Jimmy Carter redux

By Christopher Harper

As a young reporter for Newsweek, I headed to Washington, D.C., during the administration of Jimmy Carter, the most ineffective president during my lifetime.

Almost every week, I was assigned to what became known as the Jimmy “f***-up” story. These missives included his administration’s failure to curb inflation rates and mortgage costs to problems with energy supplies and labor unions. At the end of the Carter administration, I reported on the biggest blunder of all: the Iran hostage crisis. 

It’s taken a few months, but the comparison of Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden is finally creeping into the media. 

In a column in The Hill, political operative Bill Schneider explained some of the similarities.

If Congress fails to pass the mega-buck omnibus bill to grant money to virtually every Democrat, Biden will look bad, Schneider argued. “Biden will look weak. Which is exactly the problem Carter had. Carter was called weak, ineffectual, and “’wishy-washy,’” Schneider wrote.

As history.com notes: “Despite Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, Congress blocked Carter’s proposal for welfare reform, as well as his proposal for a long-range energy program, a central focus of his administration. This difficult relationship with Congress meant that Carter was unable to convert his plans into legislation, despite his initial popularity.”

Sound familiar? But the comparisons of the ineffectiveness of Carter and Biden go much further than passing legislation.

Carter sent special forces to Iran to rescue the American hostages in the U.S. embassy in Iran. Two helicopters crashed in the desert, leaving soldiers dead and a public relations disaster for the country. The withdrawal from Afghanistan under Biden provided the same type of victory to our enemies and an embarrassment for the United States.

Carter managed to send inflation and mortgage rates skyrocketing in an economy that fell flat during his tenure. Although mortgage rates are staying relatively low so far under Biden, inflation is rampaging to its highest rate in years. For example, the Social Security Administration recently announced that the cost-of-living increase will reach nearly 6 percent, a rate that will only exacerbate the already-weakened retirement system.

Inflation at the supermarket and the gas pumps is worsening under Biden as it did under Carter.

Labor unions picketed coal mines, steel mills, postal offices, and many other businesses under Carter. Replace that unrest with strikes at hospitals, cereal makers, and equipment manufacturers under Biden.

Even the families of Carter and Biden have created embarrassment for the country. Carter’s brother Billy got drunk with the Georgia locals and hobnobbed with dictators like Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Biden’s son Hunter disgraced himself with cocaine orgies and China hijinks.

There may be one significant difference between the two presidents. Carter was a pretty decent guy. I’m not so sure the same can be said about Biden.

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