Not Jimmy Carter Bad
London Times U.S. editor Gerard Baker assesses Jimmy Carter’s claim that George W. Bush’s presidency is the “the worst in history” and judges that, while it is bad, “it’s not Jimmy Carter bad.”
For the younger reader, perhaps already infused with a nostalgia that recalls the 1970s as a time of peace and prosperity, a brief reminder of the golden era of Carter is in order. It wasn’t all disco and flared trousers and sex without condoms. Also fashionable in those days were unemployment, inflation and communism.
The US jobless rate was more than 10 per cent. Inflation touched 15 per cent. Soviet troops marched unmolested into Afghanistan. America watched helpless as its diplomats were held hostage by Iranian revolutionaries for 444 days. In the rest of the world, from Latin America to Asia, American power yielded to the communist advance; economically, America was being bested by Japan and Germany.
And then there was the moment when the US President was almost felled by a killer rabbit.
Of course, if all one can say about as presidency is that it’s not quite as bad as Carter’s, that’s not saying much.