Scholars agree, ‘Jimmy Carter wasn’t all that’

“Jimmy Carter was many years ahead of his time. You have not a clue about any of the things that you criticize the Carter administration of doing.”

So sayeth a reader of my column about former President Jimmy Carter (Right Hook, Oct. 12, 2006).

Here’s “how ahead of his time” Carter was, according to some experts. The Federalist Society and the Wall Street Journal conducted a survey of former presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton. The survey had 78 scholars in history, political science and law to rate the presidents. They were from both liberal and conservative ideological camps to balance the rankings ( They were then ranked from “Great” to “Failure.”

The top three “Great” presidents were George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

Ronald Reagan checked in at No. 8 as “Near Great.” John Kennedy was “Above Average” at 18.

George H.W. Bush (Bush the Elder) was ranked as “Average” (21), as was Bill Clinton (24).

As for Jimmy? He was at “Below Average” (30). This puts Carter exactly one position below Herbert Hoover—whose greatest contribution was starting the Great Depression. That’s how far “ahead of his time” scholars have placed Carter.

Has any other former president spent so much time sticking his nose into the affairs of this country without the duly elected authority to do so? Even on fellow Democrat Bill Clinton’s watch, in 1994, Carter went to North Korea and negotiated their “framework” for acquiring nuclear weapons. (Sorry. I meant nuclear “power plants.") Because clearly a country that can’t feed its own people needs one of those over anything else.

Let’s recall that Mr. Nobel Peace Prize Winner essentially won said award for trashing his own country. After reading the announcement of Carter’s award back on Oct. 11, 2002, Nobel Committee Chairman Gunmar Berge said, the prize must be interpreted as a “criticism of the present U.S. administration.” Translation: That would be, Bush 43 and Iraq. (Is it any wonder I despise Democrats and their Euro-trash loving compatriots?) Because clearly Berge and Carter would prefer Hussein still in power. Or something.

And here was Carter back in 2004 with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball trying to draw some insipid comparison between the Revolutionary War and Iraq.

“Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we’ve fought. I think another parallel is that, in some ways, the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war.

“Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonials’ really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely, and of course, now we would have been a free country as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a nonviolent way.”

OK. Do we have that? “Up until recently?” He thought (or thinks) that Iraq is bloodier than the Civil War. Or World Wars I or II? And that the Revolutionary War was unnecessary?

Oh yes, and as a sideline note to the like-minded who agree with Mr. Sensitivity: Canada didn’t begin to gain its independence until 1867. Even then, that process wasn’t finished until 1982.

And India didn’t gain its independence until 1947. And I’d be willing to bet any of those killed or the 100,000-plus arrested by the British would describe that treatment as “nonviolent.”

And Australia didn’t gain independence until 1901.

Perhaps someone can give me a clue why this man is still relevant to anything but peanuts?