When the Peter Principle applies to the Oval Office, you get disaster
According to Wikipedia, the Peter Principle is described as "a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their 'maximum level of incompetence; employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.'" There is no greater example of this premise than our present occupier of the Oval Office, President Joe Biden.
During the decades Biden spent in the Senate, he was merely one of a hundred senators. He thus embodied just one percent of the legislative process in but one of two legislative bodies. The laws passed by those bodies were subject to executive and judicial review and reversal by presidential veto or court decree. At the senatorial level, Biden was a small cog in the big governmental machine. He was forgiven for being "Joe being Joe," in the same way baseball star Manny Ramirez was just "Manny being Manny." So what if he did a little inappropriate groping of little girls or hair-sniffing of grown women? "C'mon, man! Give the old guy a break."
The voters in Delaware were content to return Joe to the Senate every six years. His legislative contributions were minor or nonexistent. So what if it was suggested that he was on the wrong side of every foreign policy issue during his tenure?
But then along came Barack Obama, and everything changed. The president-to-be chose Biden as his running mate because of what Obama later claimed to be "a gut feeling" that Biden was right for the job. Biden lent years of service to the relative newcomer Obama but was enough of a lightweight to pose no threat in his subservient role. So what if Tim Kaine, the senator from Virginia, was touted as a better choice? After all, Kaine had been one of Obama's earliest supporters, while Biden had run against the "bright, clean, articulate" Barry. Kaine might have had an idea somewhere along the line that differed with the president's, and he had enough gravitas at the time to be a public distraction.
No such problem with Biden. Obama could use his vice president as sort of a reverse sounding board: if someone has been historically revealed to be wrong about everything, the obvious solution is to do the opposite of anything he might suggest. Biden's actual usefulness was limited to attending state funerals and occasionally whispering in his boss's ear about what "a big f-ing deal" something or other was.
In my opinion, Obama was wrong about most everything, but he got one thing right. He opined that no one should underestimate his V.P.'s ability to mess everything up. The former president assumed that Hillary Clinton would be elected to succeed him and old Joe would be put out to pasture. We're all familiar with how that narrative played out.
Now, because of a perfect storm of a COVID pandemic, a corrupt media, and a badly divided Democrat party, old Sleepy Joe is the POTUS. Heaven only knows what other debacles await. One would think the Afghanistan disaster, the southern border mess, burgeoning inflation, and the return to OPEC energy dependence would be enough. But remember: Biden has the ability to mess everything up.
I'm not looking forward to "the rest of the story." Laurence Peter got it right.
Image: Marc Nozell via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.