The Corner

Re: 1979

This one will please Steve Hayward (and echoes many others along the same


“Good piece today, Derb—BUT, you were MUCH too kind to Carter. Yes, in

better times he might have schlepped through a presidency without any major

catastrophes, but that would have had nothing to do with him and everything

to do with luck. On the other hand, his weaknesses and petty tyranny (you

should talk to people who worked in the Carter Administration — his amazing

focus on teeny, tiny administrative idiocies while ignoring big problems was

amazing) would have caused problems even if he had been lucky. Not

catastrophes, but backward movement in any case.

“Don’t forget, he BARELY won election against Ford, who was following the

Nixon debacle and who announce in a debate the Eastern Europe was not under

communist or Soviet domination. Carter was never qualified and should never

have been put in office.

“His activities after office also demonstrate what a mean-spirited,

self-serving person he is. Ugh! I can’t stand him, and the more years

that go by, the more I detest him. Good Riddance! His only saving grace

was being SO bad that we got Reagan elected.”

Oh, hey, if you’re going to tell me that JC was an egregiously awful

president, I have no quarrel with you. I have never thought he was a bad

*man*, though; and his early career, when he stood up doggedly & fearlessly

against a lot of powerful interests, is a fine example of public spirit.

And let’s remember him as he was during his presidency — i.e. as an

incompetent doofus. He is nastier and more anti-American now, probably as a

result of fermented anger at his humiliating rejection in 1980 by the

American people, who preferred to vote for — Bah! Grrr! Gnash! — that

“second-rate movie actor.” Even so, I think the root cause of these later

antics has not really been malice so much as a sort of intrinsic, congenital



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