Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jimmy Carter: best as a former president

This is admittedly a little late, but last Friday, an editorial from The Oregonian caught my eye. It sang the praises of new elections in the country of Nepal, which could end 240 years of monarchal reign and create a representative democracy.

The winners appear to be the Communist Party of Nepal, which had carried out a decade-long insurgency against the monarchy -- an insurgency that claimed tens of thousands of Nepalese lives.

What caught my eye wasn't so much the O's rhapsodic praise for the elections -- which fit quite well into our country's foreign policy aims of democracy abroad -- but its kind words for one of the election observers:
Jimmy Carter, who continues to model what a former president should be, joined hundreds of international observers to monitor an event utterly unprecedented in the annals of democracy.
I had two issues with that sentence: first, I would only call it unprecedented if you ignore the historical elections in the country of Iraq, oh, about two years ago.

Second, Jimmy Carter models what a former president should be?

Would that be the same Jimmy Carter who has made error after error, deception after deception about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

The same Jimmy Carter who has accepted millions of dollars from Arab sources, including bigots who call Jews the "enemies of all nations" and say the Holocaust was a "fable"?

Or the Jimmy Carter who has claimed in his books that he "attempted in every way possible to minimize the number of abortions," despite the fact that as Georgia governor he supported family planning programs including abortion, wrote that he favors a woman's right to abortion, gave encouragement to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state of Georgia to overturn its abortion laws, and hired as a White House staffer the lead attorney who argued for abortion in Roe v. Wade?

How about the Jimmy Carter who hailed Yugoslavia dictator Marshall Tito as "a man who believes in human rights"? Or who said he and Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had similar goals: "to have a just system of economics and politics . . . We believe in enhancing human rights"? Or who praised Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad and Ethiopia's Mengistu Haile Mariam, and told Haitian dictator Raoul Cédras that he was "ashamed of what my country has done to your country"? Or who was so impressed with North Korea's Kim Il Sung that he said, "I don’t see that [the North Koreans] are an outlaw nation"?

Yeah, a model former president. Maybe they meant that it was best that Jimmy Carter is a former president, rather than a current one.



  • At 4/19/2008 8:39 PM, Blogger terrance said…

    Well, nobody's perfect, Ken.

    It reminds me of a Peanuts cartoon where Linus is reading Lucy a list of all her dropped balls and fielding errors during the baseball season. She responds, "The sun was in my eyes."


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