In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 30, 2007 / 13 Sivan, 5767

HE-E-E'S BACK! Jimmy Carter, president and poet

By Paul Greenberg

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This time not even Jimmy Carter agreed with Jimmy Carter — at least not after he'd taken a day or two to think abut what he'd just said.

That was quite a scoop the former president gave the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. When he called George W. Bush the worst president in American history, Mr. Carter managed to ignite a 24-hour brush fire out there in medialand. That's understandable. There's something irresistibly comic about Jimmy Carter's calling another president, any president, the worst in history. It's like Danny DeVito calling somebody else short.

Some of us who read Mr. Carter's comments had the bad taste, once we'd stopped laughing, to go back and dredge up the dismal record of his own presidency, which has to be a low-water mark in the history of that institution.

Nevertheless, Jimmy Carter should be pleased at all the play his interview got. Because it's been a while since folks took anything he said seriously enough to point out how impossible it has become to take him seriously.

Now even the Mr. Carter has joined the ranks of his critics, resorting to what politicians almost invariably do when the get caught saying something embarrassing: They blame the press.

Hey, that's what we're here for. It's all our fault for quoting them saying dumb things.

Well, maybe not all our fault. Or as Mr. Carter later confessed, "My remarks were maybe careless or misinterpreted…."

Maybe? There wasn't any maybe about it. And the published transcript soon enough revealed that his comments hadn't been misinterpreted. Which leaves "careless," a word that doesn't quite capture the encyclopedic range of the various misjudgments he delivered in the course of this interview. Nor does it do justice to the general petulance that has marked his whole ex-presidency, which has become as bitter an experience as his presidency was.

It's been quite a journey for Jimmy Carter — pretty much downhill ever since he took the oath of office. By now he's got to say something particularly outrageous just to be called irrelevant.

It's all kind of sad but, happily, no longer important. Unhappily, there was a time when what Jimmy Carter said did matter. For he was shaping American policy, or rather misshaping it, and the result was one disaster after another, at home and abroad, from national stagflation to international humiliation. Everywhere you looked, as far as the eye could see, it was all one big malaise.

These days, Jimmy Carter is proving just as successful an ex-president as he did a president. Indeed, he's become a kind of Renaissance Man of incompetence, not limiting his contributions to any one field like politics or nuclear engineering or environmentalism (remember that killer rabbit he once fought off?) but branching out into art, religion, poetry … or at least verse.

This may be hard to believe, but the man is just as accomplished a poet as he was a president. ("The geese passed overhead,/ and then without a word/ we went down to a peaceful sleep,/ marveling at what we'd seen and heard.") And there are dozens more where that came from! Unfortunately.

Jimmy Carter's poetry may be fairly awful, but I've got to admit he's prolific. The only Southern poet who may rival his esthetic output is J. Gordon Coogler (1865-1901), the Carolina bard who penned the, alas, immortal lines: "Alas, for the South! Her books have grown fewer—/ She never was much given to literature."

H. L. Mencken used those elegiac lines to introduce his classic essay, "The Sahara of the Bozart," which would surely have featured Jimmy Carter's works if only he had been writing — well, producing — poetry at the time. Or his other literary specialty, historical fiction.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.