Blog Archives

History repeats itself: Obama as Jimmy Carter

Does history repeat itself or does it just rhyme?

Regardless, we’ve got Jimmy Carter’s intellectual clone holding the White House replete with the misery index, high (and underreported) unemployment, a falling dollar, rising gas prices, and foreign policy foibles.

All that Barry needs to do to complete his pursuit of all things Carter is to come up with a nice malaise speech.

So in November, do we (again) Welcome Back, Carter?

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How do you respect Barack Obama and how do you fear Jimmy Carter?

How do you respect Barack Obama and how do you fear Jimmy Carter?

You don’t.

Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.

And may the Schwartz be with you.

Is Jimmy Carter ever right about anything?

Is Jimmy Carter, the current holder of the title America’s worst living ex-president, ever right about anything?

No. He’s not.

From Mr. Peanut’s article in the New York Times:

THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.

Wrong again, Jimmy. The Obama Administration is abandoning this role.

And if human rights are as articulated in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, the Administration already has the abandoning process underway domestically.

Another Obama–Carter Analogy

Barack Obama has been to the U.S. economy as the Catoctin Mountain 10K was to Jimmy Carter.

‘Policy Untethered From Strategy’

Richard Williamson at Foreign Policy (part of the family of Washington Post-It holdings) offers the reality of a painful yet honest headline, Obama’s Jimmy Carter Moment.

The crux of the article relates to Obama’s foreign policy failures regarding North Korea, Syria, and Iran. However, the overarching truth is under Obama’s leadership, the nation has suffered a nearly unending litany of Jimmy Carter moments and it isn’t just limited to parallels to Russians in Afghanistan or the Embassy takeover. If you’re old enough to remember, think the economy.

What’s the Obama campaign to do? It’s clear, isn’t it? Attack Mitt Romney and run away from the President’s record. Pursue big, transformational ideas like Hey! Let’s get the President on the Jimmy Fallon-Gong show!

Williamson points out North Korea continues to steal international aid while simultaneously working on its nuclear weapons and delivery system programs. And Syria has not exactly been a foreign policy home run. Rather, its more a foreign policy version of hitting into a double play:

When the carnage began, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton downplayed the Syrian regime’s brutality, emphasizing that many in Washington saw Assad as a “reformer.” As the carnage continued unabated, she stated that “world opinion is not going to stand idly by.” But in both instances, standing idly is exactly what “world opinion” — supposedly led by the Obama administration — has done.

And Iran. After the 2008 elections, the President no doubt held high expectations that Iran would respond to his transcendent leadership. Yet his failure was two fold: 1) one of self-delusion, thinking their leaders would do his will instead of their will and 2) one of sloth, outsourcing all foreign policy to the State Department and making Hillary Clinton the captain of the non-domestic, not-military ship.

Maybe Mrs. Clinton can head off for secret negotiations with Iran, knock back a few Coca Colas with the boys in the Tali-band, and do some table dancing. You rock, infidel girl!

Couldn’t hurt (er, actually, based on the photo, maybe it could…).

I Knew Jimmy Carter and You’re No Jimmy Carter

The President has achieved a dubious record: gas prices under his administration have increased more than they did under America’s worst living ex-president, Jimmy Carter.

Let’s hear Jay Carney explain that one away.

Name that (former) National Security Advisor

From Bloomberg. Name that former national security advisor:

A former Democratic national security adviser assailed Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney for lacking a grasp of foreign policy and said the former Massachusetts governor would return the U.S. to the policies of George W. Bush.

The man is Zbigniew Brzezinski, who worked for Jimmy Carter. That he trots out the left’s most derangement-inducing front man, George W. Bush, is not exactly an original lefty tactic.

While Carter’s domestic policy was an American disaster, it’s easy to forget that his foreign policy and security failures added to Carter’s failure to win a second term. Think Soviets in Afghanistan or even worse, the Iranian takeover and year-plus long hostage scenario at the U.S. Embassy.

So in addition to apparently serving as a political hack, does Brzezinski have any credibility on slamming Romney’s foreign and security policies?

If Zeb had instead said Mr. Romney would return the U.S. to the policies of Jimmy Carter, that would have been a put down worth remembering.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

The Ron Paul phenomenon always sounded like a 60s-era band to me, perhaps too reminiscent (and no insult intended) of the Jimi Hendrix Experience or the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Here’s Paul, that is, Ron Paul on Iran, via CBS News:

“We have 12,000 diplomats. I’m suggesting that maybe we ought to use some of them,” Paul said. “I think the greatest danger now is for us to overreact. This is what I’m fearful of. Iran doesn’t have a bomb. There’s no proof. There’s no new information, regardless of this recent report. For us to overreact and talk about bombing Iran, that’s much more dangerous.”

Bombing Iran might well be dangerous, but more so to the Iranians than to the U.S. or Israeli military. Of course, there’s also the world economy which tends to freak out over any such discussion, pricing any and all thoughts of bad news into the market.

And Paul is a Navy fanman, it would appear.

“I think a submarine is a very worthwhile weapon,” Paul said. “I believe we can defend ourselves with submarines and [station] all our troops back at home. This whole idea that we have to be in 130 countries and 900 bases – now they’ve just invented a weapon that can hit any spot in the world in one hour. I mean, what’s this idea? This is old-fashioned idea that you have to keep troops on 900 bases around the world. Makes no sense at all. Besides, we’re bankrupt. We can’t afford it any longer.”

That whole submarine discussion is sadly reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s pre (and especially post) election befuddlement on the state of the world. For those who have forgotten, we must remember lest we repeat the clueless leadership of America’s worst living ex-president:

During his 1976 campaign, Carter had claimed that he could trim the existing military budget by five to seven billion dollars and still maintain “a tough, muscular, well-organized and effective fighting force.” He promised to fulfill this pledge by cutting “exotic” weapons systems like the B-1 bomber, streamlining the military bureaucracy, and reducing the American presence overseas. The President would use the resources saved from the military budget to combat unemployment, invigorate the economy, lower dependence on foreign oil, and hold down inflation.

Ah the days of the misery index, polyester, and Jimmy Carter. And the rise of Islamofascism in Iran.

Today, it’s true we may be spending too much and may be overextended on defense, but Paul’s simple-minded solutions like submarine-only based deterrence and ‘bringing all the troops home’ isn’t going to make our nation safer. Would even Carter’s intellectual heir, President Obama even suggest such a thing?

Yeah, probably.

Never dismiss the power of experience, political and other.

Help Wanted: Readership Is Leadership

By THOMAS L. FRYMOM (if you must, read the original here)

TO Barack Obama, I just have just one name: Jimmy Carter.

I know you’re familiar with that name. Carter lives in infamy in U.S. history as the face of massive U.S. economic misery (oil shocks, inflation, unemployment) and foreign policy catastrophes (Iran, the Middle East, Russian invasion of Afghanistan). Be advised that you’re courting a similar fate and maybe worse. Actually, it is worse: you’re making Jimmy Carter look like Abraham Lincoln.

But unlike Carter, who was simply another guilty-feeling white liberal with a soft heart and a head to match, you have the ability to make things better. That’s because you are Dear Reader. You can read a speech and change the course of history; you can read a speech and make the lion lie down with the lamb; you can read a speech and alter the dark soul of America. I knew Jimmy Carter, sir, and you are no Jimmy Carter (take that as a compliment); you are Dear Reader.

We need speeches read that will call for loaning more to money to irresponsible financial players, make Uncle Sam the landlord of choice, and through accounting tricks and magic, put our financial house in order. We need speeches that will call for the licensing of government-endorsed entrepreneurs; speeches that will call for taking more from the productive class and giving to a government that’s never really had enough to make a difference; speeches that will unify us in our support for government-directed solutions to market-based problems.

Reading these speeches will not be easy: some will require advance meetings. Others will require redrafts. Still others will require the network preemption of Republican debates. And we know your readership will not fix the economy overnight; it will take years to fix the damage done by George W. Bush.

What’s worse — like Jimmy Carter, you seem to have concluded that more speeches may not be needed when the situation self-evidently cries out for more. Our markets cannot wait in their cry for another speech outlining more government intervention and I know the European debt crisis can’t wait for its own speech on how the U.S. government’s solution is at hand.

Do Americans not understand that only government can fix these messes that they’ve made? Where is the urgency? This is code deep purple and requires immediate bipartisan compromise. We need non-market answers to the global financial contagion triggered by European banks choking on sovereign debt and spreading their woes to an already weakened U.S. financial system. First, more speeches are needed and are needed now; next, more money must be printed.

And while President Obama says it’s Mr. Boehner’s fault, and all I know is this: it’s Mr. Boehner’s fault. But the President still needs to make another speech.

If the president wants to lead (as well as read) from the front, he should exorcise the spirit of Jimmy Carter and summon Democrat and Republican leadership, and all 12 members of the House-Senate deficit “supercommittee,” to join him at Camp David. Once there, he can tell them that he’ll have the Secret Service cut off their fingers one at a time until they have government solutions that address jobs, the debt, entitlements, manmade global warming, China, and more taxes.

We desperately need this for two reasons: first, there are plenty of fingers in the world should the approach fail. Second, the President needs to show that he can still act coercively. The toxic paralysis of slowly slowing government solutions is, in and of itself, slowing everything else. It is keeping a black cloud over the center of the country and disrupting people’s digestive tracts.

If between now and November 2012 all we are have from our two parties is a death duel — Republicans blaming their new Jimmy Carter for the bad economy and the new Jimmy Carter saying nothing is his fault — we will pay a very, very dear price. Only Dear Reader’s speeches can lead us out of this wilderness.