The world still deals with Carter’s Iranian missteps. Should the Muslim Brotherhood or worse fill the leadership void in Egypt, the world may be reeling from the fallout three decades from now. The downside of allowing human rights to guide foreign policy is that often human rights paradoxically suffer. Anyone watching that ’70s show could have avoided replaying those mistakes in this ’70s show.
Ironically, the president who Obama so resembles on Middle Eastern policy is not impressed with his efforts. “I don’t have any feeling of success for what President Obama had done in the Middle East,” remarked Jimmy Carter at the LBJ presidential library in February. Tellingly, Carter concedes that Obama had dealt with the Egyptian crisis “about the same way I’d have handled it if I’d been in office.”
The original ’70s show ended when a Democratic president lost his reelection bid and his Republican successor more than halved top tax rates, backed the Fed in tightening money, lifted price controls on oil, and pursued America’s just interests abroad that ironically achieved his predecessor’s unrealized aim of furthering human rights.
Next year, American viewers determine whether this low-rated ’70s repeat gets cancelled – or reruns in syndication for four more years.
Daniel J. Flynn is the author of Why the Left Hates America, Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas, A Conservative History of the American Left, and the forthcoming Blue Collar Intellectuals. He writes a Monday column at HumanEvents.com and blogs at Flynnfiles.com. This column originally appeared at FrontPageMag.com.