Post Presidential Etiquette
I know to most of my readers who have been keeping up with my latest posts, after reading this one you will probably think, “What’s with this guy? Why is he on such a Jimmy Carter kick?” Yes, it is true, in the last three posts I have in one way or another made a reference to Jimmy Carter. And no, I am not obsessed with a peanut farmer from Plains Georgia. The first two posts brought him up by sheer coincidence, not a big deal, then I saw an article I could not put down that starred who else but Jimmy Carter! I almost didn’t write this article because he seems to pop up in my posts so much. I tried to change it. But I can’t, it was an important piece that I feel highlights the need of former Presidents not to second guess and critique current Presidents. This is the reason I was drawn to the subject matter of this article so much. So here we go!
Recently former President Jimmy Carter made some subtle and then not so subtle remarks that our current President is not reacting fast enough to threats and crisis such as the Ebola outbreak and terrorists groups such as ISIS. This is a highly controversial move on Carter’s part since it is usually exceedingly rare for former Presidents to comment on sitting President’s in such a manner, and also disconcerting to most democrats for the current commander in chief to receive such political attacks from someone in his own party. So this is instant controversy here.
What was Carter thinking? Did he eat too many peanuts and they turned his brain into one? He should realize that in these times of crisis we need solidarity and we can’t get this solidarity by taking jabs at our current President. Mr. Carter’s chief complaint was that we had waited too long to contain ISIS and the President is not doing enough to help the hostages they are holding. This was noted as a rather ironic criticism to many since it was Jimmy Carter who himself had waited way too long to take action against the agitation, unrest, and then outright revolution in Iran, a revolution that in turn caused hundreds of United States citizens to be taken hostage by revolutionary thugs. History may debate what happened next, but whatever was going on behind the scenes, for the rest of his term, those poor Americans remained hostage to the revolutionary forces of Iran. In fact to his embarrassment it was not until Ronald Reagan took office that these U.S. citizens were finally released. Carter was also standing watch when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. So yes, Mr. Carter, with all of your fumbles and bumbles why are you so quick to criticize the current President of the United States?
As I’ve said for former President’s to raise criticism against the current Commander in Chief while he is still finishing out his term, is rather unheard of. It is just an extremely uncouth thing to do, even for a politician! Other formers are steadfast in their absolute refusal to do so, even when they are repeatedly pushed by journalists and the like, they usually keep their mouth shut. George W. Bush for example, no matter what you may think of his policies while he was in office, has shown a tremendous amount of class when it comes to this scenario. He has been poked and prodded by the media to comment on the current administration over and over, but he is resolute in not critiquing a term that is still being carried out.
So I just can not get over the audacity of former President Jimmy Carter to open his mouth in such a way. He is simply ready to get in the limelight again I suppose. He had a generally lackluster one term presidency and lashing out like this is his best chance of gaining notoriety again. It’s a simple but sad equation that leads Carter to view negative attacks as his only hope of getting that oh so special attention of the media. It is this ill placed hope for attention that leads to such audacity out of Jimmy Carter.