Jimmy Carter is back in the news. It seems he's a bit desperate to be in the news these days. He's gone on record saying it's racism that is motivating the opposition to President Obama's policies. The Town Hall meetings of this summer, anger erupted over the rising mountains of debt that will crush us and our children's generation. But to Jimmy Carter such expressions of concern seem little different than mob actions. "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African American should not be President," Carter said in Atlanta.
It's certainly not the first time Jimmy Carter has played the discreditable race card. In 1980, he accused Ronald Reagan over and over of being a racist. When Jimmy Carter's dad was undeniably a segregationist in the Old South, Ronald Reagan was inviting his black friends from his Eureka College football team to spend the night in his home rather than face unjust discrimination at Illinois hotels. Ronald Reagan pledged -- and kept that pledge -- to enforce our nation's historic Civil Rights laws. No matter. Jimmy Carter's glass house may have been windowless, but that did not stop his stone-throwing.
President Obama's White House does not endorse Carter's unsubstantiated charges. Administration spokesman Robert Gibbs said: "[The President] does not believe that criticism comes based on the color of his skin." Gibbs attributed it instead to honest policy differences. Well, good for Gibbsy!
That should settle it. But it won't. The New York Times' Maureen Dowd launched an over-the-top charge, saying that when Congressman Joe Wilson yelled out: "You lie!" he really meant to say: "You lie, boy!" She was able to do this without even reading the obstreperous lawmaker's palm.
There is ancient historic precedent in America for Dowd's charge. Back in Salem in 1693, nineteen Americans were hanged on the basis of "spectral evidence." That is, there were no words, deeds, or documents that confirmed that they were witches, but they did have eerie "specters" about them. Maybe Arlen whispered in Dowd's ear!
Let me say, it is out of bounds and completely unacceptable for Members of Congress to yell out during a Presidential Address to a Joint Session. Joe Wilson knows that and has dutifully apologized. It is also deeply offensive and uncivil to depict President Obama as Hitler. I reject both kinds of demonstrations. It would be nice to see our liberal friends issue an apology -- even a belated one would do -- for the similarly vicious characterizations of George W. Bush as Hitler. We all remember the infamous videos that depicted President Bush and the Republicans as Nazis.
Jimmy Carter's flailing led 40,898,770 Americans to boot him out of office in 1980. Were they all racists, too? Since that time, he has won a Nobel Peace Prize by consorting with known terrorists and tin pot dictators.
Americans have largely forgiven him for the dangerous weakness of his four-year term. Americans are a generous people, praising Carter for his cabinet-making for Habitat for Humanity. He does deserve praise for this charitable work. But we should be grateful he's making cabinets for poor people and not for our nation. When he ripped out his presidential Cabinet, firing almost all of them, while leaving his errant White House staff in place, a leading Democrat cried: "He cut down all the tall trees, but left the monkeys!"
There's another irony to Jimmy Carter crying racist wolf. It was under his weak leadership that hundreds of thousands of Africans fell under communist domination. It is arguable that more black people lost their liberty under Jimmy Carter than under any President in U.S. history.
So let us hope Carter will take a cue from President Obama's White House and pipe down. He has had a mercifully long retirement. There's no provision for impeaching ex-Presidents. But we would all hope that age would finally bring some wisdom to this one. It's time for him to cease making the kind of baseless charges that led Ronald Reagan to dismiss him with a winsome smile and a famous turn of the head: "There you go again."