Monday, January 05, 2009

Jimmy Carter, Good President or Great President?

The Christian Science Monitor defends former President Carter as one whose public perception has been shaped by defaming enemies.
He kept us out of endless wars. He protected the Alaskan wilderness (Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D) of Wisconsin once told me that "Carter was the greatest environmental president the country ever had.") He promoted a visionary energy policy. He countered the Soviet military threat. And since he left office, he has persistently promoted the cause of peace around the world. The landmark Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty he fashioned remains in force today.

Against the backdrop of an unnecessary trillion-dollar war in Iraq, it is instructive to recall how Carter avoided a similar morass when he negotiated the Panama Canal treaties, for which he was excoriated by Ronald Reagan's Republicans. When he left office, he was able to say with Thomas Jefferson "[D]uring the period of my administration not a drop of the blood of a single citizen was shed by the sword of war."

In the public mind, Carter continues to be judged as "ineffectual." Yet he started that treaty ratification process with fewer than 40 votes of the 67 needed. Pentagon generals advised him it would require 100,000 troops, rivers of blood, and untold treasure if the US did not return sovereignty of the canal to Panama.

Carter was keenly aware that retaining US control of the canal, as Reagan demanded, might result in another Vietnam-like conflict. Today, looking at America's open-ended wars in Southwest Asia, Carter should be thanked for his wisdom and vision.
"He was in fact quite a good president." They've got that right.

If it wasn't for a hostile press, a debate gaffe, a botched rescue mission in Iran, and illegal and traitorous secret negotiations by the Reagan election team with Iran - our over-rated actor President would never had saddled into the White House.

A turn in the economy that left Carter only marginally better than the best GOP president was the icing on the cake for his reelection prospects.

I should provide links to the unconventional statements I make above but I'll leave those as exercises for the readers to improve their Google skills.

Blogging will be light - my New Year's Resolution for the entire year. That and avoiding giving any support to a web site I had been frequenting along with a few other personal resolutions. We will see what replaces blogging and commenting as a time waster.

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Rorschach said...

Carter? Good? For what? The man was/is a complete waste of skin. He singlehandedly destroyed our energy infrastructure and our economy and gave us 21% inflation, 9% unemployment, and gas lines and completely destroyed the nuclear energy industry in the US. Name one single thing the man did right.

Gary said...

Rorschach is the biggest joke around Houston for his typical ignorant comments at the Houston Chronicle and area blogs.

As president, Carter created two new cabinet-level departments: the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. He established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology. Foreign oil imports were reduced by 50% from 1977 to 1982.[2] In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties and the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). Carter sought to put a stronger emphasis on human rights; he negotiated a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in 1979.

For other details see the blog above, but Rorschach rarely reads before posting a comment.

Anonymous said...

Without question the worst president this country has ever suffered through was Carter. Even now he screws up foreign policy. He needs to stick to Habitat for Humanity and leave politics alone for a change. Someone should tell him to just shut up.

Gary said...

So Mr. conservative anony chips in and ignores that Carter has been our best and most active retired president.

Rorschach said...

Let us Fisk shall we Gary?
he established the energy department which promptly instituted price controls. the result? price spikes and shortages. Why? because when you limit the amount of money a company may charge for the product the company will not supply it. They'll sell the gasoline somewhere else, or just not make it and save the money it costs to make it. They'll also lay off everybody who works for them they can to save money. Ergo 9% unemployment.

SALT did nothing to make the world safer because the superpowers still had more than enough nukes to kill us all many many times over. All it did was eliminate some of the excess capacity. It also shut down all work on nuclear breeder reactors which can make their own fuel and can burn up nuclear waste from PWR reactors. It also halted all work on fuel reprocessing. A conventional PWR only extracts 5% of the energy from it's fuel load. A breeder combined with fuel reporcessing can extract 95% of the energy available. That is true conservation.

Yes Carter has continued to meddle in foreign affairs and has violated the Logan Act repeatedly in doing so and should be in federal prison.

Gary said...

The troll is back.

OK - Carter tried to stop Bush's Energy disasters almost 30 years ago.

Simple minds create fake simple solutions with bad science and economics - i.e. your energy economics and breeder reactors.

Carter doesn't violate the Logan Act - that would be a Republican specialty from LBJ to Carter tied to election campaigns. Oh that's right, McCain did it with Georgia last year by sending his own "delegation" to negotiate.

Finally, breeder technology has been used in several reactors, but the high cost of reprocessing fuel safely limits development - period.

Gary said...

Conservative anony also came back to insult me. This post is now closed to trolls.

chifour said...

If you lived through Carter's Presidency and still think he was a good President, really, is there any hope of reasoning? The man who, along with the famous nitwit Chris Matthews, brought this country the great "Malaise" Speech? Yes, put on your sweater, turn the thermostat down, get in the gas lines, America sucks?? Not only has he committed acts that are treasonous since leaving office, his crappy Habitat homes in Florida are falling down. But building on a garbage dump site wasn't a good idea, anyway. I am from this man's home town. I know the Carters. Have all my life. Pick a subject you know about, this one is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Carter was one of the best Presidents of the last century! he installed solar panels in the white house only for the moron ronald reagan to take them down.