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With all of the sweep of American history to look back on, with virtual libraries of history recording what works and what doesn’t when running the American government, Obama has stunningly selected the Carter policies as his role model.
Tax cuts? Not for Obama. Military superiority? No, not for Obama. Do tax cuts work? Yes, as shown by Presidents Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and Bush 43. Military strength? Yes, decisively too. From Lincoln’s Union Army to Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet and his maxim to “talk softly and carry a big stick,” from Wilson’s Allied Expeditionary Force to FDR’s vow to victory “so help us God” to Ronald Reagan’s peace through strength, the idea of overwhelming military superiority works — if the enemy believes you will use it. Or you actually use it.
But Obama, as with Carter, is having none of these approaches. From hiking Social Security payroll taxes to investing 20 percent less in defense budgets to telling Americans they had an “inordinate” fear of Communism, step by step Carter’s policy selections and his decisions on the role of government led the American people down a dark and dangerous path that produced the worst economy since the Great Depression along with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and a beachhead in Central America with the Communist take-over of Nicaragua. When his policy towards Iran resulted in abandoning the Shah in favor of the extremist mullahs and the taking of American hostages, Carter’s military was in such bad shape that American soldiers died in the Iranian desert during a miserably failed rescue attempt.
PERHAPS MORE ASTONISHING than his advocacy of a return to Carterism, Obama channels the Republican president to whom Carter was frequently compared — Herbert Hoover. Obama is completely on board with protectionism, seemingly oblivious to the lessons of the Smoot-Hawley tariff that was a product of the Hoover administration in 1930. Upping the tariff on some 20,000 goods it is famous forever as the disastrous idea that deepened the severity of the Great Depression.
One has to wonder about the survival prospects down the road for the Democrats. They either can’t get elected because their ideas are so bad — extremist or tried and true failures — or every once in a good while the latest crowd of American voters actually forgets their history (or never learned it in the first place) and gives a Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton a go at holding the reins. Enemies are then appeased, taxes raised, and judges go wild — which in turn creates a new generation of conservatives who begin to understand why the last generation voted Republican.
The question for Senator McCain, accused by Obama of wanting to serve George W. Bush’s third term, is whether he will hold Obama’s feet to the fire on Obama’s apparently passionate desire to serve Jimmy Carter’s second.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?