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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Jimmy Carter, Still Stupid

There are a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of people who currently believe that George W. Bush is among the stupidest presidents ever unleashed on the American people. He's not . Bush may not be Einstein, but he's not even close to being the stupidest. The press has always had it out for him, the same way they bent their biases against Richard Nixon.

Let's face it, Bush is an easy target. He's easy to mimic and well, his resumé doesn't exactly reflect a lifetime of victories.

History, however, has a different way of looking at things. It takes its time. Mulls things over. It factors in the value of hindsight and summarizes effects as viewed in terms of the greater good. Nixon was perceived as Evil Incarnate by just about everyone in the world in 1972. Pummeled in the press for his domestic "enemies list", inflation and of course, Watergate, he rated at the bottom of every presidential poll taken at the time.

Not so today.

Read any current history book of your choosing and you'll find fading references to Watergate. Nixon is far more widely recalled for ending the war in Vietnam and opening China to the western world. In fact, much of what you buy at WalMart today is due to Nixon's far-sighted recognition of China's potential. Without Nixon's invitation to join the western world's economy, Ronald Reagan never would have been able to ask Gorbachev to "tear down this wall", which reunited Germany after almost 50 years of Communist divisions.

In 20 years, I imagine that Bush's image will mellow, as well. Probably something along the lines of "being the first to actively engage the threat of radical islamic terror when previous presidents would not."

Where history is concerned, it's the long view that counts, it seems, with one exception: Jimmy Carter.




Sorry, the title for Stupidest American President is already taken.

Here's a guy whose list of screw-ups begins with his election in 1976 and spirals downward to this day. For those of you who don't recall -- or weren't alive -- when Carter was elected, it was a strange time, reminiscent of Andrew Jackson's "people's inauguration." A time after Nixon and Ford, when populist fervor overtook party politics, restoring a corrupt White House to a humble peanut farmer from Georgia. At the time, it seemed like a good idea.

And then reality hit.  He wasn't a humble peanut farmer; he was stupid peanut farmer.

In what could only be described as a scene from The Beverly Hillbillies, Carter proceeded to embarrass and degrade the USA from every conceivable angle. Under his short stint as president, Jimmy Carter managed the following:

• Drove domestic interest rates up over 20%, effectively destroying the national economy for a number of years.
• Undermined the brand image of the United States, by demonstrating inconsistent hand-wringing instead of decisive actions, which allowed second and third world nations to challenge -- and wrest -- American moral and economic influence the world over.
• Allowed American hostages to languish in Iran for 444 days
• Tolerated his drunken brother's behavior, which included, among other escapades, public news conferences calling for an American abandonment of Israel because "there's more Arabs than there is Jews [sic]"

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. The man may have earned a degree in nuclear engineering, but don't forget that the first astronaut was a monkey.

Even if you spot Carter the Camp David Accord, his record of historical accomplishments isn't exactly stellar. Sure, the man can swing a hammer for humanity, but there's a reason for that: he's good at it. It's where he belongs. In a nice, quiet field, knocking nails into walls where he can't hurt anyone and hopefully, has gotten over being America's single biggest mistake. Were you to doubt that last statement, consider the fact that Carter, after publishing his last book in which he comes closest to admitting his own anti-semitic views, now seems intent on "visiting with leaders of Hamas" on his next trip to the middle east.

That's nice. Your tax dollars going toward the protection of a clearly senile man, on his way to display even more of his inimitable buffoonery to a terrorist organization whose sworn mission is the total destruction of Israel, the only stalwart ally of the United States in the middle east. This, from a guy who really thinks he is Jesus Christ and probably has robes in his closet to prove it. A guy whose Alzheimer fog has him touting himself as the better side of the American people.

Um, not exactly the kind of guy I want representing me, any time, anywhere -- for any reason.

You think Bush is bad? Sorry to disappoint you. When it comes to undermining the brand that is America, Carter is the winner, hands down. He's as stupid today as he was back in the 1970's and no doubt history will remember him as such.

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