Posts Tagged ‘Carter’
Earlier this week, America watched the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Present at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, were the four living former presidents, as well as the current president. It was the second time all five men have been together. It was first time the differences between them were so obvious.
Bush 43 spoke with warmth, humor, and class – three words that describe him perfectly. At the end of his speech, he was so moved by his love for this nation that he could barely get out his last two words, “God bless.” He spoke them with tears in his eyes, and obvious love in his heart.
Bush 41 spoke from his wheelchair, his health not being what it once was. After receiving a standing ovation, he stood for a few moments with the help of his son and wife – a huge smile of gratitude on his face.
Honorary member of the Bush family, Bill Clinton, expressed his genuine affection for 41, 43, and Barbara Bush. He also joked about 43 painting him in the nude (I guess he still can’t keep his pants on – sorry, I couldn’t help it), and in a moment that seemed off-script, exclaimed “I LIKE President Bush!” It’s no secret that Clinton’s two favorite ex-presidents aren’t the ones from his political party.
Carter spoke briefly, in his uniquely uncomfortable way, starting by mentioning the disputed 2000 election that propelled Bush into office. He spent the rest of his speech praising Bush’s humanitarian work.
Obama, as usual, spent a large portion of his speech talking about himself. On a day meant to honor the man he’s spent years blaming for his own failures, Obama focused on his membership in the “Presidents’ Club,” and how hard his job is. Ironically, though, he spoke one of the most apt lines of the day when he said, “He takes his job seriously, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously.” Too bad Obama doesn’t realize that the opposite is true in his case. It was an amazing contrast. Three friends filled with love for their country, flanked by an awkward old man in sunglasses and a selfish narcissist.
Overall, it was a great day for a great man. I’m grateful to President George W. Bush for his service to this nation and I look forward to visiting his library in the near future.
This column by James Taranto (the second item down) is so good, it warrants a full cut and paste. Read it all:
Barack Obama isn’t a dictator, and as of yesterday neither is Hugo Chavez. The socialist Venezuelan demagogue died of cancer yesterday, as London’s left-wing Guardian notes in an over-the-top obit:
No one imagined it would end like this. A ravaged body, a hospital bed, a shroud of silence, invisible. Hugo Chávez’s life blazed drama, a command performance, and friend and foe alike always envisaged an operatic finale.
He would rule for decades, transform Venezuela and Latin America, and bid supporters farewell from the palace balcony, an old man, his work complete. Or, a parallel fantasy: he would tumble from power, disgraced and defeated by the wreckage of revolution, ending his days a hounded pariah.Oh give us a break. Chavez announced he had cancer almost two years ago, and it had been clear for months that his condition was terminal. It would take either an overactive imagination or none at all to fail to imagine “it would end like this.” Still, Chavez’s expected death calls to mind Hilaire Belloc’s “Epitaph on the Politician Himself”:
Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged,
I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.”The most damning critique of Chávez’s rule concerned not democratic credentials but managerial competence,” the Guardian obit claims:
After a decade of record oil revenues totalling around a trillion dollars, an unprecedented bounty, Venezuela is falling apart: roads crumbling, bridges falling, refineries exploding. A wheezing power grid produces regular blackouts. Public hospitals are dank, prisons filthy and barbaric. Murder and kidnapping rates have soared, imposing a de facto curfew in many cities. The currency was recently devalued for the fifth time in a decade. Many young professionals have emigrated.
The economy is warping from subsidies and controls. You can fill a car’s petrol tank for around 50 cents but battle for months to start a company. High-rolling parasites nicknamed “boligarchs” exploit government links to siphon off billions.
Harassed by expropriations, private agriculture and industry have shrivelled. Huge imports fill the gap, the containers stacked into pyramids at ports, though you would never guess it from Orwellian rhetoric trumpeting “food sovereignty” and “manufacturing independence”.”Managerial incompetence,” it seems, is a euphemism for socialism.
Jimmy Carter delivered quite a eulogy:
Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Hugo Chávez Frías. . . . Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.
President Chávez will be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment. . . . Venezuelan poverty rates were cut in half, and millions received identification documents for the first time allowing them to participate more effectively in their country’s economic and political life.Carter was considerably less effusive when Ronald Reagan died in 2004, as MSNBCnoted at the time:
Carter said Sunday that the death of Reagan, who defeated him in the 1980 presidential election, was “a sad day for our country.”
“He presented some very concise, very clear messages that appealed to the American people. I think throughout his term in office he was very worthy of the moniker that was put on him as the ‘Great Communicator.” ‘
“I probably know as well as anybody what a formidable communicator and campaigner that President Reagan was,” Carter said before teaching Sunday school in his hometown of Plains, Ga. “It was because of him that I was retired from my last job.”We got to wondering how Carter marked the deaths of other thugs and dictators. He was as enthusiastic about Yasser Arafat as about Chavez:
Arafat’s death marks the end of an era and will no doubt be painfully felt by Palestinians throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.
He was the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement. A powerful human symbol and forceful advocate, Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland. While he provided indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement and was instrumental in forging a peace agreement with Israel in 1993, he was excluded from the negotiating role in more recent years.We couldn’t find statements on the deaths of Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, though we did find this quote in a 2007 interview with the hard-left TV show “Democracy Now!“: “I despised Saddam Hussein, because he attacked Iran when my hostages were being held. It was President Reagan who established diplomatic relations with Saddam Hussein after I left office.”
Which got us to thinking: How did Carter mark the death of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who not only kept “my hostages” in captivity for well over a year but released them immediately after Reagan’s inauguration, apparently just to rub Carter’s nose in it? Here’s the answer, from a 1989 Associated Press dispatch:
“I know he was a great hero in his own nation,” Carter told reporters outside his church in Plains, Ga., on Sunday. “My hope is that his successor will be more inclined toward peace and reconciliation.”So Carter praised Reagan only slightly more faintly than Khomeini.
Incidentally, as we were looking up old Carter statements, we came across a March 1989 Carter op-ed from the New York Times complaining that “Ayatollah Khomeini’s offer of paradise to [Salman] Rushdie’s assassin”–that is to say, the ayatollah’s effort to incite Rushdie’s murder–“has caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights.”
In the spirit of offering advice to those who won’t ask for it, I would suggest that DHS Secretary Napolitano put down her shovel and try to climb out of the hole she is in. Fox News is reporting that there is an increasing number of calls for her resignation following a series of missteps including issuing a report that calls me, and people like me, a threat to national security, then refusing to apologize to veterans and now saying that some of the 9-11 hijackers came in from Canada.
“I don’t know that the secretary understands the depth of the disruption that she’s caused,” Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, told FOX News on Thursday, referring to the report on extremist threats. “I think the appropriate thing to do is for her to step down and let’s move on.”
“Mr. President, fire that woman,” said Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, complaining that Napolitano’s comments on the controversial report were half-hearted. “To go on television and say your apology to be, ‘I’m sorry you were offended by this report,’ that’s no apology.”
Of course, Napolitano had an arrogant response which demonstrates she still doesn’t get it.
But she rebuffed those who say an apology is not enough.
“That’s what they’re going to get,” Napolitano said.
Ms. Napolitano, stop. Just stop.
Fred Barnes has a fascinating piece in the latest edition of the Weekly Standard. He evaluates Obama’s efforts to pass an ambitious agenda in a hurry, and Barnes believes that if Obama doesn’t move quickly, he’ll lose momentum.
Barnes also points out that if Republicans can bog down Obama’s agenda, it will become harder and harder to put into place. Already Obama’s numbers are starting to slip. Here is a paragraph you will not read in a major daily:
Like earlier presidents, Obama is slipping in popularity, as measured by job approval, as his first year progresses. At 63 percent approval, he’s roughly where George W. Bush was at this point in his presidency in 2001, but behind JFK, Eisenhower, Carter, LBJ, and Nixon. Pollster Scott Rasmussen has noted a sharp rise in those who “strongly disapprove” of Obama’s performance and a dip in those who “strongly approve.”
Can you imagine how horrified the leftist are that Obama’s numbers ARE THE SAME AS GEORGE W. BUSH at the same point of his first term? Even Nixon and Carter were more popular. Ouch. That’ll leave a mark.
As a result of his slipping popularity, Moderate Democrats are becoming the key players in whether Obama will see success:
So Obama needs to push his agenda through Congress before the public discovers what he’s up to. Time is not on his side. Moderate Democrats aren’t a tough breed, but they’ve begun to question many of Obama’s policies. They don’t strike fear in Pelosi’s heart. But if their ranks swell, they could cause trouble for her, Reid, and especially Obama.
Now is the time for Republicans to figure out how they are going to slow the momentum and save the country from the far-left agenda of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.
When big things happen very rarely, it’s generally considered historic. I think the lunch today in the White House with three former Presidents (Carter, Bush I, Clinton) the current President and the President-elect is pretty darn cool. The last time all living former presidents were at the White House together was in 1981. Think about that. It’s been about 27 years.
Being the political junkie that I am, I’d have loved to been a fly on the wall. Too bad Nixon’s recorder wasn’t still around… (did I just say that out loud?)
Update: A couple people have or have seen pictures of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush together in 1991 in what appears to be the Oval office. While I can’t be certain it’s not the Oval office, I believe it is a picture of the five in the replica Oval Office at the opening of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley in 1991. Here is a picture from that day of the Presidents outside the Library:
The old firm … presidents George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon at the opening ceremony of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on November 4, 1991. Photo: Reuters/Gary Cameron