Andrew Sullivan provides some much needed context around President Obama's Nobel Peace prize award this morning:
Reading through all the reactions, compiled by Chris and Patrick, there are two obvious points: this is premature and this is thoroughly deserved.
Both are right. I don't think Americans fully absorbed the depths to which this country's reputation had sunk under the Cheney era. That's understandable. And so they also haven't fully absorbed the turn-around in the world's view of America that Obama and the American people have accomplished. Of course, this has yet to bear real fruit. But you can begin to see how it could; and I hope more see both the peaceful intentions and the steely resolve of this man to persevere.
I think the award took everyone buy surprise so it's no wonder that the announcement has been met with befuddlement from some and outright horror from others (yes, the Right's mania may just result in mass spontaneous combustion). But it's important to look at the international prize through an international lens, and not just from the hyper-partisan and political view of the world from within the United States. Things have changed since Obama was elected--some changes more subtle than other, but change nonetheless. The Nobel committee seems to like that change. You probably should too.