This isn’t going to please those boys and girls with the dark glasses and hearing aids who are always talking to their lapels, but my column commandoes walked right past them the other night to attend the season’s first Conversation at the Carter Center, otherwise known as Jimmy Carter’s Out-of-Touch-With-Reality Pontifications.
They were disguised as potted plants.
The commandoes were feeling pretty smug until I told them they didn’t quite sneak by the Secret Service’s A-Team. Being assigned to provide security for Jimmy Carter is like being a television anchor in Fargo, N.D. The job does not attract the best of the best.
Predictably, President Peanut began his pontifications by telling the audience that United States foreign policy has been totally screwed-up since he left office.
"Sure, there was that little glitch in Iran during my administration which has brought total instability to the Middle East," he said, "but jeepers-creepers, it’s not like the end of the world. The guy that runs Iran today is really a nice fellow. He says he isn’t building a nuclear bomb that he plans to drop on Israel. He told me he is making an atomic-powered washing machine. I believe him. Besides, he sends me a fruit cake every Ramadan."
The former president expressed dismay that the United States doesn’t communicate with rogue governments they don’t like, such as Syria, Sudan, Nepal, North Korea and Arizona. (I think my commandoes made up that last part.)
"President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are making a big mistake not consulting me about these things. I know a lot of stuff," he said, "and I don’t lust in my heart anymore. It makes my feet swell."
The former president went on to say that he knows for a fact that Barack Obama called George W. Bush and told him he disagreed with everything Bush said and did and would continue to blame him for the all the ills in the country but he did agree with him that anybody who claims they saw killer rabbits isn’t the kind of person you want running around the world representing the United States.
"It is not fair," President Peanut fumed. "I did see killer rabbits. I’ll bet you one of my bad paintings that neither Bush nor Obama have ever laid eyes on these monsters. They can tear a bullfrog to pieces."
He said, "Fortunately, my friend, Kim Jong-il, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, believes me and in turn I believe North Korean media reports that Kim routinely shoots three or four holes-in-one per round of golf. That is why we get along so well."
Carter pointed out that the North Korean dictator wouldn’t deal with anybody but him in the release of American Aijalon Gomes, who had been detained while spying on Kim whiffing golf balls at the driving range.
He claims North Korea has expressed the desire for universal and everlasting peace and would give up its nuclear ambitions if Kim was allowed to play on the PGA tour in 2011. "I know these people well," he said, "and there is not a snowball’s chance in Plains that the North Koreans would use me like a naïve and self-serving egotist who can’t stand being out of the spotlight even though my presidency was a bigger dud than Y2K."
President Peanut says that while the Obama Administration seems to have lost his phone number, he is undeterred and will continue to undermine American presidents of either party on foreign policy matters whenever it suits his fancy. He told his worshippers that he will go where he wants and meet with whom he chooses and say what he wants while there. Whether anybody cares is another thing.
The former president took a few carefully-scripted questions. He was asked how he got to North Korea. He said he walked across the Pacific. Walking on water comes naturally, he said.
Another questioner wondered if he had any goals yet left to accomplish in his long career.
"Yeah," he said, "I would like to be Pope or a professional pingpong player. I think I would be very good at either."
Then one of the potted plants raised his palm frond and asked, "Sir, who are those people in the dark glasses and hearing aids who are sniggering into their lapels every time you open your mouth?"
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.