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Thursday, January 27, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Jimmy Carter looking better all the time

Editor’s Notebook: Jimmy Carter looking better all the time

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A couple of days ago, one of the local PBS stations was serving up a brisk documentary on the life of Jimmy Carter.

After first checking to make sure it wasn’t a special marking his demise (good news: Jimmy is still alive and kicking and turns 97 today!), I stuck around to watch, having been vaguely cognizant of the Carter presidential years while in elementary school.

(Fun fact: I once was in the same room as our 39th president during his term in office. It was either in 1977 or 1978 when he came to Nashua High School in Nashua, N.H., for a speech to the community, and my parents took li’l Scotty along as that’s where we were living that particular year. Long story why we were hiding out in New Hampshire; we’ll get to it some other day.)

What struck me in the documentary was Carter’s remarks to the nation in the aftermath of the calamitous attempt to rescue our hostages in Iran, an effort that fell apart in the desert and left a number of U.S. service personnel dead.

Carter spoke to the people and shouldered all of the blame in a warts-and-all speech, much of which was reprised in the documentary.

Compare that to our most recent chief executives, one bombastically out of touch with reality most days and his successor usually dazed and confused. Think either would have been able to have faced the TV cameras and stated plainly and coherently that he, and nobody else, was responsible for a debacle like that? Hard to fathom.

As the documentary acknowledged, Carter turned out not to have been suited for the presidency for a variety of reasons. But in that one specific instance, he took the heat, made amends and moved the nation forward. Kudos.

And once more: Happy 97th!

‘YOUNGKIN DERANGEMENT SYNDROME’? I understand why some on the right came down with a case of “Obama Derangement Syndrome” during his presidency, and why Democrats and the media spent four years with a congenital case of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

(It seems unlikely “Biden Derangement Syndrome” will catch on. It’s hard to be furious with someone you believe has no clue where he is or what day it might be, as is the case with most of those who oppose the current White House occupant.)

But now there is “Youngkin Derangement Syndrome,” as espoused by a guy named D.J. McGuire, who writes for the supposedly conservative Virginia political blog Bearing Drift even though he’s about as conservative as I would be to get picked first for basketball, if you get my short-person analogy.

But the site allows McGuire unfettered numbers of electrons to make his online case that Youngkin is, to borrow a phrase from Maxine Waters, “worse than slavery.” (OK, he hasn’t gone that far. Give it time. And when it comes to Maxines, give me Nightingale over Waters any day of the week. I’ve got a million 1970s references … but I digress.)

Getting all worked up about Glenn Youngkin? Hardly seems he is the kind of politician to engender such a visceral response, unless you’re the Blue Virginia crowd to which everything non-leftie results in a visceral response.

Maybe McGuire needs to move over the Blue Virginia. Lowell Feld seems more his kind of guy – angry all the time, often about nothing of consequence.

AND WHEN IT COMES TO RANKING McGUIRES: My favorite is still Barry McGuire, he of “Eve of Destruction” fame back in the 1960s. Check it out below, and an early Happy 86th birthday, Barry (it comes Oct. 15).

Not sure which mid-1960s TV show that was from (when in doubt, say it was “Hullabaloo”), but lordy, the dance choreography is, mmmm, something, isn’t it?

  • Scott McCaffrey
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