In connection with Jimmy Carter’s appearance this evening at the Democratic Convention, NRO has posted K-Lo’s interview with our friend Steve Hayward on Carter: “Kerry-Carter ’04.” This is not simply a walk down memory lane; Hayward’s review of the real Jimmuh is highly relevant to the Kerry candidacy:
NRO: How much should Democrats who are lukewarm or worse on John Kerry blame Jimmy Carter for their current state of affairs? Is Carterism in the party easy to spot?
HAYWARD: The Democratic party has been fully Carterized, so to speak. Remember that he won the 1976 election in part because a lot of Democratic-party voters and independent voters thought he represented a return to the older Harry Truman-John F. Kennedy-Scoop Jackson-style Cold War liberal realism. Carter ran to the right of Ford on foreign policy, attacking Henry Kissinger and detente for example. Instead, what we got was, in Bob Dole’s memorable phrase, “southern-fried McGovern.” And so Carter had the effect of killing off once and for all the Truman-Scoop Jackson wing of the party, which had been under attack since the 1960s by the new left. Most of those kind of Democrats became “Reagan Democrats” in the 1980s, and Republicans in the 1990s. Today, however, there are a lot of new, younger voters who don’t have a direct memory [of] this history. That’s one reason for my book.