Freitag, Januar 12, 2007

Carter's Legacy

What do you say about former Presidents?

Most have been happy to simply, more or less, fade into the background and follow their hobbies, having served their country.

There have been, fundamentally, two exceptions. Clinton sees himself as too young to simply fade away - and after all, his legacy still needs to be created - and his wife is still involved in active politics. This can be seen as his due. He doesn't comment (much) on active presidential issues, but rather does defer to the sitting President, avoiding direct criticism, as has been the inofficial policy of virtually all Presidents after leaving office.

To repeat: it has been the inofficial policy that any President's politics will not be criticized by any former Presidents. None.

There is an exception. Carter.

Carter, despite the heartfelt and serious desires of the left to paint Bush 43 as the worst President, is arguably the worst President in living memory. I'm sure that Presidential scholars might argue with that (Taft was pretty bad, and the less said about Millard Fillmore is probably better...), but I think we have now the phenomenon of the grouchy old President.


This links to something that is virtually unheard of: he, and the policies he now espouses, are driving his buddies away.

The key word is "malicious advocacy".

The facts in dealing with the conflict are these: There are two national narratives contesting one piece of land. The Israelis, through deed and public comment, have consistently spoken of a desire to live in peace and make territorial compromise to achieve this status. The Palestinian side has consistently resorted to acts of terror as a national expression and elected parties endorsing the use of terror, the rejection of territorial compromise and of Israel's right to exist. Palestinian leaders have had chances since 1947 to have their own state, including during your own presidency when they snubbed your efforts.

Your book has confused opinion with fact, subjectivity with objectivity and force for change with partisan advocacy. Furthermore the comments you have made the past few weeks insinuating that there is a monolith of Jewish power in America are most disturbing and must be addressed by us. In our great country where freedom of expression is basic bedrock you have suddenly proclaimed that Americans cannot express their opinion on matters in the Middle East for fear of retribution from the "Jewish Lobby" In condemning the Jews of America you also condemn Christians and others for their support of Israel. Is any interest group to be penalized for participating in the free and open political process that is America? Your book and recent comments suggest you seem to think so.

The occasional reader here knows that I have an interest in sophistry, or more exactly of showing that it not only still exists, but is active and plays a major role in politics today.

Carter has become a sophist, confusing opinion with fact (indeed deliberately representing opinion as fact, and fact as opinion), and that those who dain to disagree and object are to be made objects of ridicule and disdain in turn.

What is sad is that there were only 14 of 200 that resigned.

Carter will get what is coming to him: he will end up disdained and mocked, remembered for rabbit attacks, micromanagment, the Moral Equivalent of War (MEOW), abandonment of US diplomats to their fate, abandoning allies and abject failure as a President. That will be his legacy.

That must be the most bitter thing concievable: it will be the fate of Clinton as well, especially if La Clinton fails to go for the presidency, knowing that her husband has permanently tainted her.

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