Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Carter’s careless remarks

Jimmy Carter offers the "blogger’s excuse" for his irresponsible remarks about the Bush Administration. Here’s a little more on the Bush Administration’s response and on Carter’s graceless criticism of Tony Blair (which puts GWB in some good company).

As White House press officer Tony Fratto said today, "I think it just highlights the importance of being careful in choosing your words." We bloggers sometimes engage our fingers before putting our minds in gear, and have the luxury of doing so because we’re basically pretty obscure. We can apologize and revise as part of a larger conversation. (See this magnanimous example, for instance.) But as a more public figure, Jimmy Carter doesn’t have that luxury. His initial sensationally irresponsible words were reported worldwide, but his partial retraction (weaselly, if you ask me) won’t get the same coverage.

If you want to watch the video of Carter’s clarification, go here, and note how, in the accompanying story, HRC stops short of actually criticizing Carter’s remarks:

"I’ve had a lot of criticism of the Bush administration as well, and have used some strong descriptions," Clinton said. "I am going to continue to criticize the President. I think it is the duty of every American to speak out when you feel strongly that your president is heading in the wrong direction. I think we need a debate in this country, and I think that’s what is going on ... I welcome everyone for that."

Discussions - 10 Comments

It is childish name-calling to say the Bush administration is worst in history... unless you are a panel of historians. Even then, obviously, you hedge your bets and say they're probably the worst in history but time will tell.

So, you scrounge up an historian or two to say that Bush sucks...oh, I'm so impressed. You have to wait a few years to say such things...history needs time to play itself out. We can say he isn't very conservative, but we cannot yet say he has been utterly ineffective. You know, the whole "judgment of history" thing?

So chill, Danny boy...and don't defend Carter. The guy's a lame-ass, and he was a lame-ass in office, and history now knows he was a lame-ass. Stick a fork in him, he's done.

Carter has talked this way more than once about current presidents. He is utterly classless and has little sense of the obligations incumbent upon former presidents. Carter's comments about Bush and the Bush-Blair relationship are not "careless." except in the sense that he now wishes he'd used slightly weaker words. They accurately reveal the man's views, and his intellectual and rhetorical habits.

The Bush administration's "response" is typical thin soup. People begin to resent political leaders and spokesmen who won't tell it like it is, who pretend that vicious attacks like Carter's don't matter, etc. It's the kind of pseudo-statesmanship, pseudo-class, and pseudo-civility that we've come to expect from Bush and his people. The same can be said of most Republican leaders.

don't defend Carter. The guy's a lame-ass, and he was a lame-ass in office, and history now knows he was a lame-ass.

I'll take a lame-ass executive before an overly-ambitious, overly-extended, and overly-powerful executive any day.

Of course, Carter was still an awful President.

I don't think Bush's flaws have to do with ambition. I think they have to do with carry-through, and with his mediocre intellect.

I'm not defending Carter. Dude's irrelevant. I'm just sticking up for his statement.

Mr. Carter need not look any farther than the closest mirror to see an image of the worst president this country has ever seen(at least since the 19th century). An angry, senile old man who continues to hide his own ineptness by judging the integrity of others, has no moral standing with me. I still remember those mile long gas lines... Thanks Mr. peanut farmer

8: Gina -- yes, Carter does seem to "hide his own ineptness by judging the integrity of others." Very well put.

Carter's a Jew-hater.

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