Dick Morris: Bush=Jimmy "The Sweater" Carter?

hat tip to Kevin Drum for pointing us to this piece by Dick Morris entitled "The Republican Jimmy Carter" in which Morris says:
Bush has truly become the Republican equivalent of President Jimmy Carter, out of control, dropping in popularity, unable to resume command.... Yet Bush, like his father, fails to invent issues to give his presidency a new lease on life. Is he too tired or lazy to do so?
Drum points out in response:
So what's the first fresh new idea Morris proposes for Bush? "Really focus on energy issues," he says, apparently oblivious to the fact that not only is this an old idea, it's an old idea originally popularized by....Jimmy Carter.
*sigh* It is true what they say about politics, isn't it? Much like fashion, if you don't like an issue, just wait around, it will come back into vogue. Well, it's here. And this time, it ain't going away.
And we haven't even gotten to the stagflation, high interest rates, rising unemployment, personal and auto/airline industry bankrupcy, housing/stock/asset bubble-bursting deflation sprial part yet.
Patience is a virtue.
Hello Xaxat,

I often wonder if Bush is practising patience in regards to Peakoil.  Now, I am certainly not in favor of the '3 Days of the Condor' scenario where 99% of the Peakoil ignorant masses are propagandized into the wild screaming for the 'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas' mindset.

But my wild imagination sometimes speculates that the seemingly unstoppable nuclear collision with Iran will be the turning point in our leadership and the mainstream media.  The President will go on TV to say military ops against Iran has commenced because of Peakoil and he will refer everyone to govt websites and freely available pamphlets explaining the 'Official' reasons for Peakoil.  The MSM will totally reinforce this suddenly 'new' leadership disclosure to the shocked & awed general public.

The totally surprised masses will hurriedly read this misinfo, and the critical mass to create a 'No Thanks--I like Empty Tanks' mindset will be purposely precluded from ever forming.  The transformation of our economy into a total war-machine will be remarkably swift, but totally futile in the long run.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

That is my personal doomsday scenario - a government and military that will consume the entire planet before giving up the ghost. Economic depressions can be survived and radical lifestyle changes can be made, even with dieoff and decades long unrest. But a military with nukes and unsatiable "needs" - oh dear.
oh, just you wait...yelin, bernecke, and the rest of the fed crowd will make all of your wishes come true...you didn't think bush would approve a fed head that would do anything other than what he wants, do you?....in this case it will be monetize the debt...inflation, bring 'er on!
I think that the Energy Tax/Payroll Tax Cut idea is actualy a winning proposition because, if properly explained to the American people, I think that they would understand the inherent fairness of the proposal.  If you are profligate in your energy use, you would pay the price.  But we have to break through the "Iron Triangle."

I think that we are seeing an "Iron Triangle" of sorts defending the status quo:  (1)  most housing/auto/financing companies and related companies; (2)  Most MSM companies that are selling advertising to Group #1 and (3)  some major oil companies, major oil exporters and energy analysts that are working for the major oil companies and exporters.  

In my opinion, Group #3 is afraid of punitive taxation (major oil companies) and military takeovers (exporters).  

Group #1 wants to keep selling and financing large homes and SUV's.  

Group #2 wants to keep selling advertising to Group #1.  

Group #3 provides the arguments for Groups #1 and #2, i.e., we have trillions and trillions of barrels of remaining reserves.

Wasn't it Jimmy Carter that tried to warn us about our profligate energy use in the first place? I seem to recall him saying something about "America's addiction to oil" while George W. Bush was still snorting Bolivian marching powder. Dick Morris is the worst of what our country has to offer; political henchmen motivated by purely mercenary rewards. By the way, wasn't it the same Dick Morris that was consorting with high dollar whores while he was Clinton's political adviser? This guy is a true leach, a parasitic infection of the body politic.

Subkommander Dred

Hello Subkommander Dred,

Yes it was. Here is a link to his famous 'Sweater Speech' where he tried to kickstart the 'No Thanks--I like Empty Tanks' mindset:


Bob Shaw in Phx,AZ  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Did I hear W is putting up a windmill in the rose garden?  Or is that just a rumor??
The primary difference between Bush and Carter is that Carter's downward numbers came from crises initiated by other factions and his own honesty about bad news and conservation; Bush's downward numbers come from crises that he himself initiated and his outright lies about bad news and conservation. Among other things.

I won't even get into Carter's legacy as a philanthropist, philosopher, and generally good guy. He might not have worked out as a president, but he's a human being worth respecting.

And that is not something I would credit Shrub with on his best day.

What JolieBlanc said...Carter has done more with less than anybody.  If I believed in the afterlife that guy would be sitting at the right hand of God.
I'd be hesitant to propose Carter for sainthood, given that his more recent comments look designed to downplay the difference between his own energy policy and those of later administrations. Admittedly this is five years out of date, and I doubt he'd still be describing price fluctuations as "cyclical" today.
I was severely disappointed in Morris' article.  Morris does come up with some good insights at times but this one just didn't make sense!  Carter was a coward and a sniveler, eager to blame others and make excuses - Bush is a face-the-facts, take charge guy.  Bush will not blab about why he does things when it is not wise to blab.

Call me unconvinced.  Maybe Morris was trying to butter up some potential Democratic clients?

Bush is a "face the facts take charge kind of guy?"


You don't often find any humor at this site, other than the gallows type.

You were joking, right?

Whitehall often tries to get a rise out of TOD posters.
Maybe it's more accurate (and fair) to say that Morris got a rise out of me!

I lived (and suffered) through the Carter years.  His policies where failures, his decisionmaking processes inept, and this judgment suspect.  His behavior as an ex-president has been terrible!  He was the one that handed a done deal to Clinton on the North Korean nukes, the one where they admitted to lying.  He's played kissy face with Castro.  He's given the stamp of approval to several illegitimate "elections" in Venezula and Iran.

Personally, I think the State Department should revoke his passport.

As to the "nuclear engineer" boast, he had, what, six months navy training?  He was clearly over his head and out of his depth during the Three Mile Island accident.

We are here to discuss energy policy, economics, and technology together.  Of course those topics stray into general politics where our opinions are much more divergent.  

If you are secretly hoping that peak oil will create chaos and extreme social and economic disruption, then you want a guy like Jimmy Carter at the helm.  He is a proven failure at dealing with energy issues.

"He's given the stamp of approval to several illegitimate "elections" in Venezula and Iran."

Please supply (objective) documentation that that any election in Venezuela was certifiably "illegitimate". Name-calling by Bush administration officials does not count.

For extra credit, compare and contrast those elections with the last two US presidential elections. Pot, kettle, black????


Try a google search for "failure", and see what POTUS's name pops up most often.
Most of us here on TOD lived through the Carter years. Your experiences are hardly enlightening.
fallout, give him a chance. He's right and you know it. Whitehall, I'll back you on this, but not to the point that I alienate fallout, cuz I have a lot more to discuss with him.

Goddamnit, you guys make this so easy. You should see how they play this game over at Daily Kos. I think they hand out valium early in the morning.

Everyone has an opinion.  I took issue with Dick Morris' and I'm by no means the only one.  Did you read Taranto's book on presidents?  Carter did just beat James Buchanan and I'll give you that - experts don't YET rate him the worst.  

Obviously, history can not yet judge G.W. Bush.  That's for the voters to do and the fact that he won re-election is the judgment that counts for now.

Hehehe...have you seen the Rolling Stone article?
Historians actually rate GW among the worst presidents in history, and quite possibly THE worst.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/profile/story/9961300/the_worst_president_in_history?rnd=1145977567 178&has-player=true&version=

You guys are just whistlin' past the graveyard.

"Carter was a coward and a sniveler, eager to blame others and make excuses - Bush is a face-the-facts, take charge guy."

You cannot be serious!

Carter has demonstrated amazing resourcefulness, courage, and integrity over the years.  His efforts to illuminate our energy addiction, and take very real steps toward conservation was decades ahead of its time - clearly too much so to achieve lasting traction.  Yes, he made mistakes as president (I didn't vote for him second time around), but considering his lifetime of service and achievement, he deserves far more respect then you give him.

Bush is certainly a take-charge guy - no doubt about that.  However, he takes charge based on a highly subjective set of assumptions about reality, and surrounds himself with those of a similar mindset.  At a time in history when we desperately need visionary leadership, we have a twisted neo-conservative administration whose political missteps in both domestic and foreign policy has been disastrous.  The true extent to which the Bush administration's policies have harmed civilization will be seen in the light of history, as the consequences of his "face the facts - take charge" policies play out.

Carter also has nuclear engineering experience, an engineering degree, active duty service in the US Navy, and a Nobel Prize on his resume.
Bush just needs to lay it down by saying:

"We have no right to cheap gas."
"$3 gas is cheap."

     If bush takes on the peak oil movement as his own,all he will do is clusterfuck it beyond all repair.I swear I'll be spending more time building a blast shelter,than blogging.This man has been the closest thing to a one-trick-pony I ever seen,'cept his trick is smashing the hell outa anything he gets near
      Peak is going mainstream.What they are worried about,and the reason for nothing out of the talking heads,is they fear the loss of control. When people start to understand ,in their heart-of-hearts,its game over,and we are not going to miss this bullet,as a nation the bright ones will start makeing personel decisions that will make control of them impossible.Its the desire of the .gov types to maintain control... that is at the root of the lack of coverage of the mainstream media  of peak oil....dont scare the public.God damn them this should be the top story on every paper and every tv station of the country

      .....Saudis just verified 8% decline per year of production...peak oil is here

   I have spent time at the state,county,and local level explaining the need for prestageing material specificly for acute,chronic fuel shortages,as well as the old fema material for switching tractors to run on woodchips thru gasification....I had to stop last year,due to poor health and complete frustration with the system.

the reason they politely lisened,was 13 year hands-on experience at emergency management at 17 commecial  nuke stations.A total of 37 refueling as a Senior Health Physic Tech,starting with 2 years D.O.D.F.E.M.A C/105 radiological control RADCON. I have a lot of been there,done that,when things got bad.The US .gov spent close to half a mil. training me how to be creatively,and usefully paranoid,radiologicaly speaking.

   This developed in me a good sense of what can bite me.I have been studying peak for around 5 years now.Peak will hurt us soon. But the actions of this administration has the potential to change hardship to disaster,and economic pain to complete destruction.

An excellent example is the administrations benign neglect of NOLA,as well as their turning back the help of locals who had the boat and gear to complete the evacuations.....their desire was to maintain complete federal control,as well as force the population to leave

 The only  way to develope emergency management ability that will be effective during a powerdown due to fuel shortages,is to make it local...neighborhood,by neighborhood,useing existing  social structures....but we just dont have a lot of time...

What Snuffy said. Boy couldn't manage a piece of ass in a whorehouse with a hundred dollar bill in one hand and a hard-on in the other.
That's the fact, Jack!

Subkommander Dred

snuffy -

I agree with you that when it comes to disaster management, the federal government seems to be more interested in establishing control than in actually doing some good.

From everything I've seen, the federal government's response to Katrina (after they managed to find New Orleans on the map) had more the appearance of imposing de facto marshall law than disaster relief. The armed troops seemed to be there more to control the people rather than help them. You will recall that they even attempted to cut all communications except that which had to go through FEMA.  Now what was the purpose of that?

You may know more about this than I do, but what is one to make of this $400 million+ project given to Kellogg Brown & Root by Homeland Security to build some unspecified number of detention facilities in certain unspecified locations? The officially stated purpose, as I recall, included some words about temporary immigration detention, emergency shelter, and 'other contingencies as may arise'.  I'm beginning to get uneasy as to what sort of 'other contingencies' are being contemplated.

 What's your take on this? Just another pointless government boondoggle or are some people in the Bush regime getting ready for when the shit hits the fan?

   The .gov never does something for one reason alone.I think the odds are that the admin.feels the need to have the ability to "detain" large numbers of people.The latest immigration stupidity from the house is a good example.Should the anti-war[Iran} demonstrations get large enough to scare them,anything is possible.Remember,you dont have any civil rights any more.If you dont belive me,read the new and improved patriot act.People that are are doing political activism now do not understand just how nasty the law is as far as dissent.
    This is why I belive that peak oil has been known,and planned for for a long ,long time.Isnt it funny,we got the same old retreads from the raygun administration?That oil companies now are the most profitable,and powerful companies on earth now?That the elites and corparations now have utter control of all the levers of power in the government.They now write the laws that we "citizens" live by?It took nearly 40 years,but we now have the makeings of a facist plutocracy now,and I doubt those in power now wish to change.
    The current admin. knows if the dems get the house,the subpoena power will spoil the game.I fear major backlash if there is any attempt to suspend or play games with the election comeing up.The plain working folks are angry.And they are also hip to the lying...

I am fairly sure the US will hit Iran before the elections.I am also sure this will result in a catastrophic retaliation.This retaliation can be the basis for implentation of martial law and other fun things.As I am no long anywhere near the "the action" consiter this speculation on my part.Anyone who spends the time to look at whats going on,will reach the same conclutions I have.
We,as a nation,are WilyE.coyote,off the cliff,before the drop.

   Personally,I live next to the woods,have a large garden,and plant fruit trees.The die is cast.At this point of the game,my family,my clan,my garden is more important than beating my head against bureacratic brick walls.

snuffy -

The possible need to detain large numbers of people is certainly consistent with the need/desire to impose some form of marshall law in the event of mass unrest or some disaster, either natural or manmade. The question I have is: Why at this time?  Is it just another malignant outgrowth of the Patriot Act, or is there a specific plan and purpose?

At any rate, I think that the immigration issue as one of the stated rationales for building mass detention facilites is the least credible. How reasonable is it to expect that we are suddenly going to be swamped with such a wave of illegal immigrants as to require mass detention facilities?  On the other hand, the immigration issue has generated the largest mass protests since the Vietnam War. No, if the Bush regime is expecting very troubled times ahead, it would also be expecting large numbers of very angry people and therefore feels a need for some way of dealing with such troublemakers. The making of an American gulag?

I would agree that in the current political climate any anti-government activist who publically embarrasses the regime is really putting his ass on the line. I don't recall who it was, but a year or so ago some Republican congressman from one of the 'Red States' stated on the House floor that protesting against the Iraq occupation interferes with the war on terrorism and therefore such protest can be considered an act of terrorism and should be treated accordingly. This is the mentality of the people running the show.

And it's hardly a Republican/Democratic thing. The creeping police state is bipartisan. Just keep in mind that the atrocious siege of Waco took place under the Clinton regime.

I think Bush is going to send a lot of immigrants back. Lots of them. Since Mexico isn't going to accept them because they need the remittances they are sending home, Bush is building detention centers where they can't earn money for remittances and then he's going to wait the Mexicans out. Mexico will let them back in when they get used to doing without the remittances they are sending back now.
Basically, it's one more issue where the new Republicans are moving in the direction of their new, southern, base, away from the old country club Republicans like his dad.
There has been a lot of speculation and discussion online about the mask (facade) of democracy coming off slowly in recent years, and there is a general belief that it will come off all together should a war with Iran or similar disaster break out.  Martial law will be declared, the already ignored Constitution will be formally suspended, etc.
      Let me explain how part of the .gov works.There exists various dept. of this and that that have very,very bright people who sit around all day long and think of strange things that could affect the dept. of this or that.We are talkin gs12-15 ,call them "thinkers"sometime they have good ideas,sometimes they have bad ideas.CAFTA standards good,Operation Northwoods bad.All these ideas,good and bad,are stored away,filed under"use when needed"

We have plans for invadeing Canada for christ sake.

Understand we have pirates running the ship-of-state these days.They got the keys to the files,and the checkbook.As soon as you understand that both political  sides are owned by the same corp. money,it all makes sense.

   What I belive is happening now,is a very large segment[critical mass] of the population now realizes just how radical this administration is.This also includes a lot of people who have serious money.They understand how wealth is created,as well as exactly what this group is up to.

   When this administration failed to catch and skin the golden goose{social security}I belive the decision was made to destroy the currency thru inflation,breaking the social contract we have had for the last 60 years..I truly belive that we have elected people who intend to return our system to a pre-NewDeal form of social darwinism that leaves a few, Verrry wealthy,and the masses  in poverty.They dont give a damn about anything for the 95% of us outhere with things like insurance and house payments. This is a plutocracy,by the rich ,for the rich.Warren Buffet once was ask if he thought class warfare was occuring.His reply"yes,and my side is winning".

Peak oil has figured in some plans made by the group that made bush president.Cheney himself gave presentations to various organizations that centered on the increadible demand that would generated by world industrial development.But the desire of those in power is to maintain control of the decision on how our country will deal with the arrival of peak.It is essential then, to maintain control of the dialog.I belive the rest of the nation,myself included, would prefer a less militant form of addressin the issue.They are trying to seize control of the whole middle east.700 bases,and god only knows how many mercenary troops we have,and I belive they WILL use nukes on Iran if given the slightest excuse

The patriot act,and the placement of the last few judges on the supreme court insure that power and wealth, will remain is a very few"strong hands".

   What they have done ,is seal the pressure cooker,and plug the safety release.They think that the patriot act,domestic surveillance,and other more sophisicated means of social control will be effective in controlling the population as fuel,food shortages,ect.begin to occur here.Now its rolling blackouts in Houston,tommorow [?]
   What I have seen to be true,over the years,is that complexity, in anything ,increases the likelyhood of critical failure. It is the web of complexity of our system that will prevent a efective soviet style police state from being created here I hope,although if you have a black skin in this country,you may feel that you live in a police state now.

We are starting to see ,things that have not been seen in the US for 100years.Bodies rotting in the street. Whole gulf states where the rule of law has turned upsidedown.
Military adventurism that would make the old warlords of the crusades howl with delight.Mercinaries,armed with full-auto weapons with shoot-to-kill orders walking he streets of a american city.

These things are just the start of the game.Its going to get weirder I think,and I dont know where it will end.

Great post snuffy, glad to have you here.
The most frustrating part about this are the Democrats and their constant blaming of Bush for high gas prices.

Democrats blast Bush for runaway gasoline prices

This is completely counterproductive for our society to recognize Peak Oil and to move ahead - very quickly. Instead, it reinforces the notion that we are somehow entitled to cheap energy. Nevermind that higher prices lead to more exploration, less consumption, cleaner environment, etc.

No, I believe in the Kunstler clusterfuck scenario. I am very cynical about the human race. We will destroy ourselves squabbling over the symptoms of Peak Oil instead of focusing on the solution. Maybe this is just an American-centric point of view, but when you're at the top and living "the great life" compared to the rest of the world, the last thing you will do is voluntarily give it all up and peacefully regress back to a pre-oil state of society. We will blow the world up before giving up our "American way of life."

As for leadership - there will never be any except for the megalomaniacs like Hitler that arise from desperation. The "Left" and the "Right" will always blame each other and point fingers. As I said above, look what the Democrats are doing. No, we are on a highway (pun intended) to hell, full-speed, pedal-to-the-metal, V12 burning away.
And this is why it is useless to even discuss voting for Dems for public office. All they will do is run in a slightly different direction, seeking to blame somebody rather than pursuing a solution.

The Demopublicans are all of the same general mold. They suck, almost every single one of them. And they are one of my strongest reasons for believing that the United States is about to become a piece of history. As I've said before, we can manage the technology problems. What we can't manage is the psychology of peak oil, and the con artist nature of 99% of all politicians.

I'd agree that most Dems and Reps are basically corporate tools, but you can't convince me that any Dem would have  invaded Iraq, pushed through the Patriot Act and tried to gut Social Security.
I totally understand the point about Dems being "less bad" than the ruling party; I just thought our standards were a little higher than that--honest enough to face Peak Oil would be a start, deciding whether they oppose the Iraq War would help, not pandering on Social Security and Medicare would be a nice change, hey, maybe they could "reinvent themselves" as the Party of Truth.  Oh wait, what am I saying...
What we have here is a classic devils dilemma, a choice between "the lesser of two evils".  Hardly a choice to feel good about, these two sides of the same coin act as rachet and pawl, slowly pulling America apart while serving their own special interests.  Much like a medieval battle between two warring nobles, it matters little to the average serf who comes out on top, their lives remain largely unchanged: Poverty, servitude, insecurity, indebtitude, and stratocracy.
My opinion is that Carter tried to sell the right message with the wrong wrapping.  It was bad marketing.  Sweaters are OK for Mr. Rogers but not for Mr. President.

I'm going to say that the Reagan/Carter difference was less about underlying content and more about outward emotion.

It doesn't have to play again the same way.  We can have a little Teddy Rosevelt vigor with solar panels, if someone just decides to mix it that way.

Morris forgot Bush's most likely plan for improving his ratings. A quick little expeditionary force to Iran. I'm looking forward to $100 oil and the start of our transition away from oil.