This is such a non-story, but I really have a hard time understanding the right's vitriol sometimes, and I feel like I have to say something.
So, Jimmy Carter is not on the official US delegation to the Pope's funeral. Apparently, President Carter wanted to attend, but President Bush made the decision to limit the delegation to five people.
And somehow, for conservatives, this has become yet another excuse to engage in some Carter-bashing. Quoth the American Spectator:
"There was no misunderstanding. It wasn't Carter who made the actual call, but the message was pure Carter gumption," says a White House source. "We were getting lots of calls from lots of people looking to get on this delegation. I would say over the weekend alone we got more than 100 requests, maybe more."
Carter went public on Tuesday with his dissatisfaction at not being invited, after the White House announced that the official delegation would be made up of the current and two prior sitting Presidents, and Secretary of State Rice.
The Spectator doesn't quote Carter. But the statement that the AJC reported on had this:
A statement released Tuesday by The Carter Center in Atlanta said that last week Carter "expressed to the White House a desire to attend the Pope's funeral."
The statement, from Carter Center spokesman Jon Moore, said the White House told Carter the official delegation would be limited to just five people.
It said Carter was "quite willing" to withdraw his request after receiving that information.
"He and his wife Rosalynn are very pleased with the official delegation," the statement reads. "Once again, they wish to express their admiration and appreciation for the superb ministry of this great Christian leader, and will be honoring him in spirit."
So Carter is trying to be graceful about being snubbed -- he releases an apparently kindly worded statement, yet the Spectator distorts his meaning and says that he "went public with his dissatisfaction."
On some website called the American Thinker (that's really what it's called), they get the details wrong too:
A White House staffer told the Spectator that over 100 calls were placed on behalf of the worst president this nation has ever had.
Actually what the Spectator article said was:
"We were getting lots of calls from lots of people looking to get on this delegation. I would say over the weekend alone we got more than 100 requests, maybe more."
Nothing about 100 calls for Carter. Maybe the American Thinker could get an American Reader as well. Or if not an American one, at least one who knows how interpret English sentences.
Truly, though, I'm just astonished that our friends on the right could turn the pope's funeral into another excuse to say mean things about Jimmy Carter. I'm sorry, I just don't get it.