Friday, August 31, 2007

George Bush and the Peter Principle

Greg Djerejian puts his finger on exactly the right point, reflecting on the departure of Alberto Gonzales, the most recent of George Bush's associates to fall from grace. The president has an old-fashioned sense of loyalty to those who are correspondingly loyal to him. Unfortunately, his discernment about their competence is cloudy.

Much like Harriet Miers, he was so supremely underqualified for his position, so spectacularly beyond his depth, that he should never have been put in such a difficult position. Instead Bush's bovine obsessiveness with loyalty--basic competence be damned--has focused the brutal kleig-lights of international opprobrium on old friends like Harriet and Alberto. Like Brownie, say, they will become key examples in the history books of the rampant cronyism and incompetence of this Adminstration.

Their legacy thus sealed, one wonders, is Bush even cognizant of how he's effectively besmirched his friends by trying to elevate them to realms they should have never occupied to begin with? I suspect not, as the President's capacity for self-criticism appears somewhere between minute and non-existent. Instead, he's doubtless bitterly nursing his grudges, rankled that Senators like Arlen Specter and Pat Leahy and Chuck Schumer dared to challenge an Attorney General whose sycophancy to the President was so complete as to render the Department of Justice a totally discredited arm of Government, one where Administration lawyers dutifully genuflected before David Addington and John Yoo's youthful exuberances.

Check out the whole post and follow the comments. At some level the criticism is charitable. But just as competence (or, in this case INcompetence) trumps loyalty, it also trumps charity for poor judgement. The Peter Principle is once again affirmed...all the way to the top.

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