Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jimmy Carter, Jr.

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and
keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just
expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not
leadership. That's not going to happen." Say what?

Can you say Jimmy Carter?

James Earl Carter, July 1979: “I ask Congress to give me authority for mandatory conservation and for standby gasoline rationing. . . . And I’m asking you for your good and for your Nation’s security to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel. Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense — I tell you it is an act of patriotism.”

We have been here before. Do we really want to go back there again?

Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

United States presidential election 2008

Brzezinski is one of Senator Barack Obama's foreign policy advisers for the presidential campaign of 2008.

New brand of politics?

Thirty two years ago a Democrat politician with very little experience "transcended" politics as usual and was lifted on waves of good will to the White House. It seems to be happening again. Jimmy Carter is unknown to most young Americans. Most Americans do not remember how Carter magically seemed to appear on the American political scene. Perhaps a history lesson is in order.

"I'll never lie to you," Carter famously told American voters in 1976. His smile was all embracing. Carter seldom got angry. He talked about his evangelical Christian faith often. Carter promised change and hope. He told us that the mean and cynical government that we had come to expect from Washington was a thing of the past.

Millions of Americans, many of them who had remained uninvolved in American politics, listened. They trusted Carter to be "different." His carefully crafted words led people to believe that Jimmy Carter was something very different from the typical sort of Democrat. Carter would try something new. He was an idealist who was not wedded to failed ideals of the past.

Then Carter won. It became painfully apparent that four years as Governor of Georgia was poor experience for the leader of the Free World. Carter supported on "human rights" grounds the overthrow of the Shah of Iran (our friend) and its replacement by the Islamic theocracy which still rules Iran to this day (our enemy.) He pursed domestic policies which called for privation instead of growth. Carter lied about the firing of U.S. Attorney David Marston, who had been investigating corrupt Pennsylvania Democrat congressmen.

When America faced a genuine crisis, the illegal capture of our embassy staff by the Iranian Islamic militants, Carter was utterly at a loss. He tried to talk to negotiate their release, but the regime with whom Carter tried to work with had no interest beyond utterly humiliating America.

Carter, after the Soviets assassinated our ambassador in Afghanistan and then invaded that nation, was "surprised" that Communism was aggressive and malignant. His response was to try to exert diplomatic pressure on the Soviets as well as trade sanctions. Jimmy Carter, well into the middle of his presidency, seriously seems to have considered that Marxist-Leninist regimes were somehow like another form of socialist democracy, that Moscow was no threat to America, and that the proliferation of virulently anti-American dictators around the globe was in our long term best interest.

All of this sounds very much like Barack Obama.

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