O’Contraire: Why Jimmy Carter is worse than Bill Clinton
By: Daniel Clark
Back in 1993, P.J. O’Rourke wrote an essay entitled, “50+ Reasons Why Jimmy Carter Was a Better President Than Bill Clinton.” I agreed with it at the time, but now I demand a recount. Little did O’Rourke know then that Carter was about to embark on a megalomaniacal campaign to become a “great ex-president,” inspired by the outpouring of admiration for Richard Nixon upon his death in 1994.
As long former president Carter’s reputation is being revised, it might as well be done accurately. To that end, here’s a list to rebut Mr. O’Rourke’s, by explaining why Jimmy Carter is even worse than Bill Clinton.
* Clinton is only one draft-dodger, but Carter pardoned them all.
* If Clinton’s brother marketed his own beer, it would probably be pretty good.
* The atrocious Agreed Framework with North Korea was Carter’s idea. Clinton only signed it out of his characteristic lack of conviction.
* As childish as Clinton can be about many things, at least he doesn’t tell people to call him Billy.
* Carter brought Walter Mondale within a heartbeat of the presidency. Clinton banished him to Japan.
* Clinton helped the Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives for the first time in forty years, whereas all of Carter’s ineptitude was not enough to dislodge Speaker Tip O’Neill.
* Unlike James Earl Carter, William Jefferson Clinton does not share the first two names of a famous assassin.
* When Clinton acts as a tool for despotic foreign governments, at least he’s smart enough to get something out of the deal for himself.
* Carter sat with Michael Moore at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Clinton has managed to keep Moore at a safe distance, tempted though he may be by the filmmaker’s alluring scent, Essence of Scrapple.
* Clinton is capable of smiling, and even laughing, albeit under completely inappropriate circumstances.
* Carter beat on a poor, defenseless rabbit with a long, heavy oar. Clinton summoned up the courage to take a poke at Dick Morris with his bare hands.
* While it’s true that Clinton never held a job outside of government until after his presidency, that just means that he’s not one of those dastardly Big Nut profiteers, like Carter.
* Clinton once insulted the Chancellor of Germany. It was unintentional, but still, it’s got to count for something.
* There must be some reason that the late Mrs. Roosevelt socializes with Hillary, but not Rosalynn.
* Nobody has ever given Carter a colorful nickname like “Slick Willie” or “The Big Creep.”
* Clinton thinks malaise is a condiment.
* Carter once gave an interview to Playboy magazine. Clinton had the good taste not to read it.
* Clinton may have given us way too much information about his own wardrobe, but he didn’t presume to tell anyone else to put on a dorky sweater.
* Carter takes an unseemly amount of pride in publicizing his charitable work with Habitat for Humanity. Clinton, on the other hand, would probably have preferred to keep his tax deduction for donating his used underwear a secret.
* Clinton cheats on his golf scorecards, but if Carter were officiating, he’d certify them.
* Carter gave away the Panama Canal for nothing. Clinton could have sold the Panamanians land they already owned, at a handsome profit.
* If Clinton ever sought Chelsea’s advice about nuclear war, he was discreet enough not to admit it on national television.
* Carter’s defiling the White House with solar panels produced less energy than Clinton did by chasing interns on a treadmill.
* Madeleine Albright has a better poker face than Carter’s secretary of state, Ed Muskie did.
* With Clinton as Commander-in-Chief, we knew we’d be safe if America was invaded by an army of six year-old Cuban children.
* Carter turned off the Christmas lights at the White House, without the ACLU having even demanded it.
* Clinton has not yet undermined America sufficiently to be awarded a Nobel Prize.
* Unlike Carter, who boycotted the Olympics, Clinton held them in a room adjacent to the Oval Office.
* Carter has never been gallant enough to help a girl out with her testimony.
* Clinton’s library has more interesting pop-up books.
* Carter admitted to lusting in his heart, but he did not admit to lusting for a mummified corpse, like Clinton did. What is he, necrophobic?
* Toni Morrison declared Clinton to be America’s first black president. Not only didn’t she say that about Carter, but white people haven’t been eager to claim him either.
* At least Clinton has a distinguishing characteristic.
The ball’s in your court, Mr. O’Rourke.
Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets
Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.