In a letter to the editor that appeared in the Sun Journal on Jan. 31, writer Mary C. Hargreaves lamented her displeasure at the Bush administration’s plans of an impending attack on Iraq. She went so far as to longingly wish, “”If only we had a president like Jimmy Carter again!””

Is Hargreaves referring to the same Jimmy Carter who, as president, stood by while 52 Americans were held as hostages for more than a year by the Iranian thugs who happened to have been in power at that particular time? Or, perhaps, she is pining for the one who embarrassingly bungled his only attempt at freeing hostages.

Maybe Hargreaves is referring to the Jimmy Carter who highlighted his presidency with double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment and, you guessed it, double-digit interest rates. Quite a trifecta, indeed.

And yet, she could be talking about the Jimmy Carter who signed away America’s rights to stewardship of the Panama Canal; this dastardly deal having been fully sealed by none other than Bill Clinton some one and a half decades later. I don’t pretend to fully understand all of the political or logistical manifestations of this giveaway beyond that it gives communist China a clear advantage over the United States in the event of a serious global conflict and, that, I find disturbingly frightening.

I’ve finally concluded that Hargreaves is yearning for the same James Earl Carter whose indebtedness to Bill Clinton must be boundless, for without Clinton in the picture, Carter was faced with the legacy of having been the worst president this country had survived in the past 50 years.

But then, that still makes Carter the second worst president, doesn’t it?

Paul St. Jean, Lewiston

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