Wattree's picture

    Barack Hussein Obama Will Be Remembered As One of Our Greatest Presidents - Here's the Facts

    Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

    Barack Hussein Obama Will Be Remembered As One of Our Greatest Presidents - Here Are the Facts

    I am sick to death of these so-call Black "intellectuals" spending so much time criticizing President Obama - not because I don’t feel that EVERY politician’s feet should be held to the fire, I do, but because most of the nonsense  they’re spewing is pure, unmitigated, ignorance. And what makes it worse is it’s either purposeful ignorance, or ignorance due to a lazy-mindedness that could be corrected with less than ten minutes of objective research.
    The irony is, people like Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, the entire GOP, and a lot of other uninformed haters are severely criticizing the President, while Obama's is showing himself to be one the most fearsome warriors for the American people that this nation has ever had. That's why the GOP is trying to impeach Eric Holder, because he and Obama are killing their cronies on Wall Street for the abuse of the American people that led to the Great Recession.

    Most American's have forgotten all about the Wall Street debacle. They’ve simply written it off as a loss, but not Obama. He's made Wall Street pay all of the bailout money back to the American taxpayer, with interest, (Bailout Payment Tracker), reimburse customers, admit guilt (which leaves them open to private lawsuits), making them pay billions of dollars over and above what they stole, and THEN, he’s making them cooperate in their OWN criminal prosecution! These corporations may be "too big to fail," but if President Obama has his way, their managers won’t be too big to jail.
    But nobody's talking about that, and Obama doesn't believe in tootin' his own horn. The man is in Washington walking on water, while his critics are talking about him like a dog. But even as they criticize, he's quietly performing one miracle after another, and then casually walking away without saying a word. So if he has any shortcoming, that’s it - he obviously finds it prudent to pursue the nation’s interest without fanfare.

    A perfect example of that is, if the Republicans had captured or killed Osama Bin Laden, they'd still be bragging about it, and at this point, George W. Bush’s image would be near completion on Mt. Rushmore. Clear evidence of that is how the GOP was bragging about how valiantly they were killing innocent people in Iraq in response to 9-11 - Bush even showed up in a flight suit (presumably the one he ran away from when he was actually SUPPOSE to be in the military).  Every Republican in the country was running on it, but all they actually did was spent a trillion dollars with nothing to show for it - which was actually the plan (they purposely ravaged America’s coffers so they could use that as a pretext to attack the social programs put in place by the New Deal, the GOP’s primary reason for being for over seventy years). 
    Then, Barack Obama came into office and casually took out Bin Laden with three helicopters and a handful of America's finest. He then walked away just as casually as he accomplished it. Thereafter, he simply announced the event to the American people and went on to other things. Yet, we have Republicans running around claiming that he's the most incompetent president that we've ever had - and that's in spite of the fact that they, literally, had to hide Bush and Cheney for two election cycles.
    So to his severe detriment, President Obama just doesn't like to toot his own horn, but he should - if for no other reason than to bench the demagogues - because the American people should be lovin' this guy, and they could be of great assistance in helping him move the country forward. By emphasizing his accomplishments he could not only shut down the Republicans, but he could also shut the mouths of these so-called Black intellectuals who are so busy bashing the most powerful symbol of Black competence in the world, that they’re providing cover for Republicans who are, literally, cutting America’s throat. How could these people not recognize that, and how can President Obama not recognize the value of shutting these people down? But I suppose he has his reasons, and in light of his track record, I'm not prone to second-guess him.

    Again, take what he’s doing in response to the Wall Street scandal. While Obama is walking around smiling and being Mr. Nice Guy in public,Wall Street and the Republicans know who he REALLY is under that nice guy façade - Attila the Hun. While he's being criticized by uninformed idiots as being a tool of Wall Street, Obama has some of the biggest names on Wall Street in the woodshed bent over with their pants around their ankles. He's taking no prisoners - if you screwed the American people, you're going down - and some of the people going down were his biggest supporters, James "Jamie" Dimon, for example, the head of JPMorgan. I bet Cornel West couldn’t tell him Obama is "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats." President Obama is, laterally, shaking that man’s world.

    Forbes Magazine: Economically, Could Obama Be America’s Best President?


    Acording to a CBS News report:
    In the past, "The banks in all the SEC cases were allowed to neither admit nor deny wrongdoing - a practice that brought criticism of the agency from judges and investor advocates.
    "But in a first for a major company, JPMorgan admitted in the agreement with the SEC over the $6 billion trading loss in its London operation that it failed in its oversight. The admission could leave the bank vulnerable to millions of dollars in lawsuits. JPMorgan also reached settlements over the trading loss with the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Britain's Financial Conduct Authority."
    In response, the government in January 2012 set up a task force of federal and state law enforcement officials to pursue wrongdoing with regard to mortgage securities.
    In September, JPMorgan agreed to pay $920 million and admit that it failed to oversee trading that led to a $6 billion loss last year in its London operation. That combined amount, in settlements with three U.S. and one British regulator, is one of the largest fines ever levied against a financial institution. In another case, the company agreed to pay a $100 million penalty and admitted that its traders acted "recklessly" with the London trades.
    To sum up the pound of flesh that Obama is extracted from this one corporation (and one of his biggest supporters) for the abuses that it perpetrated against the American people, Obama has demanded the following:
    1). Of the $13 billion, $9 billion is fines or penalties and $4 billion will go to consumer relief for struggling homeowners.
    2). JPMorgan also agreed to provide cooperation in investigations against individuals within the company.
    3). JPMorgan settled SEC charges in June 2011 by agreeing to pay $153.6 million and reached another such agreement for $296.9 million last November.
    4). As part of the tentative agreement, JPMorgan dropped its demand for the Justice Department to take a "non-prosecution agreement" off the table, which means a criminal investigation of the bank's conduct being handled by federal prosecutors in Sacramento, Calif., continues.
    ."Mounting legal costs from government proceedings pushed JPMorgan to a rare loss in the third quarter, the first under Dimon's leadership. The bank reported Oct. 11 that it set aside $9.2 billion in the July-September quarter to cover a string of litigation stemming from the financial crisis and its "London Whale" trading debacle. JPMorgan said it has placed a total of $23 billion in reserve to cover potential legal costs."
    .And they’re not through paying yet, because in spite of this "settlement" the administration is STILL coming after them with MORE charges, including criminal. And again, in another first - the head of JPMorgan, James Dimon, was one of Obama's biggest supporters. So Obama has taken a "take no prisoners" approach - if you screwed the American people, you're going down, no matter who you are. That’s a new wrinkle in American politics (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57608321/jpmorgan-chase-justice-department-reach-tentative-$13-billion-deal-over-mortgage-backed-securities/).
    And Obama’s accomplishments go far beyond simply punishing Wall Street. In addition to getting Osama Bin Laden - again, something that Bush spent a trillion dollars allegedly trying to do - Obama, literally, saved the world from slipping into another Great Depression. While the Republicans, and many Black Obama haters, have the audacity to ask "Where’s the jobs?," these people are conveniently failing to recall that under George W. Bush the nation was hemorrhaging 850,000 jobs PER MONTH. So compared to that, we’re experiencing a robust economy. Obama also saved the American auto industry, cut the deficit in half, and he’s providing health insurance to millions of Americans who couldn't previously obtain it.
    In addition, he’s gotten Syria to give up their chemical weapons, and persuaded Iran to allow nuclear weapons inspectors inside the country. If George W. Bush had been as effective in Iraq as Obama has been in both Syria and Iran, he could have saved the nation a trillion dollars, and saved the lives of more than a million people.


    With that said, I'm going to repeat myself her, because I feel obliged to ram the following point home. Compare President Obama's accomplishments above with the fact that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, two of his most persistent and severe critics, traveled all across the country on a bus under the pretext of being so passionately concerned about poverty in America that they felt honor-bound to take a stand - but of course, that was BEFORE the election, and when they had books to sell. But now that the election is over, and they don't have any books to sell, they couldn't bring themselves to walk down the street from Tavis' office to support the Black Friday demonstrations taking place all across the country against Wal-Mart - Tavis' major sponsor, a member of ALEC, and the biggest abuser of the working class in America today.
    And not only did they fail to attend ANY of the demonstrations taking place across the country against Wal-Mart, they didn't even issue a statement of support. All we've heard coming from the Smiley/West camp are crickets - and as everyone knows, that's extremely uncharacteristic of Cornel West, who's renowned for being willing to trade a kidney for a sound byte.  So I'd say that just about says it all about those two - Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are two of the biggest hypocrites that the Black community has ever suffered. Their constant denigration of the most powerful symbol of Black competence in the world is a slap in the face of the Black community, and nothing short of a distraction that allows cover for the GOP to more easily pursue their agenda of cutting America's throat.  

    Thus, contrary to the criticisms of the GOP, and the attempted character assassination of the president by a handful of self-serving, and/or clueless, Black "intellectuals," Barack Hussein Obama has already accomplished enough to be remembered by history as one of our greatest presidents, and he, the Black community, and his supporters, would be well served to begin to trumpet that fact, and tell the idiots, demagogues, and poverty pimps to go take a nap.


    Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.


    Have to agree with your basic assessment of history's assessment of Obama.

    We can quibble about "one of the greatest" and the "inside baseball" of West and Smiley et al, but I agree with your overall view.

    It's odd, though, that the point has to keep being reargued. I can't remember another president where this point has been argued so vehemently and continuously.

    I chalk it up to an underlying, and often unacknowledged, conviction that Obama had to be GREATER than the average president, even very good president, to avoid a negative assessment of his presidency.

    Some version of blacks needing to be great in order to be considered good or even passing in many professions. Different versions of this on the left and on the right.

    I totally agree, Peter.  But I think ignorance and denial also have a lot to do with it. There are no eyes so blind as those who refuse to see.

    It's very difficult to assess the historical stature of sitting presidents, but generally speaking, most great presidents have been recognized for war, diplomacy, and legislation. Neither the $13B deal with JP Morgan nor the capture of Bin Laden nor even the financial bailout meet that standard. American history is littered with corporate prosecutions, financial crises, and hostile warlords that have faded from memory. Remember the Panic of 1893? Anyone, anyone? How about the prosecution of U.S. Steel? Which president captured Geronimo?

    Obama's only potential historic accomplishment--the only one that anyone might remember in 100 years--was the ACA. But the jury is still out on that.

    Of course, the makeup of Congress made it nearly impossible for Obama to accomplish much legislation, but the truly great presidents have been those who defied the odds--using their popularity, charisma, or tactical brilliance to overwhelm or outwit their opponents. President Obama has failed to overcome the forces arrayed against him.

    There have been worse presidents, for sure, but Obama is not by any stretch a great president.

    Geronimo surrendered in the mid 1880's. Panic of 1893 was a 4 year depression because of over speculation in Railroad, collapse of agriculture prices and precious metal prices.  I know this because Geronimo was taken to Ft. Pickens and I lived across the sound from there for 11 years. He wasn't captured but decided to save the lives of the 30 some people left in his tribe. He negotiated his surrender. All that happened under Cleveland a Democrat. 

    I know about the 1893 panic because I have a 1893 fiddle back Singer treadle sewing machine. They stopped making them then.  The panic lead to labor unrest,  When Cleveland left office, McKinley was elected and that started the progressive era. Anti Trust Laws was passed under McKinley but was enforced by Teddy R.

    I have a set of flash card here in my coffee table draw on the presidents because the kids ask alot of questions.  My oldest grand daughter, who just got married, was given them for Christmas one year when she was in grade school.  

    I remember LBJ being trashed but he now being recognized as a good president because of what he accomplished legislatively.

    I think because of the internet, future populations will know more about history.  Me and my brother still laugh at the fact that my mother believed Washington did chop a cherry tree down and we had to break her heart on it.  She learned it in a one room school house in the 1920's.  

    African American students are going to remember Pres. Obama in detail just the same way they remember Booker T. Washington and MLK.  I know more about MLK now then I did while it was happening because of my grand kids homework.  I was just as much interested in politics then as I am now.   

    It just depends on who set the bar and how high.  

    Congrats, you get an A+. Incidentally, the Panic of 1893 is considered America's second-worst economic crisis after the Great Depression.

    Obama will definitely be remembered as the first black president, but I doubt that his presidency will stand out otherwise. Historically speaking, it's been pretty bla, neither exceptionally good nor exceptionally bad.

    It's no surprise African-American political scientists rank the Presidents differently than White political scientists. It's too early to assess how Obama will be viewed, but that reliable source Wikipedia review of polls suggests that he may be in the upper third of Presidents right now. It should go higher once Obamacare gets underway, Syria's chemical weapons are destroyed and the Iran deal holds up.

    That's a cool page. It's interesting to see how past presidents floated up and down with historical trends. Reagan is all over the map.

    I feel comfortable predicting that Obama will stay in the second quartile. He's been more competent than most, but he ain't Top 10.

    You start off humble and hedge-y and end up definitively. I guess you convinced yourself in the space of paragraph.

    You were probably closer to reality at the beginning.

    Leaving aside that deciding who was/is great is mostly a parlor game, it seems to me there are some inherent difficulties:

    • How great do you have to be? It could probably be argued that only the founding presidents, Lincoln, and FDR were great. Next to them, everyone else pales. And who can touch even the hem of a Thomas Jefferson? I'd argue, though, that the founding presidents were mostly great for what they did BEFORE they assumed office. They created (more or less) the country! No one else can hold a candle to that; then again, no one else had the opportunity.

    • Then there are the Manichean presidents. Devils or angels? LBJ comes to mind. Maybe Wilson. TR. Maybe Nixon. Tried hard for greatness, but had huge flaws, though I'm not as keen a student of the early 1900s as you are.

    • Then there's at least one who had a big impact--negatively, I'd say--but, as far as I can tell, didn't have many achievements. Reagan. Reagan and his era represented the ascent of movement conservatism, which had a huge impact on the country. Maybe it's fair to say that his influence was mostly ideological.

    • Can one be "great," but in a negative way? Or does great always have to be positive assessment? Maybe "influential" would serve that purpose. I'd put Reagan there and probably Nixon.

    I guess one has to say that Truman was great, mostly because everyone thinks so. But I'm not sure he deserves it fully. Maybe; just not sure.

    Anyway, I think we can only be certain of the greatness of a handful of presidents. (The founders should be excluded because they skew the curve.) So, if Obama doesn't rise to the level of a Lincoln or an FDR, what does that mean? How many violinists are Heifitzes?

    The first line was just my caveat. I have a strong opinion, but I could easily be wrong.

    To your point, "great" is obviously an ambiguous category, but I'd say that there is a pantheon of presidents who transcend the rest in historical memory. Their faces are on coins, their names are on schools, their anniversaries are memorialized, schoolchildren know their major accomplishments, and an endless stream of biographies and biopics recount their lives.

    Lincoln and Washington are clearly the top two, followed by a group that includes Jefferson, TR, Wilson, and FDR. After that it gets a bit hazy with recent folks like JFK and LBJ but probably includes Truman, Jackson, Adams, and Madison.

    In arguing that Obama is not a great president, I'm suggesting that he is not and will never be a contender for this elite group. Historians may debate about whether he was more or less effective than Grover Cleveland or John Quincy Adams, but in elementary schools a century from now, he will be remembered as the first black president, not for capturing Bin Laden or negotiating a settlement with JP Morgan or anything else that seems significant to us at this moment.

    Interesting, though, that this is a something of a live question for people.

    I'm not sure--though it was pre-Internet--that anyone wondered whether Clinton was a great president or was going to be considered a great president. It was just nice to have a Democrat in the WH after a long drought and series of bad defeats.

    Folks had a LOT of VERY high hopes for Obama along the lines of FDR and Kennedy.

    You keep saying Bin Laden was captured. That never happened. He was summarily executed in his bedroom the instant he was identified and then his body was secretly dumped in the ocean. Check the dictionary - that's not "captured".

    FWIW I think your general assessment of Obama's likely place in history is more-or-less spot on. With the caveat that you are ignoring his NSA games will absolutely be remembered among his significant acts (likely negatively so) - nothing else in his presidency has come close to having the same degree of global repercussion. Unless something changes, he owns it entirely now. I also give it even odds the whole doctrine of avoiding messy trials by just drone-killing everyone thing might weigh a bit on his legacy too.

    So in addition to the points you make, there is simply too much Nixon in his style to ascend among the greats.

      If the test of "greatness" is how influential you were, then Reagan would have to be called a great president.  I agree that his influence has mostly been negative. Almost the only positive thing he did was contribute to the fall of the Soviet Union--his fans give him one hundred percent of the credit for that, but I think all the cold war presidents contributed.

    "After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things. Terrible! Yes. But great."

    I am writing this from a 'White' perspective, whateverthehellthatmeans. hahahahah

    The man comes into office and the Dow Jones is at 6000? and now it is close to 16,000 (it lost a few points this week, something to do with the hopes for Black Friday...)

    Oh, a friend of my son called on Friday, and I told him after the call he should have congratulated his African-American friend for Black Friday....hahahahahha

    Sean will be sure to do that next year.

    We had a national unemployment rate of 11%?

    We were going to lose our automobile industry?

    We had a health insurance industry reaping a 15% increase in costs?

    We had mortgage foreclosures at the highest rate ever?

    We had billionaires paying a tax rate under the tax rate of their janitors?

    We had 70% of our citizenry losing all hope?

    We had a 1% who were staking billions of dollars to ensure that Obama would have one term? These pricks spent all this money just to keep people from voting in places like Wisconsin?

    We had a no-nothing party that took over a score of states attempting to curtail birth control when its members would fuck anything that walks?

    We had propaganda that oozed into national media (tv as well as blog sites) lying every frickin day about ACA?

    See, I have already overstayed my welcome.


    Anyway, in my humble opinion!

    Oh, and anyone who wishes to diss our Vice President; take a look at this:

    the end

      Okay, he fined JP Morgan. The economy is in terrible shape, Obamacare is a mess, and Obama has a terrible record on civil liberties. He dragged us into war in Libya, tried to drag us into war in Syria(we avoided war, but we had no right to blackmail Syria), continued a futile war in Afghanistan, and could probably be charged with war crimes. The deal with Iran does seem to be a good thing, provided Iran complies.

    Can you name your favorite recent President?

       I would give the prize to Jimmy Carter if it weren't for the genocide in East Timor.

    Voting is a civil liberty. The DOJ Is involved in an ongoing fight against GOP directed voter suppression. Some Progressives predicted that Obama would nominate Ray Kelly of the Stop and Frisk and mosque monitoring NYPD as head of Homeland Security, obviously that was not the case.

    How would you assess the impact of inflation on the economy under Carter?


      I was in middle school during the Carter years, so I really don't remember what was happening with the economy and fiscal policy. I haven't read up on it.

    Here is one view of the impact of inflation under Jimmy Carter

    It is interesting that the peace accord and East Timor are noted, but the economy and gasoline lines under a Carter were overlooked there was also a failed rescue attempt of hostages held in Iran under Carter.

    I wouldn't blame any president for economic events that were set in motion long before his term. US mainland oil production peaked in 1971, and while Alaskan production didn't peak until 1988, still Carter took office at a time when imported oil was becoming desperately important, and when OPEC was using oil prices to punish the US for supporting Israel.

    I suspect the Camp David Accord had as much to do with trying to stabilize the world's major oil-producing region as anything else. Although Egypt got $2 billion in aid out of it (Israel got $3 billion), they also were expelled from OPEC and Sadat was assassinated by Islamists who felt he had betrayed them.

    The buck for failed rescue attempt does stop with the CIC. That's just the way it is.

    I like Jimmy Carter. The point is that we grade Presidents that we like on a curve. Jimmy Carter had an economic mess handed to him just like Obama. If Carter gets high marks we have to acknowledge that we are willing to justify some missteps because we like Carter personally. 

    What economic mess was handed to Carter? The economy was fine in Jan 1977. Problems in 1979 were arguably related to how he handled the whole Iran situation (i.e. it can be argued he had little choice, but in any case, it wasn't a problem when he entered the White House).

    And I haven't seen many people excuse Carter's missteps in messaging, his weak look on Iran, his seeming helplessness on stagflation late in his term. Granted, Reagan got the benefit of tough measures that Carter too that made him look bad, so in that case in hindsight we upscore Carter not because we like him, but because he took one for the team. He also gets upscored because Brzezinski's dragging Russia into Afghanistan was brilliant - a perfect way to beach a superpower on the rocks for a decade without firing hardly a bullet. Worked so well, guess it could be done again...

    I responded to a post that clearly indicated that the economy under Carter was not factored into the ranking of Carter as President. The Egypt-Israel peace accord was the major factor in Carter's selection.

    The economic mess Carter got handed was the impact of decreased Iranian oil production. Despite OPEC increasing production, an oil panic ensued leading to higher prices. The Iranian revolution was the trigger for the hot potato that fell into Carter's lap.

    I do maintain that Carter's work with Habitat For Humanity and other worthwhile causes is a reason for his popularity. 

    My point was that the Iranian Revolution didn't come out of the blue - Carter helped provoke the revolution with his reform pressures on the Shah as BBC broadcast the Ayatollahs speeches from Paris, while his State Department was caught aloof and oblivious when the revolution burst out - I had friends who were called up & invited to a State dinner party the night the embassy was occupied - and the subsequent decrease in oil production post-revolution.

    So Afghanistan A+, focus on energy independence B+, messaging C-, handling of Iran D+ with some justifications, bring down inflation in retrospect an A-.

    Habitat for Humanity leaves me with a bit of a "meh". Yeah, nice to do, but I'm a bit with Cheney that relying on charity or altruism doesn't form a rational basis for public (energy) policy - nice to allow people to earn enough money to hire someone to rent or build their house properly. But better than letting banks foreclose illegally on their houses.

    Overall, your analysis of Carter should place him lower on the rungs of President's. The most rational explanation for Carter's current hgb regard is his post Presidential actions. Most people think of Carter as the humanitarian President. He is very like able.

    "Carter helped provoke the revolution with his reform pressures on the Shah as BBC broadcast the Ayatollahs speeches from Paris..."

    Yes, but this is a bit like reading a stock chart from right to left, no?

    Progressives or liberals or the left in general wanted the Shah to reform. It was a cruel and brutal regime that had been imposed by the West. Carter, as I recall, injected a "human rights" element into our foreign policy that realists derided.

    I had many Iranian friends who had risked much by fighting the Shah. And the revolution, for a teensy bit of time, at least in retrospect, had an important secular element, e.g., Bani Sadr.

    It's a bit unfair to "blame" Carter for Khomeini's ascension and all that followed.

    His actions may, in effect, have had unintended consequences (don't they all?)...and maybe, I'd have to look at this, he "should've" known what Khomeini represented... but it's hard to steer these things from Washington.


    Read "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" - you can't abrogate responsibility just because you didn't know what would happen.Oedipus plucked out his eyes, and it's hard to imagine someone with less bad intent than he.

    Otherwise we'd be buying Bush's line that he didn't know invading Iraq would be that bad - "hey, lookie here! toppling Saddam is worth any cost!". Yes, pushing reforms in general is good, but you also have to beware where those reforms could lead in a cruel perverse world.

    I think one has to make distinctions--it's hard not to see the big differences between Carter and Bush and their respective actions and reasonableness of their goals.

    It's not a science or infallible, but it can be done. You're always looking dimly into the future and playing percentages.

    There's also a difference in how many of your four feet you commit to an action. Pressuring another regime is much different from invading another country.

    Khomeini is responsible for what Khomeini did--not Carter.

    And arguably, backing the Shah and tightening the screws on the pressure cooker, would've been just as bad as seeking reforms.

    In fact, if the Shah had embraced reform, it could have robbed Khomeini of the energy of some of his backing.

    Ultimately, it was the Shah and his backers who brought Khomeini to power, if we want to assign blame to it. They wound up the rubber band tight; Carter was simply trying to get them to unwind it a bit.

    Then watch "Zentropa" or Europa, where not taking a stand is worse than being on either side of a horrible setting. What's the thing about God spitting out the lukewarm?

    Sorry. I don't know what you mean here.

    Lars von Trier, 1991

    Danish film maker. I guess he is suggesting art imitates life

    Suggesting movies have messages and can reinforce truths. Plus it's a great movie.

    But you are suggesting that Carter's taking a stand was bad.

    Presumably, he should have stayed put with the Shah.

    Or are you saying he did a little bit of both and THAT was the problem?

    Should Obama have stayed put with Mubarak?

    Who am I to shield Carter from the doubts of history - Truman dropped the atomic bombs for which he'll forevermore be a great hero and evil at the same time. Carter destabilized the Shah pushing for reforms as domestic unrest & the Ayatollah's criticism increased (yes, the BBC carried his speeches). Did Carter push just right, too hard, not hard enough, or not in the right way? We know how the story ended - which parts should he have foreseen, which conclusions foregone? Also is the prism of a US-biased perspective, human rights point-of-view, Iranian angle, global political view. In any case, you can try to do the right thing and screw up badly - nice tries aren't necessarily a good excuse - and you can try to do the right thing with futility and the failure is noble and proper despite the loss - sometimes winning isn't everything, sometimes it is, sometimes pragmatism is a good strategy, sometimes idealism & perfectionism is.

    In other words  we like Jimmy Carter so we are grading on a curve.

    What the hell?

    What curve?

    Judge him on what he did, and what he didn't do - including things he should have seen as well as general naivete. He left America despondent, screwed up the Iranian transition, bailed out Chrysler, pushed for energy independence, sucked the Soviet Union into a honey trap that rather destroyed it, and seems to have implemented the high interest rates that destroyed his re-election chances but wrung out stagflation. Anything else to note?

    You're just aching for some angle to give a blanket apology for Obama - would be humorous if not so expected.

    See response below

    Carter is an excellent ex-Prez, but he'll never be considered a successful President. I wasn't at all impressed with him while he served, but like many people my opinion of him has changed based on his humanitarian work afterwards. I see now that he tried to do a lot of good things, but didn't have the political ability to make them happen.

    Well, except that, if we take MW's criteria seriously, then Carter scored a MASSIVE foreign policy victory with Camp David. No only was it big, it has endured.

    Who else has done anything comparable in the Middle East? No one that I can think of. HW kicked Saddam out of Kuwait, but that was after supporting him and building him up vis a vis Iran and maybe giving him mixed signals on the eve of the Kuwait invasion. Plus where was the peace?

    Camp David ALONE should secure Carter as a great president.

    Camp David has endured, but the peace hasn't been pretty.

    Peace is prettier than war.

    Peace between Israel and Egypt has been reasonably pretty, especially compared to the regular outbreak between the two countries that was the norm before.

    And it's VERY pretty compared to what other presidents have done or not done.

    The thread in question began with the proposition that the Egypt-Israel peace treaty should gain Carter a higher rating as President. Jimmy Carter's economic and military woes led to his inability to get re-elected. In addressing the initial comment in the thread, I noted Carter's political baggage. I also noted that he gains high marks for his activities since his Presidency. Carter gets high marks for his humanitarian aid.

    Jimmy Carter is laced in the middle of Presidents when ranked by historians in a C-SPAN poll. Carter falls just outside of the top 10 Presidents when ranked by the general public in an ABC poll and again in a Western college poll. I maintain that he gets high ratings because of post-Presidency activity.

    We will see how history rates Obama. I cast a vote to demonstrate my preference. I am hopeful that the chemical weapons will be removed from Syria and the the Iranian peace plan can be saved. I am hopeful that the Obama DOJ can combat the open voter suppression going on by the GOP legislatures and Governors, but that is because I vote.

    I don't care about Habitat, and can't help what the general public thinks. I pay attention to his environmental, economic and foreign policy effects and assess him accordingly. No curve, no gentlemen's C, etc.

    Sigh. The thread is about understanding how the public ranks Jimmy Carter. I understand why the original post in the thread gave Carter high marks despite his failures as President.  Obviously, you are free to your own personal opinion, but the thread was about the general public's view of Jimmy Carter.

    Latest Comments