do to help extract himself from this mess: 1) appear to act without regard for international respect, by boosting troops in Afghanistan or bombing Iran; 2) rhetorically bitch-slap the Nobel Committee on December 10, by pointing out the unending contributions of the American military to world peace and prosperity over the last century, and by not saying a single solitary thing about himself."

My friend, a little word of advice:

The next time you are driven to comment on adult politics, I would recommend instead getting your gun out of the closet, aiming, and shooting your left testicle off.

Mark said...

The next time you are driven to comment on adult politics, I would recommend instead getting your gun out of the closet, aiming, and shooting your left testicle off.

You're right, Truth - he should just remained the smug, snarky, self-righteous anti-American, Grievance-is-Us a-hole who "earned" this award and whose personality is starting to grate on more and more Americans every day, especially as his policies are failing (quite predictably, I would add).

But I hope he doesn't give the speech I suggested. I hope he gives us more of the same America bashing we've all become so very used to, because I have no interest in seeing his public support rise, or in seeing most of his agenda enacted.