Sunday, September 19, 2010

President Carter

I was reminded tonight of how much he disappointed me, and how honored I was to vote for Senator Kennedy in the 1980 New York Democratic presidential primary. Those who think their current circumstance is the same as mine and so many others in 1980 are out of their mind, but it will take me a few days and maybe a week to explain that and specifically what he said tonight that reminded me of what a twerp he was and continues to be.

I hate calling the former President of the United States a twerp, but I have called President Bush an idiot and President Clinton a Republican, so the rubicon has been crossed.

7 comments:

ARTHUR OF THE ROUNDISH TABLE said...

HAHAAHHAAH. Well keep crossing that damned Rubicon then. hahah

Amike said...

I'll wait for the explanation before I comment. I think of two things...the number of Americans who were NOT killed in foreign adventures on Carter's watch, and how prescient he was on issues of energy depletion and what to do about it. I also think of the use he put to Camp David--and that no President since has been able to produce any progress on mid-east peace. My vote for Carter is perhaps the proudest I've ever cast.

I also think about how much fun the Eastern Establishment had at his expense--bubba accents and all.

I also think he is the best, most effective ex-president since John Quincy Adams.

So let the debate begin.

wendy said...

I can't debate with you about Carter, AMike, as I agree with you completely.

leftyloosey said...

I can't help you here, Barth. I like the man.

Alan said...

Put me down as well as someone who thinks Carter was a much better President than he ever got credit for. And the finest ex-President this nation has ever produced.

Rick B as formerly before Richardxx said...

I liked Jimmy Carter, but he failed in the first job of a politician. He disdained politics and political parties in general. Since he did nothing to build the Democratic Party he handed the 1980 Presidential election over to Reagan, and the rest is three decades of very nasty American history.

It's my personal opinion that Carter had an engineer's mindset. He identified and solved problems and he was very, very good at that. I have come to realize, though, that solving problems is not what we hire a President to do.

We hire a President to deal with the most difficult of social situations, the ones no one else can deal with. The President has to let those problems develop and fester and watch as people in less powerful positions fail to deal with them. Only after the problems have grown and not been dealt with by others with access to fewer resources do the problems actually qualify as "national" problems and qualify to land on the President's desk.

The President's job, then, is to determine which problems to accept as "Presidential-level." But not to solve. The President is above solving problems, he just identifies them and informs everyone that the problem is, in fact, Presidential. Then he hands it off to someone else to solve.

No one else in the nation (or the world) has access to all the resources, traditions and capabilities that the President does. It is the President's job to husband and properly deploy those (scarce) assets. As Bush showed, the failure to correctly identify which are real problems of national scope worthy of applying those resources to and which are not is what makes or breaks a Presidency. (Bush put himself in the bottom five, and he will not rise in the ratings.)

Carter took on solvable problems of the kind handled by engineers - like handing the Panama Canal over to the Panama government. Then he micromanaged, like many good engineers. But he let the Democratic Party drift into defeat and handed the nation over to the Goldwater/Nixon crew. He never dealt effectively with the critical political issues of the Presidency.

As a comparison, Bush 43 avoided the Israeli - Palestinian morass. He then went off to play war leader as though he were a movie actor. We are currently dealing with the problems he left because he ignored and did not understand them. I fault Carter for failing the first job of every politician - the political job of getting elected to power and reaching the position where he could act. But I fault Bush 43 for failing to even understand what the Presidency does and failing at everything the President should do. We will be dealing with Bush's failures for decades.

Rick B AKA Richardxx

Rick B as formerly before Richardxx said...

I liked Jimmy Carter, but he failed in the first job of a politician. He disdained politics and political parties in general. Since he did nothing to build the Democratic Party he handed the 1980 Presidential election over to Reagan, and the rest is three decades of very nasty American history.

It's my personal opinion that Carter had an engineer's mindset. He identified and solved problems and he was very, very good at that. I have come to realize, though, that solving problems is not what we hire a President to do.


Rick B AKA Richardxx