There’s been some bad press for former President Jimmy Carter lately, in reaction to his book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” Alan Dershowitz has notably eviscerated in him in columns here and here. Fourteen of the advisors on the board of Jimmy’s Carter Center have just resigned in protest at what they call his “malicious advocacy” and his “strident” positions as expressed in the book.
Putting aside Carter’s visceral antipathy towards Israel, which to me is beyond debate at this point in time, there was recently a stunning example of just how spectacularly ungracious and self-serving this former president is. I’d seen him before in the kinds of public settings where graciousness is de rigeur, displaying very little of it (e.g. the opening of someone else’s presidential library). It has long seemed to me that he never got over being defeated by Ronald Reagan in 1980, and that his bitterness has only festered and grown through the years, as much as he tries to hide it behind that trademarked smile. Still, despite my extremely low expectations, even I was taken aback when I turned on C-Span recently and saw him attempting to use his eulogy for President Gerald Ford to score what can only be called political and self-aggrandizing points.
His eulogy for Ford followed that of Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld, as you would expect, spoke movingly in tribute to Ford (that’s generally the idea with eulogies). Carter took a somewhat different tack. His eulogy was far more about himself than it was about Gerald Ford. The general thrust of his references to Ford seemed designed to illustrate all the many ways in which old Jerry agreed with Jimmy Carter. Gerald Ford, although only a few feet away, was ill-situated to correct the record in any respect. Continue reading “Jimmy Carter: Let’s have a moment of silence in memory of ME”