Here’s a guest piece by PD regular RedStateEddio.

Since everyone’s bringing it up, and half of you probably weren’t around at the time, it’s time for some old school edjimication. Gather round, young ‘uns, and allow me to enlighten you about the good ol’ days I remember, when a little peanut farmer turned politician named Jimmy Carter ran the show.

Billy beer. Muammar Khadafi. “Carter Country”. Yes, it’s throwback time to the mid-late 1970’s, when the Soviets were the ones in Afghanistan and Europe; when cars still had carburetors; when Farrah Fawcett was the hottest woman on the planet; when Ron Reagan was still just a governator of California.

On the domestic front: The Misery Index marks the sum of both unemployment & consumer price inflation. It basically reflects how lousy you might feel about the economy. The misery index under Carter was the worst since the year they started tracking the data in 1948, beating out both the ’72-’74 oil crisis and the ’81-82 recession. The. Worst. Ever. To. Date.

I remember my parents buying a home and paying 14% mortgage interest. Fourteen percent! And that was supposedly a good deal.

With foreign affairs, it got even zanier. Carter’s CIA chief Stansfield Turner canned over 800 workers throughout the CIA, wiping out decades of HUMINT (human intel). Carter recently admitted that Turner later hired a psychic to help locate a US plane lost in Central Africa. Apparently when Turner’s preferred TECHINT and SIGINT approaches both failed to find the missing plane, Turner hired a psychic to do the job. Would that be ESPINT?

Then there’s the whole Iran situation. Carter’s good intentions (read naivety) about foreign powers and processes cost the Shah of Iran his rule, and directly led to the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Although he successfully persuaded the Shah to start making human rights changes in his country, once trouble started, Carter hung him out to dry, even barring him from entering the US for medical treatment. Carter’s unraveling of Iran and subsequent shunning of the Shah led to the 1979 oil crisis which spiked a new level of panic over supply shortages. One could even postulate that Jimmy Carter was responsible for letting the Islamic extremism genie out of the bottle, thus precipitating the current trend of terror and extremism rampant throughout the Middle East, including Iraq, sponsored by Iran.

And who can forget the magical word that evoked Carter’s ethos? “Malaise”. In a 1979 nationwide address dubbed the “malaise speech”, he outlined the “crisis of confidence” the American people felt at the time. In the days afterwards, he asked his entire cabinet to resign, prompting many to wonder if the bottom had fallen out of the White House. People were afraid, unsettled, panicked, and frustrated.

Now imagine a hungry country wanting to be inspired to a better future by self-reliance, less government intrusion, stronger defense, and a market driven economy whose life cycle was not expired at all. In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan came preaching that, and snatched up 45 states, 91% of the electoral college, and 9% more of the vote than Jimmy—even with a legit 3rd party candidate.

Things got so bad that in the 1980 primary, Carter faced a challenge from his own party in the form of a Senator from a New England state—the “chap” himself, Ted Kennedy. (Sidebar: Anyone see any connection with today? I can totally see a Hillary rerun in 2012, regardless of who wins this fall).

Ahh, yes, the Carter years.

OK, kiddies, still wanna go all warm and fuzzy with Barrack Obama? All signs point to these very same type of scenarios playing out between now and 2012. This is the kind of legacy we’ll be witnessing in four years.

A fractured Democratic party, an oil crisis, a naïve approach to foreign policy, a longshot primary candidate leaping to the front…it all adds up to Carter Redux. There’s some old school logic for y’all. Class dismissed, now go and play…

Comments