The Onion: Bush Grants Self Permission to Grant More Power to Self. Funny, but also the best definition of the Kompetenzkompetenz I’ve ever seen.

8 thoughts on “Kompetenzkompetenz

  1. It was so funny when Brandon O’Leary introduced the term Kompetenzkompetenz to differentiate between confederations and federations in a seminar about national and ethnic conflicts. While he praised German constitutional scholars for conceptual clarity, everyone else in the room who wasn’t a native German speaker was already making fun of it ;).

  2. The reference was lost on me but the power issue was not. Bush is/was the most powerful president since Roosevelt despite the marginal first election. The mandate was largely given to the Republicans to run with their agenda. Sadly little good seems to have come of it despite the opportunity for sweeping economic reforms that are badly needed in the US. Everyone focuses on France as needed reform but the US is still a cumbersome and dangerous yet expensive bureacracy to live in. With the Democrats offering little more than whining as an alternative I am afraid the US is entering a period of political and economic stagnation.

  3. Another version of the story has it that Bush now wants to admit openly why he needs to expand his legal powers further – to protect himself against the consequences of his own blunders. The mastermind of this strategy appears to have been Odo Marquard, who coined the term “Inkompetenzkompensationskompetenz”. Undeniably, this new Bush administration tactic has intuitive appeal. If you can´t be a Teflon president, you can at least “tell it like it is” and hope for the best.

  4. Note that I was thinking about how on earth the number of Americans believing that Iraq had WMDs could possibly have risen substantially during the last few months (as pollsters recently claimed) while writing the above comment.
    Not that Europeans are any better. All of a sudden, large parts of the German population seem to have invested their faith in the theory of “Intelligent Design” (at least if the results of new polls are to be taken at face value).

  5. “Note that I was thinking about how on earth the number of Americans believing that Iraq had WMDs ”

    The military believed it too. The did war games all through the 90’s against the mobile weapons trailers. Kind of like religion if enough people believe it it must be right.

    I am still a US citizen and I supported the war believing we probably had the best military and intelligence that anyone is every likely to have. I still think it was good to remove Saddam but without the oil flowing reconstruction comes at the expense of US taxpayers. The ability of the insurgents to disrupt the oil flow has really cost the US the war.

  6. WMD as in chemical weapons were a real possibility but no sane person believed that Iraq was building nuclear weapons. And the truth about chemical weapons is that they are not that much more dangerous than high explosives

  7. It’s great to see a bit of humour on this site. It’s sadly needed.

    Joerg, I’m sorry to hear the Germans are embracing the idea of Intelligent Design. I thought we were becoming more aware of the foolishness of all religion but it just goes to show it’s hard to keep the goats out of the cornfield!

  8. Tobias, I first heard of it in a seminar shadowing the European Convention at the IPW in Vienna. I thought it was a new discovery by the conventionnels, until I learnt otherwise. No-one else could understand why I thought it was so funny.

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