Busy leveling overheated charges against the elected president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, proves (once again) that he lacks what columnist George Will called the “grace and restraint” required of an ex-president. His recent public remarks are laced with “venom.” And now this man claims that President Bush “has radically departed from (the policies) of all previous presidents.”
No, Jimmy, you got that wrong. It is you who have radically departed from the policies of all previous presidents. They showed enough respect for the office not to lash out at their successors. And not to use their position to meddle in foreign policy.
Although he left the White House in disgrace, Richard Nixon at least had the courtesy to clear his foreign travel with his successors whenever he left the country. When he met with foreign leaders, he made clear he was not doing so in an official capacity.
Despite the failure of his own foreign policy, Carter, however, thinks it’s his business to meddle in world affairs, even if (or perhaps especially if) his policies differ from those of the elected president. In 1990, he lobbied members of the United Nations Security Council to vote against the First Gulf War, that is, Carter urged nations to vote against using force to liberate a sovereign nation which had been invaded. And it wasn’t just Republican presidents he undermined. In 1994, against the wishes of the Clinton Administration, he went to North Korea to negotiate a deal on nuclear arms.
Not only that. Carter has given his blessing to tainted elections in such nations as Venezuela while, with animus but no evidence, has leveled charges of fraud in American elections.
Perhaps Mr. Carter feels he needs to so viciously attack the president because he realizes that if he followed the example of Gerald Ford, the man he defeated in 1976, few would pay much attention to him. Before his health took a turn for the worse, that Republican frequently traveled the country, speaking to a variety of groups. But, he did not lash out against his successors as Carter has — even against Bill Clinton, his Democratic successor.
So, maybe he’s just doing this to get attention because he knows the MSM is eager to feature celebrities who attack President Bush, even when their attacks are rooted in emotion rather than substance. Or maybe Carter is still trying to convince himself that he was a good president. Or maybe he’s still bitter over his loss to the Gipper in 1980. The fact remains that he has been behaving badly. And his actions hurt the country and help undermine the policies of his elected successor.
Well, it could be worse. He could still be president.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com