Obama Channels Visions of Jimmy Carter

Thursday, 22 Dec 2011 01:12 PM

By Bradley Blakeman

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The evidence is mounting more than ever to suggest that President Obama is morphing into failed Democratic President Jimmy Carter.

Even the dour New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in her Op-Ed article of July 30, 2011 made the comparison. This is some of what she said:

“Democratic lawmakers worry that the tea party freshmen have already ‘neutered’ the president, as one told me. They fret that Obama is an inept negotiator. They worry that he should have been out in the country selling a concrete plan, rather than once more kowtowing to Republicans and, as with the stimulus plan, healthcare and Libya, one Democratic U.S. senator said this referring to the Obama, “The president veers between talking like a peevish professor and a scolding parent.” Another moaned: “We are watching him turn into Jimmy Carter right before our eyes.”

Dowd, who once loved Obama, is souring on her liberal-media created sensation and apparently now believes that the comparison of Obama to Carter is a valid one.

So what are the valid comparisons between the presidencies of Obama and Carter that allow for even a Democratic senator to allege it?

Management Style: Carter was ineffective. He was seen as a micromanager who even had to decide who was allowed to play on the White House tennis court.

Obama is also ineffective. He is the ultimate delegator who likes being president but doesn’t like the work. He prefers to subcontract presidential leadership to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi on healthcare and Vice President Joe Biden on spending and the
economy while leaving foreign affairs to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Iran: Carter was paralyzed by the Iranian hostage crisis where 52 Americans were held against their will for 444 days from Nov. 4, 1979 to Jan. 20, 1981 (the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president).

During his presidency, Carter was consumed by this crisis and in the end was powerless to end it.

Obama ran on a platform of apology to foreign enemy powers for past American “aggression” and pledged to usher in a new approach toward Iran that would bring better relations between the U.S. and Iran.

President Obama has failed to bring Iran around and in fact, two American hikers were held hostage for more than 18 months by the Iranian government before their release upon payment of what amounted to a ransom.

Iran continues to crack down on its people and is accelerating plans to build nuclear weapons. They also continue to arm rebels in Iraq, Syria and other Middle East hot spots, all in an effort to destabilize the region.

Oh, and let’s not forget the capture by Iran of our U.S. drone. Obama’s reaction was to politely ask for it back.

Energy: In 1979 America faced an oil crisis in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution. OPEC reduced production, and as a result, oil prices shot through the roof and supply was severely curtailed.

Carter — instead of taking on OPEC and demanding increased production — imposed rationing on gasoline and home heating oil and placed tariffs on imported oil.

America literally ran out of gas and what gas that could be purchased was at outrageous prices. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of a sluggish response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration ceased drilling in the Gulf and set in place a moratorium on new offshore drilling.

This action was being taken despite America’s dependency on foreign oil and gas prices that have risen over 120 percent since Obama took office.

Economy: Because of his failure to lead and his failed economic policies of government spending and indecision, the misery index of unemployment plus inflation ¬ crested at 20 percent under Carter’s watch, the highest since World War II.

Add to that double-digit interest rates and you have “stagflation.” Stagflation is defined as a situation in which the inflation rate is high and the growth rate is low. The result was high prices, high unemployment, low confidence, and low growth.

There is no doubt that Obama, like Carter, inherited a recession, however, it is equally apparent that both made their situations much worse by their actions and inaction.

Obama, like Carter, went on a government-spending spree in response to the recession with little to show for it. Obama promised that if his $800 billion stimulus was passed, the national unemployment rate would not exceed 8 percent.

Our unemployment rate has not dipped below 8 percent since Obama has been president and spiked above 10 percent well after the stimulus was passed.

Instead of dealing with high unemployment, soaring energy prices, record home foreclosures, bankruptcies and record-setting debt, Obama turned his attention to healthcare and started what amounted to a third war in Libya.

Obama caused the current self-inflicted crisis over the debt-ceiling increase by failing to lead well in advance of the deadline. He could have taken the recommendations of his bipartisan commission as a starting point to lead on spending and deficit reduction over a year ago when the commission’s report was delivered to the White House.

Public Opinion: At the time of his re-election bid, Carter’s approval ratings had fallen below 30 percent and a majority of Americans felt that America was on the wrong track. Today, Obama’s approval rating hovers around 42 percent, and a majority of Americans believe we are on the wrong track.

The hallmark of the Carter years was the word “malaise.” Malaise is defined as “a feeling of uneasiness, indisposition, and distress.” All these symptoms plagued Carter and we can clearly see them again with Obama along with some new ones.

President Obama has governed at a time of high unemployment, low GDP, rising inflation for consumer goods, falling housing prices, a stalled housing market, record levels of home foreclosures and bankruptcies, high gas prices, three wars, and government spending too much while taking in too little.

If “malaise” defined the Carter years, perhaps the word "funk” would be an apt descrption of the Obama years thus far.


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