Monday, July 03, 2006

Odds and Ends




















“When your leadership is demonstrably weaker than it should be, you don't then point at the people and say, ‘It's your problem.’ If you want the people to move, you move them the way Roosevelt moved them, or you exhort them the way Kennedy or Johnson exhorted them. You don't say, “It's your fault.”

-
Historian Roger Wilkins commenting on Jimmy Carter’s “Great Malaise” speech delivered on July 15, 1979

It’s hot here in Emporia, Kansas, in more ways than one. It’s about ninety-six outside my house here at 919 Neosho right now. Just a few blocks away at 522 Mechanic I think it might be a hundred and twenty-five or so. As reported by the Emporia Gazette this past Friday, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation has opened up an investigation of Emporia’s city government. According to Lyon County attorney Marc Goodman:

“This office was requested to initiate an investigation into certain irregularities alleged to have occurred in city government.”

Then on Saturday the Gazette reported that a batch of financial records had been turned over to law enforcement in April.

So, the city’s “kitchen” is hotter than things at the Orangemen’s Lodge on fish and brews night. It’s one fine kettle of fish.

I’m sure the forensic accountants have been poring over the books since they were turned over, casting keen eyes on the city’s doins.” Before long they’ll be reporting their findings. Until that happens, I suspect City Manager Steve Commons and other city officials will be sweating buckets of bullets.

The old time weather forecasters are saying that today’s weather is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. I haven’t tried it since Nancy’s busy cooking some new potatoes and meat loaf for supper. Maybe some other day. I can only imagine, though, what they’re frying downtown where it’s about thirty degrees hotter than it is here. I don’t think it’s meat loaf and new potatoes. From here it smells a lot like roasting flesh.

I went to an early Fourth of July celebration last night and a lot of folks, knowing that I’m a candidate for the 2007 commission race, asked me about the investigation. All I could say was that the professionals will let us know. But, as I watched the meat turning on the spit I couldn’t help but wonder what might be in store when they’re done.

We’ll see.

On the national scene, the Washington Post ran a Jimmy Carter op-ed this morning. I won’t bore you with the details since it’s typical Jimmy Carter Stuff – castigating the current administration over secrecy or the conduct of the war in Iraq.

Of course, we all know what a roaring success Jimmy’s administration was, don’t we? It was during his time that I crossed my political Rubicon. Back in seventy-six while I was attending seminary I worked to get out the vote for him. And, I worked hard, as hard as any of Tip O’Neill’s precinct captains did when they would make their once every four years foray into the government housing project where I lived when I was an impressionable young Democrat. I was a true believer. I suspect there are thousands, if not millions, of other disillusioned souls out there who got themselves sucker punched by this peanut farmer turned President turned huckster. If any of you lived through those days you’ll understand. It’s a shining example of the Peter Principle in action. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan and Jimmy, in a fit of righteous anger, punished the United States Olympic team by not allowing them to compete with the bullies from the east. I suppose under the circumstances it was the best that could be done. He and his cronies had set about de-fanging the U.S. military and had succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. So, with no power option available, it became to clear to him and his brain trust that punishing American athletes was the best option available. Now, that’s what I call leadership! I well remember OPEC putting the screws to us too. I remember the odd/even days for getting gasoline rations. I remember the long lines at the gas stations. I also remember that annoying speech he made in the cardigan. “Just turn the thermostats down ten degrees and put on a sweater like me and everything will be just fine.” Then there was the inflation and the double digit mortgage loan rates that the Carter administration presided over. I remember that too. And last, but not least, I remember the days from November of seventy-nine when all of America finally saw through this buffoon. Sixty-six Americans were held hostage by the Iranian militants for close to a year and a half while Jimmy flopped around like an out of water fish. The Ayatollah and his militant following projected power while we flailed helplessly around like a giant with its feet nailed to the earth.

And here, today, we have the spectacle of Jimmy Carter criticizing our current leadership. It’s the absolute height of hypocrisy.

Yes, I remember Jimmy Carter well. I was once a true believer. But, the events of the seventies showed me and the rest of unsuspecting America what he was really made of. We were looking for a leader and what we got instead was a Howdy Doody. One of the real tragedies of the times was that the Soviets, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and OPEC all knew before us that he was nothing more than a weak, vacillating fool. They knew it and they took full advantage of it. It took us close to a full term in office to finally see the light and we’ve been paying the price for what he did to us even since. Thanks Jimmy!

This does all tie in somehow. I’ll leave it to you the reader to tie it all down. It has a lot to do with primrose paths.

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Emporia, Kansas

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2 comments:

prying1 said...

Phil - Excellent post! (Again) - I remember this event: It’s a shining example of the Peter Principle in action. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan and Jimmy, in a fit of righteous anger, punished the United States Olympic team by not allowing them to compete with the bullies from the east.

It seemed to me at the time one of the most stupid (or stupidest if you prefer) reactions and hurt no one but our atheletes.

I also remember a peanut shortage about and around then. I think it might have been shortly after Carter left office. The price of peanut butter was jacked up and the store shelves were depleted of stock. - Seemed at the time to be a scam to me...

Good luck in your run and may the auditors find the truth.

Wish they would come to my town...

James Fletcher Baxter said...

All too often many Believers (including Jimmy Carter) have been taught and encouraged to pattern their lives and emulate Jesus in His messianic role as The Lamb of God.

Consider the fact that His time-limited (but eternally-effective) fulfillment of prophecy was only about three years.

Prior to becoming the Lamb He was The Word and The Creator.

When He returns He will be The Lion of Judah - and we shall all be changed "for we shall see Him as He is."

Jimmy & Others should pay closer attention to who He was...and who He will be.

Jimmy made & makes a lousy lamb and a pathetic lion.