As President Bush's approval ratings continue to slide, the chattering conventions adopt resolutions comparing his slipping numbers with the lowest of the low: the ultimate Mendoza-line President, Richard Nixon. But right-leaning observers - those who are disgusted by Bush's failure but loyal to their politics - raise another colossal Oval Office flop time and again, when publicly wringing their hands about the slow destruction of their beloved party.
George W. Bush, they'll tell you, is getting perilously close to Jimmy Carter territory.
He should be so lucky.
For all the easy list comparisons of failure and malaise, Jimmy Carter is acres of fertile territory past George W. Bush as President of the U.S. It's not close, just on the basis of Carter's permanent introduction of human rights as an important factor in American foreign policy. Sure, there was the sweater, Iran hostages, oil prices, the stupid Olympic boycott - a litany of disasters, no doubt, and not easily balanced by Camp David, the Carter Doctrine of an open Persian Gulf, and his dual stance of Salt II with a human rights stick for the USSR.
Still and all it's a much shorter list, with fewer dead bodies, than Bush's - and human rights trumps all, in my book. (As does a post-Presidency career of a truly great man- and a burr in the saddle of every President after him). Even Reagan continued that human rights doctrine (on a very selective basis - along with every President after him - but it became part of the national debate permanently).
So yeah, don't lift Bush by comparing him with Jimmy - he wilts in the side-by-side.Technorati Tags: jimmy carter | Politics | George W. Bush