Monday, December 28, 2009

The Sorriest President Ever

Christmastide is here, and what better way to celebrate, if you're a spectacularly-failed American president, than by apologizing to the Jews, and asking forgiveness? Now, to be fair, this is only a more personalized version of a ritual that has become a semi-annual requirement for the “mainstream media” -- namely, just like clockwork, sometime during what the faithful call “Lent” and “Advent”, media mavens like Time and Newsweek issue their mea culpa on behalf of the few remaining Christians in America – and especially on behalf of the few remaining practicing Catholics, who should have stepped up and apologized themselves, but you know how powerful “ignorance and superstition” are, so Time and Newsweek have to do it for them. What they are apologizing for is, of course, the Holocaust... but also for all mistreatment of the Jews down through history, going back at least as far as the Babylonian Captivity, if not to Pharaoh himself. And again – in lieu of the real thing – they are offering, as Exhibit A, the quivering remnant of practicing Catholics as the Guilty Parties. And yes, it's regrettable that this fancy called “freedom of religion” is enshrined in the founding documents, since life would be so much simpler, and much more pleasant, if these people and their crazy and hateful beliefs and world view could just be gotten out of the way. But one must be patient... and who knows, one day it might be possible. But in the meantime we can at least perform the apology ritual, in order to appease the gods of secular humanism, who might otherwise decide to strike us all dead with bolts of hyperinflation lightning.

But the essence of this cyclic apology (you know, the kind that merits what is called a “standing headline” -- one that is used so often that it is never melted down) goes even deeper than the politics of our day; it also has theological implications. They are that, essentially, Christianity did not add one jot or tittle to the merits of Old Testament Judaism, and that, therefore, the whole thing was a mistake, if not an actual hoax. (For an elaboration of the “hoax” aspect, see any of the countless Time or Newsweek articles on “the search for the real Jesus” -- which, most typically, conclude that he was a totally made-up character.) In other words, Old Testament Judaism was just fine, thank you, and it did not need the addition of any trouble-making “messiah” or any “gospel” -- to say nothing of the Epistles, the Church Fathers, the Magisterium, the Apostolate, the Vatican, the Pope, or any of the other accretions that have been proven – proven! By the secular humanists! -- to be totally unnecessary, not to mention “judgmental”, “dogmatic”, “paternalistic”, “hateful”, “anti-woman”, “anti-gay”, “pedophiliac”... well, you get the idea. The point they are trying to make – albeit unconsciously – is that the Protestants were quite correct in their return to Old Testament spirituality... i.e. they were quite correct in rejecting the Church and becoming, for all intents and purposes, Jews again. And this is in spite of the fact that the mainstream media will not come out in favor of Old Testament morality either, and will applaud every time a monument including the Ten Commandments is removed from public property. The argument they are making, in other words, is of what I call the ABC type -- Anything But Christianity. But media hypocrisy notwithstanding, what their argument implies is that it's only natural for a good, believing Protestant to awaken to his true spiritual roots... realize his culpability... regret his ignorance... and voice expressions of solidarity with the Jewish community, which, of course, means – first and foremost – with Israel. And that is precisely what Jimmy Carter has done, according to a recent news article.

What Carter has said, essentially, is that he was wrong in accusing Israel of setting up a system like the apartheid of South Africa in order to control and oppress the Palestinians. The accusation was supposedly made in his 2006 book entitled “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” -- and, of course, said book caused no end of consternation and indignation among Israelis, Israel-supporters, and Zionists in general, first and foremost of whom is the ever-reliable and never-sleeping Abe Foxman of the ADL. Now Carter has issued his own mea culpa, which in essence – in true liberal style – says that he never said those horrible, hateful things, and that even if he did, he didn't mean them, because... well, because he didn't know what certain words mean in English (“apartheid” is a Dutch word, after all), and besides, he didn't realize, at the time, what a benign regime Israel has – even if you're a Palestinian living on Israeli soil. And just in case there's any doubt as to Carter's intentions, he is offering an Al Het, or prayer for forgiveness. In other words, he's making reparations to the Jews by becoming a Jew! (If they were smart they'd return his application marked “Rejected”.) And he is not just apologizing for “words” (i.e., the book) but also for “deeds” -- like the time he traveled to Gaza to hobnob with Hamas. (Talk about "eyeless in Gaza"! But Carter is no Samson either.)

But despite this public display of sackcloth and ashes (not literal, but it would have been much more amusing if it had been), I still find myself wondering, if he had known how much trouble his book would cause, why did he write it in the first place? Or, alternatively, if he knew but didn't care, why apologize at this late date? What's he got to lose, given that he's already one of the most despised and useless people on the planet? But – yes, I know – this would be to assume that logic has something to do with it, and as we all know – or recall, with a frisson of retroactive dread – logic was the one thing in shortest supply during the Carter administration, and the ill logic went “right to the top”, as they say – it was not just a characteristic of low-level operatives – you know, those clowns who would have been on welfare or running moonshine if they hadn't gotten lucrative posts in the administration. Yes, in the Pantheon of Really Bad Presidents, LBJ may have been more of a tyrant... Bush II stupider... Clinton a psychopath... but it took a Jimmy Carter to exhibit the most profound cluelessness. And the pity of it is, he's still around, and still under the delusion that he has ideas worth voicing and writing down. And frankly, I'm not sure I understand how valuable an apology from someone of this caliber is to the Zionist establishment; don't they realize that he's an idiot? They would be better off if Carter were neutral or indifferent to the Zionist cause, because that way they could say, “Look at the sort of person who doesn't care about Israel. You don't want to be a person like that, do you?” That would surely wipe out every last trace of skepticism. It would be like a wily marketing manager getting O.J. to endorse a rival's product. “Unconvicted murderers prefer Luckies” -- or some such. Brilliant! But you know, foreigners (and Abe Foxman surely qualifies as a foreigner) have always been a bit dense when it comes to American politics – they expect far too much logic, reason, and consistency. Mainly, they think that when a president – or ex-president – speaks, he is speaking for the American people, whereas nothing could be further from the truth. What he is speaking for is, first and foremost, the Regime – call it the established power structure – and, even then, only for the Regime at any given time, for example the period during which he was president. The Regime can change its priorities, its strategy, its tactics, its “public face”, as conditions require – and someone who might have been a good mouthpiece back in, say, the late 1970s looks like a fool today if he expresses the same opinions. And we know that when the Regime decides to throw a politician onto the “dust heap of history”, that politician stays thrown (and dusty).

Plus – and here's the best part! -- after all of this breast-beating on Carter's part, what does Abe Foxman say? “This is a good start.” A good start!?!? What does Carter have to do, pour gasoline on his head and light a match, in the time-honored fashion of the Buddhist monks in Vietnam? (And I suppose his Secret Service detail would keep him from even doing that.) But Foxman is reserving judgment: “To what extent this is an epiphany [note the pirating of a Christian word here], only time will tell.” Which is another way of spitting in Carter's elaborately-lined, sagging, and careworn face. And yes – time will tell whether Carter really “means it”, but who gets to say when? Foxman and the ADL, of course. So Carter will be on probation until that day, which may be long in coming, if ever. And I suppose that this lukewarm response will be another of those many things that take “Jimmeh” by surprise; I'm sure he expected to be welcomed back into the fold with open arms.

So, basically, Carter has been hung out to dry, with the help of Foxman and Co., and it's a fitting end for a career that will – as the saying goes – live in infamy.

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