Mark Kleiman is half right;
So when the usually intelligent Megan McArdle announces loftily thatMegan, sensing the respect of someone slipping, goes classy:it’s kind of ludicrous that anyone is even trying to argue that Barack Obama truly deserves this Nobel Peace Prizeshe is, to put it bluntly, talking through her hat.
Hmm. Well. Call me crazy, but I think that maybe to earn the Nobel prize, a million dollars, and all the associated prestige, you ought to have made efforts somewhat more heroic than chairing a meeting in which you said that you thought we ought to have fewer nuclear arms--even one in which you said that the US also thought we ought to have fewer nuclear arms.Yeah! Snarking at someone who calls you usually intelligent! That's great!
But the real question; How disingenuous is McArdle being? The answer: She's being about her usual amount of disingenuous. Ignoring that one could argue "committing" is not "chairing a meeting", we have only to look to Kleinman's next paragraph for something "more than heroic than chairing a meeting."
That’s not to mention the importance of killing the “missile shield” that threatened a new arms race with Russia, or the work for “fraternity between nations” done by making it clear that the United States of America was no longer fighting a “crusade” against al-Islam, or putting an end to the torture regime.Woah, call me crazy, but I think the president has to do more than end torture, reach out to enemies we've been at war with for eight years and end plans that antagonize Russia in order to be called "peaceful."
You should, I don't know, deliver a deal or something.Yeah, like why not do something substantial such as getting the Iranians to agree to greater oversight of their nuclear program AND to deliver their enriched uranium to Russia. Do something like that, Obama, and THEN WE CAN TALK!
Not content to have wholly inadequately addressed her opponents claims, she moves on to her magical phantom claims:
As for the notion that this strengthens our hand when dealing with Iran and North Korea, I'm really skeptical that this does anything at all.You all will be shocked to learn that not only do people hold these views, they are also expressed so frequently and fervently that McArdle doesn't even need to link to a single person who's said anything like that at all.
The leaders of Iran and North Korea do not, to put it mildly, look up to us. They don't want us to think that they're nice, moral people. They want us to think that they are terrifying military forces whose desires must be assuaged.Wow, that doesn't sound racist at all. It's also completely 100% true because McArdle is a fucking expert in psychology of people she's never met from cultures of which she's only dimly aware and about whom is she extremely biased. Just take it from the person who was right about Saddam's love of WMD's and Putin's love of invading Georgia.
The people of North Korea and Iran don't like us either, but even if you thought that this was likely to have a big impact on their opinion, this would be purely hypothetical, because both countries have very tightly controlled media which will report whatever the leaders want them to think.Yeah, those hating backward ignorant foreigners. How dare they both HATE US IRRATIONALLY and NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT US! Who do they think they are, Megan McArdle?
If the best you can come up with is that he made some impressive-sounding statements at the UN--well, I think a majority of the world's leaders are equally deserving. I don't see any actual foreign policy scholars advancing the theory that this was a landmark achievement on par with say, SALT or the Camp David accords.If the best you can do is read only the first sentence or two of someone who calls you an idiot, well, maybe you've proven their point. I mean, that's not on par with throwing salt in your own eye, or trying to book a site at Camp David, but it's pretty fucking dumb.