Skip to comments.Deconstructing Democrats: The Failure of Jimmy Carter
Posted on 03/03/2002 12:16:41 PM PST by The Right Stuff
by Jennifer King, Senior Editor
March 1, 2002
"The Heretical Housewife"
Former President Jimmy Carter (right) recently called George W. Bushs State of the Union Axis of Evil designation overly simplistic and counter-productive. By this action, Carter, in addition to breaking the unspoken command that previous U.S. Presidents should not publicly speak ill of their successors, furthermore made himself look both petty and foolish.
This, after all is Jimmy Carter, one of Americas worst and most muddleheaded Presidents. Who could ever forget the disastrous Presidency of Jimmy Carter? The obscure one-time Governor of Georgia, the Peanut Farmer of Plains, the guy whose cousin ran - of all improbable things - a WORM farm. Yes, who could ever forget Carter, elected almost on a whim by citizens fed-up with the corruption and lies that had been spun to them from Vietnam to Watergate. Despite the fact that he enjoyed a Congress composed of a House majority of 292-143, and a Senate majority of 62-38, Carters Presidency was a bungle through and through.
As a teenager in the 1970s, I primarily remembered Carters Presidency from the offhand observances of someone more involved with high school politics than with the national scene. However, I do remember the ominous Sky Is Falling tenor of the times. I recall the dark pessimism which pervaded the atmosphere, from alarmist environmental predictions to the gnawing uncertainty - enhanced by Mr. Carters defeatist rhetoric - that Americas best days might, indeed, be over.
Living near a military base at the time, I also remember the resentment and anger of the troops that followed the botched hostage rescue attempt in Iran, in 1979. President Carter had been cutting and slashing the military budget since the day he took the oath of office. Now he was reaping the fruits of his fanciful delusions, but in true LibLeft form he blamed the military instead of himself and his hapless policies.
Relying upon teenage memories is never best, so in order to research this article I pulled out the book, The Age of Reagan, by Stephen F. Hayward. This tome, which spans the years 1960-1980, documents, in precise detail, the absolute failures of the Carter Administration on both the domestic and foreign fronts.
President Carter was imbued both with a hefty dose of white liberal guilt and a childish and naïve outlook towards our enemies abroad. During the campaign, in 1976, Carter was chastised for his elusiveness on the issues. William F. Buckley, Jr., wrote that Carters position on abortion is more variously conjugated than French irregular verbs. The editor of The Atlanta Constitution during Carters reign as governor, Reg Murray, called Carter, One of the three or four phoniest men I ever met. Chris Matthews characterized Carter as sincerely insincere.
Yet, despite the difficulties, Carter was able to bridge the liberal and (rapidly dwindling) conservative wings of the Democratic Party. He went on to win the nomination, and then the Presidency. Early on, he antagonized the liberals by pushing welfare reform and a balanced budget. To appease them, he began to acquiesce to larger spending increases. The federal deficit subsequently boomed, from 40 billion in fiscal 1979, to 73 billion by 1980.
With the activist wing of the LibLeft pushing from behind, Carter was guided by an incoherent philosophy which, on the one hand eschewed growth under the guise of conservation of resources and on the other hand promoted interventionist activist government. In 1977, with the money supply growing at the rate of 11 percent per year, Carters liberal economic advisers promoted flooding the market with more dollars. The result was spiraling inflation, which grew from 7 percent in 1977 to a whopping 12 percent by 1979.
Likewise, foreign affairs had begun to disrupt the world oil supply. In Iran, the fall of the Shah in late 1978 caused Iran to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day. This allowed the heretofore struggling OPEC oil cartel to rebound. OPEC immediately announced a 14.5 percent increase in oil prices. By the end of summer, 1979, oil prices had increased by over 50 percent. Economists calculated that the price of oil had increased 1,000 percent in a decade. President Carter immediately declared that an ambitious energy policy must be the Moral Equivalent of War, yielding the unfortunate acronym MEOW.
Carter was hampered, in many ways, by artificial price controls on oil imposed by the Nixon and Ford Administrations. However, he did not immediately lift price controls, preferring to lift them gradually, which earned him catcalls from both sides of the aisle. Also, Carter did not place the blame where it lay - with greedy Arab Sheiks - but instead chastised the American public for their profligate, energy-wasting lifestyle.
On the foreign front, Carter displayed an appalling lack of concern for traditional American interests. Henry Kissenger, in 1980, stated that, The Carter Administration has managed the extraordinary feat of having, at one and the same time, the worst relations with our allies, the worst relations with our adversaries, and the most serious upheavals in the developing world since the end of the Second World War.
Carters proclamation that his foreign policy would be governed by a concern over human rights, initially spawned the hope that he would show resolve towards the excesses of the Soviet Bloc. Unfortunately, Carter instead soon displayed a sentimental outlook tinged with a heavy dose of leftist angst. Jeane Kirkpatrick noted acidly that, Carter was the kind of liberal most likely to confound revolution with idealism, change with progress and optimism with virtue. Carters aides were soon embarked on a rolling world tour of chest-beating mea-culpas apologizing for all Americas alleged errors since the end of World War II.
Carter began to embrace the socialist definition of human rights, namely that social and economic rights (such as housing and health care) took precedence over traditional American values such as the intrinsic rights of free individuals. In 1977, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance - called the closest thing to a pacifist that the U.S. has even had as Secretary of State - actually stated, There is a right to the fulfillment of such vital needs as food, shelter, health care and education. Of course, this pretext of fulfilling economic rights had led to the brutal suppression of individual rights all across the globe.
Carters stance with the ominous USSR also took a radical departure from the traditional policy of Soviet Containment. On May 22nd, 1976, he told a stunned audience at Notre Dame that, We are now free of our inordinate fear of communism, and that the U.S. emphasis would be on, new global questions of justice, equity and human rights.
Carter wasted no time implementing his policies. During his first 24 hours in office, he ordered a unilateral pullout of all nuclear weapons in South Korea. Carters decision was made without consultation with the Joint Chiefs, Congress or any American allies including the South Koreans. In those first few days, he also granted unconditional amnesty to all Vietnam era draft dodgers. Carter slashed the military budget by $6 billion, and cancelled the production of both the B-1 bomber and the Trident submarine. Overall, Carter indicated that he intended to cut $56 billion from the seven-year military budget he had inherited from President Ford, without similar reductions being sought from the USSR.
Paul Warnke, the newly appointed chief arms control negotiator, dreamily imagined that the U.S. pullback would end the arms race. Of course, it only emboldened the Soviets, who were soon quickly producing arms and funding revolutions all across the globe including in our backyard, South America.
Imbued with his anti-American sense of guilt, Jimmy Carter, in quick succession, signed a weak treaty giving away the American built, American financed Panama Canal; did nothing to prop up the traditionally friendly Shahs regime in Iran; and allowed Marxist guerillas to infiltrate and finally topple the Somosa regime in Nicaragua.
In June of 1979, Carter emerged from a retreat at Camp David, where he had invited (almost exclusively liberal intelligensia) participants to comment on the stagnation of the nation. Carter emerged from that retreat to give a peculiar speech, in which he told Americans that they suffered from a lack of confidence in the future, and that they now worshipped self-indulgence and consumption. He also urged us to carpool and turn down our thermostats.
Americans, not surprisingly, did not react well to this national scolding. Ronald Reagan said, People who talk about an age of limits are really talking about their own limitations, not Americas. Carters popularity polls sank to 25 percent.
Another snag resulted when the negotiations over the new SALT II treaty resumed. Defense oriented Americans were outraged over the perceived advantage that the treaties gave the Soviets, and were concerned over the adamant refusal of the USSR to allow inspection teams in to verify that they were keeping their side of the bargain. Senator Henry Jackson, a well-known Democratic hawk, said, To enter a treaty which favors the Soviets such as this one does ..is appeasement in its purest form. Unflattering comparisons were made, equating Carter with Neville Chamberlain.
Several of the LibLefts who favored arms control even argued that Soviet paranoia justified the imbalance of the treaty. Hedley Bull, (foreshadowing Madeleine Albrights we dont want to be the lone superpower comment) wrote, It is important that some state or group of states should undertake the task of balancing the power of the U.S. For the present, this can only be the USSR.
Although Carter threatened to Executive Order the treaty, and did sign in in Vienna, it eventually died in the Senate.
In the meantime, the Shah of Iran, his health deteriorating rapidly, entered New York for medical treatment on October 22nd. Students and radicals in Iran protested mightily, and on November 4th 1979, a mob stormed the U.S. Embassy in Iran and took 67 hostages. Carter vacillated mightily, finally sending Communist sympathizer and apologist Ramsey Clark as an envoy to Iran. On December 25, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
Defense experts were alarmed. The USSR had long coveted a potential warm water port, and they were funding and fomenting the revolution in Iran. Could they be getting ready to conquer Iran? Carters pacifists, of course, were horrified at this betrayal by their old buddy, Russia. They were simply dumbstruck. Carter made some initial attempts at damage control, namely beefing up the defense budget by 5 percent. However, when the Congress, in May, tried to add another $3.2 billion to the military budget, Carter complained that the increase would, severely restrain programs for jobs, cities, for training and for education.
Jeane Kirkpatrick (left), who had initially hoped that the invasion would finally allow Carter to recognize the essential differences between totalitarian and free societies, gave up on him and decided instead to finally meet with Ronald Reagan.
Carters Administration, already sinking from its own ineptitude, received the death blow with the failure of the hostage rescue mission. A combination of poor planning, unforeseen weather and inadequate training hampered a military already battered by Carters willful neglect. In the disaster, eight American servicemen lost their lives. Pictures of the forlorn wreckage were seared into the American soul, and deepened the contempt that many felt for Jimmy Carter. Although the media kept reporting that the 1980 election would be a squeaker, Ronald Reagan won a surprising 44 states, making for an electoral vote of 489-49.
America was finally liberated.
So, to our current President (right), who likewise saved us from the machinations of yet another anti-American deluded LibLeftist, I wouldnt worry too much about what Jimmy Carter has to say. ***
© 2002 Jennifer King
A Freepathon Cheer
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He was a little man with little dreams and no leadership skills. He was to the presidency what David Dinkins was to the mayoralty of New York........in way over his head.
Certainly he's the biggest simpleton in American presidential history, and 20 per cent inflation is rather counter-productive.
Unfortunately, it turned out Secret Service 1, wascally wabbit 0.
Jennifer King nails Carter for what he is. The worse President in the 20th century, may be the worse in US history. At one time, I thought "Jimmah" was a terrible president, but a good person. "Jimmah" worked for years to convince the American people, while he was one of the most inept leaders we've ever had, he was a sincere individual with a big heart. All of "Jimmah's" hard work has been for nothing. Carter has proven time and again, to be a very small man, unfit for public office. A man who is not only mean spirited, but vicious and arrogant. A true a**hole. Carter's view of the world hasn't changed. Carter remains a naive bumpkin.
I believe it was June of 1978 in GA. President Carter was in a john boat when a rabid (that's what we were told) rabbit swam from the shore and tried to get in his boat.
Carter started beating the rabbit over the head with an oar. The USSS took the rabbit out.
Believe it or not, there are pictures of the incident.
Helping to elect Ronald Reagan twice.
Golly gee! Ramsey Clark shows up in the darndest places, doesn't he?
He actively worked against America and against American ideals. Once again, the press sold us a plastic donkey gilded up to look like something special.
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