Jimmy Carter Calls Dick Cheney a Disaster for the Country

Ok, I know Jimmy Carter was a weak president and had his own faults. That doesn’t make his assessment of Dick Cheney any less true.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday denounced Vice President Dick Cheney as a “disaster” for the country and a “militant” who has had an excessive influence in setting foreign policy.

Cheney has been on the wrong side of the debate on many issues, including an internal White House discussion over Syria in which the vice president is thought to be pushing a tough approach, Carter said.

“He’s a militant who avoided any service of his own in the military and he has been most forceful in the last 10 years or more in fulfilling some of his more ancient commitments that the United States has a right to inject its power through military means in other parts of the world,” Carter told the BBC World News America in an interview to air later on Wednesday.

“You know he’s been a disaster for our country,” Carter said. “I think he’s been overly persuasive on President George Bush and quite often he’s prevailed.”

Besides, despite all of Carter’s faults, he was a far better president than Bush and far less of a disaster than Cheney.

Be Sociable, Share!

16 Comments

  1. 1
    absent observer says:

    Jimmy Carter is the best former-US-President ever.

  2. 2
    Mike Kelley says:

    If ever there were a case of the pot calling the kettle black, Carter calling Cheney a “disaster” is certainly it. Carter was, by any bench mark, the worst POTUS of the 20th century, and one of the three worst of all time.

    The really humorous part of all this? Any respectable ranking of presidents likely will show Carter and Bush side-by-side.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Carter had his flaws, but there weren’t any disasters to compare with either Iraq or Katrina. Carter didn’t attempt to greatly expand the powers of the Executive Branch far beyond what was envisioned by the founding fathers as Bush has. Although very religious, Carter also recognized the importance of separation of church and state.

    Carter will be ranked far ahead of Bush, and will not be seen as a disaster comparable to Bush or Cheney.

  4. 4
    Darron says:

    To Ron Chusid.

    Just as a reminder of the disasters on the level of Iraq, need we forget abandoning of the Shah of Iran which led directly to Ayotollah Komeini coming to power and the hostage crisis. Or how about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Or how about signing away the Panama Canal.

    Any one of the above disasters would have been as bad taken together they are most assuredly worse.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    These things hardly rank with Bush’s mistakes. Carter had little influence over what went on in Iraq, while the decision to go into Iraq was Bush’s decision. Similarly Carter wasn’t directly responsible for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as he Bush was over Iraq. While many conservatives were upset about getting out of Panama, this has not done us any harm as Bush’s policies have.

  6. 6
    Steve Savage says:

    Carter had flaws, but he did show proper restraint when necessary, and he took one for the team. He did allow himself to be the butt of criticism for 444 days so he could ensure the safety of the hostages, he went to 3 mile island himself to assure the people of Harrisburg that the president was on the ball during the crisis. At the time they expected the reactor containment vessel to explode, so Carter’s gamble was a risk that was unusual for a president to take.
    That kind of selflessness is rare in a president. Bush showed how brave he was on 9/11 when he left on AF1, flew out of american airspace over the gulf of mexico like a wuss, then hid inside a missile silo like his fellow wuss dick cheney. he then came back to washington flanked by 5 other identical presidential helicopters, bobbing and weaving all the way. Yes, a BRAVE man indeed….

  7. 7
    Lee Phillips says:

    Mr Carter recently gave an interview on NPR where he endorsed the policy
    of “blood for oil” and claimed that the human rights situation in China is much
    improved because the Chinese people are now allowed to have bibles. I kid you not.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    I suspect that if we read Carter’s actual statements as opposed to your spin on them they would look entirely different. Do you have a transcript for this interview?

  9. 9
    Lee Phillips says:

    What is your suspicion based on, aside from wishful thinking? If you read the article that I linked to you will find that I show you where to get a transcript (for a fee) and the audio of the interview.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    My suspicion is based upon frequently receiving claims of what Democrats have said, or seeing such claims on conservative blogs, and almost always finding that they have been misquoted when the actual text is available. I don’t care to spend the time listening to an entire audio or to purchase a transcript. Based upon the odds from past experience it is safer to assume that claims such as those you made are false.

  11. 11
    Ed says:

    Ron: comment#11
    “I don’t care to spend the time listening to an entire audio or to purchase a transcript. Based upon the odds from past experience it is safer to assume that claims such…”

    Its like selective hearing, then on both sides. There are plenty of right wingers who would say the same thing about liberal blogs and qoutes of their people being misrepresented.

    “Enlightened Thought” would imply taking the time to conduct the research rather than cherry picking sound bites.

    “it is safer to assume…” You know what they say about assume? It makes an ass out of you and me. ASsumptions have lost wars and lost peace. Was it Chamberlain that assumed he had bought “peace in our time” from Adolf Hitler? Likewise was it Bush who assumed invading Iraq would be easy? Or to assume free universal healthcare is truly free?

    I don’t deny you have some valid discourse. I consider myself open-minded and by assuming you were as well, I assumed wrong…

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    “Its like selective hearing, then on both sides”

    Not at all. He made a claim and the burden is upon him to present the evidence. I’ve investigated far too many such claims to accept such a claim without proof. I woeuld never enter a post without providing better evidence.

    ““Enlightened Thought” would imply taking the time to conduct the research rather than cherry picking sound bites.”

    My posts here are based upon research. It is Lee who has failed to present the evidence.

    “You know what they say about assume? It makes an ass out of you and me.”

    In this case it is only you who is making an ass out of yourself. My assumption is based upon sound reasons here, and the burden of proof remains upon Lee to prove his claim. If Carter really held the beliefs which are (probably falsely) attributed to him it is likely that we would be able link to evidence without expecting readers to listen to an hour long interview or purchase the transcript.

    Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is. I charge a minimum of $200 an hour for my time. Send me $200 and I’ll listen to the show to verify the claims Otherwise it is not worth the time to check on claims which, from experience with conservative blogs, probably represents a gross distortion of what was said.

  13. 13
    Lee Phillips says:

    My claim is that Mr Carter took certain positions in an interview. I have met my burden by showing you where to find the evidence in my article. That’s all I can do, because to actually put the audio stream or transcript on my website would be a copyright violation. You are free to look at the evidence or not, as you please. But it doesn’t make sense to not look at it and say that I’m distorting because some other people have lied in the past. You do see that that’s simply not logical, don’t you?

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    “But it doesn’t make sense to not look at it and say that I’m distorting because some other people have lied in the past. You do see that that’s simply not logical, don’t you?”

    Yes, that would be illogical, but it is not all all what I am saying. I’m not saying I am not willing to look at the information. The problem is that it is not easily available. Spending an hour listening to a streaming audio is too time consuming. If I had written a blog post such as this I’d have purchased the transcript and quoted Carter in context.

    I’m also not saying you are definitely distorting this, but such distortions are an extremely common tactic of conservative blogs. This isn’t simply a matter that “some other people have lied in the past.” If you expect to be taken seriously when you post claims such as this, the burden of proof is on you and linking to the stream of an hour long show and saying where the transcript can be purchased does not meet that burden. Making matters worse, you place a link in the comment with a claim that “I kid you not” but your link does not provide actual evidence for your assertion. Blog readers expect actual evidence when seeing such a claim.

    I spent far more time than it is worth reading such claims about what a Democrat said only to find they have outright lied about what was said. While I will follow links to attempt to verify claims I do have to draw the line at taking the time to listen to an hour long show or purchase a transcript. It would be a different matter if this was being widely discussed. However when only one person claims Carter said something and there is no evidence of this in the vast amount of information freely available on line, I have to take it with a large grain of salt. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are intentionally lying. I find that many conservatives have such extreme biases as to what they think Democrats believe that they interpret what was said totally incorrectly. The human rights situation in China, while still a problem, is much better than it was at many times in the past, such as during the cultural revolution, and it is easy to see Carter discussing this in a much more coherent manner than you suggest. I would have to see Carter’s exact wording before accepting a claim that he supports “blood for oil.”

  15. 15
    Lee Phillips says:

    I can’t say I blame you for not wanting to listen to the interview. After exposure to an hour of Diane Rehm softballing Carter any normal person’s teeth would be on edge.

    I think it’s pretty obvious what would happen if I supplied quotes of Carter’s outrageous statements: you would say I’m probably making them up or distorting their intent by taking them out of context, because that’s what “conservative bloggers” do sometimes. Never mind that I’m neither a “blogger” nor, by any means, a conservative. What ever gave you that idea? Because only conservatives could have a reason for criticising Carter? I anticipated this kind of skepticism explicity in my article, and linked to the source material for just that reason. In fact it’s Mr Carter who sounds increasingly like a Christian neoconservative all the time. This long descent started when, as president, he looked into the camera and disgusted all right-thinking Americans by saying that America was a “Christian nation”, just as John McCain did recently. Or do you deny that Carter said that, too?

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    “I think it’s pretty obvious what would happen if I supplied quotes of Carter’s outrageous statements: you would say I’m probably making them up or distorting their intent by taking them out of context, because that’s what “conservative bloggers” do sometimes.”

    No, the problem is that you didn’t supply any quotes. If you provided the quotes in context we wouldn’t have the problem.

    “Never mind that I’m neither a “blogger” nor, by any means, a conservative. ”

    Doesn’t really change anything. The point remains that I receive a tremendous number of claims that someone said something which don’t pan out upon checking what was said. I will discount a comment such as the one you left in the absence of better documentation.

    “Or do you deny that Carter said that, too?”

    But you are only giving part of the story. Carter has also discussed the need for separation of church and state, once again showing the problem that people’s views can easily be misinterpreted by over emphasizing one quote out of context. I’d object to some degree to many of Carter’s comments on religion, but my objections are somewhat moderated by looking beyond single statements. The situation is somewhat analogous to my current posts on Obama and religion (such as here and here).

    Posting a comment on a blog such as you did which characterizes someone’s views based something they may or may not have said in a single interview is meaningless. This makes it too easy to misrepresent someone’s views, especially when the full quotes are not even provided.

1 Trackbacks

Leave a comment