Dick Cheney: Making the Peter Principle His Own
Every administration has its share of loose cannon, but most of them don't go off. It's only when they rise too high in the power structure that we get someone like Ollie North, and next thing you know we're all watching televised hearings in Congress.
It's been called the Peter Principle, where a person rises to his or her level of incompetence, and God knows our current Vice President has done that. However, the Peter Principle implies the promotions were from others - Cheney was put in charge of the search for a running mate for George W. and somehow managed to land the job himself.
Those were fun days, weren't they? Do you remember hearing that it was okay if the President was dumb because you could surround him with a bunch of smart people? It almost makes me smile just thinking back to the innocence. Of course, the problem was the dumb guy had to choose the "smart people" that would surround him, and if you had someone with Cheney's political skills nearby - surprise! - he weaseled the job for himself. Just like the dumb guy's tutor, Condi Rice, weaseled her job, eventually landing Secretary of State. When the Decider can be manipulated like this, the theory of the Dumb President Being Okay goes right down the toilet.
The other part of the Peter Principle addresses the incompetence, and Cheney and Rumsfeld certainly brought plenty of that. But when you lie a nation into a war for reasons that turn out to be incorrect, mere incompetence doesn't quite cover it. Shooting the lawyer in the face was incompetent, but this has to be bigger. Several hundred thousand people were killed here, and any reasonable court would find it a crime. That calls for a more infamous distinction. In the grand history of our species, the list of people whose misdeeds have led to this much carnage, is still not that long. (Of course, if you were one of the people killed, it was plenty long enough.)
So what's next? We're way past the point where we should be watching televised hearings from Congress on the impeachment of these cretins, followed by their subsequent imprisonment. Maybe the American People need one more trillion-dollar fiasco before we'll act, and that could be coming right up in Iran. In case we do come to our senses and remove Bush and the VP from office, it's not too soon to start talking about Richard Cheney's place in history. Here's one of his undeniable accomplishments:
The Vice President has taken the Peter Principle and made it his own. His current rant that any thought of leaving Iraq will benefit al Qaeda, is a classic example of his work. The Bush administration was the best thing that ever happened to al Qaeda. The network is now breathlessly hoping that Cheney will lead the United States into another disaster - this in Iran - and Cheney seems eager to accommodate them.
The only regret al Qaeda has is that President Bush cannot serve a third term. Everything they have dreamed of is within reach and it's just a matter of whether Dick Cheney has enough time to give it to them. He hasn't made things better for our world. He has made things a lot worse, and he could still lead us into a nuclear conflagration. If you think suicide bombers are thrilled to blow themselves up, imagine the excitement they'd feel if the Bush administration starts a world war.....a nuclear world war.
So what shall we call the hybrid Peter Principle that is Richard Cheney? I think the Dick Principle is a strong candidate. The only question is whether the word "principle" should appear in the title.