Does Anyone Know A Goddamned Thing?
I'm convinced that this nation is beyond repair. Jimmy Carter was in the news for criticizing the Dumbass in Chief, and then true to form, backed down. I mean this is the man that was assaulted by a swamp bunny. I'm not saying he was the high-water mark for Presidents, but damn he was (and is) a good man who did a fair job. I don't know how it came to pass that we collectively give Ronald Reagan posthumous hand jobs, and Carter gets our scorn. I saw the assortment of editorial cartoons about Carters comments and they were awful- because they were so ill informed and full of shit. One dumbass blamed Carter for Disco. See my point?
I sometimes feel my oats and encounter someone who bashes Carter and I ask them to back it up. Hostages and economy are all they have to offer, if that. Most of these people hate him because they heard it was warranted. Bullshit. As a public service, if you want to bash the guy, here are some reasons:
* He started funding the Mujahadeen (although this smacks of that dickhead Brzezinski, and Reagan rally piled on the cash, but the buck starts and stops with Carter)
* He deregulated oil production cost controls (feeling that these days?)
* He formed the Department of Education
* The Hostage Crisis (in looking into this matter, much if not most of the blame should go to Reagan who later admitted that he had in fact orchestrated the holding of the hostages until his term in exchange for Toe Missiles.)
Now that's pretty bad, and the economy was bad news too, but I submit that the rampant unemployment and the OPEC fiasco were significantly beyond his control. His timing was for shit. His term was not all bad news though- lest we forget (and apparently everyone has) he brokered peace between Israel and Egypt (Camp David Accords, anyone?). Peace in the middle east? Carter? Yup. He brokered the SALT agreements (as in "Strategic Arms Limitation Talks- it was generally seen as opposition to the current lovely levels of military industrialism that Eisenhower and Smedly Butler tried to warn us about- and that's key to his lambasting I think. The military types don't take kindly to having their allowance cut.) FEMA? You know, before it was a punchline? Carter made it. Imagine that- an agency to help people in event of a disaster. Wow, that could really be helpful... Nah, what was I thinking? All that being said, Carter was and is a decent and kind man- maybe he is the best PERSON to ever hold the office. Huh? Yes, I'll back that up.
The classic "No Win Scenario". Meet the last Shah of Iran. We installed this guy in Iran despite the will of the nation there, and stuck with him up until Carter's administration (remember what I said about bad timing?) So, surprisingly, when the Muslim folks overthrew the Shah, they didn't get a chance to kill him- he fled. He bounced around a bit, but had become very ill, and Carter granted him entry to the US for medical treatment. This pissed off literally everyone, but Carter stuck to his convictions (imagine that) and did what he thought was right.
And that's really where the rubber meets the road. Anyone can play the Bill Clinton game of politics and try to be all things to all people on the surface, and then turn the screws when no one is looking. That's not the mark of a man. It's considerably harder to do what you believe is right in the face of ubiquitous opposition, and this is where I give Carter his due. Would I vote for him? He wouldn't be my first choice. Would I like to know him? You bet. Do I respect him? More so now than ever. What modern president can compare to the works of this man after leaving office? He still lobbies for human rights and for fucks sake, he builds houses for the Habitat For Humanity people.
I have yet to see a critic of the man worthy of his company, even though there is so much to criticize.
Okay, I just had to vent a little there.