Quote of the Day: Conspiracy or Incompetence?

 

“Whenever you’re faced with an explanation of what’s going on in Washington, the choice between incompetence and conspiracy, always choose incompetence.”  — Charles Krauthammer

I still miss him. Charles Krauthammer was able to observe the political landscape with savvy and insight, and often nailed the Washington scene accordingly. But when I read this quotation, I wondered if Charles would make the same observation, given the events of the last five to ten years.

I think today he would come to a different conclusion.

Instead, he would likely say that rather than choose between incompetence and conspiracy, an astute observer would need to say that both incompetence and conspiracy apply.

A person wouldn’t have to go far to recognize that several events, to be described accurately, would include both attributes:

  • The Russian hoax—clearly the plans of the FBI were insidious and lawless—a conspiracy extraordinaire—but the sloppiness of their efforts has also damaged the agency’s reputation forever.
  • Hillary’s efforts to take down Trump were baked into the conspiracy pie, and her explanation for covering her deletion of 30,000 emails was laughable.
  • The Great Reset continues to proceed in the background, with the international set conspiring with our own elites(so to speak), already wreaking havoc on our economy.
  • Modern monetary theory (MMT) is lauded as the most progressive approach to managing the economy, defying reason and common sense, while its proponents continue to defend it with misguided hopes, expectations, and dreams.
  • Marxism is raising its ugly head again (called only “socialism”), pushed by the elites in their attempt to control society, while choosing to ignore the disastrous results of the Marxist agenda in the past.
  • COVID-19 management has been a farce, as Washington bureaucrats bumbled and stumbled in their efforts to figure out how to protect the population, yet using strategies that are obvious attempts to increase their control over our citizens.
  • The commission investigating the January 6 “insurrection” is an embarrassment to anyone who knows what actually happened. This group is conspiring to ensure that Donald Trump is punished for having been our President, and they are dragging out their investigation with irrelevant interviews of people, just to smear as many people as they can along the way. Their efforts are an insult to our country and the world.

The list could be much, much longer, but it’s clear to me that we are governed by ignorant and incompetent bureaucrats who have exaggerated views of their own competence, and who are determined to unite in an effort to destroy the freedoms that we treasure.

What do you think of my analysis?

Feel free to add to the list!

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  1. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    Do you have instances where the integrity was actually compromised?

    Can you set the standards any higher? Do you need to see the death certificates of all the dead people voting in Cook County?

    Normally charges require evidence.

    Or at least not a willful avoidance of searching it out on one’s own.  That way, you can demand other people provide information to you, and now the onus of proof is on them to answer a question you can answer yourself, but choose not to, because trolling is more fun.

    • #181
  2. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    It’s not relevant to any conversation I’ve ever had.

    Yes, it would be absurd to expect that. So why don’t you find somebody who thinks that and bother him? Why bother me?

    And yet you would treat as suspect any vote cast in a situation where there is some dispute as to who may or may not issue changes to election procedure.

    What are you talking about? When did I treat as suspect any of these votes?

    When you wrote, “Illegally cast or counted votes exceeded the Biden margin of victory in five swing states.”

    Ah. Now you have amended your definition. Much better, as far as the conversation is concerned.

    But a worse definition. Your first definition was better.

    Only worse if you believe “the procedures set forth for the election” and “the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials” are substantively different.

    They are dramatically different. The procedures set forth for the election in statutory law and the state Constitution are directly flouted in the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials. That’s the whole point of talking about these situations.

    They are not “dramatically different” but minor modifications in light of an emergency situation.  They also were not outside the common practice in other states.  Act 77’s provision allowing for no-excuse mail in voting is hardly some radical change and local election officials were certainly not acting irresponsibly by complying with a law passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor.

    • #182
  3. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Percival (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    I will amend to, the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials at the time the vote is cast.

    You are assuming that there is an actual voter per vote.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    As ballots are checked against voter registration rolls, there is evidence to support it. 

    • #183
  4. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    I think your analysis is tainted by confirmation bias and that is exactly what Charles Krauthammer warned against. Take a moment and attempt to steelman the arguments made by those who disagree with you in each of these instances and see if the idea of a nefarious conspiracy is the best explanation.

    You bring up a valid point. I checked one definition of conspiracy:

    : to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement accused of conspiring to overthrow the governmentconspired to monopolize and restrict tradeb: SCHEME2: to act in harmony toward a common end. Circumstances conspired to defeat his efforts.

    You were the one who used the word “nefarious,” not me. I would suggest that the items I listed were not done in good faith, were done to do harm, in some cases broke the law, were done in secret with the intent to deceive. Although I do have a bias against the Dems, I think that my use of the word here is justified. But we can disagree.

    It is the assumption the actions were not done in good faith which I believe is mistaken. Can you not imagine a good faith reason government officials would take extreme measures to prevent the spread of a deadly virus? Or a member of Congress wanting to find out what led to a violent attack on the Congress itself?

    Violent? A better question to be asked is who perpetrated the violence. You could ask a dead woman, but she’s dead.

    Those who broke through police barricades.

    • #184
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    I will amend to, the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials at the time the vote is cast.

    You are assuming that there is an actual voter per vote.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    As ballots are checked against voter registration rolls, there is evidence to support it.

    When they are checked against voter roles. If they are checked against voter roles. If the voter roles are in any way accurate. There have been significant discrepancies for all three.

    • #185
  6. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Percival (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    I will amend to, the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials at the time the vote is cast.

    You are assuming that there is an actual voter per vote.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    As ballots are checked against voter registration rolls, there is evidence to support it.

    When they are checked against voter roles. If they are checked against voter roles. If the voter roles are in any way accurate. There have been significant discrepancies for all three.

    Do you have evidence of votes counted that were not checked with existing voter registration rolls?

    • #186
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    I will amend to, the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials at the time the vote is cast.

    You are assuming that there is an actual voter per vote.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    As ballots are checked against voter registration rolls, there is evidence to support it.

    When they are checked against voter roles. If they are checked against voter roles. If the voter roles are in any way accurate. There have been significant discrepancies for all three.

    Do you have evidence of votes counted that were not checked with existing voter registration rolls?

    Voter Fraud? Several Absentee Ballots in Michigan Cast by Dead People, Voters Over 120 Years Old

    “Woman who lives at my address but died in 2008 has been voting “Early” in every election since 2014 using my current address. I received a mail-in ballot for her this year,” commented another.

    • #187
  8. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Your new definition of election integrity:

    Neil:

    The integrity of the election is determined by whether lawful voters casts votes in a manner consistent with the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials at the time the vote is cast.

    What gives these procedures their authority?

    Procedures do not have authority.

    And yet election integrity hangs on them?

    Another failure to communicate. I have no idea what you are thinking or what you are talking about.

    WRT elections, people have authority and different people holding different offices have various levels of authority.  Procedures are developed by these different people exercising their authority.  Sometimes there are disputes as to which people have what authority and we have a system to adjudicate those disputes.  Absent an emergency or some flagrant and egregious abuse of authority, those disputes are resolved at a later date usually after the immediate election.  That means in most cases the procedures promulgated by those most directly responsible for conducting the election are followed and considered legitimate for that immediate election regardless as to whether they are deemed improperly developed later.

    • #188
  9. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    It certainly proves a willingness to collude with a hostile foreign power.

    Is willingness to collude a crime?

    • #189
  10. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    It certainly proves a willingness to collude with a hostile foreign power.

    Is willingness to collude a crime?

    No, neither is collusion itself.  Is your bar for the behavior of President of the United States really just “not criminal?”

    • #190
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    It certainly proves a willingness to collude with a hostile foreign power.

    Is willingness to collude a crime?

    No, neither is collusion itself. Is your bar for the behavior of President of the United States really just “not criminal?”

    That would appear to be better than what we have now, no?

    • #191
  12. Neil Hansen (Klaatu) Inactive
    Neil Hansen (Klaatu)
    @Klaatu

    Percival (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    It certainly proves a willingness to collude with a hostile foreign power.

    Is willingness to collude a crime?

    No, neither is collusion itself. Is your bar for the behavior of President of the United States really just “not criminal?”

    That would appear to be better than what we have now, no?

    Speak for yourself.

    • #192
  13. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    WRT elections, people have authority and different people holding different offices have various levels of authority. Procedures are developed by these different people exercising their authority. . . .That means in most cases the procedures promulgated by those most directly responsible for conducting the election are followed and considered legitimate for that immediate election regardless as to whether they are deemed improperly developed later.

    Ok. Rewind:

    Your new definition of election integrity:

    Neil:

    The integrity of the election is determined by whether lawful voters casts votes in a manner consistent with the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials at the time the vote is cast.

    What is the source of the authority of those who determine the procedures?

    • #193
  14. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Expecting each voter to decide whether a governor’s executive order or secretary of state’s interpretation of an election statute is legally valid prior to casting their ballot is absurd.

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Yes, it would be absurd to expect that. So why don’t you find somebody who thinks that and bother him? Why bother me?

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    And yet you would treat as suspect any vote cast in a situation where there is some dispute as to who may or may not issue changes to election procedure.

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    What are you talking about? When did I treat as suspect any of these votes?

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment)

    When you wrote, “Illegally cast or counted votes exceeded the Biden margin of victory in five swing states.”

    I did write that.  If “illegally cast or counted” meets some definition of “suspect,” then–yes, I did say that said votes were “suspect.”

    Now will you please explain what you are talking about?  What has the claim that these votes were illegally cast or counted have to do with expecting each voter to decide whether a governor’s executive order or secretary of state’s interpretation of an election statute is legally valid prior to casting their ballot?

    I’m not blaming voters for being led astray by their bad governments.  I’m blaming the bad governments for breaking the law.

    • #194
  15. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ah. Now you have amended your definition. Much better, as far as the conversation is concerned.

    But a worse definition. Your first definition was better.

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Only worse if you believe “the procedures set forth for the election” and “the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials” are substantively different.

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    They are dramatically different. The procedures set forth for the election in statutory law and the state Constitution are directly flouted in the procedures presented to the voter by local election officials. That’s the whole point of talking about these situations.

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    They are not “dramatically different” but minor modifications in light of an emergency situation. They also were not outside the common practice in other states. Act 77’s provision allowing for no-excuse mail in voting is hardly some radical change and local election officials were certainly not acting irresponsibly by complying with a law passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor.

    I don’t see the relevance of whether or not they are minor modifications, emergency measures, or similar to other states.  They directly violated the law.  You don’t think a direct violation of the law is dramatically different?  Fine; I think direct violation of the law by people whose one job is to keep the law is pretty dramatic, but we can work without that adverb.

    Is direct violation of the law not a substantive difference from obeying the law?

    Is direct violation of the law not a problem for election integrity?

    Why would lesser laws, or procedures that lack the force of law entirely, get to define election integrity, while the state statutory law and the state constitution–the source of all lawful government functions in the state–don’t get to define election integrity?

    • #195
  16. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Percival (View Comment):

    When they are checked against voter roles. If they are checked against voter roles. If the voter roles are in any way accurate. There have been significant discrepancies for all three.

    And much more.  Missing chains of custody (GA, PA, MI).   Voters breaking the law to vote out of their jurisdiction (GA, and probably NV off the top of my head).  Votes cast in violation of Wisconsin’s laws, chapter 6, and then counted in violation of chapter 6.  Etc., etc.

    Percival (View Comment):

    Voter Fraud? Several Absentee Ballots in Michigan Cast by Dead People, Voters Over 120 Years Old

    “Woman who lives at my address but died in 2008 has been voting “Early” in every election since 2014 using my current address. I received a mail-in ballot for her this year,” commented another.

    I can buy that anecdote.

    However, some voters recorded as being born in 1900 may not have been born in 1900. Default dates in 1900 are entered in the databases sometimes when there’s no birthday on paper records that need to be computerized, or when a birthday is kept non-public for some reason.  (See big post; Ctr-F for “1900.”)

    • #196
  17. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Neil Hansen (Klaatu) (View Comment):
    It certainly proves a willingness to collude with a hostile foreign power.

    Is willingness to collude a crime?

    No, neither is collusion itself. Is your bar for the behavior of President of the United States really just “not criminal?”

    What’s your justification for dismissing the Hunter Biden laptop story, again? 

    • #197
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    When they are checked against voter roles. If they are checked against voter roles. If the voter roles are in any way accurate. There have been significant discrepancies for all three.

    And much more. Missing chains of custody (GA, PA, MI). Voters breaking the law to vote out of their jurisdiction (GA, and probably NV off the top of my head). Votes cast in violation of Wisconsin’s laws, chapter 6, and then counted in violation of chapter 6. Etc., etc.

    Percival (View Comment):

    Voter Fraud? Several Absentee Ballots in Michigan Cast by Dead People, Voters Over 120 Years Old

    “Woman who lives at my address but died in 2008 has been voting “Early” in every election since 2014 using my current address. I received a mail-in ballot for her this year,” commented another.

    I can buy that anecdote.

    However, some voters recorded as being born in 1900 may not have been born in 1900. Default dates in 1900 are entered in the databases sometimes when there’s no birthday on paper records that need to be computerized, or when a birthday is kept non-public for some reason. (See big post; Ctr-F for “1900.”)

    They appear to have been using 1-1-1900 as the default for “no data” until a bureau-weenie noticed that looked bad, so they changed the default to 1-1-1990. Problem solved!

    • #198
  19. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Conspiracy nut that I am, what I see is a Conspiracy of Incompetence. To wit, the leftists think as follows: Competence is a value of White Supremacists, thus Competence has to be fought at every opportunity. We must get people into positions of power based on racial and sexual identities and exclude anyone, particularly heterosexual White Males, who demonstrate Competence. Other people of different races and sexual orientations may display competence, and we must endeavor to exclude them from positions of power because of their complicity in White Supremacy. 

    We can see clearly this conspiracy, from the Vice President to most political appointments in the Biden administration. 

    So, Dr. Krauthamer’s great observation is no longer operable. Everyone in positions of power, to the extent possible, is to be selected based on Incompetence. So to blame Incompetence rather than Conspiracy is a meaningless distinction. The Incompetence is the Conspiracy. 

    Once those in positions of power are all Incompetent, they will continue to conspire, and we will have Incompetent Conspiracists. 

    This makes it impossible to blame Incompetence alone for what appear to be conspiratorial endeavors. 

    • #199
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Conspiracy nut that I am, what I see is a Conspiracy of Incompetence. To wit, the leftists think as follows: Competence is a value of White Supremacists, thus Competence has to be fought at every opportunity. We must get people into positions of power based on racial and sexual identities and exclude anyone, particularly heterosexual White Males, who demonstrate Competence. Other people of different races and sexual orientations may display competence, and we must endeavor to exclude them from positions of power because of their complicity in White Supremacy.

    We can see clearly this conspiracy, from the Vice President to most political appointments in the Biden administration.

    So, Dr. Krauthamer’s great observation is no longer operable. Everyone in positions of power, to the extent possible, is to be selected based on Incompetence. So to blame Incompetence rather than Conspiracy is a meaningless distinction. The Incompetence is the Conspiracy.

    Once those in positions of power are all Incompetent, they will continue to conspire, and we will have Incompetent Conspiracists.

    This makes it impossible to blame Incompetence alone for what appear to be conspiratorial endeavors.

    They are trying to introduce CRT into math textbooks, and I’m thinking any university that countenances this nonsense needs to close down its College of Engineering before they get someone killed. No, children … getting the right answer is not a matter of white privilege.

    • #200
  21. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Conspiracy nut that I am, what I see is a Conspiracy of Incompetence. To wit, the leftists think as follows: Competence is a value of White Supremacists, thus Competence has to be fought at every opportunity. We must get people into positions of power based on racial and sexual identities and exclude anyone, particularly heterosexual White Males, who demonstrate Competence. Other people of different races and sexual orientations may display competence, and we must endeavor to exclude them from positions of power because of their complicity in White Supremacy.

    We can see clearly this conspiracy, from the Vice President to most political appointments in the Biden administration.

    So, Dr. Krauthamer’s great observation is no longer operable. Everyone in positions of power, to the extent possible, is to be selected based on Incompetence. So to blame Incompetence rather than Conspiracy is a meaningless distinction. The Incompetence is the Conspiracy.

    Once those in positions of power are all Incompetent, they will continue to conspire, and we will have Incompetent Conspiracists.

    This makes it impossible to blame Incompetence alone for what appear to be conspiratorial endeavors.

    They are trying to introduce CRT into math textbooks, and I’m thinking any university that countenances this nonsense needs to close down its College of Engineering before they get someone killed. No, children … getting the right answer is not a matter of white privilege.

    Given the opportunity, Leftists will make getting the right answer a criminal offense. When the bridge collapses it will be proof positive for the need for “infrastructure spending” to build back better (structurally unsound) bridges, and so on ad Infiniti’s. The term is dumbocracy, the blind deaf and dumb leading the blind deaf and dumb. In Tierra de ciegos el sordo es Rey, as they say

    • #201
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