Totally predictable. The area's two conservative newspapers just couldn't resist editorially blasting former-President Jimmy Carter for his role in the recent BRAC decision to keep open the submarine base in Groton, Conn.
The Augusta Chronicle barely restrained itself. Carter, who is always "tearing down America" and may be "the first anti-American president," now is "Anti-Georgia" for writing a letter in support of the Connecticut base.
Barry Paschal, writing in The Columbia County News-Times was, if anything, even less restrained. Carter's letter "stabs Georgia." The opinion piece pretends to disdain "loopy" conspiracy theories but then smugly reports a certifiably loopy theory about Carter wanting to embarrass Georgia Republicans.
Georgia Republicans, of course, don't need Carter's help in embarrassing themselves, but the real embarrassment is the distortions in both papers' editorializing about the BRAC decisions.
Gone unmentioned is the fact that in addition to Carter's letter, the commission was inundated with letters from leading congressmen and retired naval commanders who argued for keeping the Groton base open on both military and economic grounds.
Left unacknowledged is the fact that Connecticut, a part of the country facing a serious economic crisis, stood to lose more than 3,000 jobs. BRAC's Groton decision costs Georgia no jobs, simply the pleasant prospect of adding 3,000-plus new jobs to a part of the nation already relatively prosperous.
Gov. Sonny Perdue, Georgia's congressional delegation and the civic-minded folks in St. Mary's who hoped for more jobs at King's Bay are understandably disappointed. But let's face it: the desire for Georgia jobs at the expense of Connecticut has little to do with what is militarily best for the country, but rather with what is economically best for Georgia. That is just plain political pork.
Never mentioned is the rest of the story which The Atlanta Constitution published recently. At the same time BRAC voted for the Groton base, it also "voted to relocate the Army's Armor School and Center from Fort Knox, Ky., and its about 4,000 military and civilian jobs, to Fort Benning near Columbus," a move which "is expected to bring 28,000 new residents to the area and trigger an economic boom in parts of western Georgia and eastern Alabama." Kentucky loses and Georgia wins; our papers, of course, don't talk about that.
Yes, totally predictable. President Carter puts the economic and military interests of the nation first. Local opinion editors promote conservative pork-barrel politics for Georgia and criticize a Democrat for refusing to join them.
To quote The Augusta Chronicle, "truth be known, we don't know why we'd be shocked."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.