I was looking at THIS POST over at Western Rifle Shooters blog and was reminded of Jimmy Carter. For those who remember, Carter wanted to be his Generation's FDR, fire side chats and all.
In a world where there was a Soviet Union alive and well, and where there really was active communist subversion going on in nearly every country, and where most Americans believed that resisting Soviet expansion of influence was the right thing to do, Jimmy Carter was seen by most as inept.
Around 1980 there was an adaptation of James Clevell's Shogun novel into a TV mini series. It was mellow dramatic, but was entertaining none the less. At the same time, Jimmy Carter was showing his ineptitude on the world stage. In Nov. of 1979, in the wake of the Iranian Muslim revolution, the U.S. Embassy was taken over by a mob and fifty three Americans were held hostage for over a year. Carter ordered a rescue attempt which fail miserably in the desert of Iran in April of 1980, such was the sad capability of our Military at that time. In Dec. of 1979, the Soviet Army invaded Afghanistan, murdering tens of thousands. Also in 1979, Communist insurgents fought a successful revolution in Nicaragua, installing a Soviet/Cuban sponsored regime and suppressing any non-communist dissent. It was successful because Jimmy Carter refused to provide support for the Government of Anastasio Somoza. This led directly to a decade long civil war in neighboring El Salvador. At every turn, Carter looked inept and impotent.
At the end of the week in which the Shogun mini series had run on TV, a political cartoon appeared in many of the nation's newspapers (yes, Virginia, there were newspapers in those days). I thought at the time that it perfectly illustrated Jimmy Carter.
Unlike many, looking back on it, I don't think Jimmy Carter was inept. I think he, like FDR, like Bath House Barry Obama, was on the other side.