Duly noted: when he called this the worst administration in history, he didn’t mean it’s the worst administration in, you know, history.

The irony is, this isn’t a week where conservatives were inclined to disagree with him.

Interviewed on the TODAY Show about the comments, Carter said, “I they were maybe careless or misinterpreted.” He said he “certainly was not talking personally about any president.”

When pressed by NBC’s Meredith Vieira as to whether he was saying his remarks were careless or reckless, the former president said, “I think they were, yes, because they were interpreted as comparing this whole administration to all other administrations.”

Carter said he was answering a question about the foreign policy of former President Richard Nixon, as compared with that of the current administration. He said he wasn’t comparing the Bush administration with all those through American history. But in comparison to Nixon’s, the Bush administration’s foreign policy “was much worse,” Carter said.

Never mind his Bush-bashing. A “Bush/Carter: who’s worse?” debate does us no favors considering Jimmeh’s almost 30 years removed from office while our guy’s still there. Besides, the real debate, if the Iraqis can’t get it together, will end up being over which of them did more ultimately to expand Iranian influence. More offensive were Carter’s comments about Blair: “Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient.” I said what I had to say on this subject last year, but tell me this: has he ever referred to, say, Yasser Arafat as “abominable”? And why, like so many on the left, does he persist in believing that Blair went along with Bush on Iraq out of “loyalty” or “subservience” as opposed to conviction? Before the Bush doctrine there was the Blair doctrine; before Iraq there was Afghanistan and before Afghanistan there was Kosovo. Face it — the guy’s an interventionist. And as any disgruntled Labour party member will tell you, he’s gotten next to nothing from Bush for his help after 9/11, including and especially on global warming. In which case, what incentive does he have to be subservient?

I think this is a simple case of the left simply not being able to tolerate the thought of a fellow enlightened leftist and/or European being pro-Iraq war, so they have to explain it away as a character defect that conveniently lays the blame at the Bushitler’s feet. Blair didn’t really want to get rid of Saddam, you see; Bush browbeat him into it using some mysterious form of coercion that has never quite been explained. (See also the constant denigrations of Hitchens as a drunk whose imbibing has rotted his brain.) The truth is, if there’s any loyalty on Blair’s part here, it’s loyalty to western values and the felt need to present a united front in the face of Islamist fascism. No surprise that Carter looks upon that contemptuously.

I’ll leave you with The Princess, who has her own theory:

What continues to surprise us about a particular aspect of the left, which often and today includes Jimmy Carter, is the need to either find defeat among victory or to relive the past. For Jimmy Carter, the notion of Bush’s Middle East policy failing vindicates his own spinelessness when dealing with the same monsters years ago. Its clear that Jimmy’s policy made have been the original puzzle piece for them–teaching them the way to the Achille’s heel of the Western giant–but if George Bush’s strict line on war was not the answer, and eventually led to defeat, Carter no longer has to feel as though he made the wrong decision. He may live with impossible guilt, for all we know, or he may simply be delusional enough to believe that if we merely left them alone, they’d no longer desire to come to our shores and massacre our innocents by the thousands under the guise and excuse of a radical faith.

Tags: Middle East