Saturday, May 19

It's Official: W is the Worst. President. Ever. - signed Jimmy Carter

Although there was one diary about this already, I think it deserves another look since it's like - totally unprecedented.

Former President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jimmy Carter has called the current sitting President out big time.

"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history,"

"The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and
Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me."

"We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered," he said. "But that's been a radical departure from all previous administration policies."

As I documented yesterday, this Presidency is a complete total abject failure.

It about time people started to openly talk about it, but to hear it from a former President is something unique.

Of course, this isn't the first time that a former President has criticized a current President. Although I'm sure that'll come as surprise to Brit Hume who once claimed, following the entire Bill Clinton/Chris Wallace kurfuffle over the U.S.S. Cole that President Bush Sr. never sunk so low as to ever criticize Clinton while he was in office.

Former President Bill Clinton has now done something his predecessor, the first President George Bush, did not do, and that is criticize the sitting president and his administration

Unfortunately for Hume - Bush Sr. did do it

In an appearance at a San Antonio grade school on October 13, 1993, Bush expressed concern that the humanitarian mission to Somalia that he had launched nearly a year earlier was being "messed up" by the Clinton administration. "If you're going to put somebody else's son or daughter into harm's way, into battle, you've got to know the answer to three questions," Bush told the students. He said the president has to know what the mission is, "how they are going to do it," and "how they're going to get out of there."

You think Pappy Bush has ever asked his own son those three questions? I don't, but then I'm a cynic.

In an interview published in the February 1994 issue of Washingtonian magazine, Bush criticized the Clinton administration's purported lack of a "general strategy" in the foreign policy arena and the "start-and-stop" failures it had exhibited. Bush pointed to the Clinton administration's handling of the situation in Haiti as an example and also criticized Clinton for his policy toward Bosnia:

As it happened, both Haiti and Bosnia ultimately turned out pretty well I think. In fact, after years of sectarian strife that began under Pappy Bush - Bosnia is now the flowering peaceful democracy that Jr. and Cheney claim that Iraq will become someday after they finally find those misplaced chocolates and flowers and stuff, or the "last throes" finally throw in the towell, or the surge-suppression finally takes, or we just plain run out of able-bodied willing troops once the insurgents and sectarian militias are done killing them where it's more "convenient".

But that wasn't all, Pappy actually took credit for the Clinton economic boom, which to this day remains the greatest in American history.

During a July 26, 1996, news conference with Bob Dole, then the Republican nominee for president, Bush "criticized Clinton for boasting of current economic stability," according to a Kansas City Star article published the following day. Bush argued that "he handed Clinton an economy that grew at about 5 percent in 1993." "That was not recession," he told reporters.

Pappy also though Ken Starr was a right fine guy.

In a letter released on April 23, 1998, Bush "criticized the White House and its allies for their continuing public campaign to criticize [independent counsel Kenneth] Starr and undermine his investigation," according to a New York Times article published that day. In the letter, Bush professed to hold Starr -- who at the time was investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair -- "in high regard."

So much for the "grand tradition" of previous Presidents refraining from commenting negatively on the current office holder.

But to be fair, Carter isn't the first to say the "W" word. The Washington Post has already noted that historians have already shown that Bush is the Worst Ever.

More often, however, the rankings display a remarkable year-to-year uniformity. Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt always figure in the "great" category. Most presidents are ranked "average" or, to put it less charitably, mediocre. Johnson, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Richard M. Nixon occupy the bottom rung, and now President Bush is a leading contender to join them. A look at history, as well as Bush's policies, explains why.

At least Nixon had a talent for diplomacy, and Polk who started our other false war with Mexico at least had the where-with-all to fracking win it!. Bush this guy Dubya... is a total mess.

Bush has taken this disdain for law even further [than Nixon, yet!]. He has sought to strip people accused of crimes of rights that date as far back as the Magna Carta in Anglo-American jurisprudence: trial by impartial jury, access to lawyers and knowledge of evidence against them. In dozens of statements when signing legislation, he has asserted the right to ignore the parts of laws with which he disagrees. His administration has adopted policies regarding the treatment of prisoners of war that have disgraced the nation and alienated virtually the entire world. Usually, during wartime, the Supreme Court has refrained from passing judgment on presidential actions related to national defense. The court's unprecedented rebukes of Bush's policies on detainees indicate how far the administration has strayed from the rule of law.

Carter didn't just bash Bush on his foreign policy, he also hit him hard on his domestic issues, particularly his so-called faith based initiatives - which is particularly ironic since Carter was the First "Born Again" President we ever had.

"The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion," Carter said. "As a traditional Baptist, I've always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one."

The historians are against him, the former Presidents both Clinton and Carter - if not Pappy - are against him. Except for the Neo-Con Cabal who this weekend gave Convicted Purgerer Scooter Libby a huge round of applause as they ponder their next targets for regime change (cuz their first target has turned out so spectacularly they just have to have a sequel) - the jury is basically in on this one. I will admit though that this type of historical judgement is arguably premature, but still I have a great deal of myself that the legacy of George Bush is only going to become burnished and shine with the passage of time.

More like dull and tarnished with age.

Maybe I'm wrong, but somehow I just don't think so....



Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, in a bunker outside Isfahan, centrifuges hum quietly, refining the yellow metal for the psychotic theocrats that this wonderful fellow helped into power. The first mushroom cloud will have his name all over it.

Yeah, let’s all listen to this Saudi-funded goober fuckhead.

Vyan said...

If we'd followed Carter path toward Energy independance during the 80's we wouldn't be trapped in our ridiculous military entanglements in Iraq. At least he know how to learn a few lessons for his own mistakes in the middle-east.

Would someone brown-skinned have a Nuke? Sure. How about Pakistan - where Bin Laden is currently hiding - who have a Nuke. Which is of course why we still haven't gone after the person who really did attack us in 2001.

Your serve.


Anonymous said...

If Carter had not been the most useless President in U.S history he might have had a chance to forge a path towards energy independance but he was too busy planting the seeds that have created the mess that is the middle-east.
Would someone brown-skinned have a Nuke? Not about skin color, you playing the race card? This is about a country bragging about annihilating another, which should assure anyone with an ounce of common sense, that they never be allowed to develope nukes period.
But then again, if you are on the same page as Carter, who cares about Israel?

Vyan said...

"Most Useless", and how many Historians - y'know people who've actually studied the various effectiveness of the Presidents have come to that particularly "well thought-out" conclusion?

The point is however, that Carter himself isn't the point. Bush and his non-stop failure train however, is. A very common and typical right-wing tactic to ignore the actual criticism and instead try to kneecap the critic.

Who cares about Israel? Obviously not Bush considering how he has completely ignored them and made no attempts what-so-ever to move the Peace progrss forward even after the death of Yassir Arafat. At the very least that is deriliction of duty, at the worst gross criminal neglect.


Anonymous said...

And now proving what a stand up guy he is, he says his comments were careless, or taken out of context?
It was already proven that his remarks were not out of context, so is he a liar, common left-wing tactic , it's only acceptable to lie if you are a liberal.

Vyan said...

Well, first of all it's clear that these comments were completely out of character for Carter. Being an attack-dog isn't his style, he's a peacemaker - so I understand his regret and attempt to minimize the impact of his words. I do think he was "careless" (even in accurate), but I don't agree with him that he was "taken out of context".

Cest la Vie.

Being that as it may, what do you mean "only acceptable to lie if you are a liberal?"

Since the original subject was President Bush and his foreign policy and failure of a war how about...

February 2002

"Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks."

"Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training."

January 2003

"We have learned from the British Government that Iraq has sought Nuclear materials from Africa"

May 2003

"Combat Operations have completed in Iraq"

June 2003

"The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example"

May 2005

"I think we're making good progress in Iraq..."

August 2005

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breech of the levees"

September 2005

"You can't distinguish between Saddam and Al-Qaeda when you talk about the War on Terror"

March 2006

"I know I didn’t say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein."