Obama vs. Carter

Thanks to the Watcher’s council for voting this the Council winner for the week ending December 18, 2009. I am deeply honored.

Recently fellow Watcher’s Council member Terry Trippany stated his belief that Obama is a worse president than my nominee of “worst president ever” James “Jimmy” Earl Carter. I am no fan of our current president, so I thought I would take a moment to explore why I continue to believe that our current president has a long way to go before he surpasses his mentor Jimmy Carter in the pantheon of infamous chief executives.

Any day now Jimmy Carter is going to fall permanently off his high horse. Carter recently turned 85 so it won’t be long before flags fly at half-mast and the nation eulogizes Carter. Given the current resident of the White House I expect the prose to be florid, plentiful, and a complete white-wash of the Carter era that Obama seems intent on consciously or not resurrecting. It’s not surprising; it happened to Richard Nixon – another member of the pantheon – under a Democratic president no less, so I expect the worst when Carter dies.

Human memory mixed with Time becomes adulterated. Events become blurry, and both painful events and pleasurable ones soften and fade. Take a moment to imagine the worst physical  pain you ever felt in your life; now imagine a recent event where you stubbed your toe or had a sinus headache. Which seems stronger? Most likely the more immediate pain because it is fresher and hasn’t faded with time the way the other pain you experienced has.

And that’s the difference between Obama and Carter. Carter’s four years of infamy ended nearly thirty years ago. We’re less than a year into Obama’s. It’s difficult to judge the relative strength of painful incidents when you are experiencing one.

Life under the Carter administration was indeed painful for the average American. When is the last time you waited in line for gas? Under Carter, gasoline lines were the norm and the country was gripped with an energy crisis caused by the fall of the Shah of Iran (see below). Carter’s solution? Encourage Americans to conserve energy (easy to do when you couldn’t drive anywhere or pay your heating bill). Inflation was out of control. It tends to hurt the poorest because the only assets they have are savings. High inflation is often characterized by high growth, but in the Carter era high unemployment was the norm.  Those employed couldn’t afford homes thanks to double digit interest rates. The economy was so bad that a new index was used to track it: the Misery Index. Carter used the term often in his 1976 campaign but failed to improve unemployment and inflation rates. At the time he took office the index stood at 13.57%. When he left office four years later it stood at 21.57% – its highest ever.

Carter may have been inept domestically but foreign policy-wise his administration was a disaster. By failing to support the Shah of Iran Carter allowed that nation to fall into the hands of Islamic militants – who then stormed the US Embassy in Teheran and held Americans hostage for 444 days. Carter’s sloppy handling of the crisis showed Islamic militants that terrorism worked, and that the United States was a “weak horse” as Osama Bin Laden later characterized it. The Iranian regime also became one of the largest state sponsors of terrorism throughout Europe and the Middle East. When the Israelis and Palestinians closed in on a peace deal in the mid 1990’s, Iranian-sponsored Hamas conducted a string of homicide bombings that sabotaged the peace process. Hamas sank the deal again in the summer of 2000 in the waning days of the Clinton administration when President Clinton worked feverishly to settle the conflict. Any act of Islamic terrorism today against the West can be traced to the bumbling Carter administration of 30 years ago.

Like Obama today, Carter presented a weak America to the world. It emboldened our enemies from Cuba in this hemisphere to the Soviet Union on the other side of the planet. The Soviets viewed America’s weakness in the Middle East as the opportune time to spread its sphere of influence in the region, and invaded Afghanistan. The best that Carter could do was muster a feeble boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics that penalized American amateur athletes, a boycott that the rest of the world ignored. He then covertly authorized the destabilization of the country by beginning to support the Mujaheddin, Islamic radicals opposed to the Soviets. Support of the Mujaheddin continued through the 1980’s under the Reagan administration, but it began under Carter. As History later proved, Afghanistan became the training ground for an entire generation of Islamic radicals with Osama Bin Laden one of its most prestigious graduate.

In short Carter – intentionally at times and not in others – laid the foundation for the threats America faces today, almost 29 years after he left office. While President Obama has the potential to reach this level of malfeasance he has yet to achieve it. Can he do it in the next 3 years? Given the apologies, the kowtowing to America’s enemies, the mistreatment of American allies, and the blatant ignorance of the threat posed by Islamic terrorism, he’s following in his mentor’s footsteps.

With Iran on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons he even has the potential to outdo his mentor.

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9 Comments

  1. Watcher of Weasels » Watcher’s Council Nominations – Hope For Breakfast!!:

    [...] The Razor – Obama versus Carter [...]

  2. Bookworm Room » This week’s Watcher’s Council submissions:

    [...] The Razor – Obama versus Carter [...]

  3. Watcher of Weasels » ObamaCare – Watching The Left’s Heads Explode:

    [...] the Council category, the winner this week was The Razor with Obama versus Carter : Recently fellow Watcher’s Council member Terry Trippany in stated his belief that Obama is a [...]

  4. chillguy33:

    One year of Obama is easily worse than two years of Carter.

    You expect Obama to do everything Carter accomplished, in only 1 year?

    The affirmative action guy also lit the fuse on the smoldering CRA bomb, with his ACORN pals. Bad and worse loans continue today to be squeezed or beaten out of greedy capitalist bankers.

    I don’t think Carter sank any nuclear subs; let alone the whole navy; Obama has already saddled the Marines with ridiculous rules of engagement guaranteed to rule out any trace of the hated American victory.

    At Obama’s present rate he will easily outdo Carter’s 4 year accomplishments in year 2.

  5. chillguy33:

    PS -

    I almost forgot. How many industries did Carter nationalize? Obama has 4 industries at least totally whipped in only one year.

    The Alinsky method, or Cloward-Piven never occurred to Carter!

    Carter is a punk compared to Obama.

  6. chillguy33:

    PPS: Carter is a two-bit punk compared to Obama.

  7. chillguy33:

    PPPS: Obama has now destroyed the finest (bar none) health care system in the world.

    So illegal aliens can get free health care, which they already get at the emergency room (perhaps something Carter did).

    Obama is a GUIDED MISSILE against capitalism, free markets, business, industry. Obama will take America back to grass huts, perhaps by year 4, so we are like Kenya, which is what we deserve.

    Carter can’t tie his own shoes; he got lucky.

  8. Bookworm Room » Last week’s Watcher’s Winners are here:

    [...] First place with 3 points! – The Razor – Obama Versus Carter [...]

  9. The Razor » Blog Archive » The Council Has Spoken: December 18, 2009:

    [...] I am honored that my post Obama Vs. Carter was this week’s council [...]

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