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Paul Hayden

Jimmy Carter's Personal State Department

April 21, 2008

As I have written in the past, it is testimony to the mettle of the American Republic that it can, from time to time, suffer fools at its helm. It has endured the drunkenness of Ulysses S. Grant, the socialism of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the constitutional violations of Richard M. Nixon and the alley-cat morality of Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy and William J. Clinton.

We have managed to survive even the naïveté of James E. Carter, the peanut farmer turned politician who proved "The Peter Principle" by rising to his own special level of ineptitude and remaining there from 1977 to 1981.

Jimmy Carter's White House tenure was disastrous enough, but his increasingly radical actions over the last quarter century have gone far beyond incompetence. Some believe they border on sedition. How else to describe a failed and rejected former president who can't stop criticizing his own country and her allies while defending and promoting the jihadist scum of the earth.

Carter's post-White House years began well. Some of his activities were even inspiring. Seeing him build Habitat for Humanity homes was certainly preferable to watching him embarrass himself repeatedly as president ("I asked my daughter Amy what she thought our biggest problem was, and she said, 'Daddy, I think it is nuclear proliferation...'").

But then, like Jesse Jackson before him, Carter decided to create his own little personal State Department, jetting off on private foreign policy missions, meeting with foreign ministers, dictators and potentates. He cares not that his actions are at best unappreciated by today's leaders, or that his efforts have never accomplished anything of value for his country. In fact, more often than not, the former president's embarrassing antics have created barriers to the delicate diplomacy of our currently elected authorities, while simultaneously emboldening America's enemies.

Jimmy Carter is starting to look like Neville Chamberlain with a toothy grin. He trusted Saddam Hussein in 2002, the very year the Nobel Committee decided he was their man of peace. He attacked the Israelis in his discredited recent book, calling their treatment of the Palestinians "apartheid." Now he plans to travel to Syria to meet with the leaders of Hamas.

Like so many naïve appeasers before him, Carter seems to believe that if he is nice to our enemies, they will be nice in return and everything will be just fine. It's nice to be nice to the nice, and if they're murderous thugs, well, we'll just ignore that pesky little detail and be nice anyway. Set a good example for them. You know; walk softly and carry nothing but a smile. That's Jimmy's philosophy. His credo seems to be "hug a terrorist for peace." It's all so reminiscent of those nuclear freeze dupes who thought we could get the whole world to disarm simply by being nice and leading the way.

Carter's globetrotting on behalf of feel-good diplomacy may have endeared him to the Nobel committee - which presented him with a check for a cool million dollars and declared him one of the wisest diplomats of our time - and to the media. But the media and the Nobel Committee are always quick to applaud anything that smacks of America bashing.

Jimmy Carter should go back to Georgia and do something constructive for the country. Build some more houses. Grow some more peanuts. Produce something we could actually use. Instead, he continues to bask in his worldly accolades as he flies off to other troubled parts of the world to meet with the sworn enemies of America.

Meanwhile, our real president (you remember him...the one we elected to do these things) tries to deal with real problems in ways that are in the best interest of the United States of America.

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Copyright ©2008 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.