Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Lessons of History
In some recent research, I've begun looking back at historical context...because as we all should know, if we're ignorant of our past..we're destined to repeat it.
Oop's ....too late.
Jimmah Carter was a peanut farmer from Georgia who became the 39th President back in 1976. His term in office was a tradgedy on so many levels, that Republicans experienced a surge just 4 years later due to his incompetence. This guy just couldn't get anything right.
Jan 21, 1977: Carter issues a pardon to most of those who evaded the draft in order to avoid going to Vietnam.
June 30: President Carter stops the B-1 bomber program, angering defense conservatives.
September 7: Carter and Panamanian president Omar Torrijos Herrera sign the Panama Canal treaties. They provide for control of the canal to be handed over to Panama in 1999, and guarantee the canal's neutrality.
September 15: Carter's budget director, friend and adviser Bert Lance appears before a Senate committee to defend himself against charges that he has improperly used his position for personal gain. Since July, the Lance scandal has grown into a major headache for Carter, as it calls into question the high moral integrity he campaigned on. Lance will resign six days later.
December: Carter signs a Social Security measure that would keep the system solvent until 2030, resulting in a huge increase in payroll taxes.
December 31: Carter visits Tehran on New Years' Eve. He toasts the Shah, reiterating American support and calling him "an island of stability" in the troubled region.
February, 1978: A nationwide NBC/AP poll reveals that only 34% of Americans think Carter is doing an excellent or good job -- a 21% decline in six months.
July, 1978: Senator Kennedy visits Carter at the White House in a last-ditch effort to resolve their differences over national health insurance. Carter wants to phase the program in and make it contingent on the budget. The meeting goes badly and Kennedy accuses the president of a "failure of leadership."
January 16, 1979: The Shah flees Iran after a year of growing public unrest. Conservative Muslim cleric Ayatollah Khomeini, who had led the popular movement against the Shah, will return triumphantly from exile two weeks later.
July,1979: Truckers blockade expressways and set off the nation's first energy riot in Levittown, Pennsylvania, resulting in two nights of violence. One hundred people are injured and more than 170 arrested.
July 3-12: Carter holds a "domestic summit" at Camp David to address the energy crisis and figure out how to rescue his presidency from record low approval ratings.
July 17: President Carter asks his entire cabinet to resign, eventually accepting five.
August 15: U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young resigns after a private meeting with a representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the latest in a series of controversies.
September 2: Carter welcomes Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega and other Sandinista leaders, who have just toppled dictator Anastasio Somoza, to the White House. He provides them with $118 million in aid.
September 15: Carter collapses during a road race near Camp David, contributing to a growing public perception that he is weak.
October 22: Carter allows the ailing Shah of Iran to enter the U.S. for medical treatment.
November 4: Outraged by the Shah's welcome in America, militant students overrun the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, seizing 66 hostages. The 444-day Iranian hostage crisis begins.
April 24, 1980: A hostage rescue mission, called "Desert One," ends in disaster when two helicopters fail, and a third crashes into a plane during takeoff. Several days earlier, Secretary of State Vance had resigned over the decision to proceed with the mission.
August 4: Carter holds a news conference on "Billygate," the controversy over his brother Billy Carter's dealings with the Libyan government.
October 28: The one and only debate between Carter and Reagan takes place in Cleveland. Reagan effectively brushes aside Carter's attacks by saying, "There you go again," and seals his dominance of the evening with his closing question to voters: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
November 2: The Iranian parliament issues a statement making it clear the hostages will not be released before the election.
November 4: Reagan defeats Carter 51% to 41% in the popular vote, and in a landslide of 489 electoral votes to 49.
Now, as we come back to 2009, I'm finding Obama is racking up blunders at an alarmingly faster rate than Carter did. I think that immaturity and his arrogance are the two factors that are driving this overdeveloped rate of foul-ups....
He's nominated 5 to 7 folks for offices when their tax information hadn't been vetted. He lacks the cultural knowledge of other regions, or the protocol that would inform him that he was never to bow to Saudi Kings and allows his wife to drape herself on top of the Monarchy in Merry Old England. He appoints someone so dumb, that they fly Air Force One over the City of NY at low altitude...ignoring the fact that these people might get a little rattled, because the last plane they saw flying that low...well, you understand.
The kid has shown that he doesn't have a clue....and doesn't want one.
If history does indeed repeat itself, there'll be three times as many folks looking forward to a Republican to straighten this country back out.
Where can you find another Ronald Reagan when you need him?