Barack Obama can be forgiven for feeling a little confused these days.

He gets the Nobel Peace Prize and by the reaction, you’d think he was some governor caught philandering when he was supposed to be out hiking the Appalachian Trail.

He should never have answered the phone. Or get Michelle to answer it: “Sorry, what kind of name is that? Nobody here by that name.”

I’m just relieved they didn’t give it to me. Fortunately, I’ve undertaken no “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples,” so they gave it to him instead.

So now he’s the Pinãta in Chief. Everybody is out to take a whack. I mean it’s OK if Yasser Arafat or Henry Kissinger gets the Peace Prize, but Barack Obama? What are they smoking in Oslo? Kippered herring?

From the Taliban to Thomas Friedman, the peanut gallery is in anaphylactic shock. The problem appears to be that Obama has yet to establish peace on Earth.

It’s not enough to be in favour of it; dammit, you’ve got to make it happen. Who cares that he’s pledged to restore sweet reason to U.S. diplomacy, close Guantanamo, restore the legitimacy of the UN, strive to address climate change, work for a nuke-free world and try to talk sense with insane, evil warmongers like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il? Like, what has he really done, anyway?

Maybe, like Kissinger, he should demonstrate his peacemaking prowess and bomb Cambodia. Surely that would appease his critics.

Or, like Arafat, pretend to negotiate with the Israelis while spending the money earmarked for Palestinian relief on secret arms shipments.

The list of other, more deserving recipients demonstrates what a travesty this is. How will Obama ever compare with peace-lovers like Teddy Roosevelt and Menachem Begin? I mean, who does he think he is? Lester Pearson?

Somehow, unlike the entire “punditaverse,” Obama has managed to prevent his hair from catching fire. He’s remained humble, graceful, eloquent and reasonable in the face of outrageous provocation.

The more humble and grateful, etc., he appears, the more infuriated his critics become. I can only conclude that after enduring eight years with that clown who once promised to “restore chaos and order,” they’ve decided to take it out on his successor, who is obviously a grownup and can take it.

So come on, eh? Let’s give peace — and Obama — a chance.

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