Carter goes there

Articulating what many have feared since the ugly, barely-coherent and virulent protests supposedly against “high taxes and big government” suddenly erupted after Barack Obama was sworn in as President, former President Jimmy Carter weighed in yesterday in an interview with NBC:

Former President Jimmy Carter, who has a habit of stirring controversy, said this morning that “an overwhelming portion” of those opposing President Obama‘s policies are racist.

In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Carter lobbed a bomb into Washington politics, already seething with passions over healthcare, federal spending and whether a congressman named Wilson should apologize to the House for screaming “You lie!’ to a president.

Keith Olbermann and guest Lawrence O’Donnell comment:

I’m generally hesitant to use any “ism” to explain things, be it sexism, racism or whatever-ism, because it just seems too easy.  Whatever the phenomenon, I usually search for some other explanation for it than cultural bias.  But there comes a point where you can’t deny it.

As disrespectful as lefties were to George W Bush, using names like “Bushitler”, burning Bush effigies, toppling Bush statues, and depicting him with blood-soaked hands, as a Nazi or a chimp, anti-war protests may have been seething with vitriol but never with the paranoid hysteria that prevails among the teabaggers.  Want proof?  Look no further than this video.  These people aren’t just angry, they’re terrified out of their minds, and somehow I can’t see them being that way if Hillary Clinton was in the White House instead of Barack Obama.

Something rotten is happening in that country.

UPDATE: Obama disagrees.  I hope he is right.  Maybe it’s just a coincidence that Joe Wilson disrespectfully shrieked “You lie!” right at the point in Obama’s speech where he started talking about illegal immigrants.   Maybe the free-floating, directionless rage of the teabaggers is caused by a lack of Vitamin D.

25 Responses to “Carter goes there”


  1. 1 Chris Burd Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 9:10 am

    “Paranoid hysteria”? What about the idea that Bush & Co. were somehow involved in 9/11? Surely that qualifies.

    Right-wing and left-wing are mirror images, IMO.

    Chris

  2. 2 Chris Burd Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Sorry, I should have said, right-wing and left-wing ZEALOTS.

  3. 3 Torontonian Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Carter’s term as president wasn’t particularly brilliant.

    Since then, he’s emerged as a statesman and I’ve always
    noticed that when he’s a guest on someone like Leno or
    such, he always receives a resounding standing ovation.

    I’d put more stock in his words than in almost anyone
    else’s words. Of course, most of the readers here
    wouldn’t remember the Alsop brothers or Walter Lippmann.
    Carter can come close and he’s streets ahead of
    almost everyone else.

  4. 4 JJ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Chris – Troofers were always a minority in most anti-war protests, while paranoid hysterics seem to be the order of the day for most involved in the teabagger protests.

    However, I’d certainly concur that teabaggers represent only a small minority of American conservatives in general.

  5. 5 JJ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Torontonian – Yeah, as a president he may not have been the most inspiring, but I think his life experience gives him respectable wisdom on this particular issue.

    It’s obvious — all you have to do is read some of the enraged comments with this article.

    I especially enjoyed the one that said the Democrats wanted a “black face” for leader so they could cry “racism” whenever he was criticized, and they found their “boy” in Obama :roll: Nice.

  6. 6 JJ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Chris Burd – Holy cow, you could be right.

    Is it something in the water down there???

  7. 7 Bina Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    An argument could certainly be made for LIHOP; Bush ignored the August 6 PDB with an “all right, you’ve covered your ass, now”, which tells me he DID know what was coming, and wasn’t about to stop it. And why would he? It would benefit him and his investment portfolio directly, not to mention all his military-industrial cronies. He needed his “new Pearl Harbor” to justify the already planned war on Iraq, after all; PNAC even said so.

    The thermite thing, on the other hand, is bullshit.

  8. 8 RealityBites Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I don’t know that having Clinton in the White House wouldn’t terrify them as badly. I think hatred of women is about as pervasive as hatred of blacks.

  9. 9 J. A. Baker Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I don’t know that having Clinton in the White House wouldn’t terrify them as badly. I think hatred of women is about as pervasive as hatred of blacks.

    And not just that, RB. It’s a twofer with Hillary. It’s not just because she’s a woman that she’s a target of a special extra helping of wingnut hatred, but she’s also a Clinton. That alone is enough to drive wingnuts to new heights of insanity.

    Also. :roll:

  10. 10 JJ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Bina – I never bought into the troofer nonsense. I think the Bush admin’s only complicity was in knowing there were terrorists out there *somewhere* who wanted to do *something*, but not knowing any of the other 5 Ws of it and not taking the warnings seriously enough to find out. With the exception of a few people who didn’t get listened to until it was too late, nobody seriously imagined there could ever be an attack on US soil. It was inconceivable.

    I’m quite sure 9/11 happened pretty much *as advertised* — 19 assholes highjacked 4 planes & drove them into buildings. That the bush administration used the disaster for political gain is undeniable, but I don’t believe for a second they engineered it.

  11. 11 JJ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    RB

    I don’t know that having Clinton in the White House wouldn’t terrify them as badly. I think hatred of women is about as pervasive as hatred of blacks.

    I don’t know… it’s a pretty misogynist crowd, especially the religious nuts, but they seem to have no problem with the idea of Sarah Palin being president {{{shudder}}} Although, I guess they would see her as someone they could control.

  12. 12 JJ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    JAB – Given that the teabagger movement is a corporate-driven response to the possibility of healthcare reform, I suppose it would have started if Hillary was president and trying to do the same things as Obama. But would it there be the same incoherent rage? None of these teabagger-people seem to have a clue what they’re really angry about. They say “health care” or “big government” without any idea of what’s really in the health care bill or without realizing Bush’s government was bigger than Obama’s (Bush had more of these so-called “czars” than Obama).

    But yeah, I guess I can see them going kind of apeshit with another Clinton in the White House.

    What if the Democratic president had been Kucinich? Or Al Gore (who there were some ideas about drafting for awhile).

  13. 13 J. A. Baker Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Hey, did you see that Joe the Congressman may have lied about being an immigration lawyer?

    And speaking of which, where’s Sammy the Senator Slapper? Doesn’t he have a take on this? (Not that I want to know…)

  14. 14 sassy Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    JAB – I just saw that about Joe. ;) Joeboy lied.

  15. 15 JJ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    JAB – BWAHAHAHAHA! These people are so fucking stupid. Even their elected officials are fucking stupid. WTF, he thought nobody would check that out?? That’s great…

  16. 16 Frank Frink Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Of course Obama disagrees. What else can he say?

  17. 17 Cornelius T.Zen Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Good morrow, all!
    In the Mother of Parliaments, the government of the day, regardless of its original ideology, always sits on the right hand of the Speaker. The Opposition sits on the left, and the two sides are separated by the distance of two swords’ lengths.
    In this case of America, the opposition, that is to say, those who form a minority in the House and the Senate, call themselves “the right” and “conservatives”. What makes them “right”? What do they seek to “conserve?”
    Dubya took the intelligence on terrorism that Clinton left him, and ignored it. The result? 9/11.
    He took the budgetary surplus that Clinton left him, and spent it for the benefit of his buddies in the military supply and support business. The result? Two invasions and ongoing wars. Deep and broad budgetary deficits. A divided and increasing hopeless population.
    This is what Dubya has passed along to Obama. This is what the “right” wish to “conserve.”
    If Obama really sported a pair, he might address the “right” with this message: “This is one uppity nigger that is not going back to the cotton fields to make you crackers feel better. Get over that, get over yourselves, and get used to the idea. I am your President, and I intend to do this job right. Everybody chill the fuck out. I got this.”
    That would make my day – CTZen

  18. 18 Jasper Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    The last card to play when you’ve lost the argument, the race card. Liberals play it so well.

  19. 19 Raphael Alexander Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Jimmy Carter has largely discredited himself with polemic viewpoints in the twilight years of his life. His book on “Israeli apartheid” is another such example. There’s a good reason the White House is distancing themselves from Carter, because it’s a gift to the GOP.

  20. 21 JJ Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    RA – Ya think? I thought he’d become much more statesman-like in his twilight years than he was as president.

    I don’t see his statement as a gift to the GOP (which has basically turned into a rump extremist party). It’s fucking true — look at those teabaggers and their “Go back to Kenya” signs, sorry but that’s racism. Did conservatives tell Clinton to go back to Arkansas? Did any of them yell at him while he was in the middle of an important speech to congress? The disrespect not just for Obama, but for the office of president, is mind-boggling.

    Trust me, I don’t like the race card or identity politics either, (and obviously neither does Obama) — I’d rather think it was for any other reason. But there’s a point where you can’t deny it any more, and we’ve arrived.

  21. 22 JJ Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    FF – Yeah, I think this is probably the last thing Obama wanted to hear, even though it’s undeniably a factor. The idiotic conspiracy theories already abound about the Dems choosing Obama because they wanted someone who they could scream “racism!” if anyone disagreed with him, and this just plays into the insanity. In that respect I kind of wish Carter had kept this to himself, and waited to see if things would calm down.

    The US economy is already picking up (housing starts were up this morning which is one of the best indicators of a growing economy), so if they can just make it through the winter I think people will find that things are not as bad as they’ve been led to believe.

  22. 23 Raphael Alexander Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    JJ,

    I think you’re seeing the more fringe elements of the GOP being represented, and perhaps overrepresented, within media stories and blogs. There is an undeniable level of racism present in these protests, but I think the majority of dissidents have a problem with policy, and not skin colour. If the GOP is guilty of anything, it’s not taking a strong stand against these fringe elements as John McCain did, and keeping the message respectful.

  23. 24 JJ Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    CTZen – I concur, he needs to get tough, big time, and start kicking some ass. Including in his own party!

  24. 25 JJ Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    RA – I couldn’t agree more.

    Look, I know most conservatives aren’t nuts, and that most of them don’t agree with these protests, even if they disagree with Obama’s policies. What disturbs me is that the people protesting aren’t doing so based on any real policies – they’re protesting about the bullshit scare stories like “death panels”, the number of “czars” (which is less than Bush had) and a lot of other misinformation. And the GOP is going along with them! It’s a shame.

    The GOP had a real opportunity this year to be a true opposition, to position themselves as the party who keeps government’s feet to the fire, debate policy in a respectful & civil way, and gain some credibility with moderates and independents. All the people who ran away from them last year did it because of the extremists — that should have told them to cut these nutbars loose at the earliest opportunity. Instead they’ve done the opposite. It’s a real squandered opportunity for them — IMO, 2010 is already lost to them and their chances in 2012 don’t look much better.

    My overriding concern about this is that IMO, proper governance requires a good strong opposition. I would love to see the return of a real conservative party in the US, rather than this gang of born-again yahoos, racists, fetus fetishists and conspiracy theorists.


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