Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER
It's bad enough that Washington Post columnist David Broder's latest paint-by-numbers lamentation of partisanship and obstructionism credulously treats John Boehner's election-season attacks on Congress as sincere efforts at reform. What's worse is that in failing to hold those most responsible for egregious acts of partisanship accountable for their actions, Broder actually encourages the very behavior he attempts to wish away.
Early on, Broder unleashes one of the most Broder-esque sentences imaginable:
That is par for the course in this campaign season, and it represents the sort of reflexive partisanship that voters are understandably sick of.
(According to pundits like Broder, voters are always understandably sick of reflexive partisanship. My own suspicion is that actual voters are more sick of sky-high unemployment rates than of political adversaries behaving in adversarial fashion, and that belief in bipartisanship as an end rather than a means is pretty much exclusive to the chattering class.)
Broder then insists that we take seriously John Boehner's criticism of Congress:
In such a setting, it might well behoove people to assume that Boehner should be taken seriously when he acknowledges that the reputation of this Congress is so bad that it cries out for reform.
Incredible. When the leader of the party that does not control Congress says a month before congressional elections that the reputation of this Congress is bad and cries out for reform, that's an allegation, not an acknowledgement. It's an attempt to encourage unhappiness with Congress for the purpose of gaining control of it, not rueful acknowledgment. Broder's blindness to that obvious reality leads him to, as Steve Benen put it, overestimate Boehner's capacity for seriousness.
Here's an example of that overestimation: