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For the Purposes of Comparison - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
For the Purposes of Comparison
When Skylar asks us what our favorite presidents are, both Kim and I answer, "Jimmy Carter," even though we respect him even more for what he's done after leaving the White House than what he did while he was in it. Despite the fact that he is considerably more conservative than either of us prefer, his commitment to actually helping people -- not just Americans, people -- overwhelms our political reflexes. It's particularly important to remember, in this era of right-wing religious influence, that you can be an Evangelical Christian without becoming a reactionary Republican. This story does a great job of detailing what Carter has done over the past two decades, not to mention all the things he's still doing. For once, the word "inspiration" is not an overstatement.

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masoo From: masoo Date: September 25th, 2004 07:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'll be kind and just ask why it is that someone who is the favorite president of so many (I suspect Robin would agree with you both) is favored for what he's done since he was President. Is there something about the office that prevents even a good man from doing good during his tenure?

Me, I think presidents are like baseball managers ... it probably doesn't advance the discussion to list them as good or bad, instead we should just try to figure out what it is exactly that they do and examine each of those in their turn. If it wasn't for Vietnam, I don't think it would be hard for me to identify the "best" president during my lifetime, but Vietnam's a pretty big "if" and Johnson ends up being just another loser. As for the subsequent Democratic presidents, the best I can say is that they looked mighty good compared to their successors.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 25th, 2004 09:02 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I agree about the nature of the office. Unless you have a large majority in Congress and/or a judiciary on your side, there isn't much you can do as President. Johnson had that. Roosevelt had it. And George W. Bush has it, in practice if not on paper.

I think Carter was a much better leader in international affairs than he was in domestic ones. I think the same holds for Clinton.
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