Monday, September 29, 2008

the palin principle

pa•lin prin•ci•ple

the principle demonstrated when an organization promotes one or more individuals so far above their level of competence as to precipitate or hasten its own sorry demise.

the ultimate culmination of the peter principle.

origin sept 2008: named after governor of alaska sarah palin, whose nomination as the republican vice presidential candidate, despite initial fanfare, ultimately proved to be the undoing of the presidential aspirations of her nominator john mccain, as well as the undoing of their party, likely for decades to follow. see also:

ti•be•ri•us gam•bit

an attempt by an unpopular leader to rehabilitate his failed legacy by naming as his successor a person so corrupt and/or incompetent that the predictably disastrous reign to follow makes his own epic failure look like an epic win in comparison.

origin sept 2008: named after the unpopular roman emperor tiberius, who named as his successor his capricious and probably insane grandson gaius caligula, who in turn instituted a reign of terror of the like even rome had never seen.

mccain's nomination of the laughably inadequate palin as his vice president has to be the first time i've ever seen anyone preemptively slap down a tiberius gambit even before they've become president.

the term first appeared on the blog hullabaloo.


  1. Isn't choosing McCain itself an example of the Tiberius gambit on the part of the GOP?

  2. isn't choosing mccain itself an example of the tiberius gambit on the part of the gop?

    the tiberius gambit proposes that mccain's nomination was on the part of bush and rove, not the gop as a whole. i see mccain rather as a claudius, who became emperor because he was the only one the assorted factions could live with, not because they thought he could burnish his predecessor's image.

    still, the gop as a party is definitely succumbing to the palin principle, as it runs out of competent candidates in its pursuit of a steadily shrinking base that is becoming an increasingly radicalized fringe.