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Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...
May 24, 2006 4:01 AM   Subscribe

There's a move afoot to censure Jimmy Carter instead of, say, anyone actually responsible for making the world a more dangerous place. I call "attacking the messenger by proxy," or at least, some serious Rove-ian misdirection.
posted by jpburns (163 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The hell? I didn't think there was anyone who hated Jimmy Carter. Even the hardcore, fire-breathing Republicans I know all think he's a good man and a wonderful ex-president, even if they don't think he was a very good president.
posted by EarBucket at 4:07 AM on May 24, 2006


Doesn't Carter help build houses for poor people? This man obviously needs to be stopped.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 4:22 AM on May 24, 2006


Can somone who's not en employeee of the goverment be censured?
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:23 AM on May 24, 2006


Oh, I got a 404 for the truthout.org link, by the way.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 4:23 AM on May 24, 2006


Another fine effort from Move America Forward. They're a classy bunch, alright.
posted by maryh at 4:25 AM on May 24, 2006


Here is the correct truthout link; it has a quotation mark at the end in the FPP.
posted by octothorpe at 4:27 AM on May 24, 2006


I think there's a lot of people in America who don't care about right or wrong anymore, they just care about red or blue. If you're wearing the wrong color, you're a target.
posted by Jatayu das at 4:31 AM on May 24, 2006


wow. pictures taken of carter as an election monitor. jebus.
posted by 3.2.3 at 4:35 AM on May 24, 2006


Last week it was the Mexicans' fault that America is all fucked up. That was funny, but Jimmy Carter is a pretty good goat, too. Who's in the on-deck circle, the P.T.A.? Insurance claims adjusters? M. Emmet Walsh?
posted by planetkyoto at 4:38 AM on May 24, 2006


Keep in mind that the organization that's sponsoring this is nonprofit and tax exempt 501(c)3 - and is therefore required to be non-partisan. As if.
posted by maryh at 4:39 AM on May 24, 2006


It's like there's a series of buzz-words the right uses to galvanize their base; Jimmy Carter, Jane Fonda (gee, both residents of my fair city), teh gays... these words provoke a pavlovian response, and get the voters out.

What I can't understand is why their base puts up with being treated like dogs.
posted by jpburns at 4:42 AM on May 24, 2006


Jimmy Carter - the personification of moonbattery, whom even the Clinton Administration regarded as a "treasonous prick" - is at it again, reminding us all how supremely lucky we are to have survived four years of this evil clown in the White House.

Moonbattery? How can he personify a word that doesn't even exist? These folks are scary (and dumb).
posted by octothorpe at 4:45 AM on May 24, 2006


From the photos and stories at that "censure Jimmy Carter" link, it appears that this Carter fellow has been practicing diplomacy. With foreigners! Even swarthy ones! When will people learn that these animals (i.e., non-Americans) just cannot be reasoned with?
posted by pracowity at 4:53 AM on May 24, 2006


Cue Rumsfeld/Hussein photo.

Goddam hypocrites.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:01 AM on May 24, 2006


Modern-day Republicans seem to loathe anyone that consistently leads with the olive branch rather than the sword.

Just for the sake of argument, I don't read Slate enough to know who this writer is, but Chris Suellentrop seems to agree.

Personally, as an elder statesman who brokered the Camp David Accords, I think Carter has every right to put himself out there as of counsel diplomat, so I'm not quite sure what all the bitterness is about.
posted by psmealey at 5:04 AM on May 24, 2006


1980 was a great lesson in the power of the right-wing message machine. They managed to cast the divorced, non church-going, non veteran Ronald Reagan as the Christian, military family candidate and the life-long Southern Baptist, married to the girl next door, never had a drink in his life, naval academy graduate, Jimmy Carter, as the looney left-wing hippy.
posted by octothorpe at 5:07 AM on May 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


But is such over-the-top looney right-wing stuff actually a strategy to somehow make other Republicans (the ones who don't hate nice old retired presidents) look middle-of-the-road?
posted by pracowity at 5:22 AM on May 24, 2006


This riles up the Republican base for the 2006 elections. That's all.
posted by Mr. Six at 5:45 AM on May 24, 2006


Just to be safe and best support our country, censure anyone who we suspect has the courage to be honest.
posted by surplus at 5:47 AM on May 24, 2006


Hah, so now using your influence as a former president to do something the current president doesn't like is a "deliberate effort to subvert the democratic process?" Great.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:49 AM on May 24, 2006


Mind-boggling. I dunno about at home, but I think I'm right in saying that on this side of the pond, Carter is the only US President in recent memory who is deemed to be a decent chap.

wow. pictures taken of carter as an election monitor. jebus.

Yeah, I giggled at that, but then thought that the folk behind this campaign probably aren't really in favour of free and fair elections, just elections that their side win.
posted by jack_mo at 6:03 AM on May 24, 2006


The only problem with this is that someone is actually expending resources to censure someone who doesn't matter. He was the "guidance counselor" of U.S. Presidents...
posted by tadellin at 6:14 AM on May 24, 2006


Hilarious. This is the Repubs' last-ditch attempt to save face by digging up Carter and kicking him around a bit. It always worked well for them in the past, so why not now?

What they're missing out on, however, is that we like Jimmy Carter. He's like that roommate who we stayed friends with after we moved out. We like him a lot more now that we don't have to live with him.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:20 AM on May 24, 2006


From the photos and stories at that "censure Jimmy Carter" link, it appears that this Carter fellow has been practicing diplomacy. With foreigners!

They could get him with the Logan Act if that were the case.
posted by Jenga at 6:28 AM on May 24, 2006


I've been seeing these ads all over CNN... the first time, I literally burst out laughing. It was like something out of a South Park episode.

Then I remembered that we live in Bizarro World now, and nothing is so stupid that SOMEBODY won't fall for it.
posted by BoringPostcards at 6:33 AM on May 24, 2006


Where's the batshitinsane tag when you need it.

Morans.
posted by NewBornHippy at 6:41 AM on May 24, 2006


Then I remembered that we live in Bizarro World now, and nothing is so stupid that SOMEBODY won't fall for it.

About 27% will, in fact.
posted by Drastic at 6:42 AM on May 24, 2006


While we're at it, let's censure Winnie the Pooh, St. Francis and gummi bears.
posted by Biblio at 6:45 AM on May 24, 2006


Impeach Saint Francis.
posted by digaman at 6:51 AM on May 24, 2006


I don't want gummi bears conducting diplomacy.
posted by horsewithnoname at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2006


Yeah; that Jesus guy was always making friends with troublemakers too...
posted by sporb at 6:56 AM on May 24, 2006


Somebody has to say it: What, no "batshitinsane" tag?
posted by effwerd at 6:58 AM on May 24, 2006


Another of the charges against Carter which is making the rounds in conservative cirlces is that he was responsible for the Iranian revolution and the installation there of an extremist Islamic government.
posted by caddis at 6:59 AM on May 24, 2006


This makes perfect sense... wait, no it doesn't.
posted by drezdn at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2006


Caddis, cool link. Man, people are idiots.
posted by chunking express at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2006


They missed a few pictures. How about the one with Jimmy Carter high-fiving Charles Manson? Or the one where he's showing the thumbs up with Lyndie England? Christ on a crutch, what a bunch of idiots!

And look at the good that the Move America Forward group has done. According to their web site, they have sent $1.9 million worth of medical supplies & equipment to Iraq and collected and sent $2.8 million worth of pharmaceutical supplies to Afghanistan & Iraq. In addition, they've sent over 6 tons of premium fresh ground coffee to our troops serving in Iraq & Afghanistan. That's a lot of money they've raised and spent. Odd that they have any left over for the CNN ads against Carter.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:10 AM on May 24, 2006


Personally, as an elder statesman who brokered the Camp David Accords, I think Carter has every right to put himself out there as of counsel diplomat, so I'm not quite sure what all the bitterness is about.

It's nice to have an elder statesman from the Camp David Accords chime in on this post. Does this mean it gets a sidebox spotlight?
posted by Aghast. at 7:16 AM on May 24, 2006


Oops: missed NewBornHippy's comment.
posted by effwerd at 7:17 AM on May 24, 2006


psmealey writes "I'm not quite sure what all the bitterness is about"

This is going to sound tinfoily but I've often thought that the hate on for Carter is at least partially because he actually started the US down a road to conservation and restraint of energy usage. Stuff like putting solar heating panels on the white house was bizarrely unpopular in some circles.

jack_mo writes "I dunno about at home, but I think I'm right in saying that on this side of the pond, Carter is the only US President in recent memory who is deemed to be a decent chap."

Probably the most liked of presidents in Canada since Nixon called Trudeau an asshole.
posted by Mitheral at 7:18 AM on May 24, 2006


Thanks, Aghast. A truly excellent example of a dangling modifier.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:24 AM on May 24, 2006


Another of the charges against Carter which is making the rounds in conservative cirlces is that he was responsible for the Iranian revolution and the installation there of an extremist Islamic government.
posted by caddis at 6:59 AM PST on May 24 [+fave] [!]


And the 1953 CIA-supported coup and the dictatorial Shah who sacraficed the needs of his country to western oil interests had nothing to do with it?

------------

I'm too young to remember Carter, but someone I know actually wrote a PhD on the US Presidency. He studied every speech by every president from Washington to Clinton -- and did an indepth study on Jimmy Carter's "malaise speech" and the public reaction it received.

Not only did Jimmy Carter a) never say malaise and b) never blame the American people for anyone but rather talk about how his adminstration had made mistakes and needed to improve (an admission of truth that is rare to the point of extinction among politicians), but his popularity went up after the speech. The republican propaganda machine spent the whole of the next election campaign convincing the world otherwise, but the polls right after the speech showed that Carter's approval rating was UP and that people especially liked the speech.

Jimmy Carter is and always was a good honest man, which is more than you can say for most politicians on the left or the right. He was pilloried by the opposition who used his honesty against him - and the nation fell for it. When we complain about how our politicians never tell us the truth, maybe we should all just remember what happened to Carter.
posted by jb at 7:30 AM on May 24, 2006


Oh, I see, Carter is responsible for the Iranian revolution because he let the world know that the Shah of Iran was a dictator, instead of just keeping mum about it. How that changed things in Iran, where everyone already knew the Shah was a dictator, I don't know. I guess all those happy Iranians who loved their secret police started disliking them because American television told them to.
posted by jb at 7:34 AM on May 24, 2006


History is littered wth the corpses of leaders like Dukakis and Carter and full of monuments to Machiavellians and nincompoops.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:36 AM on May 24, 2006


Crooks and lairs points out that Move America forward put together the Caravan bus tour to try and fend off Cindy Sheehan down in Texas and produced phony commercials about WMD's being in Iraq. There's also a bit about the chief strategist Sal Russo being under investigation for little things like bilking campaign donors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But please don't focus on them, it's Carter we must be worried about.
posted by Crash at 7:40 AM on May 24, 2006


What they're missing out on, however, is that we like Jimmy Carter. He's like that roommate who we stayed friends with after we moved out. We like him a lot more now that we don't have to live with him.

That's maybe the best description of Jimmy Carter I've ever read.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:43 AM on May 24, 2006


One day we'll wake up and the Republican party will be censuring Jesus for being a communist.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:44 AM on May 24, 2006


Another pre-emptive strike against a person of integrity. Perhaps they're worried that Carter will volunteer to monitor US elections . . . and that people would believe him over the Diebold types.
posted by ahimsakid at 7:45 AM on May 24, 2006


I remember the Carter administration quite well, and my impression was that the man was being eaten alive by world leaders and government officials much tougher and more ruthless than him. He was way out of his depth, unfortunately.

I think Al Gore would have very much the same experience.
posted by Nicholas West at 7:54 AM on May 24, 2006


How can we start a petition to censure Move America Forward? Is petitiononline.com a good starting point? :/
posted by JJ86 at 7:58 AM on May 24, 2006


BTW, is it really undermining foreign policy by making more coherent and sane dialogues with our "enemies"?
posted by JJ86 at 8:00 AM on May 24, 2006


This is a stupid and disgusting petty little partisan act. With hope, this will end up to be a non-starter like all partisan wankery. Partisans like these people cocoon themselves in echo chambers until they get to the point that completely idiotic ideas like this make sense. Typical partisan asininity.

Tags:
fascism
bush
neocons


I don't see anything at all in any of these posts which indicates any relation to or support by Bush of this action. I don't see anything at all having to do with facism if that word is to mean anything other than the "the Evil Other." Nor does this have anything to do with neo-cons.

Taking this pointless partisan effort and elevating it to some grand critique about the fascist neo-con Bushies is to do the same sort of partisan idiocy as these anti-Carter idiots.

Shrill partisans deserve scorn in all directions.
posted by dios at 8:14 AM on May 24, 2006


Jimmy Carter has long been one of the men I admire most.

Just think of where we would be if Reagan had not tossed out all of the energy conservation measures that Carter had enacted.

We would be driving (on average) smaller cars, and there would be a lot more oil still in the ground, IMHO.

It has been one of the Repub's strategic cornerstones to demonize Carter. May they all rot in hell.
posted by Danf at 8:14 AM on May 24, 2006


"BTW, is it really undermining foreign policy by making more coherent and sane dialogues with our "enemies"?"

Coherent and sane dialogues with anyone are always a good idea, and what Carter tried to do was admirable. However, putting "enemies" in quotes implies that we don't really have enemies, which is going a little far. The United States unquestionably has some real and very dangerous enemies.
posted by Nicholas West at 8:15 AM on May 24, 2006


Yes, and some of them hang out in the Oval Office.
posted by digaman at 8:18 AM on May 24, 2006


What I can't understand is why their base puts up with being treated like dogs.

They don't think they're being treated like dogs.
posted by blucevalo at 8:26 AM on May 24, 2006


It doesn't matter if Carter makes the country look good, both here and overseas - he's making the current administration look bad, and that's apparently un-American.

Move America Forward (MAF) is a conservative founded and headed by California Republican activists, talk show hosts and staff members of the public relations firm Russo Marsh and Rogers, which has strong ties to the Republican Party.

Seems like a pretty strong reference to the Republican Party to me. Yet another "Swift Boat" catspaw, so the cowards at the RNC can claim plausible deniability.

The thing I like most about Carter? He keeps going, and going, and going. Reagan's drooling dotage at least prevented further damage. Dubya will be put out to pasture, just like his dad. Clinton's frat-boy stupidity will relegate him to second-rate stature. But Carter? He'll continue to remind the world that, three decades later, he had the right idea.
posted by FormlessOne at 8:28 AM on May 24, 2006


I don't see anything at all in any of these posts which indicates any relation to or support by Bush of this action. I don't see anything at all having to do with facism if that word is to mean anything other than the "the Evil Other." Nor does this have anything to do with neo-cons.

Dios:

Hey... I'm honored by your presence.

Yeah... I'm being a little flippant in my use of tags, but let me explain my rationale.

Relation to Bush: Bush is the head of the Republican Party. This group is a thinly veiled front for the GOP.

Fascism: I worry that this attacking the other is a symptom of the rising tide of fascism in our country. "First they came for the ex-presidents...", and all that... Maintaining power through dirty tricks and party loyalty is a sign of fascism, IMHO.

Now you're just being flippant when you say this has nothing to do with the neo-cons...
posted by jpburns at 8:32 AM on May 24, 2006


Relation to Bush: Bush is the head of the Republican Party. This group is a thinly veiled front for the GOP.

That's absurd. The group is made of Republicans. That doesn't mean there is any relation at all to Bush. Should we include a Dean tag on all posts that have to do with a Democrat? It is a bullshit connection that really makes your post fall victim to the same sort of partisan wankery as these anti-Carter morons. That is, these partisan wankers see two teams, and since Carter is not on their team, he must be attacked. Your post does the same sort of anti-intellectual binary thought process. According to you, this post is about The Other, and is therefore about Bush. Nonsense.

Fascism: I worry that this attacking the other is a symptom of the rising tide of fascism in our country. "First they came for the ex-presidents...", and all that... Maintaining power through dirty tricks and party loyalty is a sign of fascism, IMHO.


Don't include a word as a tag if you don't know what the word means.

Now you're just being flippant when you say this has nothing to do with the neo-cons...
posted by jpburns at 10:32 AM CST on May 24


I'll buy you a drink next time you are in Dallas if you can put forth any logical reason why this post should be tagged with the word "neocon". Make the argument why someone interested in searching about neocons would want to have this post come up.

Your tags are as much partisan wankery as this anti-Carter nonsense, and both are deserving of scorn from serious thinking people.
posted by dios at 8:40 AM on May 24, 2006


We would be driving (on average) smaller cars, and there would be a lot more oil still in the ground, IMHO.

But think of how much we'd be paying for gas! All you Jimmy Carter lovers should check out just what the Democrats are costing us at the pump with this handy dandy Democrats' Gas Prices Calculator!

Not only do Democrats support the terrorists, they're ruining my summer vacation plans!
posted by Otis at 8:41 AM on May 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah... I'm being a little flippant in my use of tags, but let me explain my rationale.

I see your rationale, but I am with Dios on this one. not so much because I disagree with the tags you put in (I can buy your arguments, for the most part) but the larger point I htink is that you didn't include any tags that were of primary importance to the story.

Some possibilities include: Carter (or JimmyCarter), MoveAmericaForward, PartisanIdiocy, RovianPolitics, etc.

I'm not really the greatest tagger, either though.
posted by illovich at 8:46 AM on May 24, 2006


Are we supposed to get outraged that a partisan is campaigning for a sternly-worded letter to Jimmy Carter? I'm quite sure Jimmy can handle himself and doesn't need us to be offended on behalf of him.

And what happened to the best of the web? Surely this is not it?
posted by Alexandros at 8:49 AM on May 24, 2006


Are conversations about tag propriety always this scintillating?
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:49 AM on May 24, 2006


But think of how much we'd be paying for gas! All you Jimmy Carter lovers should check out just what the Democrats are costing us at the pump with this handy dandy Democrats' Gas Prices Calculator!

I call bullshit on their price calculator. They say gas would be $3.75 under the democrats, but they say the Kyoto treaty which did not sign would add $0.65.

I'm paying $3.25 currently at the pump, so I think someone is still suck on "fuzzy math" at the RNC.
posted by illovich at 8:50 AM on May 24, 2006


Awesome link Otis ... totally opaque as to how they figure that Democrats commitment to Kyoto (what ?) will cost an average of 6.50$/gallon more, and yet the average cost of "gas under the Democrats" would be 3.75 $/gallon. Whatever, I was a little miffed that their drop down menus didn't include Civic hybrids (what ? Republicans don't drive hybrids ?), but I did note that my driving habits under the Democrats would cost an extra 2.19$ a week. Huh. I am just boiling with outrage, or rather, I would be if, you know, the Democrats had their way.
posted by bumpkin at 8:52 AM on May 24, 2006


Oops, apparently I have trouble with decimal points. Still, boiling with potential outrage over here.
posted by bumpkin at 8:54 AM on May 24, 2006


Dios:

"Don't include a word as a tag if you don't know what the word means."

O.K. Howabout this:
"A philosophy or system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and often a policy of belligerent nationalism." (From The American Heritage Dictionary)
Oh... and "dictator?"
...
S: (n) dictator, potentate (a ruler who is unconstrained by law)
S: (n) authoritarian, dictator (a person who behaves in an tyrannical manner)" (from WordNet)
Ring any bells? Now can I use it?
posted by jpburns at 8:54 AM on May 24, 2006


No.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:57 AM on May 24, 2006


Every time Dios comes into a thread and executes a flawless derrail I cannot help but pause in admiration. Such a master. Attack the tags.

It isn't that he's not correct. We should, in fact, address the rise of Facism in America, the illegal, immoral and disasterous presidency of George Bush, the festering stew of vile special interest groups which have become such an essential base for the GOP, and how the Neoconservative movement leveraged them all to execute its rise to power in separate threads, with appropriate tagging in each.
posted by nanojath at 8:58 AM on May 24, 2006


Oh... and "dictator?"
S: (n) dictator, potentate (a ruler who is unconstrained by law)
Ring any bells?
posted by jpburns


A lot of bell tolling going off to anyone who's read the news lately.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:06 AM on May 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


We could have been running on diesel Electrics by now and getting 70 MPG EV1s Started back then, so the cost of fuel is a strawman at best, we would been using a lot less fuel, maybe even Half by now and probably better regulation on modernizing oil refineries too, if we followed the trend Carter set up.

WOW Otis, what a non-Bias'd Source!!!!

Dios, I will go on a limb here and say I think Rove had a hand in it. Is Rove a Neo-con? or just an evil Prick? we report, you decide.
posted by Elim at 9:21 AM on May 24, 2006


If only dios and jpburns could natter about tags via e-mail.
posted by boo_radley at 9:22 AM on May 24, 2006


OK, OK. Bush is probably a poor tag. It's possible that white house political machinists are involved, in which case it's genuinely accurate, but it's slightly more probable that the censure movement is merely run by people who have in common with the whitehouse only that they are infected by the same brand of brain-damaging virus.
posted by namespan at 9:29 AM on May 24, 2006


both dios posts flagged as derails.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 9:35 AM on May 24, 2006


StrasbourgSecaucus' last post flagged as derail.
posted by boo_radley at 9:36 AM on May 24, 2006


This comment is a derail.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:38 AM on May 24, 2006


Ce commentaire n'est pas un derail.
posted by psmealey at 9:40 AM on May 24, 2006


Damn, I hate arriving late in a thread, after it's been derailed, and the derailment has itself become the subject.
posted by slatternus at 9:43 AM on May 24, 2006


dios is right, but it is still a derail. However, the only way the derail works is when you fight back. Just thank him for his comments and move on.
posted by caddis at 9:48 AM on May 24, 2006


You know...I'm about as anti-repub as it's possible to get. Still, I gotta say that agree with dios (gasp!) about the tag thing.

I mean. I despise Bush as a president. I think the GOP in thier current incarnation (I kinda liked the old GOP of the 60's...you know... when they were actually conservative with regards to government, and not just the Holy Party) is balls-out evil.

That said, I don't think that it does those of us that are fed up with GOP fearmongering, bullying, mud slinging, debt ramping, propagandizing, chest thumping, bible beating, and issue-wedging any service at all to cry "oh nos, Bush is teh evil!" at everything the GOP does. I mean, yes, he *is* teh evil, but I don't see any direct evidence of his hand in this matter, no?

What I've seen brewing the last couple of years with regards to the democratic party and its supporters is the start of the same sort of partisanship that's currently behind the wheel of the GOP. If a political faction feels "victimized" -- for whatever reason, real or imagined -- they invariably put blinders on and adapt a steadfast and politically dangerous "us vs. them" mentality. That's no good, and it is the very reason why the GOP is so sickening these days - they encouraged and concentrated that sentiment, and then continued to nurture it even after they were the ones in power -- still persecuted by the conspiratorial liberal menace.

But yeah, the tag issue *is* something of a derail, despite it being a good point.

With regards to the topic at hand, this makes me somewhat ill. Carter's a good guy. Yeah, perhaps he was a bit too nice to make a truly effective president -- he got rather eaten alive. Still, the man has always been honest and smart, he builds houses for the poor, volunteers his time where needed, writes children's books. The guy is harmless and benevolent, and really seems to believe what he says, if his actions are any indicator. That's a rare thing for somebody in the public spotlight, these days. I mean, this is like attacking Mr. Rogers. And people, still whipped into the above-mentioned fervor, are swallowing it like the partisan sheep they are.

...or reacting to it like the partisan sheep they are...
posted by kaseijin at 9:54 AM on May 24, 2006


The hell? I didn't think there was anyone who hated Jimmy Carter.
This guy does. He doesn't go into much detail about why, but boy-o-boy, does he hate Jimmy Carter.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:04 AM on May 24, 2006


Tag! You're it!
posted by Vindaloo at 10:06 AM on May 24, 2006



But think of how much we'd be paying for gas! All you Jimmy Carter lovers should check out just what the Democrats are costing us at the pump with this handy dandy Democrats' Gas Prices Calculator!


This is bullshit. It doesn't include my '77 Datsun. You just can't take it seriously if it doesn't include my gas guzzling (errrr, if I drove it often) 30 year old rustbucket.
posted by IronLizard at 10:11 AM on May 24, 2006


"I don't see anything at all in any of these posts which indicates any relation to or support by Bush of this action."

Are you an unfrozen caveman lawyer, or just playing dumb?
posted by 2sheets at 10:14 AM on May 24, 2006


where does one apply to join the thread police? it seems like such an important and fulfilling job.

dont back dont back down jpburns
posted by Gaius Gracchus at 10:14 AM on May 24, 2006


Oh, and these photos are all of election monitoring processes, right? Doesn't that mean that Carter's help ing to spread democracy around the globe? Why does Michelle hate democracy so?
posted by boo_radley at 10:23 AM on May 24, 2006


Cue Rumsfeld/Hussein photo.



What say we spam these idiots with it.
posted by tkchrist at 10:35 AM on May 24, 2006


Nicholas West: I remember the Carter administration quite well, and my impression was that the man was being eaten alive by world leaders and government officials much tougher and more ruthless than him.

Hans Morgenthau, "Paralysis at the Top," June 1980:
The anarchic character of the International system forces Carter, following hlstorical conventlon, to contemplate physical violence, even nuclear war, as the ultimate factor in the settlement of international issues. Yet the irrationality of such violence makes him shrlnk from the use even of conventional violence lest it might escalate into nuclear war. Thus in an international crisis the presldent acts with utmost caution--if he acts at all--and he compensates for the lack of provocative action with bellicose talk.

The issue is not whether the presldent ought to pursue the national interest regardless of the possibility of nuclear war, but where to cross the line between concern for the natlonal interest and fear of nuclear war. The problem is whether Carter, in hls anxiety to avoid the apocalyptic abyss, has not chosen inaction as the easier alternative. The president seems paralyzed before the face of the future.
posted by russilwvong at 10:38 AM on May 24, 2006


Not to derail from the tag controversy, but I noted earlier in the thread that Move America Forward is a tax-exempt nonprofit. Can someone please explain to me how that's legal? They're obviously partisan, and in that ad it's implied pretty clearly that they're pro-Bush. I'm really unhappy about these dinks buying tv time on my dime. How are they getting away with it?
posted by maryh at 10:38 AM on May 24, 2006


I can see clear connection to Bush in terms of the people he has surrounded himself with are not very far removed, philisophically, from this group. I believe that was what the tags implied rather than a direct connection. The tactics are very similar. It's thoroughly disgusting. I'm still astounded that this bullshit can continue seemingly unchecked in any meaningful sense.

Such things are open to interpretation of course.

dios will always take it to an extreme, like when people said things would have been different under Gore had he been President instead of Bush, and dios absurdly pretended to believe that meant people were actually saying, and believed, Gore could have prevented a hurricane. That performance is a keeper. Intellectual dishonesty for all to see.
posted by juiceCake at 10:39 AM on May 24, 2006


It's possible that white house political machinists are involved
Now wait just a damned minute! There are no machinists in the White House - nor tool and die makers, nor pattern makers either. Gunsmiths, maybe.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:44 AM on May 24, 2006


Have we become so blinded by the insanity put forth by the neo-cons as "politics" and "dialogue" that we're not capable of anything better? Does the fact that Bush might sympathise with some of the opinions of these wackos now mean the same thing to as him actually associating with them - or being so gauche as to actually call for the censure of a former president?

I can see clear connection to Bush in terms of the people he has surrounded himself with are not very far removed, philisophically [sic], from this group.

By your definition I have a clear connection to Willie Nelson, Thomas Pynchon and Mark Twain.

It's like politics is being replaced with Sympathetic Magic.
posted by freebird at 10:45 AM on May 24, 2006


If Gore was president he would have invented a machine that stops hurricanes. For sure.
posted by chunking express at 10:51 AM on May 24, 2006


Blaming Clinton is so 2001, and blaming Carter just isn't enough.

Personally, I blame FDR. Librul fuck went and ended the Great Depression and won WWII. The crippled bastard.
posted by bardic at 10:54 AM on May 24, 2006


Astro Zombie : "One day we'll wake up and the Republican party will be censuring Jesus for being a communist."

Maybe the actual Jesus, but surely not Supply Side Jesus!
posted by graventy at 10:58 AM on May 24, 2006


Looks like I need to work harder on my sarcasm. I mean, I thought this line would give it away:

Not only do Democrats support the terrorists, they're ruining my summer vacation plans!
posted by Otis at 11:41 AM EST on May 24


But apparently, it's plausible that someone would actually say that seriously. Sad really.
posted by Otis at 11:11 AM on May 24, 2006


" The issue is not whether the presldent ought to pursue the national interest regardless of the possibility of nuclear war, but where to cross the line between concern for the natlonal interest and fear of nuclear war. The problem is whether Carter, in hls anxiety to avoid the apocalyptic abyss, has not chosen inaction as the easier alternative. The president seems paralyzed before the face of the future."

Well, this might key into the well worn maxim that if you don't know what to do about a particular situation, it's better to do nothing at all. And as it happened, we were never led into a nuclear war by Carter. Certainly we never came as close as we are now with this clown.
posted by Nicholas West at 11:16 AM on May 24, 2006


with the "Democrats are costing us at the pump with this handy dandy Democrats' Gas Prices Calculator!" it made me wonder..
posted by Elim at 11:22 AM on May 24, 2006


Nicholas, it is amazing that it almost seems he is being blamed for NOT risking a nuclear war?!?!?!
posted by Elim at 11:24 AM on May 24, 2006


To contact the IRS Criminal Investigations Division about nonprofit status violations, telephone 1-800-829-0433 or complete Form 3949A [PDF] and mail to Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888. More info. If the organization gave the wrong donation to the wrong people, their nonprofit status will be in serious trouble.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:33 AM on May 24, 2006


Shrill partisans deserve scorn in all directions.

Your tags are as much partisan wankery as this anti-Carter nonsense, and both are deserving of scorn from serious thinking people.

Oh, shut up, you whiny little prat. Your constant feints of equal-opportunity anguish at partisanship are almost as genuine as David Horowitz's. I swear to Christ, you should trademark the phrase "I'll tell you what the real problem here is" like Michael Buffer and "Ready to Rumble" and you'll become a fucking millionaire.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:35 AM on May 24, 2006


Oh good christ. Carter is as close to a saint as we have here in America. How many self-avowed Christian Politicians actually practice their faith? If serving your country, your fellow man, and your God in your retirement years instead of raking in the bucks is worthy of censure-- so be it.

I well remember the Carter years. He a) wore sweaters and b) asked us to turn down the thermostat. The rich and the powerful hated him because he proved that power does not have to be abused and the average American, so used to bread and circuses, was too irritated by requests to conserve energy to rally around him much. Still, his post presidential activities have only clarified the sterling qualities of his character.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:48 AM on May 24, 2006



posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:49 AM on May 24, 2006


a) If I were Jimmy Carter, or hell, if I were me, I'd wear a censure from this government like a badge of honor.

b) petitiononline.com? Are you fucking kidding me?

c) and that's one cheap-ass website. I can't wait 'til political, uh, operatives decide not to bother with the whole setting up domains business and just go with goddamn MySpace profiles.

d) Petition online. You're fucking kidding me. Right. Okay. I can play this. Here's the start of my online petition. I petition that Shigeru Miyamoto be installed as President of the United States effective instantly. The White House will now be called the Wii House. Everything will rule. I also demand full coverage from blogs and shit.
posted by furiousthought at 11:51 AM on May 24, 2006


You guys need to read Newsmax.com more often. It's the first place I go when I want to know what has the Wingnuts in a tizzy this week. There is always a new one of these censure sites every few months; they're right next to the ads for the miracle reverse-osmosis water purifiers that cure cancer, and right below the ad for discounted Iraqi Dinar wholesalers - sort of near the ad for "Vote Laura in 08".

But wow, they're really scraping the bottom of the censure barrel now, though. I bet FDR is next (fucking commie...)

So why the hell does this matter? I say let the crazies spend their money attempting to knock Jimmy Carter down a peg if it makes them feel good - it has no real substantive result.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:51 AM on May 24, 2006


And by the way, Dios is correct. This has less to do with Bush or fascism (Come on, fascism? That's way out of place) than it does with the fundamentalist-right's PR and money machine.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:57 AM on May 24, 2006


I can see clear connection to Bush in terms of the people he has surrounded himself with are not very far removed, philisophically [sic], from this group.

By your definition I have a clear connection to Willie Nelson, Thomas Pynchon and Mark Twain.

Fine. That may be. If it's true, it's true. I don't know much about Willie or Thomas but I'd argue that I have a clear philosophical connection to Twain in many ways, as do many satirists, comedians, writers, and individuals.

As I said there is clear connection in a philosophical sense with the neocons around Bush. That's what I thought the tags implied. Nothing more, nothing less. If you disagree, that's fine.
posted by juiceCake at 12:32 PM on May 24, 2006


It's amazing what people will defend merely out of fealty to their political ideology.
posted by dios at 12:41 PM on May 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts tags at hand...

posted by prostyle at 12:43 PM on May 24, 2006


The tags are part of the post. And they are suppose to serve a particular function of helping index what the subject of the post is.

The post is about how deluded partisans allow themselves to become where they demonize everyone on "the other team." Then the poster goes and adds tags committing the same partisan nonsense. The irony is plain.

But, instead of admitting it, the poster tries a tortured explanation, and his fellow travelers come to his defense.

Yes, partisanship causes people to make irrational, skewed judgments and defenses, and manifestations of that should be identified as such.
posted by dios at 12:48 PM on May 24, 2006


Why do my tags hate America?


God hates tags!
posted by jpburns at 12:49 PM on May 24, 2006


Dios:

C'mon... Fellow travelers? Who are you? Joseph McCarthy?

Sheesh!
posted by jpburns at 12:50 PM on May 24, 2006


reverse-osmosis water purifiers that cure cancer?!

You mean someone already beat Billy Frist to that goal. Man is he going to be pissed.
posted by edgeways at 1:00 PM on May 24, 2006


Who are you? Joseph McCarthy?

A guy can dream, can't he?
posted by bardic at 1:03 PM on May 24, 2006


partisanship causes people to make irrational, skewed judgments and defenses, and manifestations of that should be identified as such.

his fellow travelers come to his defense.

The irony is plain.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:07 PM on May 24, 2006


It's amazing what people will defend merely out of fealty to their political ideology.

Isn't it, though?
posted by EarBucket at 1:15 PM on May 24, 2006


Everything has been said so I'll just put a little closer for this thread.

. <-- (yup, that's it)
posted by nofundy at 1:22 PM on May 24, 2006


It's about time someone spanked down that uppity Jimmy Carter!
posted by mazola at 1:25 PM on May 24, 2006


I couldn't figure out the Joesph McCarthy comment, so I looked it up. I had no idea that "fellow travelers" had any special meaning specific to McCarthy other than the common usage of the term. So, it is my mistake to use a word that might suggest that you are a Communist. I think from my usage it is clear I was not calling you such.

But, nevertheless, you still haven't addressed my point and your ironic tags...and neither have your fellow travelers ideological partners.
posted by dios at 1:26 PM on May 24, 2006


You can only use strikeout in a clever fashion, not to repackage your misguided judgements. Let it be!
posted by prostyle at 1:30 PM on May 24, 2006


reverse-osmosis water purifiers that cure cancer?!

You mean someone already beat Billy Frist to that goal. Man is he going to be pissed.


Yes, they have.

Everything I know about science, I learned from newsmax.com
posted by SweetJesus at 1:34 PM on May 24, 2006


Dios:

I've addressed your point about my "ironic" tags to the point of ridiculousness. What say you deal with the post, now...
posted by jpburns at 1:34 PM on May 24, 2006


It's amazing how some people cast everything in terms of a political or ideological framework.

I'm not jpburns ideological partner, since I haven't the foggiest idea what his ideology might be or even his politics, but I did make a suggestion about the tags, that being a philosophical connection to those around Mr. Bush. In this regard, the tags are not offensive. If you disagree however, they can be, obviously, infuriating. And you're free to disagree, and it has naught to do with politics or ideology. Nor does the opposing viewpoint. Amazing! Nor magic for that matter.

It's sort of like history class, how, when discuss the establishment of democracy in certain European countries we also bring up the United States in connection. Perhaps that's a mistake, and any such connections, in not explicitly direct, should not be suggested or discussed.
posted by juiceCake at 1:35 PM on May 24, 2006


It's amazing what people will defend merely out of fealty to their political ideology.

you can say that again.

his fellow travelers

haha. hahaha. AHAHAHAHAHA!

wow. first carter pictures as an election monitor. and now this. jebus.

The post is about how deluded partisans allow themselves to become where they demonize everyone on "the other team." Then the poster goes and adds tags committing the same partisan nonsense. The irony is plain.
But, instead of admitting it, the poster tries a tortured explanation,

...
I couldn't figure out the Joesph McCarthy comment, so I looked it up.

haha. hahaha. AHAHAHAHAHA!

yes, the irony is plain.

But, nevertheless, you still haven't addressed my point and your ironic tags

well, actually, he did. you just call it "a tortured explanation." it seemed pretty clear to me. but then, i'm a fellow traveler for thinking so, in that i know both who joe mccarthy was and what his particular brand of facsism represents.

getting off this dumbfuck derail...

They could get him with the Logan Act if that were the case.

yes. cuz a former head of state writing letters to other heads of state isn't "conducting foreign policy." it's done all the time and it isn't conducting foreign policy.

To contact the IRS Criminal Investigations Division about nonprofit status violations

yes. i'm pretty sure conducting a petition drive advocating congressional action, however, is pretty indicative of a lobbying effort, which is a violation of 501(c)3. we could ask dios.
posted by 3.2.3 at 1:48 PM on May 24, 2006


Perhaps that's a mistake, and any such connections, in not explicitly direct, should not be suggested or discussed.

That's a strawman juiceCake, but the point is an interesting one (though it probably belongs in MeTa, as it's about how we usse the site).

No one is saying connections to other topics shouldn't be discussed. The point is that (according to one view) the Tags are not part of the discussion. They are meta-data for organizing all the cool posts on MetaFilter. As such, they should not be used for either rhetorical/ironic purposes, nor for "implicit" connections. In other words, if I was actively searching for MeFi topics relating to "fascism" or "bush" I wouldn't want to see this post come up. Not because it's a bad post, not because there's no connection, but because the post is in no sense actually about these topics.

Maybe you disagree about what the tags are for - lots of people like funny title lines that don't tell you what the post is, too. But don't assume people who don't like the tags don't like the post, disagree ideologically, or don't think indirect connections are worth discussing. It's simply a matter of what we use metadata for.
posted by freebird at 1:55 PM on May 24, 2006


... since I haven't the foggiest idea what his ideology might be or even his politics..."

My life is an open book.
posted by jpburns at 1:56 PM on May 24, 2006


3.2.3: ...violation of 501(c)3...

I looked all over that site for a 501(c) 3 or 4 deceleration, and couldn't find one. I doubt they're 501 (c)(3), because I'm pretty sure they have to disclose that fact at the bottom of every page.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:00 PM on May 24, 2006


*Updates ‘Stupidest thing I’ve ever seen’ file*
posted by Smedleyman at 2:01 PM on May 24, 2006


freebird: "...don't assume people who don't like the tags don't like the post, disagree ideologically, or don't think indirect connections are worth discussing. It's simply a matter of what we use metadata for.

(though it probably belongs in MeTa, as it's about how we usse the site).
"


Uh huh, exactly. We all know Dios isn't an idiot, and he has exhibited the ability to click in and post to The Grey. Expect the derails to continue at a healthy rate, the lack of administration is silent approval of his antics. Ridiculous.
posted by prostyle at 2:05 PM on May 24, 2006


Sweet Jesus:

They're a nonprofit and tax exempt 501(c)3 organization.

Their filings can be found here.
posted by jpburns at 2:16 PM on May 24, 2006


Oh btw, next time there's a post with even tangentially related tags - let's say it's about oh, a specific artist, and a tag describing his work as a style I dislike - I'm going to pound sand for a handful of posts about the flagrant disregard for respectful tagging and see how well that goes. I mean, you all understand the atmosphere around posts in these parts... entirely serious, fact-of-the-matter, assertion free Blue. I've certainly never seen tags used in a ridiculous and over-reaching fashion before... why that would bring this system to it's goddamn knees! The fact that he only takes these stands in politically polarized threads is not a red herring in the slightest. Nope. Look away!
posted by prostyle at 2:22 PM on May 24, 2006


Thanks rolypolyman and jpburns.
posted by maryh at 2:26 PM on May 24, 2006



They're a nonprofit and tax exempt 501(c)3 organization.


No shit... Hmmmmm.

I couldn't find anything on moveamericaforward.org that said anything about their IRS status. Isn't it a rule that it has to be disclosed on a privacy page, or something similar?
posted by SweetJesus at 2:29 PM on May 24, 2006


I looked all over that site for a 501(c) 3 or 4 declaration, and couldn't find one. I doubt they're 501 (c)(3), because I'm pretty sure they have to disclose that fact at the bottom of every page.

this link and this link early in the thread say they are.

idunno if that's not a violation in and of itself on their website, then.

i mean, according to their filings, they've got one paid staff, a fresh behind the ears acting executive director being paid $25K/yr to live in sacramento. how competently run could they be?
posted by 3.2.3 at 2:31 PM on May 24, 2006


Google Search of moveamericaforward.org for "IRS" results in 0 matches. A search for "Bush" results in 186 matches.

Its safe to say that they don't mention their IRS status any where on their website (a search for "501" comes up empty as well), unless they are somehow using robots.txt on ONLY the pages that mentions their tax status.

I wonder if that's a violation?
posted by SweetJesus at 2:36 PM on May 24, 2006


These people are jackasses, but this is not a violation of 501(c)(3) status.

501(c)(3) doesn't require that an organization be non-partisan in the sense of not liberal or conservative. It just means you can't support candidates running for election.

They can still advocate issues (just like an environmental group) and they can still lobby, as long as lobbying is not a substantial part of their actions or money spent.
posted by dios at 2:39 PM on May 24, 2006


Here, read about it yourself.

Personally, I think the tax law is stupid, and no issue advocacy group should be allowed to be a 501(c)(3). But that's the law until the legislature changes it.
posted by dios at 2:43 PM on May 24, 2006


Doesn't look to be a violation (non-disclosure of 501(c)(3) status on a website) of anything. Seems like the only thing they have to do to remain compliant is file the 990 form, and disclose the 501 status to anyone donating over $250 bucks.

501(c)(3) doesn't require that an organization be non-partisan in the sense of not liberal or conservative. It just means you can't support candidates running for election.

Bingo! I was going to post something similar before, but I couldn't determine if MAF was 501(c) or not...
posted by SweetJesus at 2:45 PM on May 24, 2006


Those who were around for the 1980 Reagan/Carter camapaign can remember how Jimmy Carter refused to actively hit the campaign trail because he felt that his time had to be completely dedicated to freeing the American hostages taken by Iran. A decade later, during the Iran-Contra hearings we began to hear about the October Surprise deal, allegedly made by the elder Bush: selling Israeli Arms to Iran (for its war with Iraq, with whom we were then on friendly terms...) in trade for the Iranian "revolutionary students" making sure that the US hostages were not released before Ronald Reagan's inauguration.

There was enough evidence that congress called for an official investigation, but in November 1991, Republican leaders used the filibuster to block funding for the investigation. The Democrats mustered 51 votes – a majority – but fell short of the 60 votes needed for cloture

The Republicans are fighting their growing loss of popular support by shit-flinging on any Democratic figure that could be admired or looked up to. Carter gets a lot of Southern Christian empathy: therefore Rove says he must be destroyed!

At what point do we Americans begin to examine the Republican party in the way that Eastern Europeans began to examine their ruling Communist parties in the late 1980s? Like the moribund Communist parties, the Republicans have devolved into a corrupt, dynastic criminal cult which should have no role in a healthy democratic and capitalist society.
posted by zaelic at 2:51 PM on May 24, 2006 [2 favorites]


“Rove says he must be destroyed!”

I don't see anything at all in any of zaelic’s posts which indicates any relation to or support by Rove of the so-called “October Surprise”.

The use of italics here are completely inappropriate as well.

*drinks more smart-ass juice*
posted by Smedleyman at 3:37 PM on May 24, 2006


At what point do we Americans begin to examine the Republican party in the way that Eastern Europeans began to examine their ruling Communist parties in the late 1980s?

November, hopefully.
posted by bardic at 3:40 PM on May 24, 2006


If all Rove is going to muster is a petition on petitiononline.com I don't think we're exactly talking about the Iron Curtain here. I'm not saying there aren't parallels between Republican machine politics and the Soviet regime or that Rove is my bff or whatever. But what we're looking at right here in this post is something barely above an e-mail chain letter. 138 comments? :: shakes head ::

You've probably given this bullshit more general circulation than any single other outlet on the internet.
posted by furiousthought at 3:42 PM on May 24, 2006


Metafilter: We’ve probably given this bullshit more general circulation than any single other outlet on the internet.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:55 PM on May 24, 2006


*drinks more smart-ass juice*

These italics clearly indicate the abuse of apostrophes! And Smedlyman said "ass." He can't do that here, can he? And I don't think there really is any such product as "smart-ass juice." There's nothing on Wikipedia about it. I think he may just be lying to us about this "smart-ass juice" he claimes to be drinking.
posted by zaelic at 4:42 PM on May 24, 2006


Jimmy Carter was on The Daily Show. The man has truly been a hero for those who have the least wealth and least power. He has done simply a shitload of humanitarian work. I would count him amongst the best people of the past fifty years.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:43 PM on May 24, 2006


That's a strawman juiceCake, but the point is an interesting one (though it probably belongs in MeTa, as it's about how we usse the site).

And it was intended to be. That's obvious, but thank you for pointing it out. I realize that obviousness isn't always so online but I neglected to put <strawman> tags around it.

No one is saying connections to other topics shouldn't be discussed.

I realize that. Really, I do.

The point is that (according to one view) the Tags are not part of the discussion. They are meta-data for organizing all the cool posts on MetaFilter. As such, they should not be used for either rhetorical/ironic purposes, nor for "implicit" connections. In other words, if I was actively searching for MeFi topics relating to "fascism" or "bush" I wouldn't want to see this post come up. Not because it's a bad post, not because there's no connection, but because the post is in no sense actually about these topics.

I agree. The userbase is so diverse that you can't please everyone. I wouldn't mind if these came in a search because I'm interested in what I see as related issues, be they direct, indirect, or otherwise. I just made a suggestion about the possibility of a different perspective that may have lead to the tags. Now if this is illegitimate in use, MetaTalk it is. I agree.

Maybe you disagree about what the tags are for - lots of people like funny title lines that don't tell you what the post is, too. But don't assume people who don't like the tags don't like the post, disagree ideologically, or don't think indirect connections are worth discussing. It's simply a matter of what we use metadata for.
posted by freebird at 4:55 PM EST on May 24 [+fave] [!]


I assume no such thing.
posted by juiceCake at 5:49 PM on May 24, 2006


I love Jimmy Carter.

He and Al Gore and Russ Feingold are the kind of real, walk-the-walk, ethical, honorable statesmen we're sorely lacking in our country.

You might disagree with their politics, but their character is really unassailable. And people trying to knock them really only demonstrate their own lack of honor.
posted by darkstar at 6:57 PM on May 24, 2006


Jimmy Carter was a horrible president. He might be a decent guy, but he doesn't deserve the fawning coverage that the MSM lavishes upon him. He's not a freakin' saint.
posted by davidmsc at 7:02 PM on May 24, 2006


Jimmy Carter was a horrible president.

Care to be specific?

Also... what the heck is "MSM?"
posted by jpburns at 7:33 PM on May 24, 2006


mainstream media, ie. big news corps.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:34 PM on May 24, 2006


Jimmy Carter was a horrible president. He might be a decent guy, but he doesn't deserve the fawning coverage that the MSM lavishes upon him.

One of the things I really find aggravating about conservative rhetoric is how difficult you seem to find making completely unrelated issues mutually exclusive ("What? Them Dixie Chicks said they don't like the Prezit? Well thur music SUCKS then!").

Or, in other words, what does your opinion of Carter's Presidency have to do with the "media fawning" over him? Have I missed the frequent reflections on the majesty of his presidency or something? I seem to see him on the teevee mostly talking about a new book, or his humanitarian work, or his opinions about the current geopolitical climate.

The reason the "MSM" is "fawning" over Carter is because he's, as you yourself noted, a "decent guy." Carter hasn't been president for a quarter of a century- if his former position is the first excuse you give for dismissing the work he's done since then and the praise it deserves, you're clearly not paying enough attention to have a valid opinion to begin with.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:27 PM on May 24, 2006


Man, it's telling how successful the right has been in slandering Jimmy Carter as a bad president that nobody ever seems to jump into to defend him. He was by no means a terrific president, but he had some significant accomplishements to his name (Camp David Accords, SALT II treaties), and would be remember more fondly had some of his environmental policies not been instantly dismantled by Reagan. And, although no evidence has been produced to prove that Reagan engineered the delay in the release of the Iranian hostages, I wouldn't put it past thes scurvy bastards.

Carter's decision to put human rights at the center of his foreign policy has been widely criticized, but I am not sure there is any evidence that it is faultier than our typical approach to foreign rletions: calculated, pure, cycnical heartlessness. And this administration's approach, which is to throw away any concept of human rights, doesn't seem to have to have done much better.

But, then, I was okay with the metric system, and I seemed like I was alone in that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:40 PM on May 24, 2006


dios -

"The group is made of Republicans. That doesn't mean there is any relation at all to Bush."

Thanks for the nice laugh. I needed one today.

Obviously there's no connection between the call to censure Bush by the esteemed Senator Feingold and this "merely coincidental" drive to censure a president who has been out of office for over a quarter of a century.

You are a card, you are....
posted by rougy at 9:52 PM on May 24, 2006


Astro Zombie writes "But, then, I was okay with the metric system, and I seemed like I was alone in that."

Well you and the rest of the world.
posted by Mitheral at 6:59 AM on May 25, 2006


what the heck is "MSM?"

That's an expression that the right wing media uses (National Review, Ann Coulter, NewsMax) derisively, to describe the activities of Time Magazine, CBS, the NY Times other major media outlets when the produce articles/stories that focus too negatively on the War in Iraq or other Bush actions.

Alternatively, the left uses it almost as derisively to describe at times what's being broadcast, but more frequently, what's being ommitted by the above outlets, plus NBC, ABC and FoxNews.
posted by psmealey at 7:22 AM on May 25, 2006


Jimmy Carter was a horrible president. He might be a decent guy, but he doesn't deserve the fawning coverage that the MSM lavishes upon him. He's not a freakin' saint.
davidmsc, I really would like to know why you feel this way. What did Carter do as president that was so horrible? Obviously, you and others feel strongly about this, but (perhaps due to MSM fawning) most of us don't know why.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:59 AM on May 25, 2006


Carter courageously asked for conservation and sacrifice at a time where it might have made a difference, where Reagan took out the national credit card and declared that it was "Morning in America".

25 years of false affluence traded away for a dismal future. Carter is hated by the right (and a lot of the left) because he's our national conscience. The 1980 election was a watershed moment, and we went the wrong way.
posted by psmealey at 9:12 AM on May 25, 2006


I think a lot of people remember Carter as bad because of what he didn't do. Unlike Reagan, he didn't send the Marines in, to stand around with unloaded weapons and get blown up. Then, he didn't invade any tiny countries. how could America stand tall in the world community unless it was at least attempting to throw its weight around?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:25 AM on May 25, 2006


Nicholas West: Well, this might key into the well worn maxim that if you don't know what to do about a particular situation, it's better to do nothing at all. And as it happened, we were never led into a nuclear war by Carter.

Morgenthau's point was that Carter's fear of nuclear war, although natural, led to paralysis and vacillation, which diminished American power:
The British Government is reported to have looked with “horror” at the recent American vote in favor of an anti-Israel U.N. resolution and its subsequent disavowal by President Carter. The French Government pursues a foreign policy without regard for American preferences. It in fact pursues its “special relationship” with Moscow on occasion, being the first to host the European visit of Andrei Gromyko. West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s lack of respect for President Carter is notorious. The Soviet Union makes Its moves on the international scene without regard for American reactions. The Iranian Government continues to humiliate the United States every day. The Government of Pakistan refused to accept proffered American aid. The Government of Israel pursues its settlements policy on the West Bank and in Gaza in spite of Carter’s Washington April lectures to Menachem Begin. Jordan’s King Hussein vacillates on the president’s invitation to visit Washington.

What has happened that has so drastically diminished, if not the material power of the U.S., at least its prestige and influence among the world’s nations? It would be tedious to enumerate all the instances of incomprehension, blunders, inconsistencies, and ambiguities which the public record of the three-year-old Carter administration reveals.
Of course, it could be argued that Reagan, although eventually successful, made the opposite mistake: --he took senseless risks early in his first administration that could've spiralled out of hand.

Note that according to Brzezinski, it was Carter who initiated the policy of supporting opposition to the Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan. (I haven't seen any supporting evidence besides Brzezinski's assertion.) The subsequent Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan appears to have been a major factor in the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.

Garry Wills on Carter, particularly his religious belief:
For much of the Carter presidency, the line of some in the press (and, as I know well, in the academy) was that he was a religious nut. I followed him in the 1976 race and heard a reporter ask Carter why he constantly brought up religion. He replied that he had made a determination never to bring up religion in the campaign. But the reporters kept asking him about it, and he had to answer them or be criticized for dodging the issue.

His attendance at church was not announced; we reporters had to ferret that out by ourselves. Carter is an old-fashioned Baptist, the kind that follows the lead of the great Baptist Roger Williams—that is, he is the firmest of believers in the separation of church and state. Unlike most if not all modern presidents, he never had a prayer service in the White House. His problem, back then, was not that he paraded his belief but that he believed. All this can seem quaint now when professing religion is practically a political necessity, whether one believes or not.
posted by russilwvong at 10:19 AM on May 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know what's hysterical? All those idiots that signed a public petition with their real names and addresses. I mean, can you imagine the bountiful harvest of junk mail they've just signed up for?
posted by dejah420 at 11:08 AM on May 25, 2006


Ha! They didn't even check the signatures on the petition in the first link. I liked this signature particularly:
10487. This is the stupidist f'ing thing ever Impeach Chimpy
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:28 PM on May 25, 2006


I sometimes get the impression that the inmates are running the asylum. Censure Carter? Censure him dozens of years after the fact? How. Fucking. Bizarre.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:46 PM on May 25, 2006


russilwvong comments on my post above:

"Morgenthau's point was that Carter's fear of nuclear war, although natural, led to paralysis and vacillation, which diminished American power:"

To which I would say:

It "diminished American power" only to those whose definition of "power" means forcible dominion over others.

The definition of what power actually is varies as widely as differences in human beings. I mean, for example, you have Gandhi's concept of power, and you have Napoleon or Hitler's concept of power.

If I were to try to define it, I would say that Carter's expression of power was much closer to Gandhi's than Napoleon's; a sort of forcing of the state of peace by steadfastedly refusing to be drawn into idiotic international conflicts, a peace-maintaining inertia, the expression of the Zen-like idea that you have peace by having peace; not by having war.
posted by Nicholas West at 7:29 PM on May 25, 2006


It "diminished American power" only to those whose definition of "power" means forcible dominion over others.

That's not what Morgenthau means. By "power" he means the ability to get other people to do what you want. Ultimately it's psychological, not physical. If you have to resort to pointing a gun at someone to get them to do something, you're using force, not power.

Morgenthau's observation was that American influence had diminished under the Carter administration, in part because of its tendency towards vacillation and paralysis in the face of the threat of nuclear war (which was natural).

If I were to try to define it, I would say that Carter's expression of power was much closer to Gandhi's than Napoleon's; a sort of forcing of the state of peace by steadfastedly refusing to be drawn into idiotic international conflicts, a peace-maintaining inertia, the expression of the Zen-like idea that you have peace by having peace; not by having war.

I wouldn't compare Carter to Napoleon, of course, but I'm not sure I'd compare him to Gandhi, either. Carter recognized the need for self-restraint, but it's not like he renounced the use of military force. Consider his 1980 State of the Union speech:

Now, as during the last 3 1/2 decades, the relationship between our country, the United States of America, and the Soviet Union is the most critical factor in determining whether the world will live at peace or be engulfed in global conflict. ...

Preventing nuclear war is the foremost responsibility of the two superpowers. ...

We superpowers also have the responsibility to exercise restraint in the use of our great military force. The integrity and the independence of weaker nations must not be threatened. They must know that in our presence they are secure.

But now the Soviet Union has taken a radical and an aggressive new step. ...

The region which is now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan is of great strategic importance: It contains more than two-thirds of the world's exportable oil. The Soviet effort to dominate Afghanistan has brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Straits of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world's oil must flow. The Soviet Union is now attempting to consolidate a strategic position, therefore, that poses a grave threat to the free movement of Middle East oil. ...

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.


This last statement (known as the Carter Doctrine) is classic realist diplomacy, based on the national interest.
posted by russilwvong at 3:19 PM on May 26, 2006


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