[A-List] Robert Gibbs attacks the fringe losers of the left
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Thu Aug 19 06:40:48 MDT 2010
Robert Gibbs attacks the fringe losers of the left
By Glenn Greenwald
Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary.(updated below - Update II -
You may think that the reason you're dissatisfied with the Obama
administration is because of substantive objections to their policies:
that they've done so little about crisis-level unemployment,
foreclosures and widespread economic misery. Or because of the White
House's apparently endless devotion to Wall Street. Or because the
President has escalated a miserable, pointless and unwinnable war that
is entering its ninth year. Or because he has claimed the power to
imprison people for life with no charges and to assassinate American
citizens without due process, intensified the secrecy weapons and
immunity instruments abused by his predecessor, and found all new ways
of denying habeas corpus. Or because he granted full-scale legal
immunity to those who committed serious crimes in the last
administration. Or because he's failed to fulfill -- or affirmatively
broken -- promises ranging from transparency to gay rights.
But Robert Gibbs -- in one of the most petulant, self-pitying
outbursts seen from a top political official in recent memory, half
derived from a paranoid Richard Nixon rant and the other half from a
Sean Hannity/Sarah Palin caricature of The Far Left -- is here to tell
you that the real reason you're dissatisfied with the President is
because you're a fringe, ideological, Leftist extremist ingrate who
needs drug counseling:
The White House is simmering with anger at criticism from liberals who
say President Obama is more concerned with deal-making than
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."
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. . . .
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.
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! You're so far to the Left that you
want to turn the U.S. into Canada. 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
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
UPDATE: On September 9, 2008 -- roughly two months before the
election -- Barack Obama addressed a large, enthusiastic crowd and
said: "As president, I will lead a new era of accountability in
education. But see, I don't just want to hold our teachers
accountable; I want to hold our government accountable. I want you to
hold me accountable." In 20 short months, we've gone from "hold me
accountable" to "get drug tested," you wretched ingrates.
UPDATE II: Robert Gibbs:
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