Carter Wins Second Coogler

By Tyrrell, R. Emmett, Jr. | The American Spectator, July/August 2006 | Go to article overview

Carter Wins Second Coogler


Tyrrell, R. Emmett, Jr., The American Spectator


WASHINGTON

FACTS ARE FACTS, and such is the degree of politicization in the republic today that when a political organization announces a literary prize the perspicacious among us have a pretty good idea who the winner will be. When the left-leaning New York Times Book Review announced on its cover that a survey of littérateurs hud chosen the finest novel of the past 25 years, close students of that tribe knew before opening the magazine that the award had gone to Toni Morrison. Thus, you will not be surprised to hear that the conservative panel that annually awards the J. Gordon Coogler Award for the Worst Book of the Year has conferred the 2005 prize on Jimmy Carter. Jimmy published a book; he wins the Worst Book of the Year Award-once again. This is not Jimmy's first Coogler. He has now won the award twice. No other literary impostor can make that claim.

Jimmy has actually published 20 books now. Probably he should have been made Coogler Laureate 20 times. The problem is, so vain is this insufferable huckster and so desperate has he become for notice that, as his presidency attracts ever more flies in history's dustbin, he is increasingly likely to show up at our Coogler Awards ceremony-whether invited or not. There he would stand, clutching his Coogler to his bosom and sermonizing until the janitors turned out the lights. Worse, he might bring Rosalynn, an author in her own right.

Jimmy was the worst president in American history and. in personal terms, the most repellent. That last statement would have been implausible a year or so after he vacated the White House. Today, however, after a quarter century of caddish behavior towards his successors, it is perfectly acceptable. His public criticisms of sitting presidents have been insulting and usually dishonest. He has oozed vitriol against America even while he was strutting on foreign soil. Before him no president criticized his government from foreign soil. Jimmy has repeatedly broken that rule.

In fact, no prior president has spoken as rudely and dishonestly of his successors or of his country as has Jimmy. The acerbic Harry Truman came to loathe President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In public, however, Harry minded his tongue. Jimmy's presidential achievements were even more modest than those of Bill Clinton and of Gerald Ford, and his blunders on the domestic and foreign policy fronts are unsurpassed and possibly unsurpassable. …

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