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Author Topic: A question about Jimmy Carter?  (Read 2131 times)
LBJ Revivalist
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« on: April 16, 2011, 03:26:02 pm »
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Did Carter govern as more of a centrist, or more of a liberal? Was he to the right of Obama, to the left, or about in the same political range?

Also, I've read that in terms of ideology, in 1980 Carter and Reagan weren't very different, it was more a matter of presentation--true or false?

Just wondering...He doesn't seem to have been say, an LBJ or FDR in terms of Liberalism, and yet Conservatives act like he's the spawn of Satan even to the this day.
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 03:35:43 pm »
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He was too moderate for the Liberal Congress, and too Liberal for the other party. While I do support certain things he did like the sparking of the proxy-war in Afghanistan (despite the results we have nowadays because of it), I hold that he was generally too naive about the Soviet union, saying stuff like "It is American policy not to sell weapons to the Soviet Union" when it was blatantly obvious and it was by no means at or near the center of any foreign policy. He also went on TV in 1979 (I think) saying something like "I have learned more about the Soviet Union now than my ________ years as President", when he should have been aware all along.

Generally, I see him as your average Democrat working for what he believed good but it didn't turn out so well and he ended up fighting his own party as much as the opposition.
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 04:02:17 pm »
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I would say centrist given the deregulation policies.  many conservatives have a very low very of him due to contrast with Reagan (there were substantive differences) and a sense he was generally ineffectual, as well as his more recent controversial statements.
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 08:19:30 pm »
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He was a liberal in the sense of far to the left of Ronald Reagan. For example, Carter was more liberal on economic policy and they disagreed on foreign affairs in some ways. However, Carter was conservative enough to oppose a national health care plan.
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Just for the fun of it, summer 2014 reading: I am taking college courses both in July & did in May. I have read all of the material for those. Besides that I read Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story & the book on Kennedy & Nixon by Chris Matthews both cover to cover & before that One Last Kiss: The Chris Coleman Story. All very informative & entertaining books. I have started Rendevouz With Destiny By Craig Shirley.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 11:56:15 pm »
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Did Carter govern as more of a centrist, or more of a liberal? Was he to the right of Obama, to the left, or about in the same political range?
Overall he was probably about the same as Obama...more left someways, more right others.
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Also, I've read that in terms of ideology, in 1980 Carter and Reagan weren't very different, it was more a matter of presentation--true or false?
Depends on who you ask, what their agenda and biases are and what particular issues you are referring to.
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Just wondering...He doesn't seem to have been say, an LBJ or FDR in terms of Liberalism, and yet Conservatives act like he's the spawn of Satan even to the this day.
You think conservatives dislike him more than LBJ or FDR?  That's not how I read it.
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LBJ Revivalist
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 03:41:48 pm »
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Did Carter govern as more of a centrist, or more of a liberal? Was he to the right of Obama, to the left, or about in the same political range?
Overall he was probably about the same as Obama...more left someways, more right others.
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Also, I've read that in terms of ideology, in 1980 Carter and Reagan weren't very different, it was more a matter of presentation--true or false?
Depends on who you ask, what their agenda and biases are and what particular issues you are referring to.
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Just wondering...He doesn't seem to have been say, an LBJ or FDR in terms of Liberalism, and yet Conservatives act like he's the spawn of Satan even to the this day.
You think conservatives dislike him more than LBJ or FDR?  That's not how I read it.

I go on conservative boards, and yes, many Conservatives feel he was the worst President of the 20th century, if not the worst of "all time." According to some I've talked to, even though they hate LBJ or FDR, those men had some merits as leaders and did at least some things right; They say Carter on the other hand was a guy totally in over his head and was a complete failure.
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 04:55:15 pm »
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He started much of the deregulation that Reagan got credit for, and cut the budget in a good many places. I think he was more of a centrist.
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#Ready4Nixon
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 07:08:11 pm »
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I go on conservative boards, and yes, many Conservatives feel he was the worst President of the 20th century, if not the worst of "all time." According to some I've talked to, even though they hate LBJ or FDR, those men had some merits as leaders and did at least some things right; They say Carter on the other hand was a guy totally in over his head and was a complete failure.

While I don't geel Carter was an all out evil guy or anything, I generally agree with that assessment. While I respect FDR's leadership abilities, the same way I respect TR's, Carter in my opinion was too naive for the Presidency and, as you said "in over hid head". LBJ I can't say too many positive things about, though.
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 11:11:42 pm »
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I go on conservative boards, and yes, many Conservatives feel he was the worst President of the 20th century, if not the worst of "all time." According to some I've talked to, even though they hate LBJ or FDR, those men had some merits as leaders and did at least some things right; They say Carter on the other hand was a guy totally in over his head and was a complete failure.

While I don't geel Carter was an all out evil guy or anything, I generally agree with that assessment. While I respect FDR's leadership abilities, the same way I respect TR's, Carter in my opinion was too naive for the Presidency and, as you said "in over hid head". LBJ I can't say too many positive things about, though.

LBJ contributed to the decline of Social Darwinism in America. There's your positive.
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(I realize I'm probably just further encouraging him by saying that, and for this I apologize.)
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2011, 08:09:25 pm »
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I go on conservative boards, and yes, many Conservatives feel he was the worst President of the 20th century, if not the worst of "all time." According to some I've talked to, even though they hate LBJ or FDR, those men had some merits as leaders and did at least some things right; They say Carter on the other hand was a guy totally in over his head and was a complete failure.

While I don't geel Carter was an all out evil guy or anything, I generally agree with that assessment. While I respect FDR's leadership abilities, the same way I respect TR's, Carter in my opinion was too naive for the Presidency and, as you said "in over hid head". LBJ I can't say too many positive things about, though.

LBJ contributed to the decline of Social Darwinism in America. There's your positive.

what? Social Darwinism was really more of a late 19th/ early 20th idea.  It was long since dead in LBJs time, though maybe with a few zombies since then.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 09:01:20 pm »
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I go on conservative boards, and yes, many Conservatives feel he was the worst President of the 20th century, if not the worst of "all time." According to some I've talked to, even though they hate LBJ or FDR, those men had some merits as leaders and did at least some things right; They say Carter on the other hand was a guy totally in over his head and was a complete failure.

While I don't geel Carter was an all out evil guy or anything, I generally agree with that assessment. While I respect FDR's leadership abilities, the same way I respect TR's, Carter in my opinion was too naive for the Presidency and, as you said "in over hid head". LBJ I can't say too many positive things about, though.

LBJ contributed to the decline of Social Darwinism in America. There's your positive.

what? Social Darwinism was really more of a late 19th/ early 20th idea.  It was long since dead in LBJs time, though maybe with a few zombies since then.

By Social Darwinism, I mean treating people who didn't fit the sterotypical "American" mold (ie: wealthy whites) as actual people.
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Convincing BRTD to drop the Sneakers O'Toole BS is like convincing Sneakers O'Toole to take his sneakers off.

(I realize I'm probably just further encouraging him by saying that, and for this I apologize.)
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2011, 03:54:53 pm »
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Much like Ford, Carter wasn't big on ideology. He didn't run on any sweeping platform from the left or right.  He campaigned (and governed) as a well-behaved contrast to Nixon's imperial presidency.
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2011, 10:37:45 am »
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I go on conservative boards, and yes, many Conservatives feel he was the worst President of the 20th century, if not the worst of "all time." According to some I've talked to, even though they hate LBJ or FDR, those men had some merits as leaders and did at least some things right; They say Carter on the other hand was a guy totally in over his head and was a complete failure.

While I don't geel Carter was an all out evil guy or anything, I generally agree with that assessment. While I respect FDR's leadership abilities, the same way I respect TR's, Carter in my opinion was too naive for the Presidency and, as you said "in over hid head". LBJ I can't say too many positive things about, though.

LBJ contributed to the decline of Social Darwinism in America. There's your positive.

what? Social Darwinism was really more of a late 19th/ early 20th idea.  It was long since dead in LBJs time, though maybe with a few zombies since then.

Seriously? Under that specific name, maybe, but the fundamental concept is still (and even increasingly) the driving force of GOP economic policies today.
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2011, 06:05:23 pm »
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Had we seen a second Carter term, which may admittedly have been a pipe-dream, it's likely we would have seen a continuance of his essentially neo-liberal policies. What free-marketeers neglect to mention is that, for instance, the deregulation of the oil industry began under President Carter. Though the milk is long since spilled, we may have seen a transition to not only a deregulated but a truly decentralized economy had he remained in office.
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2011, 12:16:46 am »
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He wasn't not as left as people make him out to be. The reason I assume, is that Republicans were able to get mileage out of that attack on him and any left wing candidate for president can be compared to Carter as a potential weak leader and a failure. The Democratic party has had Carter syndrome and the cure was Clinton.

The same attitude of considering electability has caused the Democrats to choose boring candidates like Kerry. Even if Carter wasn't that left wing, left wing ideas were blamed for his failures. Since image is everything even the Democrats just accept that Carter was way left wing and try to fight the stereotype of weak effeminate "liberals" by engaging in battles about who's the bigger tough guy (see 2004 election and Kerry's attempt at cultivating a macho image).

Carter also, as noted by someone else here, is the one who started the neoliberal policies that Regan is heavily associated with. If he had been reelected he probably would have ended up doing a lot of what Regan did, but to a lesser degree. Just as Obama will probably continue to govern more to the right in the future especially in a second term. The left would be less likely to protest austerity measures if it comes from Obama, just as they are less apt to oppose the current wars now that a Democrat is president.



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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2011, 11:23:07 pm »
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To the right of Obama.

 Carter and Reagan-Carter would have never cut taxes by twenty five or thirty percent. Neither of them, however, supported massive government spending on social programs. However, what Mondale said about Reagan and social security in the 1984 debate, was not true.
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Just for the fun of it, summer 2014 reading: I am taking college courses both in July & did in May. I have read all of the material for those. Besides that I read Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story & the book on Kennedy & Nixon by Chris Matthews both cover to cover & before that One Last Kiss: The Chris Coleman Story. All very informative & entertaining books. I have started Rendevouz With Destiny By Craig Shirley.
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2011, 11:24:59 pm »
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Every President from FDR to Carter is to the left of Obama. Goldwater is the only Republican nominee from 1940 to 1976 who might be to Obama's right, and I'm not sure about that. Eisenhower would be too liberal to get the Democratic nomination today.
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2011, 12:16:17 pm »
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Carter was more conservative on domestic policy than either Nixon or Ford. Actually, he was one of the most conservative Presidents since Coolidge - besides him you could make an argument only for Ike or JFK. During his 4 years in office Carter did the following:

- started deregulating everything
- opposed Ted Kennedy's national health care plan
- opposed prices and wages control
- tried to implement balanced budget philosophy and opposed stimulus spending
- vigorously promoted free trade

All of this led to numerous clashes with Congress liberals. In Carter's diaries you see clear contempt for Ted Kennedy and Frank Church among others, and he gushes over Howard Baker all the time and even writes in one passage that he feels much better when he's around Republicans and fellow Southern Democrats than with Democratic leaders.

Republicans hate Carter mostly because of his foreign policy, and that's what he's mostly remembered for now, partially thanks to his post-presidential activities in that field. Also, he's widely perceived as a weak leader who had no idea how to get stuff done (again, observe how Reagan inherited Carter's anti-inflation plans but was much more effective in implementing them).

But another thing that must be kept in mind is that every story needs a villain, and Republicans  gave Carter that role, much like the New Deal liberals did when they decided that poor Herbert Hoover was laissez-faire devil himself. Hoover and Carter are incorrectly presented as antipodes to FDR and Reagan, but the truth is much more complex.
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2011, 12:34:40 pm »
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Carter was a moderate to conservative Democrat who probably had more in common with the Reagan Republicans than with Ted Kennedy, Frank Church, Tip O'Neill, and other prominent liberals in the Congress at the time. His closest equivalents in elected office today are the Blue Dog Democrats from the South and Midwest.

He had great potential because he went to the White House from being, essentially, nothing. He was elected as a down-to-Earth outsider who would go to Washington, D.C. and make a change come hell or high water. He didn't do that because he was naive about national politics. He thought that the United States Congress was like handling the Georgia state legislature. This made it extremely hard for him to pass his agenda. I read that he almost vetoed the energy bill because he only got about a third of what he really wanted.

I think that Republicans have a legitimate beef when it comes to Carter's foreign policy, but his domestic policy was basically Reagan-lite, as Hoover's was FDR-lite.
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2011, 02:03:32 pm »
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Going to Hoover, heck, in 1932, FDR campaigned to Hoover's left. He touted the Democratic platform of reducing government spending, consolidating government agencies, and a balanced budget. Hoover campaigned on his social spending programs.

Going back to Carter, even Carter grew somewhat more hawkish with the first piece of the Reagan doctrine actually popping up with the 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. I'm not sure if I would say to Ford's right, but had a man with Carter's record been trying to get the Democratic nomination today, he would be rejected as a Conservative/DLC/Evan Bayh/Joe Lieberman type.
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2011, 10:31:12 pm »
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Heres a question...would Carter have cut taxes in a second term? Not by twenty-five percent obviously, but a moderate cut still?
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Just for the fun of it, summer 2014 reading: I am taking college courses both in July & did in May. I have read all of the material for those. Besides that I read Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story & the book on Kennedy & Nixon by Chris Matthews both cover to cover & before that One Last Kiss: The Chris Coleman Story. All very informative & entertaining books. I have started Rendevouz With Destiny By Craig Shirley.
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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2011, 08:21:34 pm »
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Going to Hoover, heck, in 1932, FDR campaigned to Hoover's left. He touted the Democratic platform of reducing government spending, consolidating government agencies, and a balanced budget. Hoover campaigned on his social spending programs.
Don't you mean that FDR campaigned to Hoover's right? Hoover campaigned on his social spending programs, and FDR masqueraded as a fiscal conservative before turning right around and continuing Hoover's spending programs on a grander scale once taking office.
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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2011, 10:07:27 pm »
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Going to Hoover, heck, in 1932, FDR campaigned to Hoover's left. He touted the Democratic platform of reducing government spending, consolidating government agencies, and a balanced budget. Hoover campaigned on his social spending programs.
Don't you mean that FDR campaigned to Hoover's right? Hoover campaigned on his social spending programs, and FDR masqueraded as a fiscal conservative before turning right around and continuing Hoover's spending programs on a grander scale once taking office.

Yeah, I meant "Hoover campaign to FDR's left. Tongue
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