Corbin H. Crable
I have something to admit to you: I’m probably going to buy Jimmy Carter’s new book.
Not because I am a fan of the man widely panned as the worst president in the history of our country, but because I want to see Carter at least try to admit, in his own way, that nice guys make horrible commanders-in-chief.
But that’s naïve to say. I highly doubt Carter’s book, “White House Diary,” is going to be a mea culpa of his one yawn-inducing term in office. I’m sure there will be, however, plenty of comparisons drawn between Carter and his modern-day, more-hip counterpart, President Obama.
The similarities we can draw between Carter’s presidency and that of President Obama are great – in essence, we have two men who simply are too wishy-washy to preside over a country with problems that demand action and force.
Let’s look at the major events Carter’s diary entries likely will go over. First, let’s not forget that the nation’s favorite peanut farmer signed into law the Chrysler Corporate Loan Guarantee Act of 1979, essentially bailing out the Chrysler Corp. That’s right, folks – years before it became fashionable for the federal government to throw money at mismanaged corporations, Carter was decades ahead of the curve.
What else did he do? He granted amnesty to draft dodgers who wanted to get out of service during the Vietnam War. He boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in response to Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan.
And Obama, meanwhile, has become known as the man who travels the world, apologizing for America and its reputation for actually having testicles in dealing with tough situations.
Post-White House, while Carter has done plenty of good in his work with Habitat for Humanity, and I’m sure Obama will be a fine elder statesman in his later years, neither man has done much good for a hurting nation during their terms. Where Carter should have taken a harder stance on the Iran-U.S. hostage crisis, he instead was too preoccupied with comparing the nation’s energy situation with the evils of war. Where Obama should be fighting to deliver on the campaign promises that even his most staunch supporters are blissfully ignoring, he instead is inserting himself into the Ground Zero mosque debate that should obviously be left to New Yorkers and their own local politicians.
These comparisons between Carter and Obama, while generic, cannot be denied. When I buy Carter’s “White House Diary” and read it, the inevitable comparisons to Obama surely will come up in my mind and in the minds of those who read it.
I’ll be interested to see whether Obama’s first (and, hopefully, only) term in office turns out to be not just bad, but Jimmy Carter bad, and whether, at the end of the day, these men admit their shortcomings in print or live the rest of their lives wearing the blinders of ignorance and denial for which they have become known. Sadly, I think we all know the answer already.