I don't give a flip whether Jason Carter is elected to the Georgia state Senate or not. He won't represent me because I don't live in Georgia's 42nd District. What I do care about is that his grandfather, Jimmy Carter, is at it again.
If you are a longtime Georgian, you will remember the savagely racist campaign Carter ran for governor in 1970, impugning the reputation of a good man, former moderate Gov. Carl Sanders, in the process. He even refused to attend the funeral of slain civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Of course, once he was elected all was forgiven. Jimmy Carter suddenly became a liberal hero and his racist rhetoric was quickly forgotten.
Now, he wants us to forget his diatribes about Israel.
Since being booted out of the White House in 1980 and considered one of the worst presidents in history, Carter has spent much of his spare time undermining American foreign policy, including a continuing barrage of criticism directed at Israel. He has courted terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. He has accused Israel of apartheid but won't debate the matter.
Suddenly, President Peanut has decided to apologize for all the mean things he has said about Israel. He has issued an "Al Het," which is a Jewish confession asking for forgiveness of one's sins.
"We must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel," Mr. Carter intoned, "I offer an ‘Al Het' for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so."
Abe Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, called Carter's efforts "insincere." Jimmy Carter? Insincere? Knock me over with a feather.
So why the sudden pang of conscience?
Let's jump back to grandson Jason. It seems that the 42nd District in Atlanta's northeast suburbs is heavily — TA! DA! — Jewish! What a coincidence.
According to Jim Galloway, the Atlanta newspaper's Political Insider columnist, the "Al Het" came as the result of a deal Jason Carter brokered in December between some influential Atlantans and Grandpa to get him to back off his continual disparagement of Israel.
Galloway says Jason Carter began the negotiations long before the state senate seat was available. However, even the ever-astute political observer Sheila the Family Wonderdog knew that incumbent Sen. David Adleman was being considered for the post of ambassador to Singapore and she had figured out that somebody would have to fill the seat when Adleman was confirmed.
"Gosh, maybe we could persuade Jason Carter to seek the seat if we could somehow placate the Jewish voters in the 42nd District," she cogitated. For somebody that sleeps 22 hours a day, that Sheila doesn't miss a trick.
Young Carter has raised almost $250,000 for the special election to be held on May 11, much of it from five Atlanta silk-stocking law firms, and as near as I can cipher the majority of it from outside the 42nd District, including one large gift from Hong Kong. John Moores, former owner of the San Diego Padres, has given the $2,400 maximum, as has Dianne C. Rosenberg, of Houston, who lists herself as "unemployed."
Anne Cox Chambers, owner of Cox Enterprises, gave him $1,000. Carter has also gotten funds from the Marijuana Policy Project in Nevada. The San Francisco public defender has kicked in a few bucks, as has Lynda Robb, the late President Lyndon Johnson's daughter, who lives in Virginia and describes her occupation as "household executive." Go to the State Ethics Commission Web site for the full list of contributors.
The three people running against Jason Carter have neither the money nor the name recognition to slow down the Carter juggernaut. This is not an election. It is an investiture by the rich and powerful friends of Jimmy Carter.
But just wait. If you thought criticizing a sitting president to his face at the funeral of Coretta Scott King after refusing to attend her husband's funeral was unconscionable, you ain't see nothing yet. Once his little goober is safely in his state senate seat, I predict you won't be able to find Grandpa Carter's "Al Het" with a flashlight.
Al Het? Oy Vey!
E-mail columnist Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.