Obama and Harper: A Tale of Two Leaders

Much has been made of President Obama’s being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The ground has been covered so many times by now that it looks like a CSI crime scene contaminated by too many eager cops. The various media are all agog, internet hits multiply by the hour, and the pundits keep weighing in as if there were no yesterday -- as witness this very article. Yet, perhaps, there is still something to be said -- and a little reiteration wouldn’t hurt either.

According to the left-leaning Oslo committee, Obama deserves the award for creating “a new climate in international politics.” Its chairman, Thorbjoern Jagland, is deeply impressed by the extent to which Obama has “captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.” But, as has been pointed out by many commentators, Barack Obama has accomplished precisely nothing of any positive importance and those of his credentials as have been made public -- of which there are decidedly few -- indicate very little of substance in his resumé.

What is perhaps of equal interest is the fact that the president was nominated just a week and a half before the deadline, since a proposal must be submitted by February 1 and Obama’s inauguration took place on January 20. This doesn’t leave much time for even a paragon reformer endowed with magical abilities to effectuate anything of merit or consequence, which means the prize was awarded either proleptically -- that is, in anticipation of future acts -- or retroactively from the selection date in October, during the period of triage itself. It all seems somewhat fishy.

Be that as it may, when I contrast a know-nothing do-harmer like Obama with the prime minister of my own country, a principled and reliable politician who has defended the democratic tradition to the best of his ability and steered the country through the recent economic meltdown with reasonable firmness, who is naturally averse to bedding the media and wary of ingratiating himself with the public, and who possesses verifiable talents, I have no doubt that were Canada’s Stephen Harper president of the United States, it would find itself in a far more resilient position than it does now.

There is a powerful irony at work here. President Obama is well on his way to ruining the American economy and reducing the nation’s defensive posture before an increasingly threatening world. The evidence for so unflattering an assessment is bluntly undeniable, at least for those who have managed to resist hypnosis. Yet he is staunchly defended by the MSM, receives accolades from a vast and robust constituency of devoted supporters, including the Oslo bunch, and is crowned by a nimbus of invincibility. Prime Minister Harper, on the other hand, finds himself constantly struggling to maintain a minority government, faces the prospect of no-confidence motions against his administration and ad hoc coalitions of the disgruntled, and is regarded by the teeming number of leftist nannies in this country as “scary” and of nurturing a “secret agenda” -- an agenda, be it said, which is transparently conservative and responsible. If there is a scary and secret agenda to be feared, it is not here.