Tuesday, August 10, 2010

White House on the attack

Finally, the White House is showing some fire and going on the offensive against their critics. Yeah, take that...liberals? I wrote most of this post this morning and didn't get it posted until later but this is about as ridiculous as it gets.
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.”

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.”
Yes, anyone that criticizes from the left is just a crazy drugged-out liberal socialist hippie. This is the kind of thing that usually comes from the Limbaugh's of the world but way too often comes from Democratic politicians as well. I won't argue that we could take a lot from the Canadian health care system but I'd be happy if they were actually interested in fighting for some of it. The fact that they use it as an example of some pie in the sky liberal fantasy says a lot about where they were on the issue. Then there's the "eliminate the Pentagon" BS which typically refers to anyone who dares question the wisdom of any of our current wars or the continuation of many of the worst Bush policies on detainees.

Although maybe he's not talking about me?
Gibbs said the professional left is not representative of the progressives who organized, campaigned, raised money and ultimately voted for Obama.

Progressives, Gibbs said, are the liberals outside of Washington “in America,” and they are grateful for what Obama has accomplished in a shattered economy with uniform Republican opposition and a short amount of time.
Jesus, can we hit any more conservative talking points? Real Americans like the president, what's wrong with the rest of you assholes?! Wait, I thought the Teabaggers were the Real Americans. Where are the Fake Americans?
Larry Berman, an expert on the presidency and a political science professor at the University of California-Davis, said he has been surprised that liberals aren’t more cognizant of the pragmatism Obama has had to employ to pass landmark reforms.

“The irony, of course, is that Gibbs’s frustration reflects the fact that the conservative opposition has been so effective at undermining the president’s popular approval,” Berman said.

“And from Gibbs’s perspective, and the White House perspective, they ought to be able to catch a break from people who, in their view, should be grateful and appreciative.”
I think a lot of the problem stems from this supposed "pragmatism" and the conservative opposition to anything Obama has tried to do. The problem isn't the pragmatism it's that he doesn't really get anything in return for the compromises. What's pragmatic about stating up front what you're willing to give up when it doesn't get you any Republican votes in the end? If Democrats are going to pass everything on their own anyway we may as well get a better bill or at least negotiate from a position of strength.

Anyway, I get that they would be frustrated at some of the criticism from the left but that's kind of how it works when a group of people does so much to elect you. Obama claimed it was up to us to "hold him accountable" but now he's not so much interested in any of that stuff. Apparently it's some sort of brilliant strategy to go after the people you're hoping will show up in the November elections instead of the ones claiming you're a Kenyan socialist.

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