"He's not Jimmy Carter"

Quin Hillyer makes an excellent point in his story with this name on the American Spectator website. As he correctly points out, everyone’s a little giddy because The One has slipped so badly in the polls and he quite rightly points out that “…too many of us are overconfident that his administration is merely a replay of the hapless presidency of Jimmy Carter that was easily swept out in a landslide election.” He believes that “… political battle we’re in is far more difficult than any the conservative movement has ever faced” and I tend to agree with him.

The thrust of his remarks is that the two environments are radically different and that The One will have many advantages in 2012 that Peanut didn’t have. As he puts it

Unlike Carter, Obama does not face a Kennedy-led left wing of his party that despises him. Unlike Carter, Obama did not take office by an incredibly slim majority vote so close that a few thousands votes in two states would have swung the whole election. Unlike Carter, Obama took office in the middle of a crisis he could blame on his predecessor and coming off an unpopular war that he could blame almost entirely on the Republican Party. On the right, Carter faced a conservative movement (even if not a Republican Party) unified and energized by an inspirational leader — but no similar, single spokesman today galvanizes conservatives like Ronald Reagan did then. Carter also did not have a nationwide movement kept together by a tool like the Internet, and did not have billionaires behind his general aims the way Obama has George Soros.

He goes on to cite a number of things T.O. is doing to cement his power, that Peanut couldn’t or wouldn’t, as well as making the point that he’s dealing with a vastly more diverse electorate. I’d add that T.O. also benefits from another generation of people “educated” by the NEA in that electorate.

He sums up —

In short, the wonderful conservative success in August should not hide the reality that our backs are still against the wall. Obama still owns the upper hand. If we make any major mistake, he will use that hand as a fist to smash the conservative movement to bits. Clear-eyed about this possibility, conservatives must keep fighting. Uphill. Against the wind. And without a Reagan to lead us.

I say we need to keep this in mind, but at the same time, we still need to find that charismatic, plain spoken figure that can rally the troops in ’12. Whether she holds office now or not. 🙂