Deregulation

Get Carter

|


You could tell by the way he used his walk

"Comparisons between the Obama White House and the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter are increasingly being made," writes John Fund in today's Wall Street Journal, "and by Democrats." A list of interesting examples ensues.

Meanwhile, Cato's Gene Healy, writing in the D.C. Examiner, wishes that Obama could be as good as the undead peanut farmer:

Too often […] Carter critics descend into hyperbole. Last month, a Rightwingnews.com poll of conservative bloggers ranked Carter as "the worst American of all time"—beating Benedict Arnold and the Rosenbergs, spies who gave Stalin the A-bomb. In a recent column, Karl Rove bashed President Obama with a Carter comparison: "weak and radical at the same time."

That's half right—and half ridiculous. Carter was a weak president, but he was anything but radical. In fact, in "Recarving Rushmore," his 2009 book re-ranking the presidents based on small-government criteria, Ivan Eland calls him "surprisingly the first conservative chief executive since Calvin Coolidge."

An impishly provocative assessment—but there's a lot to be said for it.

Whole thing here. Reason on Carter's deregulatory record here. Nick Gillespie and I made the Carter comparison–and some inaccurate legislative predictions–back in July 2009.