National Catholic Reporter

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Yahoo Watch: Jimmy Carter (and most everybody else too!)

So, Jimmy Carter thinks his ex-presidency is "superior" to that of other ex-presidents. The former President has since tried to qualify his statement, but let's be honest. The man is regularly praised for being a better ex-president than he was a president, a claim made for no other president in recent memory. Still, it was clumsy of Carter to pat himself on the back so obviously.

I am one of the few people on the planet who do not share the judgment about Carter. I think his presidency was not as bad as most people think and his ex-presidency has had as many strikeouts as base hits. His presidency was beset by crises largely beyond the control of any president and he undertook some unpopular measures that were nonetheless necessary, such as giving control of the Panama Canal back to Panama. As an ex-prez, Carter should be praised for his work with Habitat for Humanity, but I think his meddling in explicitly political affairs is bad form, especially abroad. I know the Carter Center has done some fine work resolving political crises in foreign hot spots, but Carter's lame excuses for tyrants and despots have done little to advance the cause of morality the world over.

Finally, one of the things that people did not like about Carter when he was in office was his sanctimony. His comments about being suprior to his fellow ex-presidents shows that this character flaw of his has not diminished. I wish former President Carter well, but I also wish he would be more quiet.

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