Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jimmy Carter, the Worthless One: best ex-president?

This is a timely response to one of my Friends who thinks Jimmy Carter is a great ex-president.

From the Michael Medved Show Jan. 15:

Hello, Michael, I listen to you every day. Can you explain why you despise Jimmy Carter? President Carter was president during a terrible time. I don't think you can blame him for the awful, immoral '70's any more than you can blame President Bush for the issues of the last decade. President Carter has shown his true character in his actions since his presidency. I respect him for that. I didn't vote for Bush, but I would never disrespect him the way I feel you do President Carter. He certainly is not responsible for the abundance of abortion of the '70's. Thanks. I usually appreciate your opinions.

Medved: He is certainly one of the two or three worst presidents we have ever suffered through. He is an insufferable, sanctimonious idiot. I agree. He has shown his true character. I despise him for that. Okay, let me try to respond to this. It is precisely because of his behavior since he left the presidency that I particularly despise and abominate Jimmy Carter. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for attacking his own country. For attacking one of his successors, George Walker Bush. It is a long tradition in American life that even if an ex-president hates the guts of a current president, he keeps quiet about it. Because an ex-president--I mean, part of what you do--you are receiving public money--you are being paid a great deal of public money--for being a dignified ex-president. Harry Truman--let me give you an example--hated Richard Nixon. Despised him. Just despised him. And why? Because Richard Nixon made Harry Truman look bad on the issue of Alger Hiss. This was a high State Department official during the Truman Administration who, it turns out, was a Soviet spy. And he was. And Nixon was right about that, and Truman was wrong. But he never attacked him after Richard Nixon became Vice-President and then President. He was quiet about it! He was decent about it. President Carter has not been decent. He has also consistently supported and excused Islamic terrorism, Latin American dictators like Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales in Bolivia, going around--who asked him, in our government?--to go around certifying the elections of leftist creeps all around the world. Jimmy Carter has become a sanctimonious, American-hating cartoon. And a bad cartoon. And I'm tired of it. And yes, I will continue to call him The Worthless One. Not because he was totally worthless as president. No one is. I mean, every president, by accident, sometimes does something right. But as an ex-president? I think Jimmy Carter is just about completely worthless and a disgrace to the country and a disgrace to the human race.


Ken Salkover said...

Jonathan Blumberg wrote:

I just started a new job, tryin’ to be a productive member of society (so I can pay my taxes and thus contribute to the $45 billion that we are all spending to bailout the very same company that hired me), so I don’t have time and energy to make a longer response. My opinion is that since leaving the White House, Jimmy Carter has tirelessly labored to help humanity across the globe. I’m sure his enemies can list examples where he did work with dictators, but usually in an attempt to prevent civil war or worse outcomes. If I had more time, I could look into all of his activity during the past few decades, and keep score of which had positive outcomes and which were merely noble attempts. Regardless, the idea of diplomacy allows for taking the chance of failure. Diplomacy has largely been off the table during the past eight years, so I think that’s even more a reason to praise his work.

Ken Salkover said...

Jonathan Blumberg continues:

Before and during the Iraq war, his comments may have not been the most tactful, but I honestly wish that more American leaders spoke out against the war. Most were afraid of upcoming elections, but as an ex-president, Carter did not have that worry. Your radio commentator pointed out how his criticism of a sitting president was unprecedented. True, but so was the damage caused by the Bush presidency. The proper role of an ex-president can be debated, but I would not go so far as saying “he hates his country”. Vocally disagreeing with a sitting president’s ideology does not constitute hatred for one’s country, and in some cases, it implies quite the opposite.

Ken Salkover said...

Jonathan Blumberg concludes:

As president, Carter did a great job in brokering peace between Israel and Egypt. Israeli’s should be grateful. Since then, he has criticized certain Israeli policies as being damaging towards the peace process. Again, maybe he was not completely tactful in all of his words, but I would not say that he hates that country. He would like American policy towards that region to be more even handed, as he believes it will help all people that reside in Israel. As an ex-president, he does not have to worry about offending any interest groups, so he can say what he believes will help the peace process.
Anyway, I’m sure there are plenty of right wing sources that you can refer to that would cherry pick the data and shred apart Carter’s legacy. If I had time, I would search the internet and find good counter arguments, but I really do not have time. Maybe I could find a famous radio personality to help me organize my points… (sorry for the long message. I couldn't paste together)

Ken Salkover said...

Here is my response.

Jimmy Carter's definition of "help[ing] humanity" is very different from mine. He has "tirelessly labored" to promote Jimmy Carter, sell more books, persuade liberal Christians to oppose Israel, and make sure Arab oil money continues to flow into the Carter Center. It doesn't take "his enemies" to list his close associations with dictators worldwide. One only need look it up. Carter's diplomacy rarely helps anyone other than himself. I was unaware of Carter's opposition to the Iraq war, but his comments in that regard, if made, were inappropriate considering his position. That's true regardless of how Carter or you felt about the Bush Administration. Oh, did he criticize Sudan for Darfur? Of course not. So he's selective--only critical when it suits his purposes. It's not his criticism of the Iraq War that suggests Carter hates his country. Many Americans who love America were with him on that. It's a consistent pattern of criticizing U.S. foreign policy at every opportunity while publicly and notably hanging out with the world's biggest America-haters like Hugo Chavez. Any other former president would have the decency to avoid coming within 1000 miles of an America-hater like Chavez.

Any defense of Jimmy Carter includes the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. We're both too young to remember. I can assure you this treaty was a near disaster for Israel. If Israel had held on to the Sinai land it had captured from Egypt, the oil revenue would make Israel independent of U.S. foreign aid and almost immune to U.S. criticism. Carter forced Menachem Begin to give up the Sinai, assuring embarrassing Israeli dependence on American aid for decades. Furthermore, ensuing American military aid to Egypt helps Egypt plan militarily for--what? Who are Egypt's enemies? Egypt can only be planning a war with Israel. This is the world's coldest peace. Islamic fundamentalism flourishes in Egypt, threatening the dictatorial Mubarak regime there, while Islamic terrorists infiltrate Gaza from the Egyptian border and use that route to attack Israel. This peace treaty is working out well for one signer--Egypt. American Jewish Israel supporters were so angry at Carter for the way the Accords turned out that they switched to Gov. Ronald Reagan in droves in the 1980 presidential election, abandoning their traditional Democratic voting habit. Carter's animosity toward Jews may be traced to their help in embarrassing him in the 1980 New York Democratic primary, which he lost to Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Carter criticizes Israeli policies as being damaging toward an alleged "peace process." Yet try to find his criticisms of the Palestinian Authority or its terrorist friends Hamas and Hezbollah. You won't find them. Could groups with announced aim being the destruction of Israel possibly being "damaging" to the peace process? Maybe? Carter is not an even-handed broker. He is a shill for Israel-haters worldwide. Do you believe U.S. foreign policy should be more "even-handed" to the Arab gangs murdering black Sudanese in Darfur? No? Why should it be more "even-handed" in a conflict between Israelis and Arab terrorists?

Please point out something former President Carter has said or written since 1981 that has helped the peace process in the Middle East. Spreading lies in best-selling books doesn't count.

I don't need to search "right-wing sources...that would cherry-pick the data to shred apart Carter's legacy." His legacy is pathetic. I only need a quick review of the facts. And it shows him to be, as I previously noted, an angry, bitter, vindictive little man.