The evidence is mounting more than ever to suggest that President Barack Obama is morphing into a failed Democratic President Jimmy Carter.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in her Op-Ed article of July 30, 2011, 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, health care and Libya, leading from behind. As one Democratic senator complained: 'The president veers between talking like a peevish professor and a scolding parent.' (Not to mention a jilted lover.) Another moaned: 'We are watching him turn into Jimmy Carter right before our eyes.'"
Dowd, who once loved Obama, is now souring on her liberal media created sensation and now she 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: Ineffective. He was seen as a micromanager who even had to decide who was allowed to play on the White House Tennis Court.
Obama: Ineffective. He is the ultimate delegator who likes being president but doesn¹t like the work. He rather subcontract presidential leadership to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi on healthcare and the vice president on spending and the economy and Secretary Hillary Clinton on foreign affairs.
Iranian Hostages: Carter: He was paralyzed by the Iranian Hostage Crisis where 52 Americans were held against their will for 444 days.
Obama: He 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 today two American hikers have been held hostage for over a year and a half
by the Iranian government Iran continues to crack down on its people and is accelerating their plans to build nuclear weapons.
Energy Crisis: Carter: 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.
Obama: In the aftermath of his 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 in spite on America¹s dependency on foreign oil and gas prices that have risen over 120 percent since Obama has taken office.
Economic Crises: Carter: Because of his failure to lead and his failed
economic policies of government spending and indecision, the "misery index" unemployment plus inflation crested at 20 percent the highest since World War II. Add to that double-digit interest rates and you have stagflation.
Obama: 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 Recession with little to show for it. Obama promised that if his $800 billion stimulus were 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 has 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 a third war in Libya.
Obama caused the current self-inflicted crisis on 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 their report was delivered to the White House.
Public Opinion: Carter: At the time of his re-elect his approval ratings was below 30 percent and a majority of Americans felt that America was on the wrong track.
Obama: Today his approval rating averages 42 percent and a majority of
Americans believe we are on the wrong track.
The hallmark of the Carter years was "malaise."
President Obama has governed at a time of America high unemployment, low GDP, inflation on the rise for consumer goods, falling housing prices, a stalled housing market, home foreclosures and bankruptcies at record levels, high gas prices, three wars, government spending too much and taking in too little.
While malaise may have defined the Carter years perhaps "incompetence" best describes the Obama years thus far.
At the rate Obama is going he is apt to make Jimmy Carter look like George Washington. All this to our national detriment.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University.
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