Fournier Goes Off the Deep End

In a free flight of fancy Ron Fournier outlines a course of action for the balance of President Obama’s term of office in which he does considers everything he’s done to date and does the opposite:

For his sake and ours, Obama must fire himself. He needs to recognize that, for all of his strengths as a person and a politician, he’s shown an astonishing lack of growth on the job. Obama won’t evolve unless he replaces enablers with truth-tellers—advisers unafraid of telling the president he’s wrong.

He should start, of course, with McDonough. A solid public servant, McDonough has the misfortune of serving a president who doesn’t understand the importance of a chain of command, the perils of backchannels, the value of relationships, or the inherent powers of the presidency. Obama should hire and empower a CEO powerhouse.

What in the president’s past behavior leads him to believe that anything of the sort is remotely possible? The president believes that he knows better than any of his advisors (he’s said as much) and throughout his presidency he has signalled that he believes that anyone who disagrees with him is an ignorant yahoo. Now he’ll dismiss the cozy circle of his closest friends and replace it with ignorant yahoos? In what universe?

5 comments… add one
  • Fournier is assuming Obama’s advisors don’t agree with him. Is there any evidence of this?

    (I’m discounting self-serving memoirs. We don’t really know if any of them disagreed with the President and won’t know that until the historians & archivists go through the records years hence. Which job will be immensely difficult because all of the hard drives will have malfunctioned & been destroyed.)

  • Quite to the contrary I think the president’s staff is a cozy little circle in which everyone agrees, at least broadly.

  • TastyBits Link

    Change is hard, and for most people, it is almost impossible.

    This is why most people do not “pull themselves by their bootstraps”. Middle-class folks are not going to change into ladder climbing executives or business owners.

    Few Democrats are going to become Republicans, and few Republicans are going to become Democrats. It does not matter how little they agree with their party.

    It is doubtful that Ron Fournier will suddenly believe that President Obama is in way over his head or that he should never have been president.

    Maybe there should be a 12-step program. The first step would be to admit there is a problem. …

  • steve Link

    Query- Your stated preference, I think, is that we should do less in Iraq and Syria. Who could Obama hire that has credibility in the foreign policy field who would counsel him to do less?


  • Interventionism is the prevailing wisdom so you’d expect those who prevail to espouse it. I suspect that in their heart of hearts most of our general officers don’t believe we should be intervening to stabilize the remnants of the former Ottoman Empire. The Joint Chiefs have very nearly said as much.

    Despite the prevalence of interventionism off the top of my head I can think of a few who have some credibility who wouldn’t recommend it: Andrew Bacevich, Doug Bandow, and Michael Scheuer come to mind. I see no way the president would hire any of them. For one thing, he’s an interventionist.

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