Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ode To A Peanut Farmer

I realize that ridiculing Glenn Beck, regardless of what corporate media outlet he shills for, is not unlike poking a stick at the village idiot, but I must point out the following anyway from Think Progress here…

On his radio show (yesterday), conservative talker Glenn Beck responded to the current violence in Gaza by arguing that former President Jimmy Carter should be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize:

BECK: Can someone please retract the Jimmy Carter Nobel Peace Prize? Can someone please say, “You know what Jim, we gotta take that back. I don’t know what we were thinking, but there hasn’t been all that much peace there.” … Eh, I don’t think you get the prize for the peace when the peace didn’t really happen. … Can we take his peace prize back from him?
First, I don’t know how Carter is supposed to be blamed, seeing as how he didn’t call for the Palestinian elections two years ago that installed Hamas and gave them the legitimacy they don’t deserve (as noted here). The responsibility for that one lies with President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History (though Carter, ever with an eye to the future, tried to achieve a reconciliation with this bunch that pretends to govern in that area of the world, as noted here).

Second, though I realize it’s too much to ask for Beck and his fellow nematodes to give Carter the credit he’s due, I think other people with more than a particle or two of brain matter would be interested to know the following from this excellent actual, real-live, non-AP-Ben-Feller-concocted analysis from Walter Rodgers, which tells us the following from here (also timely, I think, given that the incoming Obama Administration will FINALLY take over in about two weeks, and Carter’s credits stand as an example)…

(Carter) kept us out of endless wars. He protected the Alaskan wilderness (Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D) of Wisconsin once told me that "Carter was the greatest environmental president the country ever had.") He promoted a visionary energy policy. He countered the Soviet military threat. And since he left office, he has persistently promoted the cause of peace around the world. The landmark Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty he fashioned remains in force today.

Against the backdrop of an unnecessary trillion-dollar war in Iraq, it is instructive to recall how Carter avoided a similar morass when he negotiated the Panama Canal treaties, for which he was excoriated by Ronald Reagan's Republicans. When he left office, he was able to say with Thomas Jefferson "[D]uring the period of my administration not a drop of the blood of a single citizen was shed by the sword of war."

In the public mind, Carter continues to be judged as "ineffectual." Yet he started that treaty ratification process with fewer than 40 votes of the 67 needed. Pentagon generals advised him it would require 100,000 troops, rivers of blood, and untold treasure if the US did not return sovereignty of the canal to Panama.

Carter was keenly aware that retaining US control of the canal, as Reagan demanded, might result in another Vietnam-like conflict. Today, looking at America's open-ended wars in Southwest Asia, Carter should be thanked for his wisdom and vision.
It should be noted as well that Carter has the second-longest record of military service of any president who has held the office since 1952 (Eisenhower had the longest), and for the record, I incorrectly attributed the word “malaise” to the actual text of Carter’s energy speech here (corrected by Rodgers), which stands as truly prescient even though he gave it 30 years ago.

All of this actually makes me wish that we had a “blogosphere” (still hate that word, but no other fits) dating back that far also to counter all of the smears about Carter and democrats in general that have become ingrained into our political dialogue over time.

Also, Carter figures prominently in this post from earlier today.

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