Ron Fournier Surveys Disenchanted Democrats
Ron Fournier knows more disenchanted Democrats than anyone I know. He trips over them in airports, and finds them in malls, ice cream shops and dumpsters, wherever he wanders. He’s like a sniffer dog for Democratic disenchantment. Not to mention that, uncanny as it seems, the ones that he finds? always happen to fluff-up Mr Fournier’s own arguments most eloquently.
His most recent sighting is, of course, no exception. Fournier happened to be vacationing in Michigan where he had the opportunity to observe the Disenchanted Democrat, in it’s natural habitat, just outside Detroit. Fournier came away from that encounter with the profound insight that President Obama is much too self-centered.
An insight that Mr Fournier has shared with the rest of us under the inspired title: Mr. ‘I, Me, My’: Obama Oughta Know He’s Not the Hero. Struggling Americans are the “real” heroes as we learn in the subtitle: A successful White House crafts its narrative around the struggles of Americans, not the president.
I’m not sure what Fournier considers the benchmark for successful White House narratives but, to hear him tell it, I have to assume that Mr Fournier, by his own secret gauge, does not feel that the White House measures up. He’s not alone in that assessment, of course, but I’m not convinced that semantics are at the heart of the matter.
Fournier seems to believe that Americans are pretty miserable in this fifth year of Obama and that they might feel a lot better if the White House sounded more “successful,” instead of:
What do these folks hear from the White House and the rest of Washington? Whining, mostly. Obama and his GOP rivals can’t seem to tell the story of America without casting themselves as the protagonists.
[Fournier is one of the media’s most obsessive and accomplished practitioners of “both sides do it,” usually dressed with a sly dollop of false equivalence. You’ll soon see what I mean . . .]
Fournier then documents his point by tacking up three examples of Obama sounding whiny [at least to Fournier’s ear] in recent speeches.
Whereupon he is compelled to say something critical about a Republican. He chose Boehner:
Boehner has been more careful with his rhetoric, casting his pending lawsuit as a writ for America. “The president has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action,” he said in a July 7 op-ed.
But the suit is clearly personal. Boehner and the Republicans he nominally leads have no interest in cooperating with Obama.
Fournier might have been right about Boehner’s rhetoric being “more careful,” if that’s what Boehner had actually said; however, Mr Fournier has taken the liberty of editing out the less careful rhetoric, dare I say, purplish prose that followed the “careful” bits.
But too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold—at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him.
See how that works?
Then we have another pseudo-balanced example:
The House speaker essentially announced last week that he was finished dealing with the president. “This is a problem of the president’s own making,” a visibly angry Boehner said of the border crisis. “He’s been president for five and a half years! When is he going to take responsibility for something?”
Obama responded with finger-pointing and a blast of first-person pronouns. “So when folks say they’re frustrated with Congress, let’s be clear about what the problem is. I’m just telling the truth now. I don’t have to run for office again.” He added, “The best thing you can say about this Congress—the Republicans in Congress, and particularly the House of Representatives—the best you can say for them this year is that so far they have not shut down the government.”
A blast of first person pronouns?? does two “I"s = a blast these days? Whatever. I’m right there with you Mr. President. I spend my days pointing fingers at the absurd Republicans in Congress. It does me a world of good to hear you vent about how much damage they have done to America and Americans. I guess I’m an Enchanted Democrat?
Then Fournier tells us:
Even Democrats are starting to tire of their president sounding less like a leader than a kindergartener. (sic)
Really, Mr Fournier? Seriously?? Wishing doesn’t make it so and you don’t seem to provide much credible support for the statement other than the testimony of those gauzy disenchanted Democrats haunting Michigan vacation resorts lamenting the “loss of 20th-century middle-class vibrancy.”
But wait! all of this has only been leading up to Mr Fournier’s “real point”—he cares. He want’s to give the president a little brotherly advice, to wit:
Obama’s slide in popularity will be permanent unless he realizes that the story of his presidency is not about him. It’s certainly not about the GOP. It’s about the people in Michigan and throughout the rest of the country who face enormous obstacles—and struggle heroically to overcome them.
I beg to differ. I think that we’ll find over time that the story of Obama’s presidency is ALL about the GOP and the unprecedented obstruction and disrespect they have shown both Obama and his office for an unrelenting five years. History will probably not treat them kindly. And “the people in Michigan, and throughout the rest of the country, “who face enormous obstacles—and struggle heroically to overcome them” have already expressed their disgust with that 7% approval rating Congress now enjoys. That didn’t just happen, Mr Fournier, and whether or not you think that “it’s certainly not about the GOP,” you, and the GOP, are about to learn otherwise, in many elections to come.