Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Washington Has Become an Island

 

Looking for a way out of this crisis, our people have turned to the Federal Government and found it isolated from the mainstream of our nation’s life. Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual.

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests.

You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.

Often you see paralysis and stagnation and drift. You don’t like it, and neither do I. What can we do?

Talk about an eternal truth. This comment was not made yesterday. It was not made in 2016 as Donald J. Trump was running. This was from a speech delivered 41 years ago today. July 15, 1979, in what would come to be known as the Malaise Speech, President James Earl Carter, Jr. defined his presidency in American hearts and minds forever. What did he do? Nothing useful and much that was harmful. Still, in these paragraphs, one can see that he was capable of seeing what was going on around him.

What do you think, Ricochet? Are things the same? Better than they were then as far as politics? Worse? Were you even alive back then?

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    This is the Quote of the Day. This is also what you get if you don’t sign up for Quote of the Day. Do you want more Jimmy Carter? Because if I have to fill in the blank dates, you might get more Jimmy Carter…or worse. So, go sign-up. Pick an open date and share your favorite quotes.

    • #1
    • July 15, 2020, at 1:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It turned out that the answer, Jimmy, wasn’t more government. Quel surprise!

    • #2
    • July 15, 2020, at 2:41 AM PDT
    • 20 likes
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):

    It turned out that the answer, Jimmy, wasn’t more government. Quel surprise!

    Indeed. Amazing that this could surprise anyone, but there it was.

    • #3
    • July 15, 2020, at 2:50 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think things are worse, because the power of the Federal Government has grown since then. Just look at the 1990 ADA act, which is poorly written, and not under the control on unelected, unaccountable drones. I mean, swimming pools in hotels across America were closed because they could not afford expensive lifts that no one uses. 

    That is one example of many

    • #4
    • July 15, 2020, at 5:09 AM PDT
    • 17 likes
  5. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    It turned out that the answer, Jimmy, wasn’t more government. Quel surprise!

    Give Jimmy some credit. He’s the one that started the deregulation drive that Reagan accelerated. Carter deregulated trucking, airlines, and (a few other things that escape me at the moment).

    • #5
    • July 15, 2020, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The fundamental difference is that in 1979 the Congress still legislated. It doesn’t anymore. It just postures.

    • #6
    • July 15, 2020, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Hoyacon Member

    What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action.

    Would that this was more accurate.

    • #7
    • July 15, 2020, at 7:01 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    It turned out that the answer, Jimmy, wasn’t more government. Quel surprise!

    Give Jimmy some credit. He’s the one that started the deregulation drive that Reagan accelerated. Carter deregulated trucking, airlines, and (a few other things that escape me at the moment).

    Breweries.

    • #8
    • July 15, 2020, at 7:10 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    It turned out that the answer, Jimmy, wasn’t more government. Quel surprise!

    Give Jimmy some credit. He’s the one that started the deregulation drive that Reagan accelerated. Carter deregulated trucking, airlines, and (a few other things that escape me at the moment).

    Breweries.

    Trucking and airlines were directly affected by the oil situation. They were in danger of going bankrupt. Breweries were more indirectly, but significantly, affected.

    • #9
    • July 15, 2020, at 7:40 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    Percival (View Comment):
    Trucking and airlines were directly affected by the oil situation. They were in danger of going bankrupt. Breweries were more indirectly, but significantly, affected.

    He did the absolute minimum, then.

    • #10
    • July 15, 2020, at 8:06 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Trucking and airlines were directly affected by the oil situation. They were in danger of going bankrupt. Breweries were more indirectly, but significantly, affected.

    He did the absolute minimum, then.

    Those three industries are still heavily regulated. Back then, the airlines needed to get government approval to add new service to airports. This was in addition to determining that there was a market, that the airport to be flown to had enough capacity to handle another scheduled flight, and everything else. In the name of preventing some airports from being under-served, the government was guaranteeing that some airports were under-served. Because bureaucracy exists so that bureaucracy exists.

    • #11
    • July 15, 2020, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  12. RightAngles Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action.

    Would that this was more accurate.

    True. Wish they knew that for us, a “Do-Nothing Congress” is a feature, not a bug.

    • #12
    • July 15, 2020, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action.

    Would that this was more accurate.

    True. Wish they knew that for us, a “Do-Nothing Congress” is a feature, not a bug.

    When I was back in Dayton, there was a congressional election where the female Democratic challenger’s main campaign issue was that the male Republican challenger had not introduced a single new bill in his two-year incumbency.

    He won in a landslide.

    • #13
    • July 15, 2020, at 9:30 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  14. RightAngles Member

    How sad that he seems to have seen this clearly and yet created the Federal Department of Education, the result of which is the huge number of young Americans who hate America because they don’t know their own history, think “Fascist” means “someone who disagrees with me,” can’t find their own home town on a map but learned how to put a condom on a banana by age 12, and think Oscar Wilde is the leader of a punk rock band.

    • #14
    • July 15, 2020, at 9:30 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    …and think Oscar Wilde is the leader of a punk rock band.

    That would have been pretty cool.

    • #15
    • July 15, 2020, at 9:37 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  16. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    think Oscar Wilde is the leader of a punk rock band.

    Granted that would have been amazing.

    • #16
    • July 15, 2020, at 9:37 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. thelonious Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    It turned out that the answer, Jimmy, wasn’t more government. Quel surprise!

    The left really turned on him because they thought he was too conservative. That’s why Ted Kennedy challenged him in 1980.

    • #17
    • July 15, 2020, at 10:45 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. John Park Member

    Killer rabbit!

    • #18
    • July 15, 2020, at 1:40 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    The fundamental difference is that in 1979 the Congress still legislated. It doesn’t anymore. It just postures.

    It’s more like this:

    . . .Corporations (special interest group) write the legislation. Lobbyists take the law and go find politician(s) to support it. Politicians get support from their peers using tenure and status etc. Eventually, if things go according to norm, the legislation gets a vote.

    Within every step of the process there are expense account lunches, dinners, trips, venue tickets and a host of other customary financial way-points to generate/leverage a successful outcome. The amount of money spent is proportional to the benefit derived from the outcome.

    When a House or Senate member becomes educated on the intent of the legislation, they have attended the sales pitch; and when they find out the likelihood of support for that legislation; they can then position their own (or their families) financial interests to benefit from the consequence of passage. It is a process similar to insider trading on Wall Street, except the trading is based on knowing who will benefit from a legislative passage.

    The legislative construct passes from K-Street into the halls of congress through congressional committees. The law originates from the committee to the full House or Senate. Committee seats which vote on these bills are therefore more valuable to the lobbyists. Chairs of these committees are exponentially more valuable.

    Now, think about this reality against the backdrop of the 2016 Presidential Election. Legislation is passed based on ideology. In the aftermath of the 2016 election the system within DC was not structurally set-up to receive a Donald Trump presidency.

    If Hillary Clinton had won the election, her Oval Office desk would be filled with legislation passed by congress which she would have been signing. Heck, she’d have writer’s cramp from all of the special interest legislation, driven by special interest groups that supported her campaign, that would be flowing to her desk.

    Why?

    Simply because the authors of the legislation, the originating special interest and lobbying groups, were spending millions to fund her campaign. Hillary Clinton would be signing K-Street constructed special interest legislation to repay all of those donors/investors.

    Congress would be fast-tracking the passage because the same interest groups also fund the members of congress.

    President Donald Trump winning the election threw a monkey wrench into the entire DC system…. In early 2017 the modern legislative machine was frozen in place.

    Here’s a more in depth version.

    • #19
    • July 15, 2020, at 1:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  20. Steve C. Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Trucking and airlines were directly affected by the oil situation. They were in danger of going bankrupt. Breweries were more indirectly, but significantly, affected.

    He did the absolute minimum, then.

    Those three industries are still heavily regulated. Back then, the airlines needed to get government approval to add new service to airports. This was in addition to determining that there was a market, that the airport to be flown to had enough capacity to handle another scheduled flight, and everything else. In the name of preventing some airports from being under-served, the government was guaranteeing that some airports were under-served. Because bureaucracy exists so that bureaucracy exists.

    Trucking safety is regulated. And there are taxes, both state and federal. But cartage is not regulated with some odd exceptions at the state level.

    • #20
    • July 15, 2020, at 2:10 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Trucking and airlines were directly affected by the oil situation. They were in danger of going bankrupt. Breweries were more indirectly, but significantly, affected.

    He did the absolute minimum, then.

    Those three industries are still heavily regulated. Back then, the airlines needed to get government approval to add new service to airports. This was in addition to determining that there was a market, that the airport to be flown to had enough capacity to handle another scheduled flight, and everything else. In the name of preventing some airports from being under-served, the government was guaranteeing that some airports were under-served. Because bureaucracy exists so that bureaucracy exists.

    Trucking safety is regulated. And there are taxes, both state and federal. But cartage is not regulated with some odd exceptions at the state level.

    I know more about aviation than I do about trucking. I do know that trucking firms requested and received deregulation, but I don’t know the specifics.

    • #21
    • July 15, 2020, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant

    John Park (View Comment):

    Killer rabbit!

    • #22
    • July 15, 2020, at 4:09 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. MeandurΦ Member
    MeandurΦ Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Trucking and airlines were directly affected by the oil situation. They were in danger of going bankrupt. Breweries were more indirectly, but significantly, affected.

    He did the absolute minimum, then.

    Those three industries are still heavily regulated. Back then, the airlines needed to get government approval to add new service to airports. This was in addition to determining that there was a market, that the airport to be flown to had enough capacity to handle another scheduled flight, and everything else. In the name of preventing some airports from being under-served, the government was guaranteeing that some airports were under-served. Because bureaucracy exists so that bureaucracy exists.

    Trucking safety is regulated. And there are taxes, both state and federal. But cartage is not regulated with some odd exceptions at the state level.

    I know more about aviation than I do about trucking. I do know that trucking firms requested and received deregulation, but I don’t know the specifics.

    I know we still have published tariffs; but we also have wide latitude for discounts.

    • #23
    • July 15, 2020, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Titus Techera Contributor

    Percival (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Trucking and airlines were directly affected by the oil situation. They were in danger of going bankrupt. Breweries were more indirectly, but significantly, affected.

    He did the absolute minimum, then.

    Those three industries are still heavily regulated. Back then, the airlines needed to get government approval to add new service to airports. This was in addition to determining that there was a market, that the airport to be flown to had enough capacity to handle another scheduled flight, and everything else. In the name of preventing some airports from being under-served, the government was guaranteeing that some airports were under-served. Because bureaucracy exists so that bureaucracy exists.

    Trucking safety is regulated. And there are taxes, both state and federal. But cartage is not regulated with some odd exceptions at the state level.

    I know more about aviation than I do about trucking. I do know that trucking firms requested and received deregulation, but I don’t know the specifics.

    Carter did indeed do all these very good things. The man deserves ungrudging praise for fixing problems he didn’t cause. I’d also add the MX missiles–he began the arms buildup.

    Another thing, to go to his patriotism–he was not stupid, he hired Christopher Lasch to write for him, a rare case of a scholar who was patriotic & actually thought very seriously about the catastrophe America was going through. Lasch is now coming in fashion among intellectuals, because he spent the years from the Carter to the Bush administrations telling people that they’re creating a new elite that has no respect for the majority of the people & no connection to them. He also warned that academia was going to hell & might take the nation with it half a generation before the great Allan Bloom.

    The problem Carter & Lasch had was, America did need economic recovery, & they were just too critical of capitalism (although I suppose we all now know they were right, since the economy building up all these fortunes in Silicon Valley seems to be fueling hatred of America among people who want to censor conservatism out of the public space). The other problem of the malaise speech–it was unmanly, it was insufficiently inspired by patriotism. But the intention was to make Americans more self-reliant, less vulnerable to economic transformations. Perhaps now that America cannot function without China, Lasch seems even wiser than he did back then…

    • #24
    • July 15, 2020, at 10:01 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  25. Steve C. Member

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Trucking and airlines were directly affected by the oil situation. They were in danger of going bankrupt. Breweries were more indirectly, but significantly, affected.

    He did the absolute minimum, then.

    Those three industries are still heavily regulated. Back then, the airlines needed to get government approval to add new service to airports. This was in addition to determining that there was a market, that the airport to be flown to had enough capacity to handle another scheduled flight, and everything else. In the name of preventing some airports from being under-served, the government was guaranteeing that some airports were under-served. Because bureaucracy exists so that bureaucracy exists.

    Trucking safety is regulated. And there are taxes, both state and federal. But cartage is not regulated with some odd exceptions at the state level.

    I know more about aviation than I do about trucking. I do know that trucking firms requested and received deregulation, but I don’t know the specifics.

    Carter did indeed do all these very good things. The man deserves ungrudging praise for fixing problems he didn’t cause. I’d also add the MX missiles–he began the arms buildup.

    Another thing, to go to his patriotism–he was not stupid, he hired Christopher Lasch to write for him, a rare case of a scholar who was patriotic & actually thought very seriously about the catastrophe America was going through. Lasch is now coming in fashion among intellectuals, because he spent the years from the Carter to the Bush administrations telling people that they’re creating a new elite that has no respect for the majority of the people & no connection to them. He also warned that academia was going to hell & might take the nation with it half a generation before the great Allan Bloom.

    The problem Carter & Lasch had was, America did need economic recovery, & they were just too critical of capitalism (although I suppose we all now know they were right, since the economy building up all these fortunes in Silicon Valley seems to be fueling hatred of America among people who want to censor conservatism out of the public space). The other problem of the malaise speech–it was unmanly, it was insufficiently inspired by patriotism. But the intention was to make Americans more self-reliant, less vulnerable to economic transformations. Perhaps now that America cannot function without China, Lasch seems even wiser than he did back then…

    Carter was a pitiful helpless President. 

    • #25
    • July 16, 2020, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. I Walton Member

    He probably actually believed what he said and tried to govern accordingly but the problem was and remains, that most things the Federal government tries to do can’t be done in a country as vast and diverse as the US. More effective Presidents know this and just pretend and while it accomplishes nothing useful, they become popular while in office. Most things shouldn’t be done by government, the things that must be done by government should be as close to the people as possible and subject to them, things that can’t be, like national Defense and foreign policy, have to be very limited and subject to the crazies in our congress. Unfortunately our Congress doesn’t pay attention because they get their power and money by stuff we shouldn’t be doing at the Federal level or by spending stupidly and excessively on things we should do. The original design worked, was unique and made us the most successful country in history. How do you get back there? First we have to realize that government is the problem, no matter how well we think it’s run.

    • #26
    • July 16, 2020, at 7:39 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So, @jimmycarter, what do you have to say for yourself??

    • #27
    • July 16, 2020, at 5:41 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    So, @jimmycarter, what do you have to say for yourself??

    It’s a variation of a speech every President has made since Washington. The President vs. congress and He’s gonna do something about it.

    Every President knows the majority of Americans hate government, so the President not only runs against His competitor, but against government, too.

    • #28
    • July 17, 2020, at 4:06 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. The Reticulator Member

    An island? Now there’s an idea. If we can build a great wall on the border with Mexico, we can surely dig a great moat around Washington D.C. to contain the evil therein. 

    • #29
    • July 18, 2020, at 1:05 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Flicker Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    An island? Now there’s an idea. If we can build a great wall on the border with Mexico, we can surely dig a great moat around Washington D.C. to contain the evil therein.

    Or cause a panic at one side of DC to make all the people rush to the other and let it tip over into the swamp.

    • #30
    • July 18, 2020, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes