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It’s Like, How Much More Broderite Could This Be? And the Answer Is None. None More Broderite.

[ 65 ] February 25, 2013 |

Is Ron Fournier real? A vicious parody of a self-consciously “centrist” beltway pundit? It’s impossible to tell. We can start with the Green Lanternism:

But the president won’t get off easy. While Obama has reached further rhetorically toward compromise than Republicans have on sequestration and long-term debt, the president eventually needs to lead a stubborn Congress to actual compromise and accomplishment.

His aides and allies will ask, “Exactly what can he do to get the GOP to deal?” That is a question best put to the president, a skilled and well-meaning leader elected to answer the toughest questions.

OK, pretty terrible, but as the blogosphere has taught us a belief in the potential omnipotence of presidential daddies is widespread throughout the political spectrum. In itself, this is probably less embarrassing than your typical Drew Westen column. Although the concession that he can’t actually identify any concrete steps Obama could take to get House Republicans to vote for something they don’t want to vote for is a nice touch.

But wait! What if we compound green laternism with pure distilled vacuity:

Which side’s approach to averting the sequester, and solving the deficit, (do I) actually agree with? I honestly don’t have a strong opinion. Like most independent voters, I just want it fixed. I want my leaders to lead.

Rarely does one see Broderite bipartisanship as an end in itself put this clearly. What policies does he want Congress to pass? What direction should Obama be leading? It doesn’t matter! Just pass something! No matter what’s in it, it will…fix. Fix something.

The punchline, of course, is that Fournier doesn’t actually care if social spending is slashed or if the economy contracts; apparently he’ll land on his feet no matter what.

Comments (65)

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  1. DrDick says:

    Fournier doesn’t actually care if social spending is slashed or if the economy contracts; apparently he’ll land on his feet no matter what.

    I think that he is confident that neither party will allow policies which substantially impact his class segment in a negative way. After all, most of the politicians belong to that segment as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      actually, drdick, i just looked him up and fournier is 50: if i were a well-paid 50-year-old pundit, i’d be asking myself some very serious questions about whether there will still be well-paying pundit jobs 10-15 years from now.

      of course, that would require a degree of analysis and self-reflection that does not appear to be fournier’s forte.

      • howard says:

        damn, i always forget to fill in my name when i’m using an unfamiliar computer to post! that was me….

      • DrDick says:

        Firstly, I only said that he was confident, not thoughtful or insightful. I also strongly suspect he is extremely well paid at present and has a gold-plated retirement plan. It is also painfully clear that centrists pundits remain employed long after their sell-by date (witness Broder himself), so he probably reasonably expects to remain on as long as he wants.

        • howard says:

          well, fair enough that he probably thinks all that, but i would say it’s a very open question whether any newspaper publisher in 15 years is going to think “highly compensated pundits with gold-plated retirement plans: that’s the trick!”

          in fact, depending on the nature of his gold-plated retirement plan, i’m not sure he should be counting on it surviving the next 40 years or so….

          • Origami Isopod says:

            There are always jobs for hacks and grifters. If they’re confident enough of their abilities, they can sell them to anyone rich and amoral enough to pay them.

        • swearyanthony says:

          can always go on the friedman spoken word tour, fleecing the corporate rubes

  2. gocart mozart says:

    Shouldn’t that be “green lanternism”?

  3. anthrofred says:

    It’s sort of a pastel Broderite.

  4. Uncle Kvetch says:

    What direction should Obama be leading?

    What you do is get both sides together in a room and tell them to cut out the bullshit. Simple.

    Ronaldus Magnus would have known what to do.

    • What you do is get both sides together in a room and tell them to cut out the bullshit.

      I just love the image of John McCain sitting at the head of a table, with a bunch of Shiite clerics, militiamen, and politicians along one side, and their Sunni counterparts on the other, all of them turning towards their embarrassed translators with curious, interested looks on their faces when he stops talking.

      • sharculese says:

        Translator: “Oh fuck, I can’t say any of that shit. We’re all going to die.”

        • Malaclypse says:

          Back in the 1970s, Doonesbury’s Honey Huan character was both Mao’s and Duke’s chief translator, and routinely translated creatively so as to avoid being purged. I still remember “The joke has been made, and you should now laugh uproariously.”

        • Hogan says:

          Duke: A further goal of mine is the speedy implementation of normalization.

          Honey: (translating) A further goal of his is the speedy implementation of normalization

          Duke: Lastly, I come to China in the hope of fulfilling a life-long ambition – dropping acid on the Great Wall

          Honey: (translating) Lastly, he wishes you good health and long life

          Duke: In conclusion, let me just say that I look forward to a new spirit of cooperation from our Chinese friends. I sincerely hope it won’t be necessary to shell any pagodas

          Honey: (translating) He also wishes your wife good health.

          Foreign minister: Thank him, and ask him if he’d like to see the Great Wall.

          • wjts says:

            “Honey, why is it I got the distinct impression you were taking liberties in translating my speech?”

            “Um… well, sir, I might have softened a word here and there…”

            “Softened? Who said you could soften? My job is to look after you, sir. I knew you’d want me to modify any potentially embarrassing remarks.”

            “I don’t believe this! Honey, tell me – what did my speech end up being about?”

            “Your admiration for last year’s ball bearing output.”

            “I spoke for 45 minutes on ball bearings?!”

            “Yes, sir. And you were spell-binding!”

        • Uncle Kvetch says:

          To me the archetype of the genre was Ross Perot in ’92 — any time he was pressed for policy specifics he’d revert to “You just get all the smartest people in the country together, and you lock ‘em in a room and say ‘You’re not coming out until you’ve fixed everything.’”

          I know it’s not uniquely American, but this childlike conception of oppositional politics as a (curable) disease rather than an incontrovertible fact of life does seem to be taken a hell of a lot more seriously here than in most places.

          • Uncle Kvetch says:

            Oops. Threading fail.

            Anyway, as long as we’re on the subject, fully agreed: “Duke in China” was one of Garry Trudeau’s absolute finest moments.

            (Nitpick time: Honey Huan was an interpreter, not a translator. It’s my line of work and I don’t get many opportunities to be tiresomely pedantic about it.)

  5. I just love this genre of punditry.

    Barack Obama said he wanted to be post-partisan, but the Republicans are still assholes. What a loser!

  6. gocart mozart says:

    Why does that mean Obama force those nice Republicans to behave like such assholes.

  7. sharculese says:

    Barack Obama is not Presidenting hard enough at John Boehner.

  8. david mizner says:

    Like most independent voters, I just want my leaders to enact conservative policies.

    “[To my friend, Karl Rove] The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight”

    http://mediamatters.org/research/2008/07/22/the-ap-has-a-ron-fournier-problem/144113

    • commie atheist says:

      Damn that liberal media.

      • commie atheist says:

        No, wait, make that double-dog-damn that liberal media! So says commenter “Perplexed”:

        Fournier: Your faux attempt to be ‘objective’ is pathetic. You have a long history of supporting obama and every left wing cause under the sun. obama loves you and is hardly put out with you. I am a former negotiator and obama is obviously not one. He makes ‘compromises’ that he knows won’t be accepted as a TACTIC not as a means of reaching agreement and solution. It is obvious.

        • He makes ‘compromises’ that he knows won’t be accepted as a TACTIC not as a means of reaching agreement and solution. It is obvious.

          No no! That’s crazy talk!

          I have it on good authority that he was stunned – stunned! – when he heard that the Iraqi parliament wasn’t going to vote to grant American military personnel immunity from Iraqi criminal law.

          Nobody could have seen that coming; they guy was just trying to get to Yes.

        • Hogan says:

          I am a former negotiator and obama is obviously not one. He makes ‘compromises’ that he knows won’t be accepted as a TACTIC not as a means of reaching agreement and solution.

          Yeah, you know what? Obama has forgotten more about negotiation than you will ever know.

        • The thing is, these two statements do not contradict each other:

          While Obama has reached further rhetorically toward compromise than Republicans have on sequestration and long-term debt

          He makes ‘compromises’ that he knows won’t be accepted as a TACTIC not as a means of reaching agreement and solution.

          Barack Obama can know that his offers won’t be accepted, even if he reaches for a compromise.

          Republican stubbornness, which they think is such a strong, manly maneuver, only serves to hand Obama a gift.

  9. JKTHs says:

    Shorter Fournier: “We must do something. Bipartisanship is something. Therefore we must do it.”

  10. Jamie says:

    It would Be nice if I were 7 years old, and mommy and daddy would just figure things out.

    Wait, what? No. And I think the answer is that this one goes up to 11.

  11. Jberardi says:

    Which side’s approach to averting the sequester, and solving the deficit, (do I) actually agree with? I honestly don’t have a strong opinion. Like most independent voters, I just want it fixed. I want my leaders to lead.

    “Uhh, my dog ate my opinion”.

    I mean, seriously? People get paid for this shit?

  12. JKTHs says:

    The punchline, of course, is that Fournier doesn’t actually care if social spending is slashed or if the economy contracts; apparently he’ll land on his feet no matter what.

    How dare you question the wisdom of austerity!

  13. Shakezula says:

    Ah the dizzying, difficult heights of opinionating for fun and profit. How is it different from masturbating in front of a computer?

    Um…

    Thinking…

    Still thinking…

  14. Joshua says:

    What’s Ron Fournier doing here that millions of young bucks and welfare queens can’t do? All a pundit has to do is give an opinion, and he can’t even do that.

  15. Ronnie Founier says:

    I JUST WANT IT FIXED, DAMMIT!!!!

  16. Jewish Steel says:

    well-meaning leader

    A phrase copied and pasted from the Republican primaries and presidential campaign.

    “I know Mr Obama is a good man, but he’s in over his head” Just as you’d expect any black to be.

  17. Tom M says:

    The problem unrecognized by the usual centrist qua Fournier, is that Obama has to negotiate with Grover Norquist. The Republicans in Congress don’t negotiate they just say “no” to anything that might be construed as raising taxes on people who support them (who happen to be wealthy). Raise FICa taxes? Sure, they’re regressive let’s do it. Raise the top rate? Arrrrrrgggggh.

    Fed revenue is about 15% of GDP and 42% of that is FICA and Medicare. So the gov’t is supposed to run on 8% of GDP with Defense War running about 5% which leaves 3% for everything else.

    Until Obama cuts a deal with Norquist, we aren’t going anywhere.

  18. The gratuitous Terry McAuliffe tongue-bath was great

    But Josh Kraushaar making a “Romney was a deal-maker in Massachusetts he would have made a deal to avert the sequester no problem” argument got more of my dander up. Fournier’s just being asinine but Kraushaar’s being a dick.

  19. […] may remember Ron Fournier from his remarkably comprehensive failures to understanding anything about how presidential power works.  He’s back to let you know that […]

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