Obama As Carter

Appears to be the new McCain meme, and I doubt it will do any real damage. When he left office, Carter’s approval rating was 34%, which an astute observer would note is higher than our current lame duck.

It really says something about how truly bad the Bush administration has been when most people think of Jimmy Carter’s administration and think to themselves, “Double digit inflation, misery index, hostage crisis, oil shocks, a threatening Soviet Union, etc.,” and then think “Still better than Bush.”






107 replies
  1. 1
    Ugh says:

    Bush’s second terms looks more like Carter’s single term than any other President’s does.

  2. 2
    Bill H says:

    When I heard that last night I thought, “Are you kidding me? I’m older than dirt, I’m from Georgia and even I barely remember Carter.” That may be the weakest thing he’s come up with yet, and that in a long line of weak things.

  3. 3
    Jake says:

    John McCain has fallen and he can’t get up.

  4. 4
    zzyzx says:

    It’ll resonate well with those who were converted to Republicans in the late 70s, but if he’s worried about Republicans in their 50s, he’s in deeper trouble than we thought.

  5. 5
    lilysmom says:

    Bill H you are so right!My Repub husband made the same comment last night. What percentage of the voting population was born after 1980? 1970?

    Our Repub friends huddle around and to a man will say, “Yes, but if America is attacked again, they’ll all vote for John McCain”.

    How morally bankrupt is it to hope for the death of your fellow citizens just so that your political party can hang on to power?

    They truly have nothing.

  6. 6
    lilysmom says:

    Bill H you are so right!My Repub husband made the same comment last night. What percentage of the voting population was born after 1980? 1970?

    Our Repub friends huddle around and to a man will say, “Yes, but if America is attacked again, they’ll all vote for John McCain”.

    How morally bankrupt is it to hope for the death of your fellow citizens just so that your political party can hang on to power?

    They truly have nothing.

  7. 7
    lilysmom says:

    Bill H you are so right! My Repub husband made the same comment last night. What percentage of the voting population was born after 1980? 1970?

    Our Repub friends huddle around and to a man will say, “Yes, but if America is attacked again, they’ll all vote for John McCain”.

    How morally bankrupt is it to hope for the death of your fellow citizens just so that your political party can hang on to power?

    They truly have nothing.

  8. 8
    lr says:

    I heard Joe Kernan on CNBC make a sneering comment about Carter–can’t remember exactly the context–so yeah, it’s the meme.

  9. 9
    jibeaux says:

    I think of Habitat for Humanity and mosquito-resistant netting in Africa. But then again, I’m in that 46% of the voting population too young to have voted for Carter.

  10. 10

    I graduated high school. I graduated college with two degrees. I have a career, a car, and an apartment. My wife and I just celebrated our first anniversary.

    Not only was I too young to vote for Carter, I WASN’T EVEN ALIVE during his presidency. Way to connect to the kids, McCain.

  11. 11
    chopper says:

    whoever wins is going to be carter. inheriting a shitty economy, inflation, unemployment, high oil prices, low confidence. i personally think obama will be better at message discipline so that he doesn’t walk out like carter did, taking all the blame.

    part of me feels bad for obama, cause i like him and i pity whatever poor bastard accepts this particular job at this particular point in history. of course, i know that john mcthuselah would make things infinitely worse. and i worry more about myself and my family than the legacy of a politician, even one i like.

  12. 12
    Doctor Jay says:

    The Soviet Union was about as threatening as my grandma was at the time. But George H.W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld put together a “B team” of intelligence “analysts” to hype the threat. History has proven them wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Hmmm, more parellels.

    I’m a big fan of Carter, but I don’t think he was an especially effective president.

  13. 13
    Jake says:

    Has anyone checked the price of gas against its peak during Carter’s tenure? My guess is that, even adjusting for inflation, we’re going to exceed it here pretty quickly if we haven’t already.

  14. 14
    montysano says:

    Slightly OT, but: I was listening to a local talk radio show on the way to work this morning. The double whammy of Dubya’s stay-in-Iraq-forever-and build-60-military-bases plan, along with the release last week of the Senate Intelligence report (aka “Yeah, we lied. So?”) had the folks a bit…. confused. Responses were split between “WTF!@!” and “Yeah, but liberals are still doody-heads”.

    The host is a conservative, but is fairly sharp and fair-minded. His take: “this looks an awful lot like occupation”. Ya think?

    Dubya plans to initiate his stay-forever plan by presidential fiat. Surely, surely the Dems will grow a spine and stop him….. or not.

  15. 15
    Napoleon says:

    And to make matters worse with the Carter comparison is that even if he wasn’t the greatest President ever in my 47 years he has been the most likable ex-President, so that makes it tough to get people worked up about him.

    BTW, I have since day one thought Dubbya came off like a complete asshole (I never could figure who would want to have a beer with him), and I suspect that he will be the exact opposite of Carter 28 years from now when similar comparisons are made to him.

  16. 16

    What Carter did with Egypt and Israel was awful.

  17. 17
    chopper says:

    I graduated high school. I graduated college with two degrees. I have a career, a car, and an apartment. My wife and I just celebrated our first anniversary.

    Not only was I too young to vote for Carter, I WASN’T EVEN ALIVE during his presidency. Way to connect to the kids, McCain.

    yeah, i know. what other kind of stupid talking points or phrases will this fossil come up with next?

    “get on the trolley! vote mccain!”

    “a dodo in every pot and a penny-farthing in every garage!”

  18. 18
    jake says:

    Carter? Very interesting. I thought the William Jefferson Clinton comparisons would be flying thick and fast by now, complete with “First Black President” jokes.

    Well, at least McGramps is referring to presidential candidates who were born in the 20th century.

  19. 19
    crw says:

    Carter’s fundamental error was he took the Washington outsider shtick a bit too seriously, and arrogantly refused to work with the system. From what I can tell, Obama has fantastic working relationships with various insiders in both parties, including heavyweights like Ted Kennedy and Dick Lugar, to name a couple. Yeah, if Republicans think he’s going to be another Carter, they are going to be in for a shock.

  20. 20
    Xenos says:

    I was eleven years old when Carter was inaugurated. I did not understand the details of why the economy was in a mess in the late ’70s, but it was obvious that the stagflation that was so acute in Carter’s term did not appear out of thin air just because a peanut farmer was elected president.

    What were Carter’s sins, aside from bringing some bubbas who offended the David Broders of the Washington Village, the same villagers who relentlessly ridiculed Clinton?

    If McCain wants to revisit the Carter years, I expect Carter will more and more look like a prophet.

  21. 21
    Keith says:

    Wow, another play on an Obama line. If that’s what his sound bite strategy is going to be, it’s gonna be a yawner of a campaign.

  22. 22
    TheFountainHead says:

    How Carter should comment: “I’ve always thought that John McCain and I had a lot more in common than Barack Obama and I. We’re the same age, we’re both politically washed up, and we have the same neurologist.”

  23. 23
    GSD says:

    McCain has also accused Sen. Obama of being less ethical than Fatty Arbuckle, and that’s not change we can believe in.

    -GSD

  24. 24
    leo says:

    Somewhere I read, ‘Better a Carter II than a Bush III’.

    [Actually the text read, Carter II > Bush III.]

  25. 25
    ThymeZone says:

    The McCain campaign is in disarray. They are already losing and they know they are losing, and we are still in the first five minutes of the first quarter. Sorry for the football analogy, but anyway …..

    This contest reminds me of the pre-Montana San Francisco Forty Niners, who were losing most of their games and setting records for pigskin ineptitude. Their announcer in those days, Lon Simmons, had a wry sense of humor. One day after the Niners had stumbled repeatedly and coughed up the ball to ruin yet another drive, Simmons sighed and said, “Well, the only time the Forty Niners are really in trouble in this game is when they have the ball.”

    That’s the McCain campaign. The only time they are in trouble is when they do something. New standards of ineptitude are being forged as we watch.

  26. 26
    wasabi gasp says:

    McCain: “Up against Carter, I’d have a shot in hell.”

  27. 27
    Rome Again says:

    It really says something about how truly bad the Bush administration has been when most people think of Jimmy Carter’s administration and think to themselves, “Double digit inflation, misery index, hostage crisis, oil shocks, a threatening Soviet Union, etc.,” and then think “Still better than Bush.”

    OMFG! I can’t stop laughing.

  28. 28
    gypsy howell says:

    The fact that Carter turned out to be absolutely right about so many important issues* may take a little of the effectiveness from this “slur,” especially for those whose only living knowledge of Carter is the fact that he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 and his work for Habitat for Humanity.

    But go ahead McCain. Make our day.

    *(Gosh, kinda like the DFHers!)

  29. 29
    Napoleon says:

    From what I can tell, Obama has fantastic working relationships with various insiders in both parties, including heavyweights like Ted Kennedy

    Two other things will be at work that will help BHO with Congress, and that is that the Dem. caucus will basically not have the conservative southern wing to deal with and maybe more importantly after the last 14 years will know how important it is to work as a team. Carter had to deal with a congressional party that somehow assumed that they were permenent and could out wait the outsider Carter. Funny how a series of defeats can focus the mind.

  30. 30
    LarryB says:

    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford Says:

    What Carter did with Egypt and Israel was awful.

    WTF? I was under the impression that Camp David is the only thing Carter did that worked out. What’s wrong with it from your perspective?

  31. 31
    LarryB says:

    Or did I just miss the snark?

  32. 32
    wasabi gasp says:

    Town halls with disco balls.

  33. 33
    Flappy McScrotum says:

    Yea.. and Carter’s plan to elimate our dependence on foreign oil was a stupid thing as well. Only a moron would want to be energy independent right now.

  34. 34
    Zifnab says:

    The fact that Carter turned out to be absolutely right about so many important issues* may take a little of the effectiveness from this “slur,” especially for those whose only living knowledge of Carter is the fact that he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 and his work for Habitat for Humanity.

    But go ahead McCain. Make our day.

    After the Ronald Reagen wank-fest that was the ’08 GOP Primary, I would absolutely love for McCain to present himself as New Reagen.

    Let’s all have a nice long history lesson about the terrible, horrible sins of the Carter Administration and the Glorious Morning In America that Reagen gave us. No point in letting any of the old bastions of Republican idolatry stand.

  35. 35
    Incertus says:

    The fact that Carter turned out to be absolutely right about so many important issues* may take a little of the effectiveness from this “slur,” especially for those whose only living knowledge of Carter is the fact that he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 and his work for Habitat for Humanity.

    That’s the key point–Carter may have been ineffective (though his choice of Paul Volcker as Fed Chairman made it possible for an economic recovery to occur), but damn, he was prescient. Too bad not enough people listened to him.

  36. 36
    zoe from pittsburgh says:

    Comparing Obama is nothing more than a lame zinger that makes McCain seem really out of touch. It’s a dated, weak reference to an administration that the vast majority of older people barely remember and younger voters (anyone under 45) aren’t in a position to remember. It also doesn’t make sense on so many levels– Carter was running as an incumbent and the gas crisis happened while he was in office. Obama is not running for reelection and our current gas crisis is happening on a Republican’s watch– an ex-oil man with close personal ties to Saudi Arabia no less.

    Is it just me or is McCain’s condescending laugh sounding more and more like Bush’s arrogant sneer every day. The similarities between them only seem to be increasing as the spotlight shines brighter upon McBush.

  37. 37
    joe says:

    http://www.pollingreport.com/wh-hstry.htm

    Scroll down, and you will find the June 1-6 Gallup poll of ex-presidents.

    Jimmy Carter’s ratings work out to the +27.

    In recent polling, George W. Bush’s net has been about a -30.

    I love this argument, and I hope John McCain keeps making it.

  38. 38
    gussie says:

    Obama’s just like James _Garfield_! Ha! Ha ha!

    Garfield. No, not the orange cat, the president. Of the United States.

    Oh, forget it.

  39. 39
    rob! says:

    John McCain is also comparing Obama to the horseless carriage, phosphates, and how lame Collier’s magazine is nowadays.

  40. 40
    SGEW says:

    Ah, President Carter. How can we discuss his legacy without referencing this?

    Just about says it all.

  41. 41
    Punchy says:

    Obama As Carter

    Cracker with peanuts vs. Angry Muslim Negro with deep dish ‘za.

    Yeah, I see the similarities.

  42. 42
    zzyzx says:

    Carter won’t work? Well let’s try the tax argument!

    Right now [it] is 35 percent, Obama wants to take that to 39 percent . . . We’re talking about people who make over $200,000. That’s not rich. So it’s actually going to impact more people than you may think.

    Please please please PLEASE can we get conservatives continue to try to argue that $200,000 a year isn’t rich in the beginning of a recession. I’m sure that’ll play well with those working class voters of Ohio that we’ve heard so much about.

  43. 43
    Dork says:

    Bill H you are so right! My Repub husband made the same comment last night.

    They truly have nothing.

    I smell a divorce. More like an emancipation.

  44. 44
    RSA says:

    Has anyone checked the price of gas against its peak during Carter’s tenure? My guess is that, even adjusting for inflation, we’re going to exceed it here pretty quickly if we haven’t already.

    Here’s one take on this. If this is accurate, we’ve already blasted by the (smoothed) peak in 1981, and we’ve even exceeded the cost in 1918, when most people were walking or riding horses.

  45. 45
    over_educated says:

    Jimmy Carter’s response.

  46. 46
    Barbara says:

    The image of someone like Carter is hardly static. Against Reagan, he lost, but would he lose a popularity contest against the current president? Not likely.

    Plus, IMHO, Carter’s real sin was not really a policy problem — it’s that he couldn’t make people feel positive about the future. Canceling the Olympics, for instance, was like being forced to take bad medicine for no compelling reason. Now, if it had really made some kind of impact on the Soviets in Afghanistan it might have been worth it, but what was the chance of that?

    Still, it was a depressing night watching the returns from that 1980 election . . . redeemed only very slightly by watching the inauguration, in which Nancy Reagan wasn’t dressed for the record cold weather and the Iranians rained on the parade. Ancient history.

  47. 47

    LarryB Says:

    Or did I just miss the snark?

    June 10th, 2008 at 10:15 am

    :-)

  48. 48
    The Moar You Know says:

    Malaise Forever!

  49. 49
    Martin says:

    It’s worth pointing out that had we taken Carter’s approach on energy a bit more seriously, the current gas situation wouldn’t be nearly such a crisis.

    I’m not suggesting that Carter was a great president or anything, but he recognized that this required a long-term solution. Dobbs was going on last night about how neither Obama or McCain had a short-term solution. Duh. There is no short term solution. What’s the short term solution to Iowa’s flooding? Pray for no rain? I think the answer is supposed to be “Bomb someone until they give us free oil” but I think even they aren’t stupid enough to offer that up from their own lips.

    But 30 years of solar and alternative energy subsidies and investment could have had a real impact on consumption. A few more Priuses isn’t gonna cut it.

  50. 50
    Kevin says:

    Ah, President Carter. How can we discuss his legacy without referencing this?

    Just about says it all.

    “See, I got solutions to all your problems—I got ’em right here in my big, hairy ballsack.”

    Yikes!

  51. 51
    RSA says:

    Right now [it] is 35 percent, Obama wants to take that to 39 percent . . . We’re talking about people who make over $200,000. That’s not rich. So it’s actually going to impact more people than you may think.

    In 2005, households with over $200K of income accounted for 2.67% of the population. Individuals making that much, of course, would be an even tinier percentage. More people than I may think? Hardly. But you’re right, zzyzx, I’m happy to see Republicans making this argument.

  52. 52
    TheFountainHead says:

    This makes him seem young, right?

    “You know, basically it’s a Google,” [John McCain] said to laughter at a fund-raising luncheon when asked how the selection process was going. “What you can find out now on the Internet — it’s remarkable.”

  53. 53
    "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    It’s a truly amazing indictment of the wingnut mentality that being compared to a Nobel Peace Prize winner is considered a bad thing.

  54. 54
    Face says:

    Please please please PLEASE can we get conservatives continue to try to argue that $200,000 a year isn’t rich in the beginning of a recession. I’m sure that’ll play well with those working class voters of Ohio that we’ve heard so much about.

    You’d be amazed the extent of the insults, jabs, and thinly-veiled mockery of poverty many in the Midwest will accept if it means not allowing That N#gger(TM) to become Preznit.

    Y’all are excited, but I think perhaps you’re underestimating the power of latent and pervasive racism in the swing states.

  55. 55
    Martin says:

    Please please please PLEASE can we get conservatives continue to try to argue that $200,000 a year isn’t rich in the beginning of a recession. I’m sure that’ll play well with those working class voters of Ohio that we’ve heard so much about.

    I live in one of the richest areas of the country, surrounded by 7 figure homes and I know about 3 people that make over $200K. I know 3 billionaires and one about to hit that mark and I believe that none of them make over $200K. So long as long-term cap gains are a lower rate than the top marginal rate, they’ll take their money there. Cap gains need to be tiered. I think a low cap gains rate is good, but only to a point.

    The rate will affect high-end professionals that don’t have a board of directors behind them – doctors, lawyers, etc. Anyone that can be paid in stock will be for the lower rate.

  56. 56
    bootlegger says:

    My Pops dropped this one on me last week along with “surrender to terrorists” and “appeasement”. I told him he was parroting propaganda because he usually prides himself on independent thought, but all I got back from him was more of the same nonsense along with an “Obamanation”.

    Sigh.

  57. 57
    zzyzx says:

    “Y’all are excited, but I think perhaps you’re underestimating the power of latent and pervasive racism in the swing states.”

    I think you’re overestimating it. Does it exist? Sure, but it’s the kind of thing that works around the edges and largely effects people who already would have had a reason not to vote for the Democrat. No one is going to get 100% of the vote after all.

  58. 58
    Zifnab says:

    over_educated Says:

    Jimmy Carter’s response.

    God, I love that onion article.

  59. 59
    The Moar You Know says:

    You’d be amazed the extent of the insults, jabs, and thinly-veiled mockery of poverty many in the Midwest will accept if it means not allowing That N#gger™ to become Preznit.

    Y’all are excited, but I think perhaps you’re underestimating the power of latent and pervasive racism in the swing states.

    Could not agree more. This is going to be a VERY tough election, regardless of how much momentum seems to be on the side of the Dems. We’ve got an electorate of abject morons and a black candidate for president. I do not like those odds.

  60. 60
    crw says:

    Y’all are excited, but I think perhaps you’re underestimating the power of latent and pervasive racism in the swing states.

    We already know Obama can’t win in Appalachia. Thanks for playing, though.

  61. 61
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    While listening to an NPR report this morning on the impact of higher fuel prices on Europe one line caught my attention, “After the gas shock of the late Seventies, Europe made a huge investment in rail and public transport.”
    Stupid Europeans; they missed out on all those cool Yukon Denalis, Ford Excursions, Hummers, and crew cab pickups.
    OTOH, my ’92 Escort station wagon (At 29MPG) is now worth three times what it was a year ago.

  62. 62
    The Other Steve says:

    Hmm, I was 8 years old when Carter was elected. I did a mighty good impression of “My name is Jimmy Carter” complete with smile.

    The people who do remember Carter, remembered his energy conservation stuff. The Republicans made hay out of it then because it was boring. But today it shows a certain level of prescience.

    This seems evident that McCain is in a bubble, just like Bush.

  63. 63
    AkaDad says:

    Right now, on his radio show, Thom Hartmann is playing a Jimmy Carter speech.

    His plan was, by 2000, 20% of our energy would be from solar power.

  64. 64
    Catpain Haddock says:

    Carter reminds me of 6th grade, playing outside in the hot summer sun, Three’s Company, and building model airplanes. Not bad memories at all. Not at all.

  65. 65
    SGEW says:

    . . . the power of latent and pervasive racism

    I think that this is, actually, what this election might come down to (and it probably would have come down to sexism, if Sen. Clinton had gotten the nomination). To wit:

    -Candidate A is: Young, charismatic, photogenic, tall, intelligent, principled, and has more popular policy positions.
    -Candidate B is: Remarkably old, dull, kind of frightening looking, shrunken, gaffe-prone, corrupt, and has astonishingly bad policy positions.

    Wow! Looks pretty good for Candidate A, right? But:

    -Candidate A is: Dark skinned, multi-racial, multi-cultural, and has a funny name.
    -Candidate B is: Whiter than 2% milk.

    Uh oh. And they’re even in the polls right now?

    In ’04 I said that I’d fucking well leave the country if Bush “won” again, because it would mean that 50% of the country was fucking retarded*. He did, and I didn’t leave (Because I’m lazy? Because I rediscovered my patriotism by re-educating myself about American History? Because my partner at the time thought I was being silly? Because Kerry was a rather awful candidate, and I could understand why people didn’t vote for him? Because I read Balloon Juice, and could (almost) understand why (non-retarded*) people supported Bush? Whatever).

    But this time I mean it (maybe). ‘Cause if we elect McCain, it means we’re stupid and racist.

    Fucking country.

    *No offense to the neurologically and/or developmentally challenged. By “retarded” I mean, you know, this.

  66. 66
    SGEW says:

    Whoa. Where’d those strikes come from? Yikes.

    I suck at this.

  67. 67
    passerby says:

    jibeaux Says:

    I think of Habitat for Humanity and mosquito-resistant netting in Africa. But then again, I’m in that 46% of the voting population too young to have voted for Carter.

    I was young and I voted for Carter but, that feels like so many lifetimes ago. I was so naive as to not understand why others thought him a bad president.

    However, his character, IMO, has always been laudable and bears the test of time.

    Habitat for Humanity, mosquito netting in Africa, ambassador and adviser to international elections, true Christian, et al.

    Obama is the new Carter? Character-wise I would agree.

    T

  68. 68
    crw says:

    Uh oh. And they’re even in the polls right now?

    Check again. Now that primary season is over and the Democratic Unity Marching Band and Cheerleading Squad is blasting away, Obama is starting to rise in the polls. Give it time. And keep in mind, he’ll get another bounce from the convention. I wouldn’t be surprised if McCain got a nega-bounce from his. The man is a walking PR disaster. One of the worst public speakers to run in the TV age.

  69. 69
    Face says:

    We already know Obama can’t win in Appalachia. Thanks for playing, though.

    WV aint a swing state, jackass. Apparently you’ve never been to western PA, southern Ohio, or most egregiously, northern FL.

    All swings, and all with significant issues with race. Specifically, they hate Negros.

    Let’s just hope the excited-for-change indys will outvote the lazy POS redneck wife-beaters.

  70. 70
    PK says:

    “Y’all are excited, but I think perhaps you’re underestimating the power of latent and pervasive racism in the swing states.”

    I was one of those who thought that there is no way a black guy is going to be the nominee and that the democrats were nuts. But I was proved wrong. Obama has done something which many people thought was impossible.
    He actually defeated Hillary pretty early on in the game except it took her a few months to realize it. He will be helped of course by the garbage that is the Bush administration and the useless candidate which the republicans have vomited out.
    I don’t know if he will win. There are hard core racists who will never vote for a black man, but I am hoping there are enough new voters out there to make up for the jerks.

  71. 71
    w vincentz says:

    Just a couple of more things about Jimmy, besides the Nobel Prize for the Camp David Agreement, his initiatives towards energy independence, his healing actions for the wounds of Vietnam.
    Jimmy also showed great compassion for those in need of housing by devoting energy and effort for Habitat for Humanity, and to this day, the Carter Center continues to intervene and negotiate for PEACE in many conflicts throughout the planet.
    Jimmy Carter is a statesman, a diplomat, and an advocate for many worthy causes. His life has been honestly meaningful to many.

  72. 72
    Jake says:

    Dobbs was going on last night about how neither Obama or McCain had a short-term solution.

    Dobbs is piles and piles of stupid tied to an oversized mouthpiece. He’s unwatchable.

  73. 73
    asl says:

    The one thing that I didn’t like about Carter was that he took down lampposts in DC to save energy. That was stupid. But it’s becoming very clear that the only real near-term solution to the energy crisis is conservation, not alternative energy sources. Carter’s philosophy wins in the end.

    Otherwise, I’ll take Carter’s Middle East record, Energy policies, quaintly decent character any day. Besides, I guess McCain doesn’t realize that probably more people will visualize the ex-president as building an organization to help build houses for poor people.

  74. 74
    Dreggas says:

    Please please please PLEASE can we get conservatives continue to try to argue that $200,000 a year isn’t rich in the beginning of a recession. I’m sure that’ll play well with those working class voters of Ohio that we’ve heard so much about.

    I make 70k a year and am just getting by, If I made 200k a year I would definitely consider myself rich. McCain – Douchebag for president.

  75. 75
    crw says:

    WV aint a swing state, jackass. Apparently you’ve never been to western PA, southern Ohio, or most egregiously, northern FL.

    Florida will probably go red this year. Really, it isn’t much of a swing state these days. Especially not with a popular Republican governor and GOoPer run Sec. of State.

    As for PA and OH, Obama has the party machinery behind him. He can lose the Appalachian portions and still win if the cities and suburbs turn out big for him. You can damn well bet Governor Rendell and Governor Strickland will make it happen.

  76. 76
    Jay B. says:

    Well then its the acid test isn’t it? Between the Irredeemers who believe that the majority of voting Americans would prefer race to solutions and those of us who argue the opposite.

    Obama won’t win Appalachia? Oh heavens! But he could win states that have some of the hollows in them: Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina, in fact. So forgive me if I don’t automatically write him off because he’s down 8 in West Virginia in fucking June.

    My entire life I’ve enjoyed the counter to my “South is still racist” argument — namely, they’d know i’m from Massachusetts and rail on about Boston. Boston, I’ve heard a billion times, is racist, racist, racist! One wonders how Deval Patrick, a black guy in a state without a large black minority population, was able to win the State House with all those racists out there.

  77. 77
    Zifnab says:

    Dobbs was going on last night about how neither Obama or McCain had a short-term solution.

    Dobbs is piles and piles of stupid tied to an oversized mouthpiece. He’s unwatchable.

    I want my two-minute quick-fix brain-fart answer, and I want it now! Make gas drop by $2 / gallon this instant or I’m voting for the other party! Whaaaa~!

    Isn’t Dobbs missing a Saint Patty’s Day Parade he can piss on?

    Seriously, no shit neither candidate has any short-term solutions. They don’t exist. These are very long term problems and we’ve been putting them off or making them worse for the last 8 (or 28, depending on your perspective) years.

    It’s a warm up for 2000, where we get feed the bullshit line they tried to pitch about Al Gore being exactly the same as George Bush. “Oh, they both want tax cuts. That must mean tax cuts are the same, except Boy George’s are bigger! Hurray bigger! I’m voting for the funny monkey man!”

  78. 78
    SGEW says:

    . . . the counter to my “South is still racist” argument.

    Howz’about this? Scranton, PA.

    That’s some racist shit right there, yo.

    [And no, actually, I don’t think that McCain can possibly win. I mean, fer heaven’s sake, look at the guy. And, I gotta admit, I’m still high on th’ M.U.P. juice. But if McCain does win, I might just give up on this hell hole.]

    [ . . . not really. I’m just sayin’]

  79. 79
    Zifnab says:

    My entire life I’ve enjoyed the counter to my “South is still racist” argument—namely, they’d know i’m from Massachusetts and rail on about Boston. Boston, I’ve heard a billion times, is racist, racist, racist! One wonders how Deval Patrick, a black guy in a state without a large black minority population, was able to win the State House with all those racists out there.

    When Obama won Iowa, I think it put the lie to “Black people can’t win high office in the US”. Now, admittedly, Iowa Republicans would have laughed a black candidate off the ballot. But we’re not handicapped by the 28%ers.

    Just keep in mind that the same fuckwits who still prop up Bush’s anemic approval rating would be voting for McCain no matter who we ran. These aren’t swing voters. They never were. The “OMG! LIE-BRULS!” line poisoned the middle ground a long time ago. Either you’re stupid enough to buy the GOP bullshit, and you vote Republican, or you wised up and will be voting Democrat. Classical racists are a dying breed.

  80. 80
    Barbara says:

    The only way you really know whether a black man can be elected is to nominate one. If Doug Wilder could get elected to be the governor of Virginia, with a significant slice of Appalachia AND the seat of government of the Confederacy . . . well, a lot of other things can happen too.

    I am from Pennsylvania, I get it on the racism front, but the funny thing is, even die hard racists lose a bit of their edge when it comes to evaluating an actual person. So all blacks are n***ers . . . except for Bill Cosby, Lynn Swann, Mean Joe Green, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and lots of other people they actually know something about.

    A lot of racism in Appalachia is as much the result of isolation — not knowing any actual African Americans — as it is of anything else. No, I don’t think Obama will win WV or KY, but I don’t think the loss will be as lopsided as people think.

  81. 81
    wingnuts to iraq says:

    If we would have listened to Carter re: energy, we’d be a lot better off.

    But hey, Reagan was about to negotiate with terrorists behind the real President’s back, and then sell weapons to Iran AND Iraq. He was sooo awesome, that Reagan.

  82. 82
    Balakirev says:

    Oh, John! Why focus on Obama as Carter, when we have the joys of McSame as Bush?

    And whom does he think is going to draw the strongest memories, Carter or Bush?

    Still, I shouldn’t complain. I only hope McCain keeps doing the dance he’s doing. He’s so very good at it, and I want it to spin him right out of the election, trailing all those Rethugs behind him.

  83. 83
    Desert Rat says:

    Three thoughts:

    1. Likening Obama to a President who has been out of office for 28 years is not thin beer, it’s fucking water.

    2. Unlike Bush, who will probably wind up drinking himself to death in Kennebunkport or Crawford after he finishes screwing the country over next January, Carter has actually covered himself with glory since leaving office as a force for peace and democracy. I suspect most voters remember him more for those things, than for his time in office.

    3. Once again, this brings up the age issue, in a tangential way, for McCain. He’s bringing up a President who half the electorate has no clue about, good, bad or indifferent. I remember Carter’s administration, and his defeat to Reagan, but only barely (I was 16 when he left office). I’m about at the midpoint in terms of voters.

    I give this meme about one week before it dies, never to be heard of again.

  84. 84

    Hey, at least they are choosing presidential candidates more recent then William Jennings Bryan

  85. 85
    libarbarian says:

    Boston. Boston, I’ve heard a billion times, is racist, racist, racist!

    In my experience they are right on.

  86. 86
    Geeno says:

    Y’all are excited, but I think perhaps you’re underestimating the power of latent and pervasive racism in the swing states.

    At SOME point, the racist fuck-tards have to be left behind. You can’t have the bottom 15-20-25% holding the rest of society back indefinitely. Might the election swing on that one thing? Maybe, but I have a little more hope for this year. There are several “red” states that could flip, especially out west, that would more than make up for the loss of one or two of the “swing” states.

  87. 87
    HyperIon says:

    One of the worst public speakers to run in the TV age.

    not compared to chimpy.

    as someone raised in the south who returns regularly to see my aging parents, i know many people in central fla (leaving aside the more red-necky north fla) who will never vote for a black man. unhappily i am related to a couple of them. but not to worry, they are mostly really big-time christians!

  88. 88
    SamFromUtah says:

    And whom does he think is going to draw the strongest memories, Carter or Bush?

    Carter, probably. We’re about to embark on an age of incredible press and public amnesia about the last eight years. As I’ve said before, Bush II = Highlander II.

  89. 89

    SamFromUtah Says:

    And whom does he think is going to draw the strongest memories, Carter or Bush?

    Carter, probably. We’re about to embark on an age of incredible press and public amnesia about the last eight years. As I’ve said before, Bush II = Highlander II.

    June 10th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Jean Girard: What is the Highlander?

    Ricky Bobby: It’s a movie. It won the Academy Award.

    Jean Girard: Oh for what?

    Ricky Bobby: Best movie ever made.

  90. 90
    Xenos says:

    Boston, I’ve heard a billion times, is racist, racist, racist! One wonders how Deval Patrick, a black guy in a state without a large black minority population, was able to win the State House with all those racists out there.

    Boston has gotten much, much better in the last 20 years. Still, there is a core of racist jerks who can be found in the old neighborhods, but a couple more generations will eliminate most of them.

  91. 91
    Blue Raven says:

    It’s a funny thing about New England racism. Real? Yes. Boston is so segregated, many whites of different ethnicities live in separate neighborhoods. Clannish, old-money WASP elite and all. The Kennedys evolved as the token Irish to prove the Boston bourgeoisie weren’t bigoted.

    But when you’re talking politics, that changes. It’s part of why the Kennedys were and are loved. Sure, some of it’s the attempt to sweep NE racism under the carpet and convince themselves they really aren’t bigoted. It remains that people in MA will elect who they like best, and what they are remains secondary. If Barney Frank had been from Atlanta and had that sex scandal that resulted in him coming out of the closet, he’d never have been re-elected. MA didn’t care.

  92. 92
    dj spellchecka says:

    i like carter as a post-president. he’s done good things.
    and just repeating what was said upthread, carter’s one term and w.’s second really do resemble each other.

  93. 93

    The Boston Red Sox were the last major league baseball team to to integrate their roster.

    Pumpsie Green is the answer to the trivia question.

  94. 94
    Glocksman says:

    Oddly enough, as a politically minded* 9 year old I handed out leaflets for Jimmy Carter during the 1976 election.
    In 1980 as a 13 year old, I supported Reagan because of the hostage crisis.
    In 1984, I put in literally hundreds of hours as a volunteer at the local GOP headquarters to re-elect Reagan.

    Here it is, 2008, and I’m not only voting for Obama, I’ve written articles supporting him in my local union’s newsletter and I’m going to donate some cash later on.

    Funny how it turns out, eh?

    *IIRC, my motivation was that Ford let a crook go, not because of any real understanding of the issues of the day. :)

  95. 95

    The people who do remember Carter, remembered his energy conservation stuff. The Republicans made hay out of it then because it was boring. But today it shows a certain level of prescience.

    I remember the gas lines from a couple of years earliers. But you have to keep hitting Americans between the eyes with a 2X4 before they get the point.

  96. 96
    David Hunt says:

    and just repeating what was said upthread, carter’s one term and w.’s second really do resemble each other.

    I don’t think so. Carter was, very likely, smarter than anyone who’s occupied the Oval Office since he left it. The guy commanded nuclear submarines. You don’t get to do that without being top notch. I’d bet real money that Bush’s Cs at Yale were achieved through money and connections.

    Carter was trying to do a lot of stuff that made sense in the long term but he couldn’t get Washington to go along with it and then Reagan dismantled most of what he did get done. Looking back at the prescience of stuff he said today is a humbling experience. Bush is going along with rote Conservative ideology for virtually every decision that he makes and he’s only going to look dumber as time goes on.

    Saving the best for last, the Middle East. Carter negotiated a peace agreement between Egypt and Isreal. I am still in awe of that. Bush gave us the Iraq invasion and named Iran as part of the “Axis of Evil” and sent a clear signal that he was planning on coming after them when Iran was (invaluably) cooperating with us on the Afgan invasion and making clear signals that they wanted to normalize relations with us. Our standing with them went from great to in-the-toilet the very next day. I suppose I’m in awe of all that too, but not in the same way.

  97. 97
    Original Lee says:

    I think McCain was going after Clinton’s Appalachian base with his Carter remark. I remember one of my uncles telling me back in January, “The last time I voted Democrat was for Jimmy Carter, and look at how that turned out.” For a certain segment of the population that doesn’t really like McCain, the distrust of newbie Obama resonates *because of* what they remember about the Carter Administration, which is largely negative. My uncle in particular doesn’t particularly grouse about the energy crisis all that much, but he spits venom when he talks about the Iranian hostage crisis and how Carter f***ed it up. So he is deeply suspicious of Obama because he’s sort of an unknown quantity, a Democrat, and we have this big problem in the Middle East that the next POTUS will have to deal with, and comparing Obama to Carter just deepens his suspiciousness. Plus the “Obama is a cryptoMuslim” meme, which is still not going away, doesn’t help.

  98. 98
    croatoan says:

    This week McCain referred to President Putin of Germany.

    Is McCain Montgomery Burns?

    Yes, I’d like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?

  99. 99
    Sleeper says:

    All this talk of Carter makes me wonder: What does everyone envision for the post-presidency of George W. Bush? Seriously. Clinton at least did some good charitable work with AIDS relief, and he and Bush the Elder did fund-raising for tsunami and Katrina victims. Reagan was too far gone to do much of anything, but Carter’s career has of course eclipsed his time in DC, so…what do people see Bush doing with his retirement? He seems to suggest in comments that he’ll make a lot of money on the lecture circuit but I have trouble believing that anyone wants to continue listening to him speak after 1/20/09.

  100. 100
    Balakirev says:

    All this talk of Carter makes me wonder: What does everyone envision for the post-presidency of George W. Bush? Seriously.

    I think he will end up on many boards of the wealthy elite, where he can take home a fee simply by smirking. Otherwise, he will spend a lot of time at home, occasionally giving interviews to braindead neo-con think tank interns who masturbate before a portrait of Doug Feith.

  101. 101

    […] This still-born meme brings up this classic Onion post. […]

  102. 102
    SamFromUtah says:

    …what do people see Bush doing with his retirement?

    Balakirev is right. But I think the very first thing Bush is going to do after his term is up is sell that fakey brush-clearing photo-op ranch.

  103. 103
    AnneLaurie says:

    What were Carter’s sins, aside from bringing some bubbas who offended the David Broders of the Washington Village, the same villagers who relentlessly ridiculed Clinton?

    Carter told us that a lot of scary bills were showing up in the national mailbox, and it was time for patriotic Americans to sack up, sit down, and start making hard choices about what we could and couldn’t afford.

    Reagan said that, hey, “unexpected” bills were why credit cards were invented, and look! More “pre-approved” offers just arrived from Sino-manufacturing National Trust, Kleptocratika Moskva, and the Oil Bank of Saudi Arabia!

    Not surprisingly, a working majority of math-phobic American voters found Reagan’s “sunny optimism” preferable to boring ol’ Jimbo lecturing us about wasting our national seedcorn for short-term gratification. The 1989 campaign worked *so* well for the Republicans that they ran a very similar campaign in 2000, and still got close enough to winning that Bush I’s Supreme Court could award the C-Plus Augustus a win. But eight years of Commander Codpiece and his puppetmaster Darth Cheney have reduced so much of our national landscape to rubble that McCain saying, “Well, third time’s the charm!”, doesn’t seem as much “optimistic” as “willfully obtuse, or perhaps senile”.

    Incidentally, I was 24 in 1980, and y’all are whippersnappers who should get off my dam’ lawn.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    …what do people see Bush doing with his retirement?

    Unsuccessfully trying to go into hiding to avoid the Fatwahs from Iraq calling for his balls to be served steaming hot on a platter.

  105. 105
    Koz says:

    Whether or not people remember Carter, it’s going to be increasingly plausible that the US economy will look like Mexico in 18 months if Barack Obama is President of the United States. But don’t let that stop you, go ahead and vote for him if you want.

  106. 106
    stinky mcgee says:

    It’s from his 12 point “I’m Rubber, You’re Glue” plan.

  107. 107
    Will says:

    Pundits have evaluated this line of attack a few different ways. Perhaps McCain is trying to link in the public’s mind the high gas prices of the Carter era, with the current gas price issue and the current Democratic nominee. Perhaps McCain would like to tie what the Right views as Carter’s foreign policy “naiveté” with Barack Obama’s own foreign policy inexperience. Perhaps McCain would like to remind Americans that Carter was also a political unknown who emerged on the national scene at a time of great American dissatisfaction with their government, and also ran on a message of integrity and hope.

    Critics of this line of attack have made the point that to really possess a cogent memory of Carter’s administration, you’d likely have to be over 50 by now. The reference points just aren’t as clear to many voters some 30 years later.

    All of these points are valid, but they miss what I believe is the central effect McCain hopes to achieve by linking Obama to Carter: to cleave Jewish voters from the Democratic Party in November.

    It is the latest salvo of the same strategy that links Obama to Louis Farrakhan, because Obama’s former pastor is friends with the noted anti-Semite. The same strategy that frames Obama as somehow “anti-Israel”, because that same pastor is critical of Israeli settlement policy (full disclosure: so am I. So is George W. Bush). The same strategy that mass-emails anonymous lies that Obama is a secret Muslim, that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. but in the Middle East, that Obama’s real middle name is Mohammed (what genius thinks he would replace that one with “Hussein”, I wonder?)

    While the majority of Jewish Americans have consistently voted Democratic since the FDR administration, it is no secret that Jimmy Carter is possibly the least popular Democratic politician among the majority of American Jews, particularly those with strong support for the settlement policies of the state of Israel. This sentiment arises from the following: a critical perception of the 1978 Camp David accords as too friendly to the Arab side; suspicion of Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski as “anti-Israel”; the controversial title and subject of Carter’s post-presidential book “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid”; the recent talks between Carter and the terrorist group-turned political party Hamas over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    This is the nerve that McCain was trying to strike yesterday with his “Carter’s second term” attack on Obama. The pundits seem to think it was a bust, but don’t even know why he used it. Be prepared to see it trotted out again, and again.

    I should add that when the current President of the United States took to the floor of the Israeli Knesset recently and compared the current Democratic nominee to Neville Chamberlain, that bit of theatre played into the strategy I’ve described above as well.

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