October 30, 2010
Jimmy Carter: You Lie!By Robert Morrison
There you go again. Jimmy Carter, you promised us that "I'll never lie to you." But you certainly are lying when you go on MSNBC and tell Chris Matthews that the reason you lost in 1980 was because of "an independent candidate." Thirty years after the American electorate gave you the boot, you still can't bring yourself to name John Anderson.
Well, Mr. Ex-President, let's do the numbers. Ronald Reagan carried 44 states in 1980.
You might argue that John Anderson's candidacy tipped ten of those states to Reagan -- including such liberal bastions as Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
If you added every one of John Anderson's 5,719,222 popular votes (6.6%) to your 35,480,948, (41%), your total of 41,200,170 (47.6%) would still have been far behind Ronald Reagan's popular vote total of 43,898,770, or 50.8%.
If every one of Anderson's votes had gone to you, Reagan would still have beaten you by 2.7 million votes. By contrast, you beat Ford in a two-way contest in 1976 by only 1.6 million votes. We cannot, however, assume that those Anderson votes would have gone to you if he had not run.
John Anderson's public campaign was a blur. Why was he in it at all? It wasn't at all clear. Under the radar, though, Anderson made powerful use of liberal mailing lists. In his direct mail appeals to the liberal professoriate and left-wing activists, he hammered away at the abortion funding issue.
You had signed the Hyde Amendment banning federal funding of abortion. You took a consistent stance against funding. It's not that you were anything like a pro-life president. Of the hundreds of federal judges you named, not one opposed Roe v. Wade.
We have to give you this much: you recognized then what Obama and the liberal Congress failed to recognize now in pushing through ObamaCare. Namely, when you force millions of Catholics, Evangelicals, and Lutherans to subsidize abortion with their tax dollars, they don't like it. And they tend to take it out on the politician who makes them violate their consciences in this way. Anderson wanted to force us all to subsidize the taking of innocent human life.
But Anderson didn't have a lot of your baggage. He didn't have a Misery Index over 20. That's the device you invented, the combination of inflation and unemployment rates. You beat Gerry Ford over the head with it. In 1976, the hapless Ford's Misery Index was just 16.
Nor did Anderson have your record of Israel-bashing. Although we could hardly call Anderson a friend of Israel, he bore an olive leaf in his beak compared to your Arabist administration. Many of those votes that went to Anderson were from pro-Israel liberals who were put off by your "tilt."
(If they didn't like you then, I wonder what they think of you now, when you are likening Israel to the South African apartheid regime. It's lucky for you there are no Israelis and no Evangelicals on the Nobel Prize Committee.)
Finally, of course, Anderson did not have your feckless record of dealing with the Iranians. While the mullahs in Tehran held 52 Americans for 444 days, threatening them with death daily, your response was flaccid. You allowed the Iranian delegation to come to New York to address the U.N. General Assembly. New Yorkers actually had to pay for the overtime that their police put in defending these kidnappers, these terrorists.
You were so weak, so irresolute, that you made Neville Chamberlain look like a pillar of strength. Your own ambassador to the Soviet Union, Malcolm Toon, said he never feared for our country as much as when you were president. He had never seen the Soviets so contemptuous of American weakness.
Thank Heaven the American people did not to have to choose between you and liberal John Anderson. They had Ronald Reagan riding to their rescue.
You have been quite bold of late, Jimmy Carter. First, you settled old scores with Ted Kennedy on health care. How heroic -- after he's dead.
Now, on MSNBC, you're trying to de-legitimize Reagan's historic victory. Do you really think we've all forgotten your days of malaise? Reagan may be gone, but we Reaganauts remember.
I go back a long time with you. Back in 1980, my young wife pleaded with me to help her plant tulips in the fall. "I can't spare any Saturdays, Honey," I replied, "I have to campaign for Ronald Reagan. I'll help you plant the tulips in the spring."
If we don't plant tulips in the fall, she corrected me, we won't have any in our garden come spring. "If we don't get Jimmy Carter out of the White House," I answered, "we'll have a Soviet tank in our garden come spring."
The spring of 1981 was a reawakening for America. President Reagan recovered from the assassination attempt. He abolished your Odd and Even gasoline days, and we Americans have not stood in line for gas one day since. He passed the greatest tax cut in history. We never had those Soviet tanks in our gardens. Oh, and the tulips were lovely that year.