21 May 2007

Open Mouth Saturday, Insert Foot* Monday

Jimmy Carter, best known as History's Greatest Monster according to the Simpsons, had some biting criticism for the Bush Administration on Saturday. CTV eagerly scrolled the impetus of Carter's remarks all day long on the NewsNet tracker, with the line that Bush was the worst foreign policy president in history.

Having realized that he was wrong and grossly out of line, Carter sort-of apologized today, with this gem:

Carter said, "They were maybe careless or misinterpreted." He said he “certainly was not talking personally about any president.” When pressed by NBC’s Meredith Vieira as to whether he was saying his remarks were careless or reckless, the former president said, “I think they were, yes, because they were interpreted as comparing this whole administration to all other administrations."

People are so crazy, they'll interpret calling the Bush Administration the "worst" ever as a comparison between it and the 42 administrations that preceded it. Wherever would they get that idea? Carter is right about one thing: his remarks were careless and reckless, and they go against the honour-among-Presidents principle to not openly criticize the other living presidents. You don't hear Bush 41 flapping his gums about how awful and misguided Carter or Clinton were, and you don't hear Bush ripping on his father or Carter. It's a courtesy, an appreciation that these men also bear the ultimate burden of responsibility for guiding the world's greatest--and now only--superpower. Carter routinely flouts that principle, along with a growing list of other courtesies, like implying Israel is pursuing a policy of apartheid vis-a-vis the Palestinians in his latest book.

The only question that arises from this latest faux pas from a prominent American is thus: when does he check into rehab?

*Move along, nothing to see here, certainly not misspelling it with "food." That'll teach me to blog when I'm hungry.

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