Really, Robert?

I’m not sure what pisses me off more- that Robert Gibbs didn’t have he good sense to keep his damned mouth shut, or that I’m going to have to listen to the professional left justifiably bitching all day. Can you imagine how long it would take before Ari was polishing his resume if he had dissed the “christian right?”

And even that comparison is unfair. The christian right want to impose their damned values on everyone. The “professional left” wants clean water, jobs, and government accountability.

Way to help the GOTV efforts, Gibbs. Asshole.






239 replies
  1. 1
    Steve LaBonne says:

    Gibbs needs to be strongly encouraged to discover that he needs to spend more time with his family. He’s rapidly becoming a serious liability.

  2. 2
    demo woman says:

    A day without bitching is like a day with sunshine or something like that.

  3. 3
    General Stuck says:

    Momma didn’t promise you a rose garden.

  4. 4
    Wag says:

    I know what pisses me off more, and its that I’m going to have to listen to the professional left bitching all day. Good for Gibbs. We need to get the firebaggers and others on the professional left to realize that if you’re not helping us, then you’re hindering the cause. The professional left is helping the GOP with the GOP GOTV efforts, instead of helping to fight them.

  5. 5
    WaterGirl says:

    Isn’t truth a good defense?

  6. 6
    soonergrunt says:

    That is a false dichotomy or something like that. The Professional Left as you call them would be bitching all day anyway. It’s what they do. That’s why you have tags like OBAMA IS WORSE THAN BUSH HE SOLD US OUT! and Tell Me Where Rahm Touched You, and so on and so forth.

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    the Obama administration keeps making it harder and harder for me to feel like they’re on my side.

    i wonder why they want to do that ?

  8. 8
    ricky says:

    While I agree with your point, John, I also agree with Gibbs
    analysis even if it should have been left unsaid. The professional left would not be satisfied with clean water, jobs and government accountability. Unless by the latter you include Dick Cheney in chains.

  9. 9
    General Stuck says:

    Way to help the GOTV efforts, Gibbs. Asshole.

    Vaccine

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    @soonergrunt:

    The Professional Left as you call them would be bitching all day anyway. It’s what they do.

    as opposed to the amature left (for example), who does not bitch all day, i suppose?

  11. 11
    Kryptik says:

    I think the thing that irritates me the most is that this kind of clippy shit is ALWAYS reserved for left wing critics. Warranted or not, why the hell isn’t this level of irritation and anger ever pointed at the people on the right inundating the media with so much bullshit at least 50x the magnitude of anything coming out of the ‘professional left’.

    Hint, guys: Democrats’ woes are not the cause of the ‘professional left’. You can argue about how they might be making the problem worse or not, and those arguments may be valid, but they are not the cause. Watching even a day’s worth of news should easily tell you that.

  12. 12
    mds says:

    Yeah, well, at least we have cause this time. “Oo-hoo-hoo, the deranged left want Dennis Kucinich to be president, because he’d engage in airy-fairy granola policies like actually filling vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, or pushing bog-standard Keynesian policies to avoid a double-dip recession. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to resume publicly licking Olympia Snowe’s ass. Stupid Democratic base voters. Fuck off and die. People who think the Kenyan Muslim and Nancy Pelosi are trying to destroy America with socialism will vote for us instead.”

    There. How’s that for bitching? Now we can move on to more important matters, such as fiddle lessons.

  13. 13
    Anya says:

    @cleek: are you part of “the professional left”?

  14. 14

    It was pretty dumb thing for a press secretary to say, but I can’t imagine it is going to have any effect on GOTV efforts.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    cat48 says:

    Actually, when he said “Professional Left”, I think he meant cable folks because he mentioned Maddow which is odd because she’s usually more sensible of the three, if you include Ed and Keith. Tweety joins her in being constructive most of the time. Yes, Tweety. I watch him & Rachel everyday.

    IN IMPORTANT NEWS, I am a grandma for the very 1st time; Sophia, 7lb9oz,20 in, all are doing well, and that is all I really care about today. She’s 800 mi away & I’m awaiting pictures!!

  17. 17
    BTD says:

    Ari Fleischer was the best Press Secretary I ever saw. The man could lie so smoothly even when everyone knew he was lying.

    Robert Gibbs was a GREAT campaign spokesman- witty, quick and cutting when necessary. He has been miscast as Press Secretary.

    I’m thinking he is quitting in January, probably to gear up or the 2012 campaign.

  18. 18
    BR says:

    I only support Gibbs’s sentiment if it’s directed solely at the firebaggers.

    But Gibbs has sucked as press secretary for long enough, so maybe he should just go.

  19. 19
    Kryptik says:

    @Wag:

    I…honestly do not see how firebaggers and the like are actively helping the GOP’s GOTV effort at all. I seriously think you overestimate their reach. What they DO do is help depress the GOTV on our side through sheer frustration and anger, misplaced or justified.

    Again, you can argue how much of a problem they are or aren’t, but they aren’t the ones driving the narratives that have the administration seized in a constant defensive fetal curl.

  20. 20
    horatius says:

    @Wag:

    Fuck you wag. You’re the first to start a circular firing squad. What use is a Press Secretary who pisses on your most passionate voters every chance he gets.

  21. 21
    El Cid says:

    Overall as someone on the crazy insane left who feels like there’s little practical (i.e., actual outcome oriented) choice but to support and vote for most Democratic candidates yet without lying about it, yeah, I thought it was an asshole comment.

    But I’ve never heard anything different, so nothing surprises me. After all, I’m simply persuaded by the arguments which seem sensible to me and I don’t give a shit whether it’s shared by a significant portion of the population — and, actually, in many surveys of policy preference that’s the case — or by 2 people or 0 people in the country.

    Likewise, I don’t give a shit whether several blog commenters on Balloon-Juice share such perspectives, do so politely or ‘extremely’, or zero do.

    I expect people to conclude in politics and policy whatever they truly find convincing, make whatever rational choice seems best fit in the real world to influence more favorable outcomes, and speak their mind however they feel in blogs and other such sources, because anything else would be outright conscious fraud.

  22. 22
    Kryptik says:

    @cat48:

    Maddow I understand. But Tweety? Constructive? On a good day, maybe, but he’s inconsistent at best, and sychophantic at worst. Constructive is not the word I’d use for him.

  23. 23
    daveNYC says:

    The professional left would not be satisfied with clean water, jobs and government accountability. Unless by the latter you include Dick Cheney in chains.

    Well if accountability doesn’t cover torture and lying us into a war, then it really doesn’t mean much.

    Bonus points for the standard memes of the Canadian health care system and eliminating the military. Way to just make shit up dude.

    And he’s able to hippie punch because at the end of the day (November 2), it’s either the Republicans or the Democrats in those seats, and they know that we know exactly what would happen if the Republicans got into power.

  24. 24
    Allison W. says:

    @Kryptik:

    What are talking about? Of course he says “clippy” things about the right/republicans – they are one and the same you know. Plus, it doesn’t take much to set them off. Pass a “socialist” bill, put mustard on a hamburger, go to Spain on vacation, etc. Everything he does sets off the right.

    Comments like yours are what irritate me the most. The idea that Obama likes the right more than the left is really disturbing.

  25. 25
    MikeJ says:

    @Anya: As somebody who has actually cashed checks from campaigns, I might be. And nothing he said bothers me at all.

    But I’m about to walk out the door and go on an eight mile hike, where I will ponder Mt. Garfield and listen to the audiobook of Philip Roth’s “The Plot against America.” So I have no time to be pissed at anyone today.

  26. 26
    Scott says:

    @Kryptik:

    That’s the thing that gets me.

    They pushed Sherrod out as soon as the rightwing nutcases started screaming, but when liberals complain about anything, they’re dismissed, ignored, and derided.

  27. 27
    BTD says:

    @WaterGirl:

    In politics? You obviously are unfamiliar with the Kinsley Gaffe.

    In any event, the truth of the statement is, to say the least, debatable.

    For example, the public option was not the Canadian health care system.

    Ending the Afghan War (which I actually support) is not the equivalent of eliminating the Pentagon.

    The bottom line, it’s one thing for you to bash “the Professional Left” in a blog comment — the WH Press Secretary needs to have the discipline to resist that temptation. If he doesn’t have it, then he should not have that job.

  28. 28
    Sheila says:

    The “professional left” is lost in ephemera, validated by the 24-hour “news” cycle. When they actually present a vision of how to eradicate global poverty, nurture the environment, provide meaningful work for everyone, encourage tolerance of all nationalities, religions and those without a formal religion, then I might believe they actually have productive ideas for a better society. Complaining interminably about the latest statement from the White House or whether or not they appoint Elizabeth Warren as head of the consumer rights agency doesn’t lead me to believe they care a downdeep damn about clean water or jobs, though they do care about government accountability because that issue could result in punitive measures, which will give them much “enjoyment.”

  29. 29
    soonergrunt says:

    @cleek: Oh, no, -they- we bitch all day too. We’re actually more fun to watch.

  30. 30
    BR says:

    @Scott:

    They pushed Sherrod out as soon as the rightwing nutcases started screaming, but when liberals complain about anything, they’re dismissed, ignored, and derided.

    Not to defend them, but I think it’s largely because this is how the media as a whole behaves. Right wing nonsense is news. Right wing protests of 50 guys with nativist signs is news. 500,000 pro-immigration protesters or 500,000 anti-war protesters? Lower-left of page 5 of the Metro section.

  31. 31
    Allison W. says:

    Good on Gibbs for saying it. I don’t care about the professional left’s feelings. This statement matters to us Obamabots who still support him and get sick and tired of being put down for our continued support. It tells me that Gibbs recognizes who the base really is.

  32. 32
    Anya says:

    Once Obama nominates goddess Elizabeth Warren, he will be king of progressives for a day. But inevitably, Elizebeth Warren will be deemed sellout, when she fails to distroy Wall Street.

  33. 33
    Allison W. says:

    @Sheila:

    Yes! All that. and this.

    perfect!

  34. 34
    Kryptik says:

    @BR:

    But that’s the infuriating thing about it too. Yes, they can recognize that this is the framework they have to work in, but they don’t have to be deferential to it, like they always….always seem to be. This is where it pisses me off when they decide that their anger and frustration is best aimed at lefty activists who really have .01 percent of the power and influence to direct the political discourse that even GLENN FUCKING BECK has.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    snarkypsice says:

    @Kryptik: Those things are all true, but he’s also realistic and pragmatic, something Ed and Olbermann are not. For me, that makes watching him much more bearable.

  37. 37
    El Cid says:

    @Kryptik: I think 0.01% of power and influence would be a huge increase for the actual left, “professional left” being some ill-defined group to me.

  38. 38
    BTD says:

    @Sheila:

    Well there is an election in November, and whatever you or Gibbs may think about the “professional Left,” I would hope that at least the WH Press Secretary is thinking more about that than whether he feels better after saying that.

    It’s a question of discipline and professionalism.

    Surely this could not be considered a plus politically for Dems.

    This is going to be the story of the day.

    And there is no way anyone can imagine that is good for Democrats or for Obama.

  39. 39
    cat48 says:

    @snarkypsice:

    Plus, Tweety, really seems to actually like Obama. You don’t see that often on my TV.

  40. 40
    soonergrunt says:

    @daveNYC:
    @BTD:
    I gotta ask though, and not to either of you personally because this is not an attack, but why do so many people stand around bitching about Obama or working to primary Senators we have when we should still be working on expanding our hold in the Senate? We should’ve been working on getting more people to the left of Ben Nelson and Weepin’ Joe Lieberman elected in the first damn place so that they’d be irrelevant and we wouldn’t have to water down key legislation in the first damn place. Anybody with any sense of political tactics and strategy saw this coming about three days after the election was over. I know I did, and I’m a dumbass grunt.
    My problem with the Left, and I’m willing to bet that it’s Gibbs’ problem too, is that too many people are all too willing to stab the ones we have in the gut rather than getting us some more in the first place. All this anger directed at Obama but did ANYONE try to get more lefties in the Senate this year?

  41. 41
    Scott says:

    Holy carp, is there something really messed up with this comment?

    My completely separate comment got tacked on at the end of BR’s. That’s crazy, that’s what it is.

  42. 42

    @BTD:

    It was dumb, no doubt… but I can’t imagine it’s going to be particularly bad for Dems either. It’s one news cycle… and the election is still months away.

    If we’re still talking about this in a week, then that’s a different story.

  43. 43
    Zandar says:

    “If we’re still talking about this in a week, then that’s a different story.”

    The Village will be. Count on it.

  44. 44
    Aaron says:

    this is pretty ridiculous, but no one in American politics ever suffered for over-vilifying the “left.”

    It is all theater anyway, so trying to justify the political games with rational arguments is just a losing proposition.

  45. 45

    It tells me that Gibbs recognizes who the base really is.

    Exactly, and whether or not it makes 50% or more of the vote is secondary. What matters is whose feelings are more important.

  46. 46
    BobS says:

    @ricky:Gibbs obviously was comfortable enough voicing the administration’s opinion of their ‘base’ publicly.
    As to your premise that the “professional left”, or even us amateurs, wouldn’t be satisfied with “clean water” (see Deepwater Horizon, MMS, Ken Salazar), “jobs” (see the current ‘real’ unemployment rate, Larry Summers, bank bailout vs. stimulus), “government accountability” ( see states secrets privilege, Wikileaks, warrantless wiretapping), there’s really not much danger of testing that hypothesis, is there?
    As far as “Dick Cheney in chains”, exactly what is he guilty of that wouldn’t put Obama in front of a judge as well?

  47. 47
    BTD says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Speaking for me only . . .

    I never have worked against Ben Nelson. Indeed, you may remember, I defended Ben Nelson on the front page of daily kos and was excoriated for it (my defense was that unlike Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson did not spend his days berating Dems – sort of like Gibbs just did.)

    I did work hard against Joe Lieberman because I thought (and think) he is one of the most damaging figures for progressive positions who has been in politics for many many years. He was trotted out as “the reasonable Dem” for years and years and would discredit any progressive position.

    In a sense, your question surprises me in that I was the person who front paged you at daily kos and let’s be clear- Joe Lieberman marginalized YOU, a soldier who opposed the Iraq War. He was damaging to the policy outcome YOU preferred.

    I was more engaged in elections back then and favored and wrote about a lot of people I wanted elected – some of them won – Jon Tester, Jim Webb a few others.

    So your statement “We should’ve been working on getting more people to the left of Ben Nelson and Weepin’ Joe Lieberman elected in the first damn place so that they’d be irrelevant and we wouldn’t have to water down key legislation in the first damn place.” is baffling to me, because, I would think you know that I did do that.

    I don’t very much now. Mostly because I don’t have much of a platform anyway.

    But I do disagree with your premise that the only function is to elect more and better Dems. I think a principal function is to legitimize discussion of progressive positions across the board. To move the middle further to the Left.

    That requires discussing issues, irrespective of political party.

    Now, I think its great that there are plenty of die hard Dems who fight for the team no matter what – they are right that whatever the Dems are, surely the GOP is much much worse.

    But you need a Left flank too. In fact, you should be happy when there are people to the Left of you. It puts your position closer to the “Middle.”

    I never understand, in fact, the complaints about there being people critical of Obama for being sufficiently progressive. This is great for Obama in the proving he is a “Centrist.” To be in the Middle, someone needs to be to the Left of you.

  48. 48
    Sheila says:

    Let me get this straight. The blogosphere is all aflame with self-righteous rage because of a few sentences defending his boss tossed off by the President’s press secretary in a news conference? The day I see the blogosphere inflamed at world poverty (and a posting every now and then does not compete with the ephemeral inflammation at every word and deed uttered or performed by the White House), I might begin to believe the “left” has a viable vision for a better world. Until that time, I continue to be unsurprised that they get little, if anything, accomplished out in the real world.

  49. 49
    Dave says:

    I think Gibbs’ frustration stems from the fact that this President got the most sweeping health care legislation in almost four decades pushed through a reluctant Congress and all the Professional Left could say is “WHAAA! I wanted MORE!!” like a bratty kid at Christmas who got 60% of their gift list and decided to bitch about the missing 40%.

    If anyone would like to tell me how Obama could have gotten a public option (or a trillion on the stimulus) through a Blue Dog-infested House and a broken Senate, I would love to hear it. Remember that line Obama said all during the campaign about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Yeah, that.

    All the above said, Gibbs is fucking dumb as a stump to trot this out three months before an election.

  50. 50
    BTD says:

    @J.W. Hamner:

    Every week counts. We’re only 3 months away.

  51. 51
    cat48 says:

    The full article is on The Hill website. I think he really meant “professional” as in MSNBC, oped columnists, TV pundits, HuffPost, etc. That’s the way I took it, but that’s me. After Dowd’s accusation that Michelle is always gone when she should be at home comforting Obama, I tend to agree.

  52. 52
    Allison W. says:

    The only negative is that the left will have another thorn to put in their crucifixtion crown, but they would have found one any ways.

    I’d like to also ask why anyone is upset over this comment? the target of Gibbs statement already thinks the WH doesn’t appreciate them and if Gibbs had said otherwise the target audience would not have cared or believed him.

    So moving on.

  53. 53
    BTD says:

    @Sheila:

    You seem more invested in hating the “Professional Left” than in winning the election in November.

    Which is fine from a blog commenter, but not fine in a WH Press Secretary.

  54. 54
    Allison W. says:

    @Sheila:

    One more time for Sheila. clap, clap, clap. excellent. I’ve felt the same for many months.

  55. 55
    BTD says:

    @Aaron:

    In a midterm election, every base vote matters.

    In a Presidential election, you could argue this is smart. Not in a midterm.

  56. 56
    Allison W. says:

    @August J. Pollak:

    What matters is whose feelings are more important.

    well, the left is always complaining that Obama doesn’t care about their feelings and that he loves he right more than the left.

  57. 57
    cleek says:

    @Scott:
    the HTML up there is goofy.

    it’s mixing normal double quotes with slanted double quotes . this causes some tags to be treated as if they’re inside quoted text. but it doesn’t do it for all comments, only #26 looks broken.

    the problem might be related to an unclosed “DEL” tag in #26.

  58. 58
    Lawnguylander says:

    This could cost the Democrats dozens of votes in November. Possibly even up into the triple digits. Sorry to be all alarmist but that’s the way it’s going to be.

  59. 59
    BTD says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    Gibbs should work on GAINING dozens of votes, maybe in hundreds.

    It would be a start.

  60. 60

    If anyone would like to tell me how Obama could have gotten a public option (or a trillion on the stimulus) through a Blue Dog-infested House and a broken Senate, I would love to hear it.

    No you wouldn’t.

  61. 61
    DanF says:

    We must be near an election because the Democrats are punching hippies again… “Professional” hippies apparently. What an asshole thing to say Mr. Gibbs. There is no defense for this.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Nick says:

    The “professional left” wants clean water, jobs, and government accountability.

    No, they don’t, they just want attention.

  64. 64
    Jackie IL - says:

    @cat48: Congradulations!!

    Grandma is the best job in the world. All the fun of having a baby in the family with none of the responsibility.

  65. 65
    Dannie22 says:

    @Sheila

    Thank you for that comment. I agree.

  66. 66
    somethingblue says:

    We are all Sister Souljah now!

  67. 67
    suzanne says:

    @cat48:

    IN IMPORTANT NEWS, I am a grandma for the very 1st time; Sophia, 7lb9oz,20 in, all are doing well, and that is all I really care about today.

    Congratu-freakin’-lations! Yoo will sharez pickturrs?

  68. 68
    roshan says:

    The ghost of the 1968 democratic convention hangs over the current critics on the left. Why would anyone want compare them to the hippies, I don’t know. Gibbs and friends are really not liberals or even associated with the left as much as we would like to think they are. So keep the attacks coming Gibbs, see where they take you in November. We don’t do apologies anymore, you need to haul ass out of the picture.

  69. 69
    RareSanity says:

    @cleek:

    the problem might be related to an unclosed “DEL” tag in #26.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    I feel another John Cole tongue lashing coming.

  70. 70
    Kryptik says:

    @Sheila:

    1) This whole thing is part of the political blogosphere. By definition, political issues are going to take up most of the talking space because that’s the subject we’re geared on.

    2) It IS important to track this stuff because it really does hit at the heart of what we can do about those non-political issues, because they are always and inevitably politicized. We’re having a debate in this country about whether the unemployed really are just lazy asses that need to have their ability to simply stay out of poverty revoked, so they’re ‘properly motivated’ to find work. You honestly think that in a political atmosphere that toxic we’re going to get a press to tackle something serious and overarching like world hunger and poverty?

    Most of us don’t work with or have influence with large private charity or organizations, and even banded together, we get easily drowned out by folks who want to demonize all them thar ferriner folk. Sad fact of the matter is, we really can’t get that done without some modicum of political strength.

  71. 71
    Svensker says:

    @BTD:

    As they say, this.

  72. 72
    Svensker says:

    @Allison W.:

    Um, you may not want to do the purity thing too much, unless you like losing elections. Butthurt doesn’t become you.

  73. 73
    roshan says:

    @Dave:

    If anyone would like to tell me how Obama could have gotten a public option (or a trillion on the stimulus) through a Blue Dog-infested House and a broken Senate, I would love to hear it. Remember that line Obama said all during the campaign about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Yeah, that.

    Was asking to get the public option put to vote in the house and senate, too much to ask?

  74. 74
    elaineland says:

    What a hard nosed bunch you are !
    Congratulations cat48 to you and the family, lovely !

  75. 75
    DanF says:

    @BTD: Ding ding ding! Give the commenter a prize.

  76. 76
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Speaking as a professional strawman that wants to abolish the Pentagon, implement a Canadian-style single payer system, and crown Dennis Kucinich President For Life, Gibbs totally nailed me.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    This isn’t about the base or punching hippies or anything so irrelevant. The WH couldn’t care less in that regard.
    This is further effort to delegitimize any criticism of Obama or the administration, by anyone in the D party.
    Now it doesn’t matter how hard you have worked for Obama, or pushed for any of the issues you believe in, you are part of the whiney ass Left if you do not give full throated support moving forward.
    It puts everyone in a nice box. Whiney Left who is never satisfied with anything or Obama stoutheart. No in between.

  78. 78
    Allison W. says:

    @BTD:

    every vote matters, but the people he is talking about is not going to vote for a Dem anyway. The left is always telling Obama not to bother with those who won’t vote for him or the Dems.

    Sorry, I just think that the liberal blogosphere has an erroneous view of who makes up the base and who in that base is paying attention to these statements. What the professional left says however is making it to the mainstream (the msm only listens to them when they are complaining about Obama) and over to the right wing (they use the left’s complaints to bash Obama – ex. do you really think O’Reilly cares about gay marriage supporters?) and to Dems in congress who felt they made a lot of tough votes in the past 20 months.

  79. 79
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @roshan: How about the President telling Congress he would veto any bill that had a mandate without a public option? Would it be too Republican to set expectations beforehand by, ya know, leading?

  80. 80
    Zandar says:

    Let’s hit the checklist.

    1) BTD being morose? *looks around* Check.

    2) Double G being indignant? Checkaroo.

    3) Jane Hamsher being angry? Still waiting on that one.

    Called two out of three so far, jury’s out on the third still. Pretty good day so far.

  81. 81
    Allison W. says:

    @roshan:

    Was asking to get the public option put to vote in the house and senate, too much to ask?

    Huh? the House voted for it. The Senate didn’t have the votes. did you miss a few weeks last year?

  82. 82
    General Stuck says:

    @cat48: Congrats Granny!. tee hee. just kiddin ya

  83. 83
    Kryptik says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    This is another thing that pisses me off, as snarkily demonstrated. The whole thing is couched and drenched in the same kind of strawmen that the right-wing uses to tar progressives, Democrats, the left-wing as a whole. It’s a total ceding of talking points. That’s what I’m the most pissed about here. I mean, criticize the ‘professional left’ all you want, there’s valid criticism there. Just don’t use right-wing talking points vebatim to do so, and for goddamn once, use some of that same anger and invective towards the folks that are pulling out the birther, tyrant, Marxist Islamosympathizer Reverse Racist crap on you and the whole of the Democratic party.

    THOSE fuckers are the ones poisoning the discourse and any gains you might have. So don’t fucking accept their talking points and language that is just because you have beef with folks pecking at your feet from the left.

  84. 84
    Allison W. says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    How about the President telling Congress he would veto any bill that had a mandate without a public option? Would it be too Republican to set expectations beforehand by, ya know, leading?

    How do you make threats like that when the other party in a negotiation doesn’t win by giving you your way and doesn’t lose if they say no?

  85. 85
    Allison W. says:

    @Svensker:

    WHo the f*ck are you calling a purist? I am an Obamabot through and through.

    WTF? do you guys lack reading comprehension? let’s be clear. I am not a teabagger NOR am I a firebagger.

  86. 86
    Dave says:

    @roshan:

    Was asking to get the public option put to vote in the house and senate, too much to ask?

    It was voted on in the House. It never made the Senate floor because too many “concerned” Democrats joined up with the GOP to make sure there never was a vote on it.

    The problem isn’t Obama. It’s a completely dysfunctional Senate with too many “moderate” Democrats. If you want real change in this country, boot those fuckers out.

  87. 87
    ricky says:

    @BobS:

    I think you have either made my point or converted me. They are, after all, just a bunch of criminals to begin with, eh?

  88. 88
    Nick says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    How about the President telling Congress he would veto any bill that had a mandate without a public option? Would it be too Republican to set expectations beforehand by, ya know, leading?

    Wouldn’t be too Republican, would be too Clinton 1993.

  89. 89
    Pamela F says:

    Dear John Cole,

    Methinks you forgot a diary tag: blogospheric naval-gazing. Have a good one everybody.

  90. 90
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Even if the professional left are a bunch of never-satisfied asshole complainers who irritate everybody at the White House, there is, IMHO, an image issue here. When Republicans treat even the craziest RW fringers as though they have a legitimate point to make, it lends credence to the RW fringe and its policy positions. When the leadership of the Democratic Party is only too happy to join with Republicans to slam the LW fringe as a bunch of dangerously socialist, chronically bitching douches, it discredits the LW fringe and its policy positions. I’m trying not to use the “O” word, but the nature of public debate on the issues does shift right because of this kind of stuff.

    The really bothersome thing is, the RW fringe has done more to successfully drive out moderate Republicans than the LW fringe has dreamed of doing to drive out moderate Democrats. If either party should be complaining about its fringe, it’s the Republicans. But because of the RW fringe’s electoral success the entire Republican Party is terrified of them while the Democratic Party knows it can be openly contemptuous of its fringe without consequence.

  91. 91
    ruemara says:

    I can’t say I disagree, I just think he should have more tact than to say it. And I must agree, the only issue I have with it is they’re just gonna be bitching all day.

    @Sheila:
    and I toast you, good lady.

  92. 92
    lol says:

    @Nick:

    It’s almost as if the Professional Left has a memory hole where the 1993 health care fight was.

    Clinton did pretty much everything the firebaggers wanted Obama to do: veto threats, bossing Congress, etc.. and he came away with *nothing*.

  93. 93
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Allison W.:

    Thank you.
    Robert Gibbs is right.
    Fuck the fake-ass progressives.
    When the “professional left” found out that the President was not going to be their “cool black friend, but was actually going to try to govern, they’ve been pissed.

  94. 94
    Lee Hartmann says:

    What astonishes me is the O-bots ready to trash anyone who complains about the very minor things like an insufficient stimulus, which will have only the very minor effect of killing the D’s chances and letting the Rethugs take control of Congress. The point of our complaining about things like this is to get Timmy and the others to STFU about how happy recovery time is going along and start bashing the R’s for not getting more done to reduce unemployment, putting the blame where it lies.

    And don’t get me started on habeas corpus and wiretaps.

    You know, maybe some of us commie pinkos are occasionally… correct? And that we hope that the administration will hear our criticism and think about it?
    Please, not just about the public option or whatever, think about the economy.

  95. 95
    Allison W. says:

    I’d like to add that Gibbs did not mention Rachel Maddow (someone stated this in the other thread). It was the columnist that used Maddow as an example ( the author was citing one of her critiques). The WH sends members of their staff/cabinet to her show and they used one of her clips during the netroots convention. So I’m sure she is not part of the professional left he is complaining about.

    I hope all who are commenting read the article. Let’s not turn bj into Huffpo.

  96. 96
    homerhk says:

    I love Gibbs – he’s no nonsense. Ben Smith has an interesting post on this (I know it’s politico but there you go):

    But Gibbs’ dig is a reminder that at the heart of this White House is a belief that Obama is president despite the Democratic Party, not because of it.

    The Professional Left(TM) are not Obama’s natural base. The Professional Commentariat does not represent the millions of new voters that Obama brought out to the polls. The Professional Commentariat feels like they are owed something and that may be true – they are owed a President who fights for what he/she believes is the right thing to do. That is what they have got. Voting for someone does not mean you can get all self-righteous when they don’t do exactly what you want them to do (or even worse when they do what you want but don’t do it in precisely the right way that you want). If you’re not going to vote Democratic this year out of pique then fine – just don’t complain about Gibbs’ or the administrations’ childishness then. and don’t complain when the next two years brings stagnation, ruin and despair.

  97. 97
    tim says:

    Gibbs speaks with his master’s voice.

  98. 98
    Wag says:

    Fuck you wag. You’re the first to start a circular firing squad. What use is a Press Secretary who pisses on your most passionate voters every chance he gets

    Um, no. My point was that we, as progressives, need to STOP forming our own circular firing squads and direct our fire power OUTWARD, towards the GOP, where it might do some good. Gibbs didn’t start the circular firing squad. The professional left needs to remember that politics is the art of the possible.

    and by the way, horatius, get a life. Telling me to f*** off is NOT a constructive way to defuse the circular firing squad.

  99. 99
    Kryptik says:

    Just as a side thing…I’m getting a really annoying issue with the ad-scripts on the site (I’m currently on a computer not mine, thus no NoScript), causing it to load painfully slow because it stalls and eventually prompts Firefox to ask “Do you want to stop script?”.

    Specifically the http://cdn4.specificclick.net/img – blah blah blah scripts.

  100. 100
    Bruce Baugh says:

    @soonergrunt: Since you asked, yes, ActBlue has put $141 million dollars in six years into doing just that. We’ve gotten Rep. Grayson and some others out of it, and there’s reason to expect more progress in the future. I regard my donations to them as my most effective political leverage.

  101. 101
    ricky says:

    @lol:

    It’s almost as if the Professional Left has a memory hole where the 1993 health care fight was.

    Your description of the location is too narrow. But then so is your description of the memory problem as a “hole.”

    Nonetheless Gibbs made himself the news story. Not good.

  102. 102
    Allan says:

    @cat48: Gibbs did NOT mention anyone by name, and the author of the article mentioned Maddow, not Gibbs.

    President Obama featured Maddow’s summary of his accomplishments to date in his video address to Netroots Nation. And her ability to book WH staffers as guests shows that the administration views her program favorably.

  103. 103
    liberal says:

    @cat48:
    Dowd? Maureen Dowd? No one who was familiar with her writings would consider her “left”.

  104. 104
    Kryptik says:

    @homerhk:

    But Gibbs’ dig is a reminder that at the heart of this White House is a belief that Obama is president despite the Democratic Party, not because of it.

    I wish I knew the context for this. Because I sincerely hope that is a comment on the sheer dysfunction of the Democratic party, thanks to the egos and Blue Dogs within, rather than being code for ‘We won despite the lefties and progressives, not because of them’. Because the latter ends up sounding like thin gruel to justify ceding further to the right-wing nuttery than anything.

  105. 105
    BTD says:

    @Zandar:

    How about Cole being morose? Is that on the checklist yet?

    Honestly, is it really difficult to say that Gibbs fucked up here? Really?

  106. 106
    liberal says:

    @homerhk:

    …they are owed a President who fights for what he/she believes is the right thing to do. That is what they have got.

    LOL! Dumping more blood and treasure is the right thing to do? And if not, does Obama think it’s the right thing to do?

  107. 107
    Nick says:

    I’m pretty sure Gibbs was answering a question from a reporter looking to trap him who probably engaged him in a back and forth about the stupidity of the left. I do this all the time, but I usually don’t publish the response. I once got a New York State Senator from a heavily Catholic district to call out the Bishop of Brooklyn, but I never published it.

    My only issue with this is that Gibbs should’ve said “we’re not worried about the left” or something. The people he’s talking about are irrelevant. They know it, which is why they are so loud. The only thing he did was make them feel relevant. Glenn Greenwald spent all morning tweeting that his response means he’s relevant. He’s not. These people are 10%-15% of the entire already-small liberal population of the country.

  108. 108
    soonergrunt says:

    @BTD:
    Please understand, I am saying that the proper response to all of this is not to bellyache about the President but to give the President, in as much as is possible, a Senate composed of a filibuster-proof majority so that the President not only can move to the left, but in fact is pulled to the left by the Senate. If we’d managed to put forth an actual, credible liberal or two in places where that was possible, then we could geld the real shit-heads like Lieberman and lesser shit-heads like Nelson. I know that Nelson has to straddle this line, but we should be making him irrelevant so that he can straddle the line all he wants knowing that his sole purpose to the caucus is to help get us over the line of sixty votes.
    I think I agree with you on these things, we just seem to be saying them differently or coming at them from different directions.

  109. 109
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Sheila:

    The day I see the blogosphere hippy punchers inflamed at world poverty (and a posting every now and then does not compete with the ephemeral inflammation at every word and deed uttered or performed by the White House Daily Kos), I might begin to believe the “left” “sensible center” has a viable vision for a better world. Until that time, I continue to be unsurprised that they get little, if anything, accomplished out in the real world.

    Since nobody anywhere seems to be constantly inflamed at world poverty, sad as that is to say, does that mean that nobody can ever bitch about anything? That might be a good thing, don’t get me wrong.

  110. 110
    ricky says:

    Fuck you wag. You’re the first to start a circular firing squad. What use is a Press Secretary who pisses on your most passionate voters every chance he gets

    The base if the most passionate. Most caring. Most intelligent. Plus it is made of natural ingredients to prevent impure prejudicial thinking and leave it stinky poo free.

  111. 111
    liberal says:

    @Sheila:

    The day I see the blogosphere inflamed at world poverty (and a posting every now and then does not compete with the ephemeral inflammation at every word and deed uttered or performed by the White House), I might begin to believe the “left” has a viable vision for a better world.

    I nominate this for stupidest O-bot statement of the day.

  112. 112
    soonergrunt says:

    @Bruce Baugh: And that will do far more for any progressive agenda than anything that twit Jane Hamsher will do in her partnership with Grover Fucking Norquist.

  113. 113
    Paris says:

    “I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”

    Someone like Richard Armitage, who said basically this on Charlie Rose last night.

  114. 114
    Nick says:

    @Lee Hartmann:

    What astonishes me is the O-bots ready to trash anyone who complains about the very minor things like an insufficient stimulus, which will have only the very minor effect of killing the D’s chances and letting the Rethugs take control of Congress

    You’re not being criticized for supporting a bigger stimulus, you’re being criticized for thinking it could’ve been easily done with a snap of a finger and a speech.

  115. 115
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Please understand, I am saying that the proper response to all of this is not to bellyache about the President but to give the President, in as much as is possible, a Senate composed of a filibuster-proof majority so that the President not only can move to the left, but in fact is pulled to the left by the Senate.

    This is a fine goal, but it’s never going to happen. 60 Dem seats with ~10 of them filled with right-of-center Democrats is as far left as the Senate will ever get.

  116. 116
    liberal says:

    @Nick:

    The people he’s talking about are irrelevant.

    Perhaps. I only hope though that people who are ill-informed enough to think that Japan suffered severe inflation in the years after their real estate bubble burst are irrelevant also.

  117. 117
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Broadly speaking Gibbs is right: saying that Obama is no different from Bush is lunacy. But narrowly, on the issue of the surveillance state, I wonder if Gibbs could point out where the daylight is between them?

  118. 118
    Nick says:

    @fasteddie9318: Then aim for 70 Dems.

    That’s what Republicans would do.

  119. 119
    soonergrunt says:

    @TuiMel: the only one that matters, or haven’t you been paying attention /sarcasm.

    Why only notice me for something that everyone does? It’s like jumping someone’s shit for breathing.

  120. 120
    liberal says:

    @Nick:
    LOL. About as lacking as your knowledge of Japanese economic history.

    The point is that the administration never even seriously considered a stimulus that was north of $1T.

  121. 121
    eemom says:

    Ah, so nice to be back to the Obot-Firebagger wars where we belong.
    That Reasonable Conservative stuff was getting old fast.

    Except I’m disappointed we’re all these comments in and no one’s even thought to mention Raaaaahm, the Grand Poobah of Dissing The Professional Left. Gibbs was only operating on his Orders.

  122. 122
    ricky says:

    Here is a novel suggestion.

    If you consider yourself part of the Democratic base, why would you describe supporters of a Democratic President as less than human? O-bots?

    The people Gibbs targeted with his unprofessional comments are not simply self centered and never satisfied.
    They are, frankly, not very smart but believe themselves to be beyond brilliant.

  123. 123
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Speaking as a professional strawman that wants to abolish the Pentagon, implement a Canadian-style single payer system, and crown Dennis Kucinich President For Life, Gibbs totally nailed me.

    Don’t you mean “crown Dennis Kucinich President For Life and then unceasingly bitch about everything he ever does”? Otherwise I don’t think you’re being all the strawman you could be.

  124. 124
    Nick says:

    @liberal: You know, part of the reason you guys are irrelevant is that you take something someone said, then lie about it, misrepresent it, and then keep doing it forever.

  125. 125
    WayneL says:

    Gimme a break. He’s right. The left wouldn’t be satisfied with unicorns and fairy dust. We always complain that the right never criticizes its own fringe, yet when one of our guys does what we say the right should do, we go nuts? What makes us so much better when we do the same thing, and give the opposition all the ammunition they need to continue?

    I’m a liberal, but sometimes I’m not proud of the association. Reality bites. Deal with it.

  126. 126
    soonergrunt says:

    @Dave:

    The problem isn’t Obama. It’s a completely dysfunctional Senate with too many “moderate” Democrats. If you want real change in this country, boot those fuckers out.

    You could just as well delete all of my posts to this thread and put this paragraph in their places.

  127. 127
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    It’s always something

    RIP Gilda

  128. 128
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Nick:

    Then aim for 70 Dems.

    Hell, aim for 100 Dems; isn’t that the point, to win every race so you can get your agenda enacted? I’m just saying that the body is probably never going to get any more Democratic or leftist than it has been for the past couple of years, barring some major demographic shifting.

  129. 129
    Nick says:

    @liberal:

    The point is that the administration never even seriously considered a stimulus that was north of $1T.

    nor single payer healthcare, because neither had anywhere near the support they needed to pass. Though I’m sure if he just gave exciting speeches, the media would roll over and say it was a good idea.

  130. 130
    eemom says:

    OT, but NYT is reporting Ted Stevens was in a plane crash.

  131. 131
    BTD says:

    @soonergrunt:

    As to who to bellyache about, I say all of them, if you are an issues activist.

    Frederick Douglass bellyached about Abraham Lincoln.

    I think we can bellyache about Barack Obama.

  132. 132
    Nick says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    I’m just saying that the body is probably never going to get any more Democratic or leftist than it has been for the past couple of years, barring some major demographic shifting.

    And as soon as the “professional left” figures out why and joins the rest of us who are trying to change it, they’ll stop being mocked.

  133. 133
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @WayneL:

    We always complain that the right never criticizes its own fringe, yet when one of our guys does what we say the right should do, we go nuts?

    Yes, because it’s bad politics and ultimately self-defeating. If the right were doing it too, then it would be fine, but as the Tetard Escapades have shown, there’s really almost nothing that the RW fringe could do to earn itself a smackdown from the Republican Party.

  134. 134
    TuiMel says:

    @Allison W.:
    Apparently you believe only those you mentioned can be perceived as enforcers of purity.

  135. 135
    soonergrunt says:

    @BTD: I wouldn’t disagree with the concept that the in-house fighting should’ve been kept in-house. And I don’t buy Politico’s take on it, that the WH believes that they won in spite of the left and not because of it.
    I just don’t happen to believe that the appropriate response (fixing the Senate) is the response we’re going to get.

  136. 136
    blahblahgurgleblegblah says:

    Former Democrat. Please note that word “former”.

    Yes, I’m one of those libtards who honest do think that both parties are equally corrupt and playing good cop / bad cop with the public. It’s all kabuki theater.

    Fuck both political parties.

  137. 137
    Cain says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    President For Life, Gibbs totally nailed me.

    Hot. Cigarette?

    cain

  138. 138

    @Allison W.: Really? Plenty of people who volunteered and what not aren’t Obama-bots. And they did sell out to Big Pharma. Or do you refuse to believe the evidence?

  139. 139
    Allison W. says:

    OT: Ted Stevens (R) Alaska – may have died in plane crash

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_alaska_plane_crash

  140. 140
    Nick says:

    @BTD:

    I think we can bellyache about Barack Obama.

    and he can bellyache about you

  141. 141
    soonergrunt says:

    @eemom: I hope the corrupt fucker DIAF.
    Really. I mean it. Then perhaps we can get SARAH! nominated as replacement and she can get her presidential hopes destroyed once and for all by all the facetime she’ll get with the inevitable fuck ups.
    EDIT–And of course, Stevens is the EX-senator, so don’t I look like a total idiot (more than usual, that is.)

  142. 142
    Martin says:

    The “professional left” wants clean water, jobs, and government accountability.

    And they’re going to stay home and not vote until they get it!

  143. 143
    El Cid says:

    I think that there should be a working definition of “satisfied”. I might happen to think that some policy might broadly correspond with the politically possible — maybe, maybe I’m not sure ‘more’ (in my opinion) couldn’t be done — yet still think that a much better world is, or at least someday might be, both possible and needed.

  144. 144
    Kryptik says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Isn’t not even that really. It’s more the fact that the White House only seems to truly light up when it attacks the lefty side of things, compared to how much they turtle up against attacks from the Right.

    What we ask from the Right is to do self-policing rather than promote their fringe into the mainstream. What we ask from the left, at least our leaders on the left, is to do some kind of policing other than self-policing, because goddammit, for whatever faults you can lay at the firebaggers and Manic Progressives feet, you can’t bash them and then claim your hands are tied when you cede deferentially to every single goddamn right wing talking point the media blasts out into your fucking face!

  145. 145
    gene108 says:

    @Anya: You must be psychic!!!

    As sad as it is true, I believe you’ve predicted future, except Ms. Warren didn’t destroy Wall Street, not because she didn’t want to, but because Rahm and Geithner and Summers threatened to kidnap her dog (or whatever) and kill him, if she didn’t do what they wanted.

  146. 146
    Cain says:

    @Allison W.:

    OT: Ted Stevens® Alaska – may have died in plane crash

    Wow, bizarre and he just got out of prison. I smell conspiracy.
    cain

  147. 147
    TuiMel says:

    @soonergrunt:
    Sorry. This sort of thread really depresses me. It is NOT fun to watch. It struck a nerve. I said so.

  148. 148
    Frank says:

    @Paris:

    “I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”

    I don’t understand what so controversial about what Gibbs said as he is exactly right. Claiming that Obama is like bush is as insane as FoxNews claiming he is a socialist.

    With that in mind, it is really difficult to take people on either side of the two extremes seriously.

  149. 149
    Frank says:

    @Kryptik:

    Isn’t not even that really. It’s more the fact that the White House only seems to truly light up when it attacks the lefty side of things, compared to how much they turtle up against attacks from the Right.

    This is just not true. An example; The Obama White House criticized FoxNews and just about everyone in the media went ballistic. And the Obama nay sayers on the left sat there quietly forcing Obama to fight FoxNews by himself.

  150. 150
    Nick says:

    @Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:

    And they did sell out to Big Pharma.

    and got a healthcare bill passed because of it. Governin’ iz hard!

  151. 151
    ericvsthem says:

    @fasteddie9318: I assume that the Gibbs’ definition of the “professional left” includes the civil libertarians at the ACLU?

    Pretty sure that “self discipline” is one of the primary job requirements for WH press secretary. Heckuva job, Gibbsy.

  152. 152
    El Cid says:

    @Frank:

    And the Obama nay sayers on the left sat there quietly forcing Obama to fight FoxNews by himself.

    Do you mean that specific incident? It seems to me that the types of people or organizations which supposedly might form a “professional left” are continuous going after FOXNOOZ.

  153. 153

    you guys are being relentlessly negative. i think you live in alternative universe of permanent outrage.
    my prescription? take a break from the white progressive blogosphere, which only fosters and fuels your negativity.

  154. 154
    Nick says:

    @Frank:

    the Obama nay sayers on the left sat there quietly forcing Obama to fight FoxNews by himself.

    this is part of the problem, when Obama and his team do go after the right, no one on the left notices. How often have we heard “more of this please?” Those threads are usually empty, everyone too busy tying themselves up in knots telling us why we need to believe some random dude who may know how Tim Geithner thinks telling Huffington Post that Geithner doesn’t like Elizabeth Warren

  155. 155

    @Nick:

    that’s not a health care bill. it’s a health insurance bill.

    big difference, especially when the deductibles are high, the costs of the exchange are high, and the subsidies are low.

    i already priced it out for myself, and i sure hope my employer doesn’t drop our coverage, because even subsidized, i cannot afford to participate.

  156. 156
    gene108 says:

    @Nick: Governin’ involves compromise.

    Look at how they cobbled together the Constitution…I mean really…limiting slaves as being only 3/5th of a person? The South really caved in on that one. They could’ve had more representation, if they stuck to their guns and counted slaves as whole people for representation purposes. And limiting the importation of slaves by 1808? That’s just cutting off your nose to spite your face because a bunch of Northerners were having a fit.

  157. 157
    BTD says:

    @Nick:

    He can, but it would be stupid of him.

    I do not need his vote.

  158. 158
    Frank says:

    @El Cid:

    Do you mean that specific incident? It seems to me that the types of people or organizations which supposedly might form a “professional left” are continuous going after FOXNOOZ.

    If so, they probably should change their strategy. Where were they when Obama went after FoxNews? All I heard was criticism from everybody and sympathy for FoxNews.

  159. 159
    Dave Fud says:

    @soonergrunt: Soonergrunt, you are an amazing guy, but if you don’t know the Villain Rotation game, you should learn about it. Your theory of Ben Nelson emasculation would be another version of Charlie Brown and Lucy moving the football. It doesn’t matter how many Democratic Senators we elect, they will heed the call of their big-money donors and let the rest of us eat cake.

    We are merely here to be Charlies for the Senatorial Lucies. We donate our nickels when we want some lemonade or some beltway advice.

    From my limited understanding, our best hope to stop the rotating villain game originates in the House, where Nancy Pelosi seems intent on forcing the Senate to remove the filibuster or take the blame for snarling the government. I hope that works out, but I’m not too sanguine about it.

  160. 160
    Kryptik says:

    @Frank:

    If this isn’t about the whole Shirley Sherrod mess, any chance for a reminder about just which incident they attacked Fox News and were left to hang by the progressives?

  161. 161
    Nick says:

    @BTD: No, but you need him in office, so you need him more than he needs you

  162. 162
    roshan says:

    Hippie punching like it’s 1968 is ultimately good for conscience. Gibbs has got lightning is his steps now, watch him go. Can Obama clearly say in his campaigns that he can only get things done which are politically possible? Talkin’ about how public plan, public option manages health care costs just raises the hippies expectation about it. Just say that he will do what he can. Slight modification needed to the slogan: Don’t hope too much, maybe/possibly might get change.

  163. 163
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Apparently, a lot of people here don’t understand what the word “professional” means.

  164. 164
    Nellcote says:

    First off, The Hill is a righty Politico. Chuck Todd is an alumnus ffs. Y’all should read the article to see how few actual quotes by Gibbs are in it. As far as “professional” leftys goes, what else would you call Sirota, Shultz, Greenwald, Hamsher etc? They make money complaining from the left.

  165. 165
    ruemara says:

    @Midnight Marauder:
    pretty damn much.

  166. 166
    Deb T says:

    Gibbs’ statement make me wonder if he is indeed a Democrat. Democrats are well known for attacking their own party. It’s one of the reasons Democrats can never form the kind of lockstep front the Repubs do so well.
    The Democratic Party is the ‘big tent’ party with all that implies. It’s one of the things I love best about being a Democrat. I think Gibbs is displaying some serious Republican envy.

  167. 167
    roshan says:

    @Frank:
    It would be possible if there was a professional left in the media. Gibbs is not angry at the ones who don’t exist, he is angry about the ones who are prominent in the blogosphere, the activist ones.

  168. 168
    TuiMel says:

    @Nick:

    Wow. That’s a good motto for a politician.

  169. 169
    El Cid says:

    @Frank:

    If so, they probably should change their strategy. Where were they when Obama went after FoxNews? All I heard was criticism from everybody and sympathy for FoxNews.

    Maybe with regard to this specific time or in general there could be better “strategy” for various groups (the “professional left”?), but the “everybody” I saw consisted of the major media and its punditarian classes. I have never seen the slightest sympathy, in fact anything other than disgusted hatred, for FOXNOOZ among any group realistically grouped in the category of “left”. Maybe I have missed that.

  170. 170
    Gus says:

    The silly thing is for those on the far(ish) left (and I include myself) to consider themselves the Democratic base. Accept that the Democratic party is not a left party, but sadly in this country at this time, they’re the best we’re gonna do. If Democrats can be pulled left, I’m all for it, I just don’t expect it in this culture.

  171. 171
    soonergrunt says:

    @fasteddie9318: And you are, sadly, probably right. So, not to put to fine a point on it, but quite a bit of this caterwauling from the Firebaggers and others seems to me to be nothing more than the whining of the kid who can’t get the shiny new hyperexpensive toy that his parents can’t afford to give him.

  172. 172
    BTD says:

    @Nick:

    I need a Dem in office, and in 2012 that’s Obama.

    But you know, not every voter sees it that way.

    IF Obama wants to win, and I assume he does, he will generally try to avoid pissing off any voter.

    Politics is like that. It is sort of the problem of it.

    In any event. Gibbs has apologized, so clearly someone at the WH has some sense, more than shown by some here.

  173. 173

    […] * John Cole: “Way to help the GOTV efforts, Gibbs. Asshole.” […]

  174. 174
    mnpundit says:

    Cole, Gibbs has walked it back.

    I watch too much cable, I admit. Day after day it gets frustrating. Yesterday I watched as someone called legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout — but I know that’s not a view held by many, nor were the views I was frustrated about.

    So what I may have said inartfully, let me say this way — since coming to office in January 2009, this White House and Congress have worked tirelessly to put our country back on the right path. Most importantly, to dig our way out of a huge recession and build an economy that makes America more competitive and our middle class more secure. Some are frustrated that the change we want hasn’t come fast enough for many Americans. That we all understand.

    But in 17 months, we have seen Wall Street reform, historic health care reform, fair pay for women, a recovery act that pulled us back from a depression and got our economy moving again, record investments in clean energy that are creating jobs, student loan reforms so families can afford college, a weapons system canceled that the Pentagon didn’t want, reset our relationship with the world and negotiated a nuclear weapons treaty that gets us closer to a world without fear of these weapons, just to name a few. And at the end of this month, 90,000 troops will have left Iraq and our combat mission will come to an end.

    Even so, we will continue to work each day on the promises and commitments that the President made traveling all over this country for two years and produce the change we know is possible.

    In November, America will get to choose between going back to the failed policies that got us into this mess, or moving forward with the policies that are leading us out.

    So we should all, me included, stop fighting each other and arguing about our differences on certain policies, and instead work together to make sure everyone knows what is at stake because we’ve come too far to turn back now.

    Sent to Greg Sargent and Obama friendly sites like Booman.

  175. 175
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    The walkback.

    “Day after day it gets frustrating. Yesterday I watched as someone called legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout – but I know that’s not a view held by many, nor were the views I was frustrated about.”

    So Robert Gibbs was pissed off because right wing Republicans were lying about something, and he responded to this by doing the only logical acceptable opportunistic and profitable thing: reach out and smack “the left”.

    I actually was giving these guys the benefit of the doubt. I wasn’t here bashing every move they made or demanding purity. I figured Obama and the rest of the team probably really didn’t quite get it, imagined themselves as the left, to some degree, wrongly or rightly.

    But when someone gets fed up and lashes out with what he’s really been thinking about “the left”– when it was the right that actually set him off–

    I agree with Cole on this one. What a bunch of assholes.

  176. 176
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    60 Dem seats with ~10 of them filled with right-of-center Democrats is as far left as the Senate will ever get.

    Are you talking about the recent past, or the future? Because during this term there have been many more than 10 right-of-center Democrats. I made a back-of-the-envelope list a while back and estimated something like 25 center-right, 25 center-left, and 10 unclear. They’ve got 2 Democrats from Montana, 2 from North Dakota, 2 from Arkansas, 2 from Virginia, and probably 2 from West Virginia. There’s a Nebraska and a Louisiana and a damn _Alaska_. Then there are the often unhelpful ones like Lieberman, Bayh, Carper, Bill Nelson, and Feinstein. These are inhospitable conditions for bold liberal politics. And, I agree with your larger point: as difficult as this climate is, it’s close to the best we’ve had.

  177. 177
    scarshapedstar says:

    I spent a stressful year going door-to-door raising money for the Democratic Party. I was already frustrated with many of the administration’s policies, but I accentuated the positive and kept my conscience clear. I guess that made me a Professional Leftist, and hey, the pay wasn’t bad.

    However, apparently I’m just as predictably negative as the “NIGGER HITLER IS COMMUNIFYING AMERICA!!” crowd. We’re two sides of the same coin, you see, except that we put in time and money and effort and shoe leather to ELECT Democrats, instead of DEFEATING them.

    You know, I can understand frustration, but it’s one thing to say “I completely identify with the frustration of our most loyal supporters, but I wish they would take it out on the unprecedentedly obstructive Republican minority”

    rather than

    “They’re just a bunch of bleeding-heart pricks and they don’t even mean the things they say, ‘cuz they’re professional whiners who complain for a living.”

    Maybe he should hire a Professional Leftist to be the OFFICIAL FUCKING SPOKESMAN, because I really don’t see how this can be characterized as “on message”. Oh, I get it! The Teabaggers will vote in droves for Democrats now, and we Professional Leftists will get a wink and a nod so that we understand the brilliant Jekyll-and-Hyde GOTV strategy.

    What could go wrong?

  178. 178
    Nick says:

    @BTD:

    But you know, not every voter sees it that way.

    The ones Gibbs was talking about do

    IF Obama wants to win, and I assume he does, he will generally try to avoid pissing off any voter.

    Not possible,

    In any event. Gibbs has apologized, so clearly someone at the WH has some sense, more than shown by some here.

    No he didn’t, he said his comments were inartful. The only thing he should apologizing over is thinking the people he’s talking about have any power whatsoever.

  179. 179
    mnpundit says:

    @El Cid: The lefty reaction to the attack on Fox news was:

    About time!
    Give us more!
    We must Help the Admin so that it’s not just them alone against Fox News!

    But it was the dropped and Fox given a front row seat.

  180. 180
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig: There’s a missing element, too. The leftmost wing of the Republican senate has ceased to exist.

    There were four parties in the Senate, from which a governing coalition from time to time was cobbled together:

    1. the Democratic senators who are Democrats,
    2. the Democratic senators who are Republicans
    3. the Republican senators who are Republicans.
    4. — missing, believed extinct, Republican Senators who are Democrats—Javits, Brooke, Hatfield, Chaffee, Stafford, Jeffords; Snowe and Collins five years ago.

    This is not the Senate that LBJ or Carter or Reagan or even Clinton knew…

  181. 181
    Nick says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    So Robert Gibbs was pissed off because right wing Republicans were lying about something, and he responded to this by doing the only logical acceptable opportunistic and profitable thing: reach out and smack “the left”.

    When people were making those comments on Fox News and MSNBC and CNN yesterday, and the White House was fighting them off, where was the “professional left?”

  182. 182
    scarshapedstar says:

    @Nick:

    Not possible

    Explain to me how these remarks were necessary, desirable, or professional.

    I fucking dare you.

  183. 183
    Nick says:

    @mnpundit:

    But it was the dropped and Fox given a front row seat.

    by the other journalists in the room, NOT the White House

  184. 184
    Nick says:

    @scarshapedstar:

    Explain to me how these remarks were necessary, desirable, or professional.

    They weren’t, but that doesn’t mean what he said isn’t true.They didn’t piss off anyone who isn’t already pissed off or looking for a reason to be.

  185. 185
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Anya:

    Once Obama nominates goddess Elizabeth Warren, he will be king of progressives for a day. But inevitably, Elizebeth Warren will be deemed sellout, when she fails to distroy Wall Street.

    Some of the FDL crowd are already working out how to spin this into a negative, no matter the outcome. emptywheel, for instance, has been giving it a trial run on Twitter.

  186. 186
    scarshapedstar says:

    @Nick:

    When people were making those comments on Fox News and MSNBC and CNN yesterday, and the White House was fighting them off, where was the “professional left?”

    We were giving our usual C-Span Address at Professional Left HQ. You didn’t see? Weird. The feed must have gone out. I feel really bad for the dozens of reporters in attendance.

    On behalf of the Professional Left, I apologize for not joining the White House in responding to “those people” by not fighting “them” off. I mean, I know exactly what you’re referring to, I know exactly who you’re accusing of inaction and treachery, and… man… this was just the all-around best comment I’ve ever read.

  187. 187
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    But when someone gets fed up and lashes out with what he’s really been thinking about “the left”—when it was the right that actually set him off

    I figure that what he and the Administration “really think” is that they’re out there day after day dealing with a bunch of batshit insane right-wingers… and _still_ critics on the left hammer them for not doing more. The Administration wants to feel like they’re making a frontal assault on the crazy, and then behind them their own ranks are squeezing off friendly fire. I’m glad they walked it back, because it’s not a smart thing to say to part of your coalition when every moment is tenuous, but it really is remarkable to see how hard they get whacked from the blog-prog left day in and day out. The left took shots at Clinton for two terms, but I guess the alt-media weren’t quite so roiling and there weren’t blogs yet, so it feels like the intensity of criticism is wicked hot.

  188. 188
    Nick says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    Some of the FDL crowd are already working out how to spin this into a negative, no matter the outcome. emptywheel, for instance, has been giving it a trial run on Twitter.

    1.) This is not genuine, he only did it because we made him
    2.) She won’t get confirmed, Obama will make sure her nomination fails
    3.) He’s only recessing appointing her so he can pick a Goldman lackey after he gets reelected in 2012.

    Anything else?

  189. 189
    Dave says:

    I think Gibbs’ walkback sums up the frustration. And again, I want to make it clear that I think he was dumb as hell for venting his frustration publicly.

    But look at that list:

    But in 17 months, we have seen Wall Street reform, historic health care reform, fair pay for women, a recovery act that pulled us back from a depression and got our economy moving again, record investments in clean energy that are creating jobs, student loan reforms so families can afford college, a weapons system canceled that the Pentagon didn’t want, reset our relationship with the world and negotiated a nuclear weapons treaty that gets us closer to a world without fear of these weapons, just to name a few. And at the end of this month, 90,000 troops will have left Iraq and our combat mission will come to an end.

    Now, I am not saying that there is no reason to criticize the Obama White House (their record on surveillance and civil liberties has pretty much sucked so far). But would it be too much for the left-wing critics to look at that list and see that it’s pretty damned impressive? Instead of complaining that it’s not perfect? I’ve basically run away from GOS because every damn day you have people on the front page bitching about the 100 ways Obama personally failed them again.

  190. 190
    General Stuck says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    . What a bunch of assholes.

    You pull out one line from an obvious sincere mea culpa and keep the butthurt going.

    And in the Palin thread, take one comment and weave it into a conspiracy of “shit stirrers”.

    And that’s not even including the braindead takes on historical electoral politics of which you are entirely ignorant of.

    Who really are these assholes you speak of?

  191. 191
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Nick: The rooster thinks his crowing makes the sun rise.

    ;-)

  192. 192
    TuiMel says:

    @Nick:
    Wrong.

  193. 193
    Svensker says:

    @Nick:

    They weren’t, but that doesn’t mean what he said isn’t true.They didn’t piss off anyone who isn’t already pissed off or looking for a reason to be.

    Actually, that is not true. I’m pretty far to the left of Obama and I do wish he were more lefty, but I have been fairly supportive of him so far — which has been tough, since the hub makes Jane Hamsher look like a centrist. But the Gibbs statement really pissed me off. Maybe it shouldn’t have. But it did.

    And I called the WH and told them so this morning. Altho I had to wait because the phones were busy, I’ll bet with a bunch of other lefties who were a bit pizzed off, as well. Which is prolly why Mr. Gibbs did his little walkback.

  194. 194
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Nick: That is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. Dawn Johnsen, Mark II, also, too.

  195. 195
    Nick says:

    @Svensker: And tomorrow you’ll forget it ever happened, and only the Jane fucking Hamsher army of dingbats will still be harping on this

    BTW, White House phones are always busy.

  196. 196
    eemom says:

    this really does kind of suck. Hamsher had been playing so nicely this summer with her little “legalize marijuana” campaign……now she’s right back to foaming at the mouth batshit, eleven on the “OBAMA SUUUUUUCKS” knob.

    Greenwald is as happy as Rosie and Lily rolling in shit.

    We’ll probably get a “Special Comment” from Olbermann tonight.

    Even my beloved Rude Pundit is snarling like an angry dog.

    Shit, Robert — why did you have to go and stir the crazy pot?

  197. 197
    Svensker says:

    @Allison W.:

    WHo the f*ck are you calling a purist? I am an Obamabot through and through.

    And you’re saying that if the rest of us aren’t Obamabots through and through, too, then we should go fuck ourselves and the party doesn’t need us. And I’m saying you’re wrong.

  198. 198
    scarshapedstar says:

    Altho I had to wait because the phones were busy, I’ll bet with a bunch of other lefties who were a bit pizzed off, as well. Which is prolly why Mr. Gibbs did his little walkback.

    Well, obviously you should have been calling up teabaggers and berating them instead. The fact that you took the time to complain proves that Gibbs was right!

    [/concerntroll]

  199. 199
    Nick says:

    @eemom: Pretty sure this was the intent of the Hill reporter who asked him the question. Hope that he would say something like this and unhinge the unhinged for their personal enjoyment

  200. 200
    tomvox1 says:

    Chronic hoof in mouth disease in a Press Secretary is justifiably regarded as fatal to that particular career. Plus, once you get the entire White House press corps to actively loathe you, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying anymore because they are all just sitting there wishing they could murder you and figuring out how to fuck you over in print or on TV. Believe it or not, thinking before you speak so as not to become the story yourself and cultivating good will with the folks you have to deal with on a daily basis really matter in that job. Whoda thunk it?

    Bye, bye, Gibbsey, and the sooner the better.

  201. 201
    Gotwolfy says:

    Jane Hamster use right wing talking point to attack the white house
    Balloon Juicer response: Off With her head! You firebagger

    Press Secretary use right wing talking point to attack the Left

    Balloon Juicer response: Wow your so right let me kiss your ass some more

    result: Balloon Juicer = How can we find a way to attack the left. Consistency is not important attacking the left is!

  202. 202
    Hesiod says:

    The “profesional left” is not showing up in any GOP attack ads out in the country. Know who is though? Barack Obama. Democratic candidates are running the hell away from President Obama and don’t want him showing up to campaign with them.

    It is so bad that when Obama decided (strangely) that he needed to make a campaign swing in teabagger Texas, the Democratic candidate for Governor — who was doing surprisingly well in the polls — dissed him. But, to rub his nose in it, Governor Teabagger himself — Rick Perry — actually did show up to greet the President.

    The “professional left” is upset not because Obama didn’t enact a liberal agenda. They are upset that BECAUSE Obama didn’t enact a liberal agenda — he has demoralized his party, and enacted policies that are unpopular and ineffective — thus causing a political calamity for the Democratic party.

    We wanted these policies enacted because not only were they good policies, but they were also GOOD POLITICS.

    So, Obama is now stuck with the worst of both worlds. He is labelled a big gummint tax and spend sOcialist — and the policies he enacted are watered down crap that are unpopular and suck.

    If you are going to be labelled a sOcialist anyway — why not enact good policies that at least you can use to refute the attacks with? This is what is driving people like me crazy. Calling the White House politically inept is like calling Sarah Palin mildly annoying.

  203. 203
    eemom says:

    @Svensker:

    I think you have introduced a new usage of “purist” here — i.e., the Obamabot “purist.” The traditional flame war usage of “purist” has been to refer to Greenwaldian types.

    It is a fair point, to be sure — it’s just that it could get a little confusing.

  204. 204
    scarshapedstar says:

    @tomvox1:

    Bye, bye, Gibbsey, and the sooner the better.

    Fired? But there hasn’t even been a Doctored Breitbart Tape(R) yet!

  205. 205
    You Don't Say says:

    I’m sick of all of it. Let’s talk about the fucking issues and not whether Robert Gibbs hurt my feelings today.

  206. 206
    Tim I says:

    Cole, are you turning firebagger? Gibbs was absolutely right to slam the assholes who attack the Administration from the left. I have always come here for some relief from the firebaggers of the Professional left.

    I can’t believe that you think the Greenwalds and Sirotas and Hamshers and Schultzes who pollute the blogs and Cable TV are justified in their whiny rants, because Gibbs spoke the truth about them. They criticize the President to get attention for themselves and money for their causes.

    The response of so many in this thread is to attack Gibbs, rather than looking at the real problem, which is the haters on the left and right. I really don’t think this would have been tru even a year ago. Perhaps, I need to find a new refuge.

  207. 207
    MikeMc says:

    I agree with Gibbs. The professional left takes shots at the Pres. all day long. Why can’t Gibbs shoot back? I think there is a fairly large population of lefties on the internet that are fucking ingrates, frankly. Take health care reform. 3/4 of it was what I wanted. Hell, I never thought it would pass in the first place. I figured HCR was just something dems had to talk about because, well, they were always talking about it. I didn’t think it would get anywhere. So, I was pretty amped when Obama got it done. Can you image conservative reaction if if they were able to, say, privatize 3/4 of social security. They’d cum in their pants! The professional left just complains. They’re a bunch of bratty little kids who didn’t get everything on their Christmas list and, instead of being thankful for what they received, they pine for the things they didn’t get. What a bunch of depressing, joyless, yahoo’s!

  208. 208
    Nick says:

    @You Don’t Say:

    Let’s talk about the fucking issues and not whether Robert Gibbs hurt my feelings today.

    That would be nice, but people don’t come to blogs to talk about issues, they come here because they want to feel important. The liberal blogsphere are nothing but refuges for those who didnt get enough attention as a child or are mocking and made fun of elsewhere. Those who can find others around them to agree with them, so they escape to an online world where everyone agrees with their POV and reality is whatever they perceive it to be. In order to talk about issues, one must be in the real world

  209. 209
    calling all toasters says:

    @You Don’t Say:

    Let’s talk about the fucking issues and not whether Robert Gibbs hurt my feelings today.

    OK, here’s an issue for you: should the administration distance itself from the Democratic Party and its rank-and-file, and pursue a more centrist agenda? Because that’s what this is about.

  210. 210
    scarshapedstar says:

    @MikeMc:

    Take health care reform. 3/4 of it was what I wanted.

    For-profit health insurance is a racket, a scam, a useless abomination that no other nation allows, much less worships, the way we do. It’s the malignant stem cell that continually regenerates our national health care tumor. All I wanted was to see it die.

  211. 211
    MikeMc says:

    @scarshapedstar: Getting rid of for-profit health care is every liberals dream, but did you actually, honestly, think that would happen?

  212. 212
    You Don't Say says:

    @calling all toasters: I disagree that that is what this is about. It’s about the reality of governing, which a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks seem to be blissfully unaware.

    Do I agree with everything that gets done in DC? Hell, no. I want more stimulus. I want taxes raised on the wealthiest. Truthfully, I want them raised on everyone but that ain’t gonna happen. I wanted single-payer. I want out of Iraq and Afghanistan in a responsible way, that is not immediately as would be ideal but as soon as feasibly possible.

    Do I blame Obama that all that hasn’t happened? His part in it, yes. I blame Congress a lot more and the Republicans and the moderate Dems, all of whom were elected whether I’m happy about that or not.

    Do I give a flying fuck what Robert Gibbs or the entire administration think of me? No.

  213. 213
    Nick says:

    @scarshapedstar:

    For-profit health insurance is a racket, a scam, a useless abomination that no other nation allows, much less worships, the way we do

    And Obama was supposed to do what? Tell everyone we’re just going to go ahead and get rid of it, put everyone on Medicare, pay for it with higher taxes, and everyone is just gonna like it because its good, trust me, and the media just gonna go “yeah ok Obama” and the Senate is just gonna go “sure thing” and everything will be perfect in the world.

    There’s a lot wrong with this country, a lot that’s going to take changing our entire culture to fix, Obama can’t do that by himself, and the fight will continue long after he’s gone. We’re the ones on the frontlines, not him, but we act like here’s our entire army. You’re surprise the

  214. 214
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Tim I:

    Perhaps, I need to find a new refuge.

    Please do and take Nick with you.

  215. 215
    soonergrunt says:

    @scarshapedstar:

    For-profit health insurance is a racket, a scam, a useless abomination that no other nation allows, much less worships, the way we do. It’s the malignant stem cell that continually regenerates our national health care tumor. All I wanted was to see it die.

    And while I sympathize with this position, I also knew I wasn’t going to get that while the U.S. was still a democracy, at least not for a while yet. So I’ll take a breather and be happy with the largest expansion of social justice I’m likely to see in my lifetime under our present form of government. Since I happen to believe in democracy, I’ll just have to live with the fact that I don’t always get what I want.

  216. 216
    calling all toasters says:

    @You Don’t Say:

    Do I give a flying fuck what Robert Gibbs or the entire administration think of me? No.

    As well you shouldn’t. Unless, of course, you want to have some influence on policy.

  217. 217
    You Don't Say says:

    @calling all toasters: Conflation.

    Gibbs was accusing the political left of being shrill and not appreciating the work that has been done by this administration. You can agree or disagree with that assessment. My point is I don’t care one way or another if Gibbs likes the way the “professional left” handles itself. Why should anyone, including “the professional left” be immune to criticism? Why should I want to have a beer with him or Obama? That’s so …. Republican.

    Right now all I care about is the economy and I find outrages-of-the-day like this an infuriating distraction.

  218. 218
    Slowbama says:

    Lots of folks here missing the point, which is: Robert Gibbs should not be saying this stuff on the record. It is part and parcel of the poor messaging we’re constantly seeing from this bunch. As for hippie punching, personally I don’t go for it — the hippies are always right about everything in the end — but hippie punching seems to be the point of this particular blog, so whatever.

  219. 219
    Sly says:

    This is truly an outrage. Maybe some enterprising left-blogger can organize a petition with Tony Perkins or Bill Kristol to have Gibbs fired.

  220. 220
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @calling all toasters:

    OK, here’s an issue for you: should the administration distance itself from the Democratic Party and its rank-and-file, and pursue a more centrist agenda? Because that’s what this is about.

    A few things:

    1. The “professional left,” a phrase new to me, doesn’t appear to refer to the “rank and file.” The “professional left” sounds like a reference to pundits; the people who have been most insulted are bloggers and blog commenters. One huge issue with the struggle over what Obama’s accomplishments and strategies have been is that blogosphere denizens think of themselves as “the base” or the “rank and file” or “liberals.” Blogosphere people–including myself–are a small part of the liberals, which are in turn a small part of the Democratic core. Consider the prominence of the surveillance and net neutrality topics on the blogs, and weigh them vis-a-vis their prominence in political discussions you’ve had in meatspace.

    2. I disagree that the administration has pursued a “centrist agenda.” I would characterize it, by and large, as a liberal agenda diluted by the prevalence of “centrist” factions in Congress, crossed with a temperament that incremental progress is preferable to dramatic take-it-or-leave-it showdowns. For instance, I really do think that the Obama administration would have loved a super-gigantic stimulus, a ballsy climate bill, and a drastic reconfiguration of the health care system; but they are so hemmed in by Democrats who are cowed by the old “big spending liberal” caricature that their whip counts reveal again and again that they have to act small.

    2a. Where the agenda has not been consistently liberal is on war and “security”-slash-civil liberties; I suspect that there, too, they are hampered by old caricatures about cut-and-run Democratic wussiness, but I have less sense that lurking behind what they propose in those areas is conventional liberalism. My sense is that Obama has fallen into the “liberal hawk”/”humanitarian intervention” wing of the defense policy establishment, like the Bill Clinton and Wesley Clark approach, but I don’t know if deep down he’s a dove, pulled hawk-ward by political considerations, or if deep down he’s a liberal interventionist.

  221. 221
    Sly says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    General agreement, with the caveat that the only thing more absurd than the delusional self-importance of the usual suspects are the hippy punchers who actually share in that delusion. At the end, however, its an irrelevant distinction: both are fine targets for mockery.

  222. 222
    Malron says:

    The professional left (the ones we affectionately refer to as the “Manic-Progressives”) decided less than a year into Obama’s presidency they wouldn’t be helping the GOTV efforts when they started writing “the progressives will stay home in November because Obama sold us out” and “Obama’s a failure” stories. The professional left has been trying to discourage voters by accentuating the negative, refusing to give Obama credit for the progressive accomplishments he has and dismissing anyone who tries to point out the historical significance of the president’s accomplishments as a mindless O-bot. Its the same part of the party that dissed Obama the candidate and gave him no chances of winning the nomwhile they sang the virtues of Kucinich, Edwards and Hillary, then predicted the PUMAs would all bolt the party to ensure a McCain presidency when Joe Biden was chosen as VP. They are no friend of the president and weren’t gonna be there to do the real grassroots work to get voters to the polls anyway, because that requires actually doing something besides emoting for site hits with faux outrage and drummed up nontroversies about Rahm walking in on someone in the shower or how many vacations Michelle takes.

    After having to endure all that from a bunch of so-called “real progressives” a little “Fuck You Very Much” from Robert Gibbs seems in order to me.

    @FlipYrWhig: I pretty much agree with all of this.

  223. 223
    calling all toasters says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The “professional left,” a phrase new to me, doesn’t appear to refer to the “rank and file.” The “professional left” sounds like a reference to pundits

    It’s actually a reference to those who want Canadian healthcare and to abolish the Pentagon, like Gibbs said. In other words, The Hippies Who Live in Glenn Beck’s Head.

    I really do think that the Obama administration would have loved a super-gigantic stimulus

    Then they should have proposed one and negotiated parts away if necessary. But it’s been reported many times that the stimulus they got is the one they wanted. And they haven’t even begun to try for more. But they just had to punch those hippies, like Paul Volcker.

    This administration has screwed itself every time it followed the Rahm/Summers/Geithner line. It’s no wonder they are angry at those who warned them against it.

  224. 224
    Sly says:

    @calling all toasters:

    Then they should have proposed one and negotiated parts away if necessary.

    I’m curious… where does this notion that crafting legislation is exactly like haggling for a used car actually come from?

  225. 225
    Svensker says:

    @Nick:

    Miwwa miwwa on da wall, who da faiwest of dem awwwww?

  226. 226
    calling all toasters says:

    @Sly: Um, from the entire history of legislation? Was this a trick question?

  227. 227
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    I felt the balloonbagger collective orgasm here in Washington state. It resonates still.

  228. 228
    HyperIon says:

    This reminds me of Norbizness and his “I am the Left” schtick.

    Ah, good times. Where is Norbizness these days?

  229. 229

    […] have naturally not gone down well in the liberal blogosphere. Like Steve Benen, John Cole’s problem seems to be not with Gibbs’ opinion, but with him voicing it out loud: I’m not sure what […]

  230. 230
    AxelFoley says:

    @Wag:

    I know what pisses me off more, and its that I’m going to have to listen to the professional left bitching all day. Good for Gibbs. We need to get the firebaggers and others on the professional left to realize that if you’re not helping us, then you’re hindering the cause. The professional left is helping the GOP with the GOP GOTV efforts, instead of helping to fight them.

    This.

  231. 231
    Justin Runia says:

    I think he has a point when you have cable news anchors announcing their intentions to skip the midterms because they haven’t yet received their 40 acres and a Prius–but I agree with Weigel’s take that the narrow swath of people Gibbs was addressing doesn’t really justify the moaning and pissing that erupted because of it.

    Congress just met held an emergency session to pass a 26 Billion dollar appropiation bill, and I don’t see anybody jumping at the chance to congratulate the administration. Maybe this is a west-coast/east-coast thing, but it’s hard not to see Gibbs point.

  232. 232
    AxelFoley says:

    @cleek:

    the Obama administration keeps making it harder and harder for me to feel like they’re on my side.
    i wonder why they want to do that ?

    LOL, yeah right. Were you ever on their side?

  233. 233
    Sly says:

    @calling all toasters:

    Does this “entire history of legislation” include all the times the proponents of a piece of legislation made too many demands of the rest of the legislative body and the result was that their cause was, at least temporarily, abandoned by the legislative body as a whole?

    Like, I don’t know, all the times a National Health Insurance Program, or privatizing Social Security, was merely suggested?

  234. 234
    AxelFoley says:

    @Nick:

    @liberal: You know, part of the reason you guys are irrelevant is that you take something someone said, then lie about it, misrepresent it, and then keep doing it forever.

    Yup. Sounds just like the GOP.

    Ain’t it sad when the far left can’t be distinguished from the far right?

  235. 235
    Cacti says:

    You just don’t understand JC. Here’s how it works.

    Firebaggers are entitled to whine, carp, complain, threaten, and call names.

    The Administration is obliged to take it, smile, and say thank you.

    Because they are “teh Base”. They totally put Obama over the top in places like North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, etc.

    No really, they did. (giggle)

  236. 236
    Jay B. says:

    Now, I am not saying that there is no reason to criticize the Obama White House (their record on surveillance and civil liberties has pretty much sucked so far). But would it be too much for the left-wing critics to look at that list and see that it’s pretty damned impressive? Instead of complaining that it’s not perfect? I’ve basically run away from GOS because every damn day you have people on the front page bitching about the 100 ways Obama personally failed them again.

    Need a hug, Dave? How about a pony or a fucking unicorn?

    Seriously, it’s Gibbs the self-described “OBots” who really are the emo adolescents here. You want us to genuflect? Marvel at it? Great! Awesome! Way to go team! That should turn the polling around. That should bridge the enthusiasm gap. Magic incantations and clapping.

    Obama’s policies are clearly better. But they’re not good enough. Is it also the Senate’s fault? Of course. And the House got a few good fuck ups in there too.

    But you know what, life’s unfair. The buck, so, so, sadly, stops with Obama. He’ll make a good case, as Gibbs did, listing these accomplishments as legislative successes — but health care costs are still out of control, unemployment is still 9.5%, jobs aren’t coming back, infrastructure sucks, our military is still stretched too thin and Wall St. still calls the shots for our economy. Better? Yes. Good? It’s barely a start.

    Obama likes to say that change is hard. Well, if we just accept these “successes” as missions accomplished, it wasn’t really change at all. It was all stop gaps. Much larger problems still exist with our political system. We get nowhere if we think we’ve solved them even partially.

  237. 237
    AxelFoley says:

    @Hesiod:

    LOL, now you’re bringing your bullshit from Daily Kos over here?

    Lovely.

  238. 238
    Tim I says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Shit! You ruined my escape. Now I feel I must stick around just to kick your sorry ass into shape.

    Please don’t be offended by Gibbs. He doesn’t have a clue who you are, nor does he care. Can’t blame him.

  239. 239
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    people don’t come to blogs to talk about issues, they come here because they want to feel important.

    Really! How’s that working for you?

    I think you misspelled “impotent.”

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] have naturally not gone down well in the liberal blogosphere. Like Steve Benen, John Cole’s problem seems to be not with Gibbs’ opinion, but with him voicing it out loud: I’m not sure what […]

  2. […] * John Cole: “Way to help the GOTV efforts, Gibbs. Asshole.” […]

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