Skip to main content

Barack Obama makes me miss Jimmy Carter, too

Barack Obama, Ambassador John Bolton says, makes him miss the days of President Jimmy Carter.

At least Mr. Carter, Bolton tells the Wall Street Journal, learned from his mistakes.

I was once quite a Carter partisan. I was more or less the lead Carterite on the campus of Concordia College, River Forest (now Concordia University Chicago) when he ran for re-election in 1980. I was full of scorn for Ronald Reagan back then, and certain that Carter was the golden mean between the McGovernite and Goldwater ideological bingers. Carter, I thought at the time, represented common sense, the middle of the road.

What? Common sense wasn't working? It had to be because people- and thus, the world- were crazy.

Well, they were, and they are. But that wasn't the reason Jimmy Carter failed. He failed because despite a masterful grip of the details of everything, he was unable to grasp the big picture. Then, too, I suspect that 1976- like 2004- was a "poison pill" election, in which anyone who was elected to the presidency was doomed by the forces of economics and history to fail.

Jimmy Carter, in any case, wasn't the man for the job. Ronald Reagan- the one truly great president of my lifetime- wasn't who I thought he was (and not without reason; Mr. Reagan's "there you go again" aside, he'd spent most of his adult life saying things so out there that people just couldn't bring themselves to believe it). I have since grown very, very frustrated with Mr. Carter, whose lurch to the Left in foreign policy and domestic policy alike makes me think that I misread him, too. I have often wondered in the years since he 1980 election how I ever supported him.

But at least part of the answer to that is that when all is said and done he was and is a decent human being I could relate to. Even if I don't share his beliefs (and often his values, either), they come from a place close enough to where mine come from that I can at least identify.

Not so Barack Obama. I'm not going to play the "he doesn't love America" game, but I have always gotten the feeling that in some fundamental way he doesn't share my basic values. I'm sure, in his own way, that he does love America. But it's not in a way I can identify with.

Yeah, with all our differences, submariner and Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter strikes a more sympathetic chord with me than my United Church of Christ-member  fellow Chicagoan and non-veteran. The country has grown far more radical since Mr. Carter's day in the White House. So- in spades- has the Democratic party. And so, even, has Mr. Carter.

But yeah, Barack Obama makes me nostalgic, too, for the days of the president who went to war with that bunny rabbit. At least he wasn't afraid to use force against somebody.

HT: Real Clear Politics


Popular posts from this blog

Jan Chamberlain's rhetoric is too strong. But the stand she has taken is right.

I do not share the religion of Jan Chamberlain. I don't even pray to the same god. But I can't help but admire the integrity of the woman who quit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rather than sing at Donald Trump's inauguration.

Ms. Chamberlain, like me, voted for Evan McMullin in November. Like me, she holds no brief for Hillary Clinton or her agenda. But she cannot, as she put it, "throw roses at Hitler."

As I've said before, comparing Trump to Hitler strikes me as harsh. I believe that Trump is a power-hungry narcissist who exhibits disturbing signs of psychopathy, like Hitler. Like Hitler, he has stigmatized  defenseless minorities- Muslims and undocumented aliens, rather than Jews- and made them scapegoats for the nation's troubles. Like Hitler, he has ridden a wave of irrational hatred and emotion to power. Like Hitler's, his agenda foreshadows disaster for the nation he has been chosen to lead.

But he's not going to set up death camps for Musli…

Neither Evan McMullin nor his movement are going away

Evan McMullin has devoted most of his post-college life- even to the point of foregoing marriage and a family- to fighting ISIS and al Qaeda and our nation's deadliest enemies as a clandestine officer for the CIA. He has done so at the risk of his life.

He has seen authoritarianism in action close-up. One of his main jobs overseas was to locate and facilitate the elimination of jihadist warlords. Evan McMullin knows authoritarians.

And when he looks at Donald Trump, what he sees is an authoritarian like the ones he fought overseas. He knows Donald Trump. After leaving the CIA he served as policy director for the Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives. He tells about his first encounter with The Donald in that role in this opinion piece he wrote for today's New York Times.

In fact, when Mitt Romney and Tom Coburn and all the others who were recruited to run as a conservative third-party candidate against Trump and Hillary Clinton backed out,  McMulli…

Huzzah! Once again, 45 does something majorly right!

First. he appointed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and now 45 has- at long last- initiated a sensible space policy, with a plan to promote a "rapid and affordable" return to the moon carried out by private enterprise by 2020.  Afterward, it will be onward to Mars and beyond.

This is a great idea for three reasons. First, private enterprise is the future of space exploration, and as far as I know we will be the first spacefaring nation to put most of its eggs in that basket. Second, it's nice to have eggs! Since the Obama administration canceled the Constellation program to develop the Ares booster and the Orion crew vehicle (though it subsequently reinstated the Orion part of the program), the United States has been twiddling its thumbs while China has taken great leaps toward the moon and other countries- including Russia, India, and Japan- have to various degrees intensified their own space programs. It would be both tragic and foolhardy for the nation which first…