Record numbers of people are losing their jobs and homes, some dying from lack of health care, the economy is in the crapper, we’re still killing people in an endless war, the earth is (quite literally) on fire, no productive action on most of these issues, but Robert Gibbs’s feelings are hurt:
The White House is simmering with anger at criticism from liberals who say President Obama is more concerned with deal-making than ideological purity.
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.
“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”
Yeah, except for that “assassinating U.S. citizens without due process” thing. Minor sticking point, bygones!
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.”
The White House, constantly under fire from expected enemies on the right, has been frustrated by nightly attacks on cable news shows catering to the left, where Obama and top lieutenants like Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have been excoriated for abandoning the public option in healthcare reform; for not moving faster to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay; and for failing, so far, to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military.
Liberals have criticized Obama and his staff for moving to the middle and bargaining on healthcare reform, as well as the financial regulatory overhaul and even the $787 billion economic stimulus package, which some liberals said should have been larger.
Just last week, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow described Obama political adviser David Axelrod as a “human pretzel” for his explanation of the administration’s position on gay marriage. Axelrod had explained that Obama opposes same-sex marriage but favors equal benefits for partners in gay relationships.
Attacks from liberal political groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), which raises money for liberal candidates and causes, are also frustrating to the White House.
Adam Green, one of PCCC’s founders, repeatedly blasted Obama for a “loser mentality” during the healthcare debate, criticizing the president and Emanuel for not trying harder to include the public option in the final healthcare legislation. The group even ran ads accusing Obama of ignoring the will of the millions who voted for him by courting the support of Republican Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe.
PCCC is now pressing Obama to nominate Elizabeth Warren, a hero to the left, as the first head of the new consumer protection office created by the Wall Street reform bill.
While visibly frustrated, Gibbs did not specifically name any of the White Houses’s liberal detractors by name.
Imagine. This is what Obama finally gets angry about.
Boo fucking hoo. Really, Robert. Maybe it’s time you looked for another job. It sounds like this one’s getting to you.
The White House wants to make its deals and pose for the cameras without any input from the DFHs. Get used to it, boys. We’re not going anywhere.
So, to recap: (1) The Professional Left are totally irrelevant losers who speak for absolutely nobody, and certainly nobody in Real America who matters; but (2) they’re ruining everything for the White House!!! And: if you criticize the President, it’s only because you’re such a rabid extremist that you harbor a secret desire to eliminate the Pentagon — that’s how anti-American you are! You’re such a Far Left extremist that Dennis Kucinich isn’t far enough Left for you, you subversive, drug-using hippies! As David Frum put it today: “More proof of my longtime thesis, Repub pols fear the GOP base; Dem pols hate the Dem base.” The Democrats have been concerned about a lack of enthusiasm on the part of their base headed into the midterm elections. These sorts of rabid, caricatured, Fox-News-copying attacks on the Left will undoubtedly help generate more enthusiasm — more loud clapping — for the Democrats. I know I’m eager to go canvass and clap for Democrats after reading Gibbs’ noble, inspiring vision. If it were Gibbs’ goal to be as petulant and self-pitying as possible, what could he have done differently?
Perhaps one day the White House can work itself up to express this sort of sputtering rage against the Right, or the Wall Street thieves who destroyed the American economy, or the permanent factions that control Washington. Until then, we’ll have to satisfy ourselves with White House explanations that the Real Culprits are not (of course) them, but the Professional Left, that is simultaneously totally irrelevant and ruining everything. I’ll give credit to Gibbs for putting his name on this outburst: these are usually the things they say anonymously and then deny afterward on the record that it’s what they think.