What gives John McCain the right to sneer at Jimmy Carter? Oh I know he was a war hero. Yes, I admit he was remarkably tough during his imprisonment, refusing to rat on his comrades in arms even when he was tortured. But does that make up for his Keating Five involvement? For his coziness with lobbyists? For his torrent of half-truths and his shameless pandering?
And does it erase the (well documented) carousing of his younger days?
No, Senator McCain, you don’t have much moral standing with me.
President Carter, on the other hand, is a thoroughly decent human being. He is probably best known for his selfless work in Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for the poor. While McCain and his beer-baroness wife own eight houses and enjoy the high life, Carter and his family have spent their lives in service to the downtrodden people of the world.
We may sometimes disagree with Carter’s stand on an issue. But we cannot question his integrity. When Iranian students kidnapped the people in the American embassy in Tehran, Carter put human lives above political expediency and patiently negotiated their release. The Iranian barbarians made him pay a huge political price, taunting and humiliating him, but Carter refused to let loose the dogs of war because of personal pique.
Recently, his criticisms of Israel infuriated the Zionists and their fellow-travelers (McCain’s buddy Joe Lieberman, for example). But he has endured their attacks with implacable courage. Who says we can’t criticize Israel? Is this a free country or what? Of course, Israel is one of our allies and has a claim on our support. But that does not make everything Israel does morally right.
Rock on, Jimmy Carter! Shame on you, John McCain!