Monday, May 21, 2007
The Incredible Shrinking Jimmy Carter
From what I’ve read about former Presidents, the transition from being the most powerful man in the world to private citizen is a hard one to make. One day you’re the focus of world attention and the next you have to get your own coffee. Some men handle this well. Others don’t.
Jimmy Carter hasn’t handled the transition well at all. Maybe it’s the fact that Ronaldus Magnus handed him the singular biggest electoral loss in this nation’s history. Perhaps it’s the fact that most historians skip over his presidency with only a passing mention of America’s most embarrassing foreign policy disaster on the highlight reel.
Personally, I think he’s still bitter that the Iranian Mullahs sent the hostages home right after he left office. They knew Reagan wouldn’t put up with their crap like Jimmy Carter did.
Whatever the reason may be, Carter sees fit to inject himself into any situation where he can garner headlines – especially if that limelight comes at the expense of a sitting republican president.
Over the weekend, Carter gave an interview to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette where he referred to the W Administration as:
I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.He also referred to outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s support of W as:
Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient.This from a man who’s lackluster sorry excuse for an administration gave birth to such memorable accomplishments as the Misery Index, Economic “Malaise”, and last but certainly not least, the 444 day Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy was the single biggest failure of America in the past century. His non-response to the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran can be pointed to as the seminal moment in the rise of Islamic extremism which we face today. To save his administration from the blame it so rightly deserved, he turned to a military which he had spent all four years of his administration hollowing out and asked it to do an impossible task with impossible restrictions on its operators. Desert One, like the Commander-In-Chief that ordered it, was a colossal failure.
If you’re looking for good things Carte has done since being thrown out of the White House, you can only find his efforts with Habitat for Humanity. Other than that you’re left with his unsolicited ambassadorial efforts in North Korea, Haiti, and the Middle East. Despite having won a Nobel Peace Prize, you won’t find success in any of those ventures.
After the White House fired back at Jimmy, branding him as “increasingly irrelevant” (I’m not sure who thinks he ever really was relevant) Carter now claims his remarks were “misinterpreted”. Sorry, Jimmy, you’re not going to be able to hide behind the age old political cover of being “taken out of context”. There is but one context for your remarks, and it is despicable.
The Carter legacy is only one of failure and embarrassment – even a casual student of history is forced to admit that. Jimmy Carter shows up at events only to be recognized as a democratic has-been who was responsible for ushering in twelve year run of Republicans in the White House.
I guess that’s to be expected from a man who was more concerned with who used the White House tennis courts than he was with America standing up to overseas dictators and thugs.
Here endeth the lesson.