What year is this, again?

Today I came across this article, and the first few paragraphs were just priceless:

He followed an unpopular president. He received a strong election mandate. He changed the tone in Washington.He said that Human Rights mattered. That America’s image in the world had to be remade.

He would receive a Nobel Peace Prize.

As the end of his presidency’s first year drew near, the future looked bright. He had brought change — change that mattered.

It was 1977. The next year was very bad.

In these, and in many other things, the parallel between Obama and Carter is striking, and this article is by far not the first time that parallel is drawn. If that analogy holds true through the whole duration of the current presidency, that is a scary prospect. The only achievement of Carter’s presidency that I can think of is the Camp David accord, and while that was no small matter, his results of other fronts guaranteed him a single-term presidency, deservedly so. He left his successor a country with economy in the worst state since Depression, and international reputation that made it ok for every terrorist and his cousin to use its embassies for hostage supply and target practice.

Luckily for the country, his successor was an energetic, charismatic leader who managed to put the economy back on track by deregulating it, reducing government spending, cutting taxes and showing the unions who is in charge, who improved national security, bombed the hell out of Libya, and helped push the competing super-power towards its eventual self-destruction. I do not idolize Reagan, please don’t get that idea. He was a good, maybe even great President, but he himself was disappointed in a number of things about his presidency – by the end of his second term national debt increased significantly, federal government grew, and spending went back up. His ideas were right though, and the economic recovery during his terms is the best proof of that.

So, my question is: who is going to succeed this XXI-century Carter? And will he be able to undo (hopefully only) four years of damage, when even one 2009 seems irreparable?

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 7:53 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. Obama is worse than Carter. Carter is a sincere idealistic leftie, fellow traveler with western democratic ideals. Obama is a demagogue and opportunist; I have a feeling if he deemed pro-capitalistic annunciations more expedient towards his goal – career in politics- he would sing praises to small government and individual responsibility. The man has no principles besides “anything goes what’s convenient for me”.

    • That is quite possible, and there were some indications of it in his campaign – for example, his backpedaling from his voting record on gun rights. For now, however, the parallel continues to hold. I guess, we’ll continue observing. Not like we have a choice not to … until 2012, that is.

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