November 14, 2006

The new Jimmy Carter book.

How many books is this man going to write, anyway? Do Jimmy Carter books make the perfect Christmas present in some circles?

A review:
It is not difficult to understand why Democrats wanted the publication of Jimmy Carter’s slim new book (216 pages of text, large print and no footnotes), with its tendentious title and its superficial analysis, delayed until today, a week after the election. The anti-Israel bias is so clear, the credulous description of Arab positions so cringe-producing, the key “facts” on which Carter relies so easily refuted by public documents, that the book is an embarrassment to Carter, the Democrats, the presidency and Americans.

That title is "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid."

69 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Would it be fair to point out that the reviewer edits Jewish Current Issues? Former President Carter may have biases; perhaps the reviewer does as well.

Henry said...

I just heard that Philip Roth is working on a new alternate-history book titled The Blot Against America, in which Jimmy Carter is elected president of the United States and breaks everything he touches.

Oh, wait a minute...

SteveR said...

The thing that has bothered me about Carter is his self righteousness. Carter had his turn at reality and we know how that worked out. Its easy to be a critic of everyone else, when you don't have to do anything.

He has the worst traits of a Southern Baptist in that sense, unlike recent topic Billy Graham.

Jonathan said...

I don't remember hearing much about black South African suicide bombers, or about terrorists in Lesotho shooting rockets into South African cities, or about any laws in Israel denying full civil rights to its Arab citizens. But maybe I missed something. Thank God we have Jimmy Carter to remind us that imperfect democratic countries like Israel and the USA really are the main cause of the world's problems.

Internet Ronin said...

MadisonMan: It would be fair to point that out, and thank you for doing so. It doesn't substantially change my opinion, however.

As someone else has already pointed out, James Earl Carter, Jr., could learn much from Billy Graham, but instead remains the most self-righteous, moralizing, partisan, unforgiving, and vindictive ex-President of my lifetime.

He has written one or two good books but this is undoubtedly not one of them.

Mark Daniels said...

Jimmy Carter still has a way to go to surpass Theodore Roosevelt as our most prolific author-president. Woodrow Wilson, a history professor, wrote several works. Richard Nixon churned them out during his various exiles from political life and probably would have rivaled Carter had he lived longer.

Carter isn't an elegant writer and I don't agree with everything he writes. But he has interesting things to say. I thought that the first half of his book on values was terrific, the latter half--when he got into specific issues--awful. The books in which he presented the lessons he created for the Sunday School class he teaches in Plains are very good.

All the proceeds from his books go to the work of the Carter Center, as I understand it.

Mark

Pogo said...

Mr. Carter has transformed himself from an incompetent President to a competent homebuilder for the homeless, and then to an incompetent scold of Western democracies and reliable apologist for Islamic fascism.

He and Alfred E. Newman share more than just a pretty face.

Anonymous said...

This is why I am not returning to the Democrat party. During the Israel-Lebonan war, I listened to Pacifica Radio and Rush. At Pacifica, they discussed the deaths in Lebonan, nothing about Israel. Rush discussed the missiles flying, unprovoked, into Israel and the Israel deaths. Also, Kos has bought the Democrat majority. Given how they treated Lieberman, if Israel is attacked again, and a main poster from Kos does not support Israel, will the Democrat majority rescind support (militarily or monetarily) from Israel?

Derve said...

jsf:
Are you insinuating there is a strong anti- America Israel lobbying effort in Washington, akin to AIPAC? If you are, I personally don't see it -- don't read those angry blogs though.

I will give you that with the somewhat diminished power of evangelical Christians like former Rep. DeLay, pro- groups may not hear such loud, unconditional support, often faith based. Perhaps pragmatic Democrats will indeed demonstrate a bit of influence, hence the party desertion by some.

Internet Ronin said...

Derve: I don't believe that there is a highly organized anti-Israel lobby as influential as AIPAC, but I do believe that there is ample evidence of anti-Semitism being on the rise on the left.

Mack said...

Doesn't rhetoric like in this review make you suspicious? "Cringe-producing"? An embarassment to God and all of humanity? I wonder what he says about people who actually do something bad.

It's funny: this kind of stuff, which really seems to dominate the Israel debate, kind of echoes the flamewars here at Althouse, with each side transparently trying to tell readers how to emotionally react. (I don't meant that as an insult; people here seem to do it as a game).

Carter sympathizes with the Palestianians. He writes stuff that legitimizes their perspective. To the extent the US or the presidency face embarassment around the world, it's certainly not for that.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break, Ann. The reviewer is a partisan hack who calls any criticism of Israeli policy anti-semitic, even when it comes from Jews. Carter got the Israelis to give up their occupation of the Sinai, and there's been no war between Israel and Egypt (or any group based in Egypt) since. Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since 1967 doesn't seem to have done anyone much good. Throwing Carter up there in the air as a clay pigeon to be shot at is pretty easy, but this isn't fair.

tcd said...

"Carter sympathizes with the Palestianians. He writes stuff that legitimizes their perspective." Yes, it's perfectly appropriate for a former United States President to lend legitimacy to terrorists and their agenda. Or should we forget that the Palestinian people voted for Hamas to represent them.

Mack said...

Ronin,

Am I wrong in thinking that anyone who tries to pin bigotry on one party is more of a naked partisan than a serious critic of bigotry?

hdhouse said...

perhaps rush limbaugh will review this book and ann will publish that - ohhhh we could run this by gordon liddy too.

is jeff gannon busy?

i would have expected better from ann. guess not.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann is right that Carter has become an embarrassment for Democrats. Unlike MadisonMan, I don't think it is especially useful, but instead quite distorting, to reduce this to a "Carter has his biases and so does Richman" level.

Recognzing a writer's "bias" would be an important corrective if it were just a question of how the two of them were spinning a set of common facts, or a matter of their selection of the relevant facts from a common set. With Carter, the "facts," in the sense of any objective account of events, is out the window from the get-go. Instead, Carter combines an astonishingly credulous approach to whatever the Assad-Arafat-Abbas types come up with, treating it as unimpeachable truth (he might call it gospel), with an equally astonishing blindness to obvious and well documented events. What proves Richman's point is not anything he adds by way of commentary, but instead his extended quotations of Carter's own summaries of his conversations with Assad, Arafat and Abbas. For example, the sheer idiocy of Carter's exchange with Hafez al Assad about Syrian refusal to accept an independent Lebanon is breathtaking, even for Carter. Carter reports that Assad and his entourage had a good laugh at the end of that exchange, and I am sure they did, but Carter can't quite grasp that the joke was on him. And all of this is in Carter's own words. To say that Carter is deluded about Mid East realities, as Richman does after quoting Carter's words as irrefutable proof, is to understate the problem greatly, and has nothing whatever to do with any supposed "bias" by Richman.

None of this is new, of course, and Carter has been a tireless apologist for suicide bombers, Palestinian terrorists and their ilk for years. As Jeanne Kirkpatrick noted during the Reagan campaigns, Carter was always a charter member of the Blame America First gang, to which Carter always insisted on adding as a coda "after first blaming Israel." Democrats who are intent on shedding that image would do well to ignore Jim-bo and, if that doesn't work, to disavow his cracked view of the world. The difficulty is that more than a few on the lefty fringe of the Dems actually share that view.

Internet Ronin said...

Mackin - No, you are right. Did you think I said otherwise? Or were you too busy reading between the lines to notice what I did say? ;-)

paulfrommpls said...

As I read the review I can see some places where I have to remind myself that what's left out before and after a passage may mitigate the seeming nonsense he's pointing out.

The long excerpt I'm gonna paste below seems clear, though. It seems like a plain example of what apologists for the Arab side here and everywhere just choose to ignore or consider unimportant. And ignore how for the Israelis the broken promises on the Arab side are not nagging details but crucial well-known realities that change the big picture.

Here -

But it is when he gets to the 2003 Road Map that Carter is at his most egregious. Carter states the Palestinians “accepted the road map in its entirety” (page 159), that Palestinian leaders had “accepted all provisions of the Quartet’s Roadmap for Peace” (page 173), that there was “no doubt” Abbas was “dedicated” to a “peace agreement in accordance with the Roadmap” (page 173), and that Abbas “has publicly endorsed [the Road Map] without equivocation” (page 187). He attributes the failure of the Road Map to Israeli “caveats.”

Surely Carter is aware that the Palestinians had, under Phase I of the Road Map, an immediate obligation—not contingent on any Israeli action—to begin

“sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.”

And surely Carter is aware that Abbas bragged to the Palestinian Legislative Council on September 6, 2003 that he had in fact refused to carry out that obligation, and had repeatedly ignored American and Israeli entreaties to meet the Palestinian obligation he had accepted “without reservation.” Abbas’ speech can easily be retrieved using Google, but it is nowhere mentioned in Carter’s book.

And finally, Carter is obviously aware that in August 2005, notwithstanding the Palestinian failure, Israel exceeded its own Phase I obligations—which required only that Israel “dismantle settlement outposts erected since March 2001” and freeze settlement activity—by uprooting all 21 of its longstanding settlements in Gaza (and four more in the West Bank) in their entirety, in order to give the Palestinians a chance to demonstrate their readiness to “live side by side in peace and security” and resume the Road Map.

For this, Israel reaped more than 1,000 rockets from Gaza since August 2005, and tunnels and attacks across an international border, from an area in which no Jews remained. This, too, is ignored in Carter’s book. He complains instead that Gaza has its own “separation barrier” that can be “penetrated only by Israeli-controlled checkpoints” (the same way that the international border of most other countries of the world can “only” be “penetrated”).

Internet Ronin said...

Some might benefit from a review of Bill Clinton's sustained efforts in this area.

Mack said...

Richard Dolan,

Instead, Carter combines an astonishingly credulous approach to whatever the Assad-Arafat-Abbas types come up with, treating it as unimpeachable truth (he might call it gospel)

Ok, so do you have any evidence that Carter's quotations of Palestinian leaders actually indicate his acceptance of their statements as gospel? Or are you simply assuming because the reviewer says it that it must be true? This is exactly the way partisans love to falsely paint someone as an extremist.

Meanwhile, did you even read the review? Your sole factual allegation:

For example, the sheer idiocy of Carter's exchange with Hafez al Assad about Syrian refusal to accept an independent Lebanon is breathtaking, even for Carter. Carter reports that Assad and his entourage had a good laugh at the end of that exchange, and I am sure they did, but Carter can't quite grasp that the joke was on him.

Ok, so first of all, the laughing incident was not after the "exchange" regarding Lebanon, but after the previous exchange regarding Israel's border. Second, let's look at the actual exchange you characterize as showing Carter's "sheer idiocy":

“I asked him why Syria had never recognized Lebanon as a separate and independent nation and seemed to consider it part of Syria. Assad disavowed any designs on his western neighbor, insisting that he and his people recognized Lebanon’s independence without equivocation.”

Ok, so how again do these two sentences show Carter's "sheer idiocy," even for himself? And who here is showing the credulity?

Unfortunately, I've read enough of these overblown rhetorical assaults to know that if somebody actually has a point, they simply make it.

Tim said...

"The anti-Israel bias is so clear, the credulous description of Arab positions so cringe-producing, the key “facts” on which Carter relies so easily refuted by public documents, that the book is an embarrassment to Carter, the Democrats, the presidency and Americans."

I suppose we could applause Carter's consistency, but that will only encourage him.

paulfrommpls said...

Mackan - Your skepticism about that passage is justified. It's what I was talking abut - okay, what's he leaving out? Would the whole scene leave me with the sense of Carter as gullible apologist? And as you imply, the fact that Carter asks the question about Syria’s failure to recognize Lebanon means he's aware of the issue, at least.

So one could read the passage perhaps as Carter simply reporting and not getting in the way of the words of the Syrians, although it does seem to contrast with how he evidently will provide judgment on Israeli actions and words.

One also could assume that he includes the question because he knows he has to.

That’s a harsh assumption, of course. Which is why the long passage I copied and pasted above struck me as interesting. Because it really does seem to show some glaring one-sidedness. (If that is the writer’s characterization of how Carter talks about the Road Map is accurate. So I suppose there is still some research required.)

Mack said...

Paul,

Carter is pro-Palestinian, no question, and he presents their positions favorably. I wouldn't read Jimmy Carter as my single unbiased source on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The idea that he's some kind of cook or extremist, though, is simply absurd, and a result of the critics' own insane partisanship on the issue.

On what other issue do you respond to someone you disagree with with a diatribe about what an embarassment they are to everyone in the world? To me, that's the kind of accusation that should require a pretty wild position, not Carter's run-of-the mill moderate pro-Palestinian-ism. To me, accusations like that suggest something seriously wrong with the people who make them.

tjl said...

"Carter's run-of-the mill moderate pro-Palestinian-ism"

!!! "Moderate" and "pro-Palestinian" in the same sentence! We're referring to people who pack their suicide vests with ball bearings coated with rat poison, so the anti-coagulant will make the metal fragments even more lethal to the innocent victims.

Speaking of Jimmy Carter, the best capsule description actually appeared as a 1-line editorial in the WaPo. Carter had run an op-ed piece denouncing the decision to go to war in Afghanistan (let's try to understand the root causes of Islam's pain blah blah blah). The response: "To think this man was once President of the United States."

Internet Ronin said...

Mackan said:

Carter is pro-Palestinian, no question, and he presents their positions favorably.

I agree. It would be nice, and more honest, if he dropped the pretense of being an "impartial observer," however.

I wouldn't read Jimmy Carter as my single unbiased source on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Neither would I. Nor should anyone accept as absolute truth everything written in Jewish Current Issues. That Carter writes something, or Jewish Current Issues publishes something does not automatically make it more true or less true.

The idea that he's some kind of cook or extremist, though, is simply absurd, and a result of the critics' own insane partisanship on the issue.

Provided you meant "kook" and not "cook," though, is simply absurd,"

While I tend to agree, his public positions on some issues do tend to fall beyond what is generally considered mainstream thought in the United States, so it is understandable that some view them as being extremist under the circumstances.

Internet Ronin said...

tjl: ROLF! Did the WaPo really do that? An editorial? If I were a subscriber, that is one copy I would have saved for posterity.

knoxgirl said...

Carter's apologist views of regimes like that of North Korea and his serial interence in this country's foreign policy -- years after this country voted NO LONGER to have him represent their interests in such matters-- has caused people to view his opinions skeptically. It's his own record of rushing to the defense of despots and terrorists that have hurt his reputation and credibility--not the partisanship of his critics.

Is it true that at times his critics might be partisan? Of course... But at this point, his reckless behavior--especially on the heels of incompetence at foreign policy as president--should give every serious person pause.

tjl said...

Ronin:

The caption was "A Letter from a Reader" but it occupied the lead spot in the editorial column. The clear implication is that it expressed the opinion of the editors.

Internet Ronin said...

tjl: Thanks - Draws a perfect picture of it for me. Still laughing about it, too.

George said...

In case anyone's interested in JC's career as an author, the Wall St. J. ran a front-page article on that topic a few months ago. He's been far more successful as an author than he ever was as President, and he's made millions in the process.

rhodeymark1 said...

hdhouse - again with the Jeff Gannon? Fixated much?

rhodeymark1 said...

He's been far more successful as an author than he ever was as President, and he's made millions in the process.

The librarians always were his natural constituency...

tjl said...

The librarians must love Carter because as President he did so much to promote their signature look, the cardigan sweater.

Revenant said...

Carter didn't *seem* this crazy when he was President. It is kind of scary to think that he might actually have been.

The idea that he believes God punishes secular governments is certainly an eye-opener, though.

Pogo said...

Carter has become Mr. Rogers reading the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to a rapt nursery.

Won't you please
Won't you please
Please won't you blow up
my jewish neighbor?

Bye الجار!

Eli Blake said...

Henry (8:51)

Sounds a lot like the Bush presidency, too.

Mack said...

TJL,

!!! "Moderate" and "pro-Palestinian" in the same sentence! We're referring to people who pack their suicide vests with ball bearings coated with rat poison, so the anti-coagulant will make the metal fragments even more lethal to the innocent victims.

Why do I get the feeling you'd be pretty good at justifying the killing of innocent people yourself?

OddD said...

mackan: "Why do I get the feeling you'd be pretty good at justifying the killing of innocent people yourself?"

Because you apparently equate a passionate response against killing to a passionate response for it?

Richard Dolan said...

According to Mackan, "Carter is pro-Palestinian, no question, and he presents their positions favorably."

Alas, while Carter has always been "pro-Palestinian" and is undoubtedly favorable to the Palestinian position, he has never reported it honestly. The position is, simply, that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth, preferably with all its non-Muslim inhabitants along with it. That position has been made clear more times than one cares to recall, usually but not always by indirection when Arafat was running that show, but more recently all pretense has been thrown aside by the Iranian masters of Hamas. The Syrians are the "amen" chorus, but prefer to have surrogates do the fighting and dying. Hard as it is to believe, Carter either doesn't get it, or prefers to close his eyes.

Perhaps the day will come when, under different leadership and in a changed environment in the Middle East, the Palestinian position will change. But there is no sign of any such change at present. Instead, the Iranians and their Palestinian charges are trumpeting that position, and close to completing their nuke to boot. Either way, Carter has no excuse for being obtuse.

Mackan also says that Carter embodies "run-of-the mill moderate pro-Palestinian-ism." If that were true, one shudders to imagine what an immoderate pro-Palestinian-ism would look like.

If it were just Carter, none of this would matter. But "run-of-the mill moderate pro-Palestinian-ism" of the Carter sort is finding a home among the Dems. That bodes ill on many levels.

Mack said...

OddD,

How about,

a) His willingness to declare an entire population as evil and inhuman.
b) His strenuous assertion that even supporting Palestinians is beyond the pale.
c) His willingness generally to throw the good out with the bad.
d) His partisan outrage.
e) His refusal to acknowledge the existance of a legitimate Palestinian position.
f) His adoption of a radicalized position in a long-standing violent war.

Could be any, really.

Richard Dolan,

If you want to know what immoderate looks like, take tjl's comments and replace "Palestinians" with "Israelis," with your own wild accusation about the Israelis' willingness to kill innocent civilians. Or easier, of course, you could look at any number of Muslim news-sources, which essentially do just that. That is, the people who talk about Israelis as if they're subhuman, in the same way that people in the U.S. find it popular to talk about Muslims as if they're subhuman.

As any honest person knows, of course, extremism abounds on all sides, but it sure as heck isn't Jimmy Carter. But then, you knew that.

OddD said...

Mackan:

You're making (or inviting us to make) the Israeli position morally equivalent to the Palestinian. They are not.

vw: fxpdtz

Sorry, it's beyond fxing.

knoxgirl said...

Why do I get the feeling you'd be pretty good at justifying the killing of innocent people yourself?

huh? This is a pretty extreme sentiment, esp. for someone whose entire commentary on this thread has consisted of accusing others of well, harboring extreme sentiments, whether toward Carter or Palestinians.

hdhouse said...

Frankly I am waiting for GWB to leave office (oooohhhh if there is a God) and write his first book...I've got some titles in mind:

My day at the zoo

widdle bitty duck

Crayons are my friends

the list is endless.....

seriously folks, there are an alternate set of opinions that real people who think actually consider. one of the major problems with the neo-cons is that they are so dismissive of what they don't understand and what they clearly can't grasp.

did you ever stop to think that Israel might not be the patron saint of goodness and that the palestinians may have some legitimate beefs? does that compute in your little itsybitsy minds?

carter might not be shakespeare with words but you have grown so used to a president who virtually drools when he speaks that you have zero idea of what constitutes real thought.

i love it when bush gives a speech and everyone says wow, what a speech and what what what...and you know that he is just reading what others wrote and thought he should say. i didn't much like reagan but by God he wrote a lot of his own stuff. you don't like clinton but by God the the guy thinks on his speech and he actually uses complete sentences.

then you get president doofus and you get all bent when another president writes yet another book and makes some people think.

call the thought police. where is darth vadar?

knoxgirl said...

Frankly I am waiting for the day you decide whether or not you're going to use capital letters.

tjl said...

Mackan has quite a laundry list of sins to accuse me of. He is reading far more into my post than I ever dreamed was there. However, I'll respond in a spirit of reciprocity.

a)"willingness to declare an entire population as evil and inhuman." Polls routinely showed that most Palestinians supported the tactic of suicide bombing. Not the entire population, certainly, but a majority were in favor of something evil and inhuman.

b) "even supporting Palestinians is beyond the pale." See a).

c) "willingness generally to throw the good out with the bad." As soon as you come up with something good about suicide bombing, please let us know.

d) "His partisan outrage." You aren't being partisan?

e) "refusal to acknowledge the existance of a legitimate Palestinian position." Richard Dolan's post above dispels the fantasy of a "legitimate Palestinian position" so well I don't need to do it over.

f) "adoption of a radicalized position in a long-standing violent war." What are you talking about here? What could be more radicalized and violent than blowing children up with poisoned ball bearings?

Mack said...

Knoxgirl,

I apologize if I sound accusatory; I don't mean to. TJL was giving me a "we should just nuke the hell out of them" vibe, which elicited my response. At the same time as people are charging anti-semitism against the left, it struck me as odd that both TCD and TJL (different people?) could suggest that all Palestinians are terrorists without comment.

As to moral equivalence, I tried not to suggest that -- though it seems one must admit it's pretty easy for the group with the territory and all the military might to condemn the barbarism of the group without either. That's no defense of terrorism, but it is a necessary point, when people try to turn it into a basis for mocking the very idea that we should even consider where the Palestinians are coming from.

So I don't claim moral equivalence. I do think bigotry is bigotry, though, whether or not one group is on balance better than another.

Bleepless said...

Carter not only was the very worst President, he is tied with Millard Fillmore (member of the Confederate Congress) for the honor of being the worst ex-President.
Is there an exorcist in the house?

Revenant said...

My day at the zoo
widdle bitty duck
Crayons are my friends


Get it, everybody? Its funny because Bush is dumb.

Presumably that means Carter isn't. Which raises the question -- if he isn't too dumb to realize that the PLO has always advocated the extermination of Israel, why doesn't he have a problem with it? If he isn't too dumb to realize that Syria has never been willing to let Lebannon live in peace, why's he lending his support to the claim that it is?

He can't be smart *and* a decent human being; his own statements make that impossible. He's limited to a maximum of one of the two, if that.

Henry said...

Eli - Sounds a lot like the Bush presidency, too.

Ah, but Philip Roth has already written that book.

Theo Boehm said...

"...that the book is an embarrassment to Carter, the Democrats, the presidency and Americans."

The word "presidency" in that passage looks strange, doesn't it? That's why I cling to the old style, "President," with an upper-case "P."

Writing about our Chief Executive should be something like, "Franklin Roosevelt, the longest-serving President of the United States," or "Dwight Eisenhower, the President who championed the Interstate Highway System."

I am content, however, to let Mr. Carter remain, "Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States."

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...hdhouse. If I remember, Reagan was considered dumb by the democrats in the 80's and Bush 41 was out of touch. In the 90's, Guiliani threw Yasir Arafat out of Lincoln Center because of his terrorist activities (Remember Leon Klinghofer? The athletes at Munich?) But the Sainted Clinton and Carter gave Arafat carte Blanche into the White House. Explain to me how the Democrat party will not sell out Israel to Hezbollah again.

hdhouse said...

ahhh knoxgirl...when you write me i'll use caps...

jsf....i gave reagan a compliment. nowhere did i say he was dumb. bush is dumb though in case you are in doubt. i don't mind dumb. heck, i don't mind you. what i mind is dumb (bush) being surrounded by smart but mean people who twist him like a twig that he is. that is pug-ugly and i don't like that at all.

and revenant...dear dear revenant...carter was never called dumb...a nitpicker and not a great president,...yup i agree to that...but his heart is good.

bush on the other hand is not a great president like carter..in fact more people think bush is a failure than thought carter was a failure...but carter, unlike bush, thought outside his selfish self. carter gives. bush takes. carter wins the nobel prize. bush wins the prize in the bottom of the crackerjack box.

there is no level too low to catorize the current president. my pet goat indeed!

The partisan moderate said...

Although, I think Jimmy Carter is wrong on this issue my main problems with him are as follows: his actions before the first Iraq War and his self-righteousness. On the cusp of the first Gulf War when Bush 41 was trying to assemble a broad coalition, Carter sent letters to other members of the UN Security Council asking them to thwart the President's efforts. You can find that and a list of some of Carter's other transgressions here.
http://www.nationalreview.com/20may02/nordlinger052002.asp

While he appears to be a man trying to do good, he is incredibly parochial in his thoughts. For a man who criticizes the religious right over their dogmatism, he seems to be unable to ever conclude that someone can reasonably disagree with him.

clazy said...

TJL,

I've looked all over, and I'm disappointed to report that I haven't found any op-eds by Carter denouncing the decision to invade Afghanistan. You sure you got that right? Sounds like what bloggers were saying in response to his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Elizabeth said...

Theo, president is capitalized before a name, as a title borne by a specific person: President Bush. But as an office, it's lowercase, as it is when it isn't followed by a name. President Bush versus the president went bike riding. Same with other titles: Professor Althouse versus the professor has a blog.

The other items in that sentence were proper nouns and so were capitalized: Carter, Democrats, Americans.

Theo Boehm said...

Elizabeth: I'm aware of modern usage and the rules that underlay that passage. My wife is a book editor, so I get a good dose of this all the time.

It's just that I disagree. I prefer the old usage: The office was capitalized as well. If capitalizing that way was good enough for Winston Churchill and my wife's old employer, Houghton Mifflin, in 1948 it's good enough for me.

As I said, I am content that Jimmy Carter should remain the former president, while Franklin Roosevelt was the greatest President of the 20th century.

Internet Ronin said...

Elizabeth - Is that the way its done now? I seem to remember being taught that, in the case of the President of the United States of America only, the President (when referring to a specific person) was always capitalized, even in the example you cited, while all others (like "the senator," etc.)

Times change. So does language. Thanks.

Internet Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Theo Boehm said...

Ronin: If you read Churchill, you'll find he capitalizes all sorts of offices in the old British manner. Everyone gets the name of his office capitalized. It's a little like new drapes and a nice carpet.

I love that usage and adopt it if at all possible. My wife and I have had arguments about this. The modern style of capitalizing only the personal title became common sometime around the time of Nixon.

To me, the connection was unmistakeable. I'm old enough to remember The New York Times, writing things like, "...the President said today...." Fast forward to the Watergate era, and the Times had "...the impeachment of the president seems increasingly likely...."

My wife disagrees, but I think the lower-case presidency is just another lovely piece of the Nixon Legacy.

Internet Ronin said...

As long as this is a thread about Jimmy Carter, I have to say that I am surprised how many people who detest George W. Bush and admire Jimmy Carter repeatedly derided Bush for mispronouncing "nuclear."

Internet Ronin said...

Thanks, Theo! I was wondering when and why the change and that sounds like a plausible one to me ;-)

Revenant said...

carter was never called dumb...a nitpicker and not a great president,...yup i agree to that...but his heart is good.

As I noted earlier, he cannot be both intelligent and good. It's either/or, just as it is with Holocaust deniers.

Kirk Parker said...

tjl,

That letter/editorial was priceless.

I have the analogous thought whenever I hear the name "Ramzi Clark".

hdhouse said...

Certainly it isn't lost on anyone that when Carter left office he was at 34% and mr. Bush has 2 years to go and his house of cards is falling and he is at 31%.

ohhh and its Ramsey Clark not Ramzi...no more Sly movies for you young man.

Internet Ronin said...

HDHOUSE: iF U cAn cAPitaLIze oR NOt aCCORdIng To WhiM, hE Can pHOnetIcALLy sPEll aNY wAY he WaNts. ;-)

hdhouse said...

knoxgirl said...
Frankly I am waiting for the day you decide whether or not you're going to use capital letters.

stop calling me Frankly.

Seven Machos said...

Hdhouse cannot even get bad joke right.

Revenant said...

Certainly it isn't lost on anyone that when Carter left office he was at 34% and mr. Bush has 2 years to go and his house of cards is falling and he is at 31%.

I've no idea why I'm supposed to care what Bush and Carter's approval ratings are, or were. Bush is leaving office in 2008 whether his approval rating is 1% or 99%.

Anyway, Carter will always have friends so long as there are people in the world who hate Jews. That doesn't make him a good person. :)

kettle said...

Check this out:
Professor Describes Carter "Inaccuracies"

"Besides his major concerns, Stein pointed out Carter's use of inaccurate dates. For example, Carter said he met with Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad in Switzerland in June 1977 when he actually met Assad in May."

You've got to be kidding me. Seems to me that this is being rather blown out of proportion simply because his view doesn't jive with the mainstream. He does seem to be a bit of a sucker for punishment though...