Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Does Anyone Know A Goddamned Thing?

File under: What the fuck?

I'm convinced that this nation is beyond repair. Jimmy Carter was in the news for criticizing the Dumbass in Chief, and then true to form, backed down. I mean this is the man that was assaulted by a swamp bunny. I'm not saying he was the high-water mark for Presidents, but damn he was (and is) a good man who did a fair job. I don't know how it came to pass that we collectively give Ronald Reagan posthumous hand jobs, and Carter gets our scorn. I saw the assortment of editorial cartoons about Carters comments and they were awful- because they were so ill informed and full of shit. One dumbass blamed Carter for Disco. See my point?

I sometimes feel my oats and encounter someone who bashes Carter and I ask them to back it up. Hostages and economy are all they have to offer, if that. Most of these people hate him because they heard it was warranted. Bullshit. As a public service, if you want to bash the guy, here are some reasons:

* He started funding the Mujahadeen (although this smacks of that dickhead Brzezinski, and Reagan rally piled on the cash, but the buck starts and stops with Carter)
* He deregulated oil production cost controls (feeling that these days?)
* He formed the Department of Education
* The Hostage Crisis (in looking into this matter, much if not most of the blame should go to Reagan who later admitted that he had in fact orchestrated the holding of the hostages until his term in exchange for Toe Missiles.)

Now that's pretty bad, and the economy was bad news too, but I submit that the rampant unemployment and the OPEC fiasco were significantly beyond his control. His timing was for shit. His term was not all bad news though- lest we forget (and apparently everyone has) he brokered peace between Israel and Egypt (Camp David Accords, anyone?). Peace in the middle east? Carter? Yup. He brokered the SALT agreements (as in "Strategic Arms Limitation Talks- it was generally seen as opposition to the current lovely levels of military industrialism that Eisenhower and Smedly Butler tried to warn us about- and that's key to his lambasting I think. The military types don't take kindly to having their allowance cut.) FEMA? You know, before it was a punchline? Carter made it. Imagine that- an agency to help people in event of a disaster. Wow, that could really be helpful... Nah, what was I thinking? All that being said, Carter was and is a decent and kind man- maybe he is the best PERSON to ever hold the office. Huh? Yes, I'll back that up.

Exhibit A:

The classic "No Win Scenario". Meet the last Shah of Iran. We installed this guy in Iran despite the will of the nation there, and stuck with him up until Carter's administration (remember what I said about bad timing?) So, surprisingly, when the Muslim folks overthrew the Shah, they didn't get a chance to kill him- he fled. He bounced around a bit, but had become very ill, and Carter granted him entry to the US for medical treatment. This pissed off literally everyone, but Carter stuck to his convictions (imagine that) and did what he thought was right.

And that's really where the rubber meets the road. Anyone can play the Bill Clinton game of politics and try to be all things to all people on the surface, and then turn the screws when no one is looking. That's not the mark of a man. It's considerably harder to do what you believe is right in the face of ubiquitous opposition, and this is where I give Carter his due. Would I vote for him? He wouldn't be my first choice. Would I like to know him? You bet. Do I respect him? More so now than ever. What modern president can compare to the works of this man after leaving office? He still lobbies for human rights and for fucks sake, he builds houses for the Habitat For Humanity people.

I have yet to see a critic of the man worthy of his company, even though there is so much to criticize.

Okay, I just had to vent a little there.

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Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

It is rare thatr I see a political venting rant that isn't over the top and full of ideological nutjobberdoodooisms...

You did good Stucco.

I always thought Carter was perhaps "too kind" for the job.

Says a lot about the job, doesn't it?

Most of the criticism about his presidential term, were because of events and circumstances that began before he took office.

The big ship takes years to turn, and many things that happened during Carter's 4 years were icebuergs waiting to happen.

I actually wished he would not have wimped out on what he said.

Worst administration in the White House that I can remember since Nixon.

I'm actually embarrassed by the lack of leadership this administration displays, as well as the lack of anything but hubris and stubborness.

How many days left?

10:30 PM  
Anonymous mrschili said...

I was going to say something about how long it takes to turn the proverbial ship around, but Scott got to it first.

According to backwardsbush.com, as of today (May 30th), there are 600 days left. *shudder*

Thanks for this, Stucco. I enjoyed it.

3:49 AM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

At the time, the only big thing I heard of Carter was people laughing because he admitted to lusting after women in his heart. The man was and is an honest one - and when do you ever expect to see an honest politician again?

At the time, I couldn't understand why people didn't respect him for that - so I suppose "the people" are somewhat to blame for the quality of their leaders.

5:37 AM  
Blogger General Catz said...

"It's considerably harder to do what you believe is right in the face of ubiquitous opposition."

Isn't this the very definition of Bush?

By the way, i completely agree with you about JC and am sick of people lambasting him and saying what a great president reagan was. Ugh.

6:06 AM  
Blogger General Catz said...

Ack, i realize that my previous comment may make it sound like i support Bush or that i compare him to Carter. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Stucco said...

Scott- Thank you, sir. And I agree- that he retracted his characterisation is the real problem.

Mrs. Chili- I'm prone to the occasional rant. Thanks for the reference to backwardbush.com. Love that domain!

Jeannie- it's that kind of painful, brutal honesty that w could really use these days.

Catzy- It's a valid thought, however backhanded it may be. I think the important distinction is that Carter did not profit in any measure by his unpopular decision (that is, it was a decision rooted in principle), and W. (and his minions) profit handsomely from his unpopular decisions. In fact, that may be the Alpha and Omega of W.'s reasoning.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

I always liked Carter and thought he got an undeserved reputation as a bad president. Even as a kid I didn't think it was fair that Reagan was going to get the credit for freeing the hostages just becase he was taking office. I remember complaining to my mom about it, just like I complained to her about the king's funeral the old bastard got.

Did you know that Carter had one wing of the White House powered by solar energy? And that when Reagan took office, he had it dismantled?

Anyway. Carter's a good man.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

It has always bugged me that a decent man who did (and still does) more than give lip-service to his convictions is a failure and a tough-talking B-movie actor is a freaking hero.

6:26 AM  
Blogger meno said...

It seems like the deader a man gets in this country (Reagan) the greater he was.

Remember when Nixon died, and this country, who had ignored him for 20 or so years, fell over ourselves to laud him.

Death, i tell ya, it's the key to popularity. Carter's problem is that he's not dead, yet.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Lexcen said...

Stucco, you've touched a very interesting subject. My theory on this is that the legacy left behind by any leader consists mostly of the degree of charisma the leader was able to exude. Whatever their achievements and failures were seem to be irrelevant or subject to constant revision by historians. For example, JFK's legend belies his failings. Similarly Ronald Reagan.

10:49 PM  

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