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Ed Driscoll

Can Our Government Be Competent? Jimmy Carter Says Yes

October 31st, 2013 - 7:20 pm

But not under its current president, as Peter Wehner writes at Commentary:

I’ve been quite critical of President Obama over the course of his presidency. Earlier this week, for example, I wrote a piece in which I accused Mr. Obama of mendacity. So I take a back seat to no one when it comes to leveling harsh judgments against the president. But even I, an Obama critic, believe there are some lines one should not cross, some things that should never be said, some blows that are too brutal even for American politics.

I had in mind what Jimmy Carter, who ranks with James Buchanan and a few others as among America’s worst and most inept presidents, said about Obama. When asked by Parade magazine how he would evaluate the Obama presidency so far, Carter said this:

He’s done the best he could under the circumstances. His major accomplishment was Obamacare, and the implementation of it now is questionable at best.

This is, as Guy Benson points out, a withering indictment from Mr. Malaise. And on first blush, I thought, an unfair one, at least given the source. Who is Jimmy Carter to indict anyone on grounds of incompetence. And yet the more I reflect on it, the more I think Mr. Carter may be on to something.

Headline via James Lileks, who dusted off this anti-classic from the polyester perigee of the mid-1970s as part of the Diner’s return to the airwaves last week:

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