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Spencer Ackerman on why President Obama should accept the Nobel Peace Prize:

But turning it down would be a slap in the face to an international community that is showing, in the most generous way possible, that it wants the U.S. back as a leading component of the global order. The issue is not Barack Obama. It’s what the president represents internationally: a symbol of an America that is willing, once again, to drive the international system forward, together, toward the humane positive-sum goals of peace and disarmament. The fact that Obama hasn’t gotten the planet there misses the point entirely. It’s that he’s beginning, slowly, to take the world again down the path.

Uh, no. While the President may well be on this "path" Ackerman speaks of, the Nobel Peace Prize is not an anticipatory blue ribbon based off all of the great things one intends to do. If the President is on some kind of "path," than that path is leading straight up the K2, and he's just stepping into the foothills.

One meeting with Iranian diplomats and a UN resolution don't strike me as Nobelist material.

And as Greg already noted, turning this award into a PR boon for Obama's agenda will only cheapen the award; an award—as Dan Drezner was quick to point out—that really can't afford to be cheapened any further.

The Peace Prize is not a high school yearbook award. Agreeing with Obama's policies and meriting them in all their unrealized glory are two easily distinguishable things. Like Greg, I hope those in favor of the award can see the difference, and how this actually hurts the case for the Nobel Peace Prize as a liberal internationalist mark of substantive works done.

I don't believe Obama can return the award at this point, but hopefully, he can come up with a way to honor some of the world's more deserving champions of nonproliferation and diplomacy in his acceptance process.

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