The Z Man reminds us that we’ve seen this sort of thing before:
Failing up is so common today it feels like it is new, but it has been a feature of the human condition for a long time. Alcibiades is a guy who would be comfortable in today’s culture of failing up. Instead of screwing up the invasion of Syracuse, he would have run a bank into the ground and then run for the Senate.
In prior ages, society could afford precious few of these sorts of people. Mistakes were simply too costly to tolerate having too many idiots in powerful positions. In the post scarcity world of today, it feels like we can tolerate an unlimited supply of losers, grifters and charlatans.
Certainly we’re never going run short of such individuals there are times when I think we’re breeding them deliberately though I have to admit that I’m not quite sure exactly which of those three descriptors, or which combination thereof, he means to apply to Republican candidate Carly Fiorina:
A fair number of people who think of themselves as diehard conservatives are fans of Fiorina. She is polling in the single digits, but the GOP will find some reason to get her on the debate stage. The reason, of course, is she is a woman. To her credit she says the sorts of things you expect a Republican to say, which says a lot of about the state of the party, but the only thing that matters is she lacks a penis.
As distinguished from several Republicans of past and present who lacked testicles.
Looking ahead, then:
Fiorina is smart enough to know she is not winning the nomination. This is the long con and that means angling for the VP spot or maybe a cabinet position. She will get on the stage and look good in the debates. By spring of next year she will be out of the race and have a good idea as to who will win the nomination. She will make a big show of endorsing that person and campaigning on their behalf.
In 2017 she will be nominated as Secretary of HHS and she will do to health care what she did to Bell Labs.
Quite a shame, really. One of the things Fiorina has going for her is a record of firing people, something that doesn’t get done nearly often enough in Washington.