Carter Country

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“Sen. Obama says that I’m running for Bush’s third term,” John McCain quipped in June 2008. “It seems to me he’s running for Jimmy Carter’s second.” Less than three years later, Sen. McCain’s bleak forecast is coming true.

Let’s start with how Americans felt about America under President Carter and how they feel about America under President Obama.

Today, as in the late 1970s, there is a pervasive sense of decline. Obama has even mentioned it in a State of the Union and in his inaugural address.

This sense of decline is a function of many factors: China’s rapid rise, Washington’s self-imposed constraint overseas but especially America’s faltering economy.

Unemployment has remained stubbornly above 9 percent throughout the Obama presidency. Some 15 percent of homeowners are either facing foreclosure or at least a month behind on their mortgage. Inflation is creeping up. And the Misery Index is back.

It was invented during the Carter administration as a way to gauge how bad things are for the American people. In simplest terms, it’s the unemployment rate plus the inflation rate. The Misery Index was 19.72 at the end of Carter’s term, up seven points from four years earlier. Under Obama, it’s 10.63, up three points from when he entered office. (By the way, the Misery Index went down under George W. Bush.)

The bad news for American consumers—and for Obama’s 2012 prospects—is that if energy prices continue to rise, the economy will not be able to create new jobs, which means the Misery Index will live up to its name.

Today, as in the 1970s, gas prices are exploding, spurred by rising demand in developing economies and volatile supply lines in the Middle East. Oil has rocketed past $100 per barrel, translating into $3.36-per-gallon gas, up from $2.70 per gallon this time last year (national averages). That’s a 25-percent rise.

Inflationdata.com points out that between 1976 and 1980 gas prices increased by about 65 percent. According to one energy expert, “It would not be inconceivable to see $150- or $200-barrel oil this year.” In other words, it seems gas prices are headed in the same direction as in the late 1970s.

Obama’s solution is restraint and constraint. “We can’t drive our SUVs and…keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times,” he lectured us in 2008, before pushing a cap-and-trade scheme to tax and thus ration energy.

That’s straight out of Carter’s playbook: turn down the thermostat, wear sweaters, install solar panels, etc.

Even when Obama tried to go against his own tendencies and promote a modest opening of “new offshore areas for oil and gas,” events in the Gulf of Mexico intervened to stymie him. It was almost as if the ghost of Carter was haunting him. Recall that Carter promoted nuclear energy, describing the benefits of nuclear power as “very real and practical,” until Three Mile Island intervened.

Finally, we come to foreign policy. To be sure, there are subtle differences between Carter and Obama: Carter championed human rights, while Obama, from Iran and China in 2009 to Egypt and Libya in 2011, has embraced a kind of agnosticism on human rights and democracy. But both men seem to view the world through the prism of moral relativism. For Carter, that meant explaining away the behavior of America’s enemies and condemning the behavior of America’s allies; for Obama, it means lacing his speeches with qualifiers about America’s problems and flaws, while refusing to use the bully pulpit to promote freedom.

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  • Steve Chavez

    Obama knows of his comparison to Carter and is now looking for his own "FAILOUT" which is a bailout for his utter FAILURE on National and International policies and lack of any real resolve that the world is waiting for and looks to the U.S. for!

    OBAMA'S NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, like Carter's, is the reason he won't take any decisive military action against any enemy or National Security interest which is the reason the Nobel committee gave it to him in the first place! A first for doing nothing to deserve it, but for hopes that the extremists and Leftists of the world can be free to run over everything conservative without fear of U.S. intervention! While he dined with Chinese leaders, a fellow Prize winner was sitting in a Chinese jail and he said nothing in defense!

    "Bush, Bush, Bush" they successfully said. We should say "Carter, CARter, CARTER!"

    The Carter Center has been taken over by the Far-Left America haters and they have successfully brainwashed a willing dupe!

  • Supreme_Galooty

    Carter is a case study in arrogance. What makes him particularly annoying is that there is nothing, no talent, no intelligence, no good looks, no wit, nothing to support the slightest arrogance. Sadly he can now go to his grave knowing that he is no longer the worst president in American history.

    • Greg

      Yes, all true but I think it's fantastic that history will show Obama is our first black Jimmy Carter!

  • Texasron

    Obama is very much like Carter. They are both cowards. Carter allowed our diplomats to be held hostage for over 400 days. He should have attacked Iran and freed them, even at the risk of their deaths. Iran would not now be the problem they are.

  • Wesley69

    The biggest difference between Carter and Obama is that Carter, I truly believe, loved this country and wanted to do things for the good of the country. Obama, from his actions and statements, seems to hate this country. I haven't heard of Jimmy Carter sitting in a church before his presidency and listening to a minister say God Damn America. Another difference, Carter DID earn his Nobel Peace Prize for getting Sadat of Egypt and Begin of Israel to sign the first peace treaty between these hostiles. Obama got his because he could put pleasing words together like – we in the US are arrogant and should listen to Europe more often.

  • USMCSniper

    Both Carter and Obama as Presidents, are like fence post turtles. If you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a fence post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself, he sure as hell doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass would put him up there in the first place.

    • Pierce

      Your comments are the best I've seen. The analogy regarding what kind of dumb ass put him up there in the first place must be being asked now by the voters who elected turtle Obama, absolutely unbelievable.

      I love your comparison of Carter and Obama to a fence post turtles. they both got a top the fence post because there were a number of idiots who put them up there. I only wonder how many of those idiots still want them up there. I didn't vote for either of them, and am I glad, but Obooma could change things around, but he would have to stop listening to the tsars, or is it czars, and I am afraid it's too late.

    • frustratedRN

      LOL best indepth analysis of the day.

  • kafir4life

    I wonder if BamO will "allow" us to have another presidential election. I can that abomination declaring martial law before the elections, and a "postponing" of the election until "cooler heads prevail". He's learning from his peers and mentors in Lybia, Venezuala, Cuba, and Iran…..All supporters of his in '08.

  • RiverFred

    Why is any one surprised about Carter and Obozo being alike, Carter favored the Arabs (lied about Jewish history in his book) and the Arabs favored Carter with loans for his peanut farm..

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    When Jimmy Carter was in power they used to say that whenever he moved
    his head you would hear a ratling sound wich came from the peanuts as a
    substitute for brain tissue. And now with Barack Hussein Obama in the seat
    of power!!!When he speaks in public and moves his head from left to right and
    his eyes toward the sky!! you do'nt hear nothing because his brain cavity is empty.
    That is why I cal him Mr no brains and therefore a danger to the free West;as
    long we can call the Western hemisfere free.

  • Leo

    Both Carter and Obama are cut from the same cloth.
    Both are hard core socialist with a veneer of capitalism a.k.a fascist
    both are antisemitic
    both are semi intellectual a.k.a emptily suit
    both are self delusional
    both are self righteous
    both have chip on their shoulders
    do I have to say more?

  • http://www.fx-exchange.com/ Bowmanave

    I dont know about the Katy freeway location. I guess you need to try spring location. I walked right up to counter asked for the xd 45 and purchased it. 3 other local stores told me they were 3 weeks out on getting them. This place has the gear you want. Here is the problem. If you come in for the range. Read the 6 foot tall directions on the front door. These young guys show up with 3 guns all in cases. one of the directions no guns in cases. They still had bolts closed and slides forward. I think the rifle even had a spent shell in it. This young guy opening bolt with gun pointed at concrete floor instead of roof. One of the rules is bolts open and slides locked back.. its everybodys safety they are dealing with. I think I would have a little bit of attitude if I had to deal with stupidity all day long. So try to give these guys a little break. I would be a little anxious about helping some people who come into gun stores too.