Jimmy Carter appeared on the Tonight Show last night to offer his view on the upcoming credentials fight at the Democratic National Convention. The world-renowned election observer, who has argued for the legitimacy of Hamas, argued against the legitimacy of seating delegates from Florida and Michigan in Denver. He told Jay Leno that those voters had “disqualified themselves” by moving their primary dates ahead of the limitation of the DNC:
Who knew Steve Doocy had such passion in defending Democrats in Florida and Michigan? He makes a couple of decent points in this rant, especially ridiculing the notion that the voters disqualified themselves; those decisions got made by party leaders and state legislatures, and also by Howard Dean and the DNC. The national party botched this exercise in discipline by completely negating the impact of the two states. The RNC handled it appropriately by reducing their impact but still allowing the states to seat delegates and have some impact on the results.
Carter isn’t entirely wrong here, in that the parties had to take steps to punish states that broke the rules. However, the smug dismissal of American votes as illegitimate coming just after his insistence that a terrorist group should be recognized because it won an election provides a mind-bending irony that may just be too large to contemplate all at once. Maybe if Florida and Michigan voted to endorse Hamas, Carter’s opinion would change?