A viral infection can be dangerous to an 86-year old man, even if that man is a former United States President. Best wishes to Jimmy Carter for a full recovery. However, that sympathy doesn’t exclude a hope that he will keep his mouth shut.

Carter was making headlines even before falling ill. During an interview to support his new book, White House Diary, Carter belied the humility for which he is credited. “I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents,” he meekly declared. He also blamed the late Ted Kennedy for preventing his administration from imposing socialized medicine in 30 BO (Before Obama).

Such ranting does nothing for Carter’s thoroughly tarnished image. He whines because his administration didn’t implement health reforms that have endangered the Obama presidency if not the entire Democrat Party? And his one alleged quality—humility—he tosses aside like an oily rag. That’s not a great day at the office, Mr. Carter.

Carter apologists and history revisionists tout his presidency as one of international accomplishment and domestic reform. But there’s precious little evidence to support those claims. Carter’s presidency was fraught with poor decisions, so much so that political jokesters labeled his administration the “Carter Error.”

In fairness, Carter brought Israel and Egypt to the peace table at the Camp David Accords. But the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis generated his greatest international fame. Under Carter our military preparedness degenerated until we couldn’t get our helicopters off the ground. He also surrendered control over the strategic Panama Canal at a time when the Soviet Union’s influence was surging in Central America.

His direct dealings the Soviets left much to be desired, too. Carter apologists point to his administration’s negotiation of SALT II as instrumental to world peace. Instrumental it was, but to Soviet superiority, not peace. Basically, this Carter “victory” banned nuclear weapons systems in which we held an advantage–such as depressed trajectory missiles–while allowing the Soviets to develop and deploy their advanced technologies. Some deal.

Domestically, Carter is better remembered for 20-percent interest rates, double-digit inflation, a stagnant economy and the misery index than educational and environmental reform. His “superior” post-presidency includes the Oslo Accords, a one-sided Israel-Palestine peace agreement that the PLO and Hamas violated before the signatures dried. And his nuclear negotiations with the North Koreans during the mid-90s lulled the world into a false sense of security. We soon learned that the communist regime had developed the very nuclear technology Carter was credited with preventing.

Neither Carter’s health nor his age requires us to ignore his self-aggrandizement or his attempts to reform his abysmal presidential legacy. I don’t wish him poor health. But if he must fall ill, why not a case of laryngitis? His silence would make his supporters’ chronic amnesia slightly more tolerable.

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