In The Peter Principle and the Neocon Coup, dated 11/2004, Robert Scheer discusses several examples of President Bush’s implementation of the Peter Principle, or promoting individuals after years of stellar performance at one career to their highest level of incompetence in a new career. He also points out that these high ranking incompetents are now in control of the most powerful military in the world. “With the ravaging of the CIA and the ousting of Powell–instead of the more-deserving Rumsfeld–the coup of the neoconservatives is complete. They have achieved a remarkable political victory by failing upward.”
The fulfillment of the Peter Principle by President Bush has grown since the above article was published a year ago. One example is Michael Brown, a former commissioner of an Arabian horse association who stepped down last month as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Now, with the nomination of Harriet Miers, the Peter Principle is about to spread incompetence to the highest judiciary.
The OpinionJournal – Extra had this to say about the application of the Peter Principle to the Supreme Court, “To be qualified, a Supreme Court justice must have more than credentials; she must have a well-considered “judicial philosophy,” by which is meant an internalized view of the Constitution and the role of a justice that will guide her through the constitutional minefield that the Supreme Court must navigate. Nothing in Harriet Miers’s professional background called upon her to develop considered views on the extent of congressional powers, the separation of powers, the role of judicial precedent, the importance of states in the federal system, or the need for judges to protect both the enumerated and unenumerated rights retained by the people.”
What is even scarier is that according to Bloomberg.com: Top Worldwide, the application of this principle may have spread farther and deeper in to the government than anyone realizes. “Federal jobs available to political appointees rose 15 percent to 4,496 last year from 2000, according to the 2004 edition of the “Plum Book,” which is published by Congress after each presidential election to list positions up for grabs. Those jobs declined 5 percent during President Bill Clinton’s second term, a comparison of the 2000 and 1996 Plum Books shows.” This article also contains more current information on the success of Bush’s application of the Peter Principle.