28 April 2006

Today's question

Jeanne at Body and Soul asks
Do you ever get the feeling Jimmy Carter just took the stupid little job of being president for a few years as a stopgap on his way to a real job?
Yeah, actually, I get that feeling all the time. Jeanne was asking in reference to a New York Times story that could make you cry.
Guinea worm, a plague so ancient that it is found in Egyptian mummies and is thought to be the "fiery serpent" described in the Old Testament as torturing the Israelites in the desert.
Now, thanks to a relentless 20-year campaign led by former President Jimmy Carter, Guinea worm is poised to become the first disease since smallpox to be pushed into oblivion.
Mind you, this is the guy that, as I observed recently, made it to many conservatives' Ten Worst Americans lists.

Carter isn't the only President for whom the Presidency is arguably a second-string résumé item. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote his own epitaph, which doesn't bother to mention the Presidency among the three achievements for which he wanted to be remembered. And as I've commented before, I think we're currently grooming a commissioner of baseball.


3Jake said...

And that's why I named my dog after him. Jimmy Carter is the kid of person I wake up everyday hoping to be. Minus the Jesus.

Phelps said...

I'll give Carter this one. He's also made the right call in trying to get DDT back in use so people stop dying of Malaria. I've never claimed that he was evil (and even called him a genuinely good person in my list) -- just that he was monumentally naive and pollyannish, which are deadly traits for a Commander in Chief of a superpower. I hope he continues to do good on this side, and leaves military matters to someone else.

It would be charming if he hadn't been instrumental in the rise of violent Islamic fascism and didn't constantly prop up merciless dictators and terrorists.

Jonathan Korman said...

I'll certainly grant that Carter was a poor President in several respects. I'll even grant that he shares a chunk of the blame for contemporary jihadist political Islam, for having backed the strategy of cultivating that school of thought in the resistance in Afghanistan, though there's plenty of blame to go around in that department. As my original post suggests, he's a far better ex-President than President.