Amen, Burt Prelutsky.
Years ago, when I still worked in advertising, I was a copywriter on the Mattel account. It should have been fun because they made toys. But it wasn’t, mainly because of all the restrictions the FCC placed on commercials aimed at children. In one of the spots I wrote, a little boy, playing with his Mattel racing car on the floor, imagined himself leading the pack at the Indy 500. It never got produced. Even though it would have been shot as an obvious daydream, and even though every little squirt playing with the car would imagine himself winning at the Brickyard, we weren’t permitted to show the toys doing anything they couldn’t actually do in real life.
So, how is it that nobody else ever seems to get called on the carpet for their lies and exaggerations? How is it, for instance, that every liberal from Ted Kennedy to Jesse Jackson can get away with pretending that American blacks are still living like slaves, and that four decades after the Civil Rights Act, the only thing keeping blacks out of the cotton fields are Democrats in Washington?
How is it that every rotten movie can get away with lying about how terrific it is? And, unlike other products, they don’t come with money-back guarantees.
And, finally, how is it that Jimmy Carter, that sanctimonious phony who was a disaster during his four years in the White House and a disgrace in the quarter of a century since, can pass himself off as equal parts statesman and saint? While most of us wished that he would simply slink back to his peanut farm after Ronald Reagan whupped his butt in ’80, we hadn’t realized how starved he was for the spotlight. The rest of the column consists of Prelutsky telling us what he really thinks of Carter.
Update: Glenn Reynolds quotes Emory professor, Mel Konner, about Carter’s book: “Carter’s bizarre book is a poisoned holiday gift for Jews and Christians, and a danger to Jews throughout the world.” Konner also said of Carter:
For me, it means the loss of one of my greatest heroes. I have never allowed a snide remark about Jimmy Carter’s “failed” presidency to pass without contradicting it. I have said countless times that he is the greatest former president, setting a new standard for that role.
I don’t recognize Carter any more. I am afraid of him now, for myself and for my children. He has not just turned his back on the balance and fairness that all peacemaking depends on. He has become a spokesman for the enemies of my people. He has become an apologist for terrorists.
Carter has changed. Something has happened to his judgment. I don’t understand what it is, but I know it is very dangerous. At a minimum, his legacy is irrevocably tarnished, and he will never again be a factor in the quest for Middle East peace. At worst, he is emboldening terrorists and their apologists in the Arab world, encouraging them to go on with their terror campaign and refuse even to recognize Israel’s right to just exist.