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Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be...

Well, a lot of folks have been drawing parallels between the upcoming Obama administration and the four years of Jimmy Carter's presidency (myself among them), and that got me thinking that there are a lot of other ways that the times are similar. I figured I'd whip up a little quiz and see how others saw the two eras, and you can vote in the comments about which you find more horrifying.

1. Annoying Popular Music:

A) Disco
B) Rap

2. Appalling Fashion Statement:

A) Polyester
B) Saggy pants

3. Economic crisis:

A) High unemployment, interest rates, and inflation
B) Unstable energy prices and credit meltdown

4. Iran:

A) Overrunning American embassy and taking hostages
B) Fomenting instability in Iraq and building nukes

5) Soviet Union/Russia causing problems:

A) Invading Afghanistan, threatening to nuke a free Western Europe
B) Invading Georgia, threatening to nuke a free Poland

6) Annoying lifetime Congressional hack as veep:

A) Walter Mondale
B) Joe Biden

7) Superman

A) Christopher Reeve
B) Tom Welling

8) Unpopular former president:

A) Richard Nixon
B) George W. Bush

9) Dumbass gadfly and attention whore:

A) Ralph Nader
B) Ralph Nader

10) Democratic Speaker Of The House:

A) Tip O'Neill
B) Nancy Pelosi

11) Dumb driver-distracting car feature:

1) CB Radio
2) Text messaging

12) Conservative leader waiting in the wings:

A) Ronald Reagan
B) (fill in the blank)

Feel free to cast your votes in the comments...


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Comments (18)

I am embarrassed to say tha... (Below threshold)

I am embarrassed to say that I wore a leisure suit as a kid to Church. It was a Levi's, and corduroy, not polyester, but still . . .sad.

The '70's were so bad, I hesitate to think we would stoop so low again--in fashion, and in politics.

Let's see.1. Rap.... (Below threshold)

Let's see.

1. Rap. Yes, I know most of it's in a dialectical form of english that makes no sense to me - but at least disco wasn't actively misogynistic in spots.

2. Saggy pants are worse than polyester. Sheesh - anyone walking along who actually has to continually HOLD their pants up with one hand needs to reconsider their clothing choices.

3. A is worse, in my opinion.

4. B - definitley. Diplomats can be replaced, cities are a lot harder. But without A and the flaccid response, I don't think we'd have gotten to B.

5. B

6. B. At least I didn't think Mondale needed to be constantly checked to make sure his reality was congruent with the rest of the world.

7. A was better.

8. B will be seen as better. History will not redeem Nixon.

9. Tough choice, that one. I'll go with Ron Paul.

10. Pelosi - I'm sorry, but she's gone so far left she's never going to be able to work from anywhere even REMOTELY connected to the rest of the country.

11. Texting, decidedly. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD, DAMMIT!

12. B - This is a toughie. First thought that came to mind is Palin - but she's really handicapped in than she hasn't spent decades clawing around in the Washington pit. Then again, that's one of her greatest assets. So - Palin?

Good questions, Jay.

My gravest concern about th... (Below threshold)

My gravest concern about these parallels is that Sears Toughskins could possibly make a comeback. I had not only the purple variety, but also a red plaid.

I'd love to see Palin come back in 2012 and take the entire country by storm.

If anyone here tries to spread around that I wore Sears Toughskins, I'll deny it. I might decide to run for local politics some day, and I could never shake that kind of background. Terrorist ties? Absolutely. But not the Toughskins.

A lot of parallels there. ... (Below threshold)

A lot of parallels there. Some worse than others. But I have to say, I expect Biden to be a whole lot more entertaining. "Gird your loins!"

#2: got to be Palin. She ma... (Below threshold)

#2: got to be Palin. She may have stirred up hostilities, but she sure energized plenty of folks who would otherwise have stayed home, despite the big O threat.

Interesting list especially... (Below threshold)
Edward Sisson Author Profile Page:

Interesting list especially the last one:

12) Conservative leader waiting in the wings:

A) Ronald Reagan
B) (fill in the blank)

"Fill in the blank" is right -- except there is no-one to put in there.

This country likes to give parties at least two consecutive Presidential terms, sometimes three:
McKinley-Roosevelt-Taft (Rep 4 terms 1897-1913)
Wilson (Dem 2 terms 1913-1921)
Harding-Coolidge-Hoover (Rep 3 terms 1921-1933)
Roosevelt-Truman (Dem 5 terms 1933-1953)
Eisenhower (Rep 2 terms 1953-1961)
Kennedy-Johnson (Dem 2 terms 1961-1969)
Nixon (Rep 2 terms 1969-1977) (Ford finished Nixon's 2nd)
Carter - 1 term (Dem 1977-1981)
Reagan-Bush I (Rep 3 terms 1981-1993)
Clinton (Dem 2 terms 1993-2001)
Bush II (Rep 2 terms 2001-2009)

Aside from Carter, you have to go back to the elections of the 1880s to find the country giving a party just one term:
Lincoln-Grant-Hayes-Garfield (Rep. 6 terms 1861-1885)
Cleveland 1 term (Dem 1885-1889)
Harrison 1 term (Rep 1889-1893)
Cleveland 1 term (Dem 1893-1897)

Is Obama going to make Carter-like mistakes? No. Carter brought untried Georgians into the key White House staff posts and was unable to maintain control over his own cabinet. Obama has already chosen a Washington-proven chief of staff (Emanuel).

If anything causes the American people to end the Obama Dem presidency after one term, it will be the same as why they ended the Carter Dem presidency: resurgent, threatening Russia and Iran. Or, in the current word, China. If any of these three grow into active military threats because Obama fails to use US power effectively to restrain them, he will be out. Keeping those three intimidated has got to be his number one priority, bar none, in the years 2009 through 2011.

And even if he does not, the only kind of Republican who could beat the Dems for re-election would be one with a strong background supporting the military and understanding how to use it. That is the only kind of Republican who will have any chance in the 2012 election, and then only if Iran, Russia, or China have provoked a military threat that Obama has failed to intimidate.

I beg to differ slightly on... (Below threshold)

I beg to differ slightly on item 9: in the 70s, Nader was accomplishing something useful by drawing attention to certain companies' habit of knowingly manufacturing faulty and dangerous products. What changed him from "advocate filling a necessary role" to "dumbass gadfly" was his inability to know when to quit.

On question 3, energy prices were high in the 70s too. And the inflation and unemployment will soon be here again, so we'll have most of the woes of the 70s to add to the ones we already have. The only aspect of the 70s that I don't see being repeated is the high interest rates.

All B except 8, that one is... (Below threshold)

All B except 8, that one is A. ww

I think old school rap (cir... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

I think old school rap (circa 1990) is still great. This hip-hop crap is garbage. Kind of like comparing Zeppelin or the Who to Warrant.

Saggy pants is way more annoying than polyester. I would still rock a leisure suit today, if someone still sold them

Nixon's unpopularity was warranted to some degree. Bush's unpopularity is really tied to 2000. Since then, he has been a pinata for the press who really resented him bringing temporary end to their "king-making".

I think that new Superman is a lil' fem. Not that there is noting wrong with a effeminate Superman. If that is the case, why not give the Hulk a lime green matching Fendi murse (man purse) or make the X-men a boy band and girl band

Russia flexing it's muscles will be interesting. And Israel is already telling Obama that their finger is on the trigger and there is nothing he can do about it. My Jewish classmate is talking about leaving school to join the IDF (whatever the Israeli Army is called).

Conservative leader waiting... (Below threshold)
Steve Schippert:

Conservative leader waiting in the wings:

Bobby Jindal
JC Watts
Jim DeMint
David Petraeus

I don't expect Watts to rise, as he seems to lack interest. Bobby Jindal (LA) and Jim DeMint (SC) are the two most capable conservative speakers, leaders and ambassadors from the current body politic in my view.

David Petraeus is the strongest and most promising of the lot (saying something considering Bobby Jindal), though he is certainly not exactly 'waiting,' as he's rather busy at the moment directing our conflicts from CENTCOM. I sincerely hope the two current hot spots are directed satisfactorily in two years' time, affording Petraeus the ability to leave his post and take up political leadership and a run at the presidency.

Item 10: Oh, please bring b... (Below threshold)

Item 10: Oh, please bring back Tip O'Neill! Oh, boy, was he partisan, but he wasn't a complete idiot. He didn't, for example, struggle to get an emergency bail-out bill together and then kill it with a party-line rant. Nor did he repeatedly show his ignorance of US history and law in rants against the president.

There's another parallel for you: Pelosi makes us really appreciate what we had in Tip O'Neill, and Obama is going to make us wish we had Carter back instead (and THAT'S a tall order!).

Oh, and a challenger for Obama in 2012? Let's just hope we are allowed to challenge by then.

B for all except 3, and 8 i... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

B for all except 3, and 8 is a toss-up. 12B is Palin, but I really would not say that 12 was horrifying at all.

This is fun. <br /... (Below threshold)

This is fun.

I add a C. on 11 cell phone

1. Rap B2... (Below threshold)

1. Rap B
2. Saggy Pants B
3. High everthing A
4. Formenting B
5. Georgia B
6. ? Difference?
7. A/B
8. Tricky Dick A
9. A/B
10.SanFran Nan B
11.Texting B
12. ? B

This based on today after the One ????????

As much as I love Sarah Pal... (Below threshold)

As much as I love Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindahl is the future star of the Republican party ala Reagan 1976,

Reformer, clear speaker, ability to speak off the cuff better than Obama off the teleprompter. I would have relished McCain having Jindahl as a running mate just for the debate with Joe Biden. I think Jindahl would have been much quicker at picking up on Biden's many mistakes, PLUS perhaps there would have been a question about 7 Elevens.

I have one objection ... #2... (Below threshold)

I have one objection ... #2. I think guys wearing girl pants is the most appalling fashion statement.


WE LOVE PALIN!!I h... (Below threshold)


I havent felt this excited about a republican in about 28 years.

Yes, please keep her away from washington until 2012, let our next movement start from the outside, and not just a desire to change the nametags on the inside...

And she's cute too!!!

Remember PET ROCKS? i never... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Remember PET ROCKS? i never had one i thought the whole idea as rediculous and stupid






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