Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Although I have voted Democratic almost exclusively, this year I will not be voting for the Democratic candidate for President. And I fully expect the accusations to fly as to why. So I have decided to preempt the attacks that are surely coming by openly making the admission. I am a competentist.

It's hard to admit these days but Im sure to be outed anyway so I might as well do it myself. I am a competentist. I believe in the superiority of competence above all else. I know this is going to get me in a world of trouble. I know its going to anger a lot of people. I know Keith Olbermann is liable to make me the worst person in the world. But what can I do?

I realize that in this electoral climate to admit you are for competence is really asking for it. Incompetents everywhere are going to be screaming for my head. They are going to accuse me of prejudice. they are going to accuse me of intolerance.They are even going to accuse me of not wanting to be in the same room with incompetents. And they are going to be right.

Incompetents have made great strides in the last ten or 15 years and now occupy positions of power in politics, the mass media and news as they never have before. And I already know that incompetents everywhere are going to want to string me up.They are going to accuse me of wanting to turn back the clock to a time when incompetents could not occupy the same positions of responsibility that competent people did. They are going to accuse me of being divisive. And I suppose to some extent it's true.

I know that in some quarters even making the distinction between competent and incompetent people will upset a lot of people. But I want to be clear -- I'm not trying to take away their rights. I'm not trying to get them fired from customer service and tech support jobs, or working for John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi, or anything else,although I have to admit it would be nice. It's simply because I think competent people are better than incompetents. Not necessarily better people.

I have to admit I've always been a competentist. Some will say its a choice I made and that its my own doing and to borrow a phrase from a Presidential candidate, I can change if I want to. People will say it;s not something I can blame on my background or upbringing, though evangelicals will disagree and say I was born that way. Personally I just don't know. All I do know is competence is just too ingrained in me. In fact I cant think of a day when I wasn't competent.

Growing up, competence was all around me. I had competent parents. I had competent teachers. Everywhere I looked there was competence.. Although many will find this hard to believe, I didn't know incompetence even existed when I was growing up. It was a foreign idea. I led a sheltered life. Every once in awhile I'd run into an incompetent person and use the "J" word and say things like, "boy what a jerk", but it was rare.

I started my work life in the advertising business and everyone I knew was competent.The partners in the ad agency where I started were extremely competent. Competence was a way of life. We even had meetings at night, after everyone else had gone home where we discussed how to be more competent.

Maybe that added to my intolerance. Incompetents made me angry. I didn't want to be around them. II didn't want to work with them. I just wouldn't have anything to do with them. But is just the way it was and, I admit, how it still is.

For much of my adult life in terms of friends and co-workers, competence was the norm.We were all competent. It just became a part of day to day life. Incompetents look back on those days as the bad old days. And its true. If you were incompetent back then you had very a hard time .It must have seemed like the whole world was against them and they didn't have a chance. Incompetents felt they were shut out of things.They wanted the same opportunities as competents. They wanted to be doctors. They wanted to be lawyers. They wanted to be air traffic controllers. They even wanted to grow up to be Vice President. But society said no.

But times have changed.Incompetents have taken their place in the world, most prominently in the area of journalism. Some say its progress. I don't know.

Today incompetent have the right to vote and to vote for whomever they please, And as we saw during the primary season they have done exactly that. we've also seen incompetents rise to positions of authority in the Democratic National Committee. One is the Chairman of the committee. One has become Speaker of the House. And one is running for President.Yes, we live in historic times.

And I believe they should be allowed the same rights as competent people. But I admit I just don't like being around them. They make me nervous.

Yes Its been a historic time. In June super delegates in the Democratic Party were asked to use their best judgement in determining the strongest candidate for President of the United States. They looked at the results of a 6 month primary season and saw that one candidate landslided the other in the 13 biggest states in the country. And they chose the loser. They picked the candidate who lost by a landslide in every big state in the northeast, the industrial midwest, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, the entire southwest from Oklahoma to Nevada and the state of California.

Incompentents everywhere and in the news media were inspired by a candidate who spoke of change and hope but who could never say change to what or hope for what.Just change and hope. They were inspired by a candidate who said he couldn't disown his controversial pastor of 17 years anymore than he could disown a member of his own family until he disowned him and called him despicable. The press called him another Lincoln.

He went to Berlin and drew huge crowds by offering free food and a free rock concert and the press called him anther JFK. Actually they called him another JFK before that but after he broke his pledge to use public financing, reneged on voting against the FISA bill, reversed his stance on gun control and off shore drilling and said he would continue Bush's policies on faith based initiatives that many think violate the Constitution.

But right from the beginning incompetents in the Democratic Party found hope in a Democratic candidate who said Republicans were the party of ideas.

I know I am asking for trouble. We live in a different age and a different time. We are supposed to be more tolerant. We live in a time where Nancy Pelois the Speaker of the House and Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader have managed to achieve through hard work, a lower job approval rating than George W. Bush. This gives heart to people everywhere who have a 9% job approval rating. With this accomplishment on the record they made their choice for nominee known and many in the Democratic Party followed.It was Pelosi who said her choice for President had the judgement to be President. And many Democrats followed.
Those who didn't have been called divisive.

Incompetents of all ages, races, and gender have made great strides in the Democratic Party this year and have sent out a candidate that represents their hopes for even greater power. But, I just cant go along. I know the Democratic Party made history this year. For the first time in political history the candidate with most votes lost. It was a historic moment. And incompetents everywhere rejoiced.

Incompetents at Stanford University and the Associated Press conducted a poll last week. They put out the story that, according to the poll the Democratic candidate for President could lose based on race because, they say the poll shows that 40% of Democrats have reservations about voting for a black man and that race could impact negatively on his candidacy. Of course, being incompetents, they never did bother to explain how a black man became the nominee of the Democratic Party in the first place if that were true.One assumes they are still scratching their heads over that one. On second thought, maybe they're not.

For those who want to strike a blow against incompetence click the donate button and make a contribution to Democrats For Principle Before Party, an offshoot of the Denver Group who will be running ads and commercials in battleground states to defeat Obama and return competence to the DNC and Democratic Party.


Anonymous said...

As one competentist to another I just have to tell you how much I love great satire. Of course incompetens won't get it.

bert in Ohio

Anonymous said...

Once again, Marc, you've captured exactly what I've been thinking. The economic debacle and proposed $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout for the incompetents on Wall St. put me in mind also of just how far incompetence and incompetents have come in this country -- they're now rewarded lavishly for doing what most of us were taught to see as fraud and failure. Silly us. Still, I'll stand with you on the side of competence and for the return of the Democratic Party and this country to the power of competentists as long as I can draw breath. Though McCain/Palin aren't Hillary, I become ever more impressed with their competence, their authenticity and their genuine desire to try to make this country the best that it can possibly be. It makes no sense to not vote or to vote third party or write-in -- essentially giving away a vote to BO. This is a two-party contest, and as a Democrat, I'll cast my vote where it will have the greatest impact for stopping BO. McCain/Palin for this 38-year Dem. Thanks for all you do. I sent another contribution to the Denver Group last week, and will send more soon.

Anonymous said...

Marc, that was brilliant!!! I love, love, love reading your posts. Probably because I am a competentist.

kahunagrade21 said...

That was a truly competent post.

As a committed Conservative I prefer the concept of a meritocracy to the Marxist utopia the Uh-uh-uh-nnointed One will surely try and enact.

McCain's announcement today that he is suspending his campaign and asking to delay the debate, and Obama's ridiculous 'I called him first' schoolyard reaction clearly demonstrates that one candidate is a leader, the other is reactive - one is competent, the other is the 'N' word, Non-competent.

It is these kinds of well-structured, logical and country-first posts that give me hope for your party returning to the best of Liberal ideals and acting as an effective counter to the potential ills of the humen-element in true lassaiz-fair capitalism.

Beth Barnat said...

Thanks for this brilliant post, Marc!

I call my politics, the politics of what works.

Competence = what works.

Works for me.

Gary Sweeten said...

If it works; do more of it.

If it does not work; stop it.

I have spoken to several people recently whose worked in organizations led by men whose incompetence rose to the level that they were sent on a year's leave at full salary just so the organization could survive.

None of them was fired. That might make them feel badly. They got a "Buy out" with a nice package and glowing reviews so they could get another job at a bigger organization and get another buy out.

I left several organizations but my competency meant that I never expected nor was offered a "Buy out". Competent people rarely get bought out. Why am I penalized for my competency?

I have worked in Russia since 1991 and it was the clever policy of Stalin to destroy competent people and exalt incompetents. The best farmers, butchers, police officers and scientists were sent to gulags and replaced by third rate men and women.

Why? Socialists hate the Bell Shaped Curve and are foresworn to kill it as a concept and ruin its reputation. To do so math and science must be distorted. Statistics are verboten. Those who perform well are attacked as "elites" and sent to camps.

Those Socialists were a clever bunch. But, don't worry. Vodka removed their pain and I am setting up hundreds of 12 step groups for them.

democraticjack said...

Brilliancy as usual, Marc.
There is minefield of incompetency to be traversed and we need to proceed with caution. I am not sure handing the keys to the hen house back to the same crew who wrecked it last is the way to go for me. We'll see.

Shainzona said...

What advertising agency? I did the same thing - DDB in 1973 and to greater heights (?) after that.

I learned that I was considered a competentist at that time - "I did windows" (so to speak) and became a fire-fighter, savings accounts who were leaving due to incompetentists. (Later began a second career as a lawyer!!! Yikes!)

Ahhh, those were the days!

waiting4hrc said...

I applaud this post. The Tom In Paine articles, the Denver Group and Democrats for Principle Before Party are all works of merit.

Hillary is supremely competent. That's why Mr. Incompetent refused to debate her in the primaries. Who wants a chicken as President of the most powerful country on earth?! McCain proved his competency on the battlefield and Palin proved hers as governor of Alaska. I'm OK with McCain/Palin 2008, then Hillary 2012.

Brian H said...

Loved every word.

BUT --
I'm afraid you're an incompetent punctuator.

Missing spaces between sentences, periods mispositioned and doubled-up, replaced by commas, etc.

And "offshoot" is one word, not two.

Incompetence is SO irritating! ;)

Marc Rubin said...

"What advertising agency? I did the same thing - DDB in 1973 and to greater heights"

DDB? That is where I started.And I also moved on to other agencies.I loved the place. And everyone was competent.

Marc Rubin said...

Loved every word.

BUT --
I'm afraid you're an incompetent punctuator.."

Yes but Im so competent I appreciate you pointing it out and now the punctuation is fixed.

Marc Rubin said...

"I am not sure handing the keys to the hen house back to the same crew who wrecked it last is the way to go for me."

Thats the second biggest reason for Democrats to see Obama beaten. aside from his lack of qualification, its the only way to get rid of those in the Democratic Party who created this mess by dishoenstly AND incompetently rigging the process.If youre going to be dishonest at least be good at it and Dean, Pelosi and Brazile couldnt even manage that

susan h said...

Bravo Marc, thanks for the chuckles. I am laughing through my tears. I fear the Obama plan is to take the good jobs and give them to people who are not qualified, take the good schools and let poor students go there and send the good students into the ghettos, take the businesses that others have made a success of and let uneducated /lazy people run them. Isn't that what they did in Nazi Germany?

Anonymous said...

1. Marc, what a piece!
2. Marc, if you're making a case for competence, better fix lots of typos!
3. Marc, you're great!

Anonymous said...

It's no surprise that this has happened. Year after year of seeing who can claim the title of "Least Engaged" and the "No There, There" award. We had an opportunity to pick a candidate that was actually engaged and excited about the opportunity to govern. You know, WORK. Instead the American Idol crowd decided that the best qualification for federal office is maintaining one's amateur standing and graduating with a major in poseur.

ainnj said...

I think that photo op session before yesterday's White House meeting captures the intent of your blog post. A last-supperish scene of the incompetent-in-chief flanked by the majority and minority incompetent leaders of Congress, along with our two fearless candidates rivaling for the highest office in the land, and all of them with the look of deer caught in the headlights.

JessinWis said...

I enjoy your thoughts. What to say regarding criticism of Gov Palin's competence? At least she shows up and faces the music, as opposed to The One, who chose to phone in his "presence" while the rest of Congress dealt with the greatest financial crisis of our time, so that he could rehearse for a debate that he lost to an opponent who DOES walk and chew gum at the same time. Competence is as competence does, and if Gov Palin continues to be an effective DOER, I'll be very comfortable voting for her.

tessa said...

I was starting to distance myself from this election as a means of self preservation..vowing to stop railing against the nominee risking my treasured friendships (although questioning the judgement of those friends). But this week the incompetent handling by Pelosi et. al of the bailout issue reawakened in me the sadness and disgust I have felt for much of the primary.This election is a travesty and a tragedy. It hit me even more when I saw HRC on various mainstream tv talk shows, espousing her opinions about the economy. She foresaw this crisis and had the only logical plan in place- a plan she touted for the 18 months of her campaign..
I am writing in as Mass is a safe blue state. I cannot bring myself to vote Republican especially with Palin on the ticket.
Of two incompetent candidates I will choose neither and register my protest..