Monday, May 21, 2007
Has Jimmy Carter No Shame?
May 19, 2007: Carter says the Bush Administration is the 'worst in history':
Asked by BBC Radio how he would judge Blair's support of Bush, Carter said: "Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient. And I think the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world."
In his interview with the Democrat-Gazette, Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Bush for having "zero peace talks" in Israel. Carter also said the administration "abandoned or directly refuted" every negotiated nuclear arms agreement, as well as environmental efforts, by other presidents.
"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history," Carter said. "The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations . . . has been the most disturbing to me."
May 20, 2007: The White House responds sharply:
A White House spokesman called Carter's criticism "reckless" and "unfortunate" and said "he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments."May 21, 2007: Carter backtracks:
On NBC's "Today" show Monday morning, the former president said his words were "perhaps careless or misinterpreted." He says he was only responding to a question about foreign policy, comparing the Bush administration to that of Richard Nixon.
"I wasn't comparing the overall administration and I certainly was not talking personally," Carter said in the interview Monday. "I'm careful not to criticize any president personally."
Carter said Bush's foreign policy is "much worse" than Nixon's.
Not careful enough, Mr. President.
So first he lambasts the current Administration -- and the President directly -- while talking to the BBC, no less! Then, when called to task for his words, he allows as how his words were "perhaps ... misinterpreted". (In other words, if you interpreted his May 19th statement as critical of the President, that's your fault, not his.)
So the man clearly sees no need to apologize for trashing an American President -- a sitting American President -- while speaking to foreign journalists. Unbelievable. Worse yet, he seems to think that we won't remember what he said only two days ago, or won't bother to look it up. (As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, it's as though he thinks we don't know how to use Google.)
The man could have rested on the accomplishments of his four-year presidency (which, by all accounts, he seems to be proud of), and his work with Habitat for Humanity on top of that. But that wasn't enough, was it?
UPDATE: James Taranto thinks Carter should run again... and Prof. Glenn has the numbers. As of Monday afternoon, 76% of responses from Instapundit readers said that Carter should run for President in 2008... and 97% said they wouldn't vote for him if he ran. (Ah... can you feel the love tonight?)
UPDATE II: Ya'akov Kirschen, of Dry Bones fame, puts it concisely:
Perhaps I should have said that Carter was never that highly regarded by Israelis, even when he was President. The general feeling was that he had no inkling of who he was dealing with, or what he was doing. This 30-year-old Dry Bones cartoon, which I remember vividly from when it first appeared, sums things up nicely:
UPDATE III: As long as we're having fun with Carter Cartoons, here's the Cox & Forkum take on it: