Are Our Leaders Really Incompetent ... Or Just Pretending?
People want to assume that when someone in power messes up - especially someone who appears incompetent - it was just a mistake.
For example, folks can't believe that an incompetent president could carry out scoundrelly deeds.
But as I wrote 5 years ago:
As noted social historian and author Michael Parenti writes:
"Generally, US foreign policy is remarkably consistent and cohesive, a deadly success, given the interests it represents. Those who see it as repeatedly befuddled are themselves revealing their own befuddlement.
Sometimes the policymakers themselves seize upon incompetence as a cover. [For example, when the Iran-Contra affair was discovered, President Reagan pleaded incompetence.] His admission of incompetence was eagerly embraced by various analysts and pundits who prefer to see their leaders as suffering from innocent ignorance rather than deliberate deception. Subsequent testimony by his subordinates, however, revealed that Reagan was not as dumb as he was pretending to be, and that he had played an active and deciding role in the entire Iran-contra affair.
No less a political personage than Henry Kissinger repeatedly pretended to innocent ignorance and incompetence when confronted with the dirty role he and his cohorts played . . . ."
This strategy of "playing dumb" and acting incompetent has, in fact, long been employed by leaders on both the left and the right. Many liberals and old fashioned conservatives have been suckered by this dumb and dumber act...