The Obama Principle

You may be familiar with the 1969 book, The Peter Principle, in which Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull promulgated the theory that, “in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” This came to mind when I heard yesterday, via @nwdigest, that a “top Democrat” from Washington is rumored as a potential replacement for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar if he runs for governor of Colorado. I wonder if that’s code for Christine Gregoire.

If so, a new theory will need to be formulated. I’d like to suggest the Obama Principle: “in a political hierarchy, players tend to rise beyond their level of incompetence in direct proportion their WTF!?! factor.”

Obama’s Administration would seem to be a case study. Does Janet “The System Worked or Didn’t Work” Napolitano ring any bells for you? Or “Safe Schools” Czar Kevin Jennings, perhaps?

It seems Christine Gregoire would be a perfect fit for this Administration. She’s certainly proven herself to be incompetent. During her tenure as Attorney General, two avoidable errors cost the State millions of dollars. One of those errors led to the forced resignation of Janet Capp, who sued and eventually settled with the State to the tune of $1.5 million. “Gregoire said the settlement was a “good deal” for taxpayers. She estimated that it would have cost the state more than $500,000 to try the case.” I admit to having weak math skills, but it occurs to me that $500,000 is $1 million less than $1.5 million…so I’m going to conclude that the only way this could have been a “good deal” for the taxpayers is if Gregoire expected to lose in court on the merits of the case.

Either that or her math skills are even worse than mine, which could go a long way toward explaining our current budget situation. Speaking of the budget, Gregoire’s incompetence is truly remarkable. In just five years under her leadership, Washington has plunged from a series of budget surpluses and a fat rainy day fund to a situation so dire, the State Treasurer is warning that the State is about to go broke.

Gregoire’s dismal record on public safety and her penchant for blaming others for her own shortcomings (Gregoire has long-standing experience in this highly prized skill) add to her qualifications for an appointment to any position within the Obama Administration.

As much as I would love for Washington State to be rid of Gregoire, an Administration appointment would be a travesty. So I suppose she’s in.

Cross posted at It’s Only Words.