Gibbs doesn't get it. Bashes the "professional" left
by Pravin, Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 10:47:02 AM EDT
In this The Hill interview, Gibbs bashes the professional left and expresses bafflement why they would be mad about Obama's performance and then Gibbs does the Blue Dog/right wing trick of attributing it to "ideological purity".
Well, Gibbs, I am an example of a "moderate" who voted for Obama and is disenchanted. I am pro-voucher, pro-Death penalty, am neutral on gay marriage(though I am for civil unions and for open gays in military), neutral on taxes(I am not necessrily in favor of more taxes, though if the government shows accountability, I am not againt it). I am not even that set on universal health care though there should have been some sort of public option. The whole torture thing wasn't even on my top list of issues though I did want to see it addressed. it's obvious I am not a classic lefty. So I gotta say this. After 8 years of Bush, I EXPECT more liberal policies to be implemented now ,not because I am very liberal, but for a need to balance out the neglect for liberal policies in the last 8 years.
Here is an excerpt:
During an interview with The Hill in his West Wing office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberal naysayers, whom he said would never regard anything the president did as good enough.
The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”
Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”
What a lie. I remember bashing Obama early on for letting Geithner continue with some of the financial bailout nonsense Paulson approved of, and I remember many liberals responding at the time that Obama should get the benefit of doubt . Liberals weren't the one who set up tea party conventions despite similar anger towards the bailouts at the time. Kucinich opposed the bailout and played the good soldier.
I don't hear many liberals or pundits asking for the pentagon to be abolished. Shame on this weasel for putting words in the mouths of people he dislikes. Asking for a slowdown inthe military industrial complex is not the same as saying "get rid of the pentagon". That's like saying Eisenhower hated the military.
People like Gibbs and Axelrod forget that they didn't do anything miraculous on their own to get Obama elected.
There are so many stupid things about Gibbs approach:
1) Everyone knows Obama needs a passionate support base to counter the passionate crazy opposition he is generating from the birthers and racists. For him to continue to piss off the liberal groups is incredibly dumb. it is not winning him any points with the "independents". There are many myths surrounding Obama propagated by the right wing. Moderates are of different types. There are some like me who have a mishmash of opinions but we are highly passionate about each of them and we tend to align with the liberals because liberal policies have been ignored for years and so that part of our ideology has been underserved. Then there are most of the rest who are just moderate because they like to split the difference. These people Obama is obviously trying to cater to won't lift a finger to counter these birthers and tea partiers. For him to alienate the only group that will take the extra effort to help him fight these myths is incredibly stupid.
2) Gibbs is conflating criticism of Obama's approach with the rationale that the only reason why he is being criticized is because he had to deal with reality. NO. The reason he is being criticized is he is part of making that reality. A leader is supposed to sell good ideas to the public -whether they are liberal or conservative. Obama hasn't even tried that. He caves in too fast and doesn't even try to sell the so called liberal positions before caving in to "reality". . Liberals dont mind him caving in at some point. Gibbs misses the point that Obama is just caving in too fast. Imagine if Lyndon Johnson just caved into reality and didn't want to sell the politicians on civil rights.
3) Gibbs fails to mention that criticism of Geithner , Afghanistan, MMS, and other issues have as much to do with COMPETENCE as ideology. When we support Warren, it is not merely because she is liberal, but she will be a great watchdog. I went to FreeRepublic, a looney right wing site to see the responses on Elizabeth Warren. Predictably, some bashed her. But you know what. She also got grudging respect from quite a few of the readers. That is unheard of on that site. Yet all the messaging we get from the White House has been very political on Warren. Words say they support her, but the actions have been lukewarm. When I bash Salazar, it is not because he is a Blue Dog, it is because he has shown incompetence in his job.
When Gibbs sees Presidential approval at an all time low in the Obama term, does he really think liberal pundits are the only ones who are being "ideologically pure" and don't recognize Obama's accomplishments? There is a lot more healthcare reform bashing from the independents than from the liberals. Holder hasn't been getting much grief from liberals, but from the rest of the populace. There is more financial reform bashing form the independents than from the liberals. I do not know what world this idiot Gibbs lives in.
While foreign leaders like Obama more than Bush, does Gibbs realize that Obama hasn't been generating much high level respect from them? The respect extended has been merely of the courteous "hey obama is a nice guy" nature, but not "wow, Obama is a great American leader. let's listen to what he says". type.
Gibbs, you got a lot of work to do. Your smug putdowns of the left will not help you in this. What brought the Republicans down wasn't pure ideology pandering, it was lack of competence and their costly mistake on the war that neglected the economy.