Jimmy Carter on Bigots: Takes One to Know One
The worst president in modern American history (although he may not be holding that tarnished crown for long) has deigned to weigh in on the growing number of Americans disaffected by the current administration. Jimmy Carter told NBC’s Brian Williams, “I think an overwhelming portion of the intentionally demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.” He went on to cite his experience as a southerner to give him credibility in diagnosing a large portion of the American people as racist. Kind of like Kathleen Parker did when she said that southerners, er, preferred Sarah Palin over Barack Obama because “southerners weaned on Harper Lee heard the dog whistle.” But just so you know, she lives in the south, so she’s not bashing southerners. She told Chris Matthews that on television, so it must be true.
Carter, you may remember, was scathingly critical of George W. Bush, going so far as to say that the Bush administration was the “worst in history.” Ahem. But as Bush was white (and a Republican), Carter was in the clear.
Funny, isn’t it? Those who see the world through a distorted lens of hate automatically assume that others see the world in a similar fashion. The same folks who brought you Chimpy McBushHitler are now worried about decorum in politics. The same folks who booed the president during his 2005 State of the Union address and whose leader called Bush a loser and a liar and refused to apologize about the liar part have formally rebuked Rep. Joe Wilson for calling Obama a liar during a joint session of Congress (even though Wilson apologized to The One™ for his outburst).
Dr. King must be spinning in his grave. So much for judging one on the content of his character.
But back to Carter. Rush Limbaugh noted on his radio program Wednesday that Carter’s comments reflected “the same kind of ignorance and stupidity that marred his presidency.” Are we really supposed to take Carter seriously on this topic, considering his own views on another minority, the Jews? Let’s look at the record:
- During the early days of the 1976 presidential campaign, Carter is reported to have directed his staff not to issue any more statements on the Middle East because he was convinced that competitor Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson had sewn up the Jewish vote in the primaries. “Jackson has all the Jews anyway,” Shrum quoted Carter as saying. “We get the Christians.”
- In January 2007, 14 members of the advisory board of Carter’s human rights organization quit in protest over his 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. In his resignation letter, Kenneth W. Stein said, “You have clearly abandoned your historic role of broker in favor of becoming an advocate for one side.” It went further than that. According to critics, the book is riddled with inaccuracies and deliberate omissions, such as: “Carter emphasizes that ‘Christian and Muslim Arabs had continued to live in this same land since Roman times,’ but he ignores the fact that Jews have lived in Hebron, Tzfat, Jerusalem, and other cities for even longer. Nor does he discuss the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries since 1948.” Also in the book, he talks about lecturing former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on the secular nature of Israel’s government, warning her that “Israel was punished whenever its leaders turned away from devout worship of God.” Within the same book, he gushes over one of his visits with that paragon of virtue, Yasser Arafat.
- In case you need another recommendation for Carter’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, just ask Osama bin Laden what he thinks of it.
- In 2006, Carter wrote in the Los Angeles: “It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine. … What is even more difficult to comprehend is why the editorial pages of the major newspapers and magazines in the United States exercise similar self-restraint. … Book reviews in the mainstream media have been written mostly by representatives of Jewish organizations.” Er, say that again, Jimmy?
And who could forget that during the last presidential campaign, in August 2008, Carter told Jim Lehrer of PBS that a wave of approbation was sent around the world with the possibility of “this black boy” becoming nominated and possibly elected president. It was probably a slip of the tongue, but no one batted an eye -- yet Maureen Dowd “heard” Rep. Joe Wilson say, “You lie, boy!” to President Obama. Perhaps Dowd should consider psychiatric help if she’s hearing voices in her head.
The rush to denounce any criticism of Barack Obama as racist is not only disingenuous but continues to do damage to this nation. Disagreeing with the man’s policies is not the same as calling for a return to the days of the KKK. And when the left trots out someone like Jimmy Carter -- to whom Rush Limbaugh refers as “the nation’s hemorrhoid” -- to scold us on racism and bigotry in America, you know the kitchen must be getting pretty hot.
It’s time to put this old goat out to pasture.