Monday, May 19, 2008

Obama, The Post -American Carter II

In the 1970's, as John O'Sullivan succinctly explains in his book, The President, The Pope and the Prime Minister, a myth sprung up that proclaimed, "the world was running out of raw materials and faced a future of inevitable shortages and falling standards of living." There was even a Davos-style group, The Club of Rome, that produced work statisticians called, "naive extrapolation,"claiming prices would rise until the world was plunged into a depression that could only be relieved by rationing.

As O'Sullivan explains, this nonsense, "appealed to the anti-market prejudices of intellectuals," and before long respected economists were claiming, the era of growth to be over and the era of limits here that had to be imposed by government.

The reality is that throughout the 1970's the government had already introduced controls, in small steps at first, that hampered production of raw materials especially production of oil and gas. "Lo and behold -- the era of limits descended upon us."

O'Sullivan identifies the Carter Presidency that appeared about this time as, "the first post-American presidency." As author John O’Sullivan explains, "the Carter Administration was the first to imagine a world in which the United States is not preeminent — and must pursue its policies accordingly."

Carter charged that among other things The United States was, "a frivolously wasteful power in its economic and environmental impact."

Carter believed, "the American way of life, combining freedom with prosperity, was no longer possible in a world where shortages of raw materials made controls essential and rationing perhaps morally obligatory. Most Americans still held the faith that the free enterprise system would deliver the goods unless government obstructed it."

Reagan understood, and profoundly believed that himself and proclaimed, "you ain't seen nothing yet," and he was right on the mark!

Sunday, May 18, 2008 Barack Obama made his appeal to voters in Oregon saying:

"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," Obama said.

"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.
Can anyone honestly claim that Obama's world view is not in lockstep with Jimmy Carter's? The romp over the flag pin, his willingness to -- and defensiveness over -- unconditional (wait, is it with preconditions or not now, I lost track) face to face diplomacy, his willingness to cavort with American hating associates, his wife and her new found American Pride. These are all like, "deja vu all over again!"

Just as in the 70's controls on the use of natural resources resurfaced in the 1990's and have gotten progressively tighter creating shortages that have pushed prices ever higher.

It has begun, we've been down this road, it isn't pretty, it ushered in international Islamic Terrorism, near economic collapse, decreased influence in the world, the belief by our enemies that they could recommit themselves to their expansion of influence worldwide (the Soviets felt emboldened in Central America and Afghanistan).

Which makes one wonder, since Carter negotiated with everyone, why didn't Obama include Carter in litany of famous negotiators? (hmmm, how did that negotiation go with the terrorists who held our people for 444 days? You know the same ones running the country now. The ones Obama will meet with face to face without preconditions?)

Could it be, like President Bush's comments last week, that would expose the man behind the curtain to be Jimmy Carter II?

Political memories are short, but when jarred the realization sets in, let's hope something jars it soon or get ready for Malaise Part Deux.

Update -- It just occurred to me, isn't that 72 degree number Obama mentioned the very number Carter gave us as our winter temperature -- and he suggested we put on a sweater! With Obama it sounds like we'll be wearing a parka.

Update II -- As I recall during the Iranian revolution they had serious discussions about taking the Soviet embassy but thought better of it -- they understood Carter's natural reaction would be to talk and the Soviet's wouldn't!

As of today I am certain they understand the same thing about Obama -- he will talk even as we are held hostage.


expat texan said...

Yep - 72 degrees was the magic number for winter, and 78 degrees for summer. And 55MPH on the highway. I wasn't old enough to vote FOR Carter. But 4 years later I was certainly old enough to vote AGAINST him.

LifeTrek said...

Expat, I missed that election by a year, can we have another 4 years of that?

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