No one could have predicted that the outcome of Gibbs’ stupid remarks would be a multi-month poutrage in which the media would rush to highlight Obama’s mythical problems with the left:
ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: With White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs lashing out at President Obama’s liberal critics, a card-carrying member of Gibbs’ “professional left” joined us on ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line” today. (Yes, she actually brought a card – a digital version.)
Jane Hamsher, the founder of the liberal blog Firedoglake.com, told us that Gibbs’ swipe reflects a White House that’s taken the left for granted – inattention that she said could hurt Democratic candidates in 2010 and beyond.
“It went over like a lead balloon — particularly in August when all the members of Congress are back in their home states, campaigning, trying to whip up enthusiasm,” Hamsher told us. “We’re seeing tremendous demoralization amongst the sort of Democratic base….
Oh, wait. I predicted this would happen… I will simply restate what I wrote in the comments a few hours ago:
It really is odd. The more I move to the left the more I hate the people I agree with. Guess it is like family. I love them, but really need a break after a few hours with them. Because they make me so GOD DAMNED MAD.
Gibbs said something stupid and counter-productive. Now we can spend the next few months going on tv and tweeting about how offended we are and how much the White House sucks. This will no doubt be helpful for all involved.
At some point I wish people would realize that Rick Klein and those fanning the flames don’t give two hoots in hell about progressive issues. All evidence points to the fact that they are actively working against us.
*** Update ***
And by the way, in case anyone is wondering, the next step in the “I AM RELEVANT” charade we go through every couple of months is that Warren will be nominated to the new agency. Rather than acknowledging that the Obama team has sent signals all along that she would be nominated, we will all be required to pretend that it was a gift to progressives who rose up and showed how mighty we are in the wake of the Gibbs remarks. See! We are important! And then, when the blue dogs and Republicans cockblock her nomination, we can spend weeks writing that the White House secretly hates progressives and Obama didn’t do enough and all he needed to do was use the bully pulpit and this was just 11 dimensional chess to slap liberals in the face. Just like Dawn Johnsen. And Ben Nelson and Lieberdouche and the others will get off without their perfidy in blocking the nomination even mentioned.
Anyone want to bet?
And yet, people keep walking into the trap.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.
Stuck in the Funhouse
But Jane got on teevee, again. So there is that.
Jane is always looking for a chance to be Jane. Can a reunion with Grover Norquist be far behind?
Stuck in the Funhouse
11 percent solution
There’s a lot of common ground there, like how most rational people think they’re both fucking lunatics.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
I wrote a diary about that on GOS, basically saying that I make stupid statements at times, that we’ve totally missed the fact that the House passed the aid bill, and that we should be telling everyone that the Republicans are out to destroy the country, and issues like race, abortion, and immigration are red herrings. We shouldn’t be letting statements distracting us from doing the right thing.
It got 5 hits.
It isn’t just about a particular personality’s reaction. Liberals and lefties only get brought into Big Media when there’s infighting between liberals. It’s been the case as long as I’ve been paying attention, and way before the internet ever existed.
Pro-tip: Being on the left is rarely anything other than bickering, but those are the arguments which persuade me, and expecting spontaneous self-organization seems never to have worked, so, there you go.
The “Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you” tag still makes me chuckle sometimes.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
Well you could of course post a link to said diary, so we could enjoy your writing.
Oh, and I don’t think I’ll take up John on his bet.
Predicting Jane Hamsher would say that Obama is in trouble with liberals is like me saying that Glen Greenwald will post something about Obama being Humanity’s Greatest Monster on civil liberties tomorrow.
What’s next O Great Kreskin? Will the sun ever rise again?
Anyone see Alan Grayson bitching on MSNBC??
This is why Democrats FAIL….
The feeling is mutual John. I come to this place very day to read the writings of someone I very often agre with who very often says things and shapes things in simple concise ways that I cannot, and a person who shows what kind of a person he is in his posts on his animals. And then you do this.
I have my thoughts about good government just like you do, and I they are formed by my sense of fairness and morality. Just like yours, I’m sure. Gibbs didn’t just say something stupid and counter-productive, he revealed something about this administration. You can disagree with that, if you like, but I think it’s so. And what it reveals goes against my thoughts on good government—so I’m going to feel the way I do and say what I think about that, and hope that louder voices do the same. That’s the pressure and activism that Armando was talking about y’day.
And you call it “poutrage.” Go fuck yourself, Cole. I say that as a family member.
Gibbs actually manages to make his idiot comments worse today:
What an asshole. It’s like he doesn’t know that he works for an elected official that might have to, I don’t know, earn his votes.
And: Maybe if you focussed on something other than this it’d help it go away faster.
sounds like someone needs a nap
Mike from Philly
Jane Hamsher is annoying, but its hard to feel anything but contempt for a White House that cowers in fear of right wingers while bitching to the White Press press corps about what drugged out losers the people who elected them are.
Yes we can indeed.
August J. Pollak
So… you’re saying the White House will attempt to and/or motion that they will do something progressives like. Then they’ll fail. Then progressives will be angry about that.
I mean, that’s essentially the risky prediction you’re making, except you’re just placing emphasis on who gets to hurt who’s feelings and who gets to be “right”, because as always, that’s what matters.
The Gibbs-inspired circular firing squad is silly and counter-productive. But that’s what Democrats do, virtually all of the time. This and most of the rest of examples, however, merely serve as proxies for legitimate policy debate. When Gibbs mentions “Canadian health care” and eliminating the Pentagon, what he really is complaining about is the liberals’ push for single-payer and/or a public option and a drawdown in Afghanistan.
Because all Republicans ever do is lie and smear, legitimate policy debates cannot ever really be had with them, regardless of whether they actually have ideas and whether they may or may not be good (usually not). The real policy debates happen amongst the Dems and because the Dems are a huge tent, there are all kinds of ideologies and factions within the Dem coalition. And all of them have to have their say.
Even on the verge of an important election.
I get what you’re saying, except I have to say that watching Bill Clinton trash unions a few months ago in an effort to help the election of a candidate who actively worked against the President’s health care agenda, followed by an anonymous crack by a White House staffer about unions flushing money down the toilet on said election when they should have been spending their money the way the White House thought it should be spent, followed most recently by Gibbs’ venting his frustration against people who in another dimension would have been considered part of the base, is quite frustrating. The combination of patronization, assumption of loyalty, and contempt is driving home the realization that I am barely tolerated. This has the expected affect.
I predicted you would bitch about the bitching.
We’re all pretty predictable at this point.
I tell you what I did not predict – Gibbs saying he stands by his remarks so we get to go through it all over again.
Gibbs bitching, then Hamsher bitching about Gibbs, then you bitching about Hamsher bitching about Gibbs, then me bitching about you bitching about Hamsher bitching about Gibbs.
I don’t know why Gibbs swallowed that fly.
@Mike from Philly: Baloney, the fucking bitchfest never stops over there. Fuck em, especially Jane.
How can you possibly 1) win that bet; 2) find an objective judge to make a final decision and 3) collect on that bet?
Jane Hamsher and I both MUST be able to criticize Obama if we feel the need to, John Cole. It’s just the way things are for the ruling party. If we’re speaking up too loudly, or shrilly, or too forcefully, then why did he demand that of us himself? Was he joking?
Ain’t no Republi-bot. Not me. No locksteppin’ allowed. I choose to call it a necessary and helpful ‘evil’; you think it’s counterproductive, for some reason, to have these issues aired out.
That’s exactly right. Add to it that Cole seems to have a magic measuring stick that is able to exactly measure how much progressive voices affect things. It’s easy because it always registers zero, apparently.
@BTD: He’ll probably die.
Stuck in the Funhouse
@LT: Why don’t we quit pretending we are on the same side then, and just declare war and make it a three way with the wingnuts. We can drop the, “why do we argue with people on our side” handwringing bullshit and just go right at it like with the wingnuts. And end each day with a “fuck you very much”. Because truth be known the Jane Hamsher’s of the Left and the 11 percenter crowd has just become more trouble than they are worth, and more damaging to democrats than even the wingers, IMO who are supposed to be the opposition. There aren’t many of you, but you seem to get on television and the MSM an inordinate amount of the time. That is why it’s a problem.
Jesus christ people just cannot resist the opportunity to be pissy and offended.
I swear, someday this will no longer shock me.
Again, so I don’t get super duper strawmanned: Gibbs was retarded to say that out loud, but he’s at least 200% correct. What a bunch of fucking myopic crybabies.
I too am quivering with rage that Gibbs thinks I am rational and responsible enough to show up and vote in November.
@Daddy-O: And Gibbs MUST be able to say what he said.
And since Gibbs was lying and smearing about what liberals want, what does that mean about having legitimate policy debates with the Obama administration? Can we all remember that, while Jane Hamsher and the self-aggrandizers of her ilk are fucking annoying, it was Gibbs’ fat mouth that started all this?
The problem is that there’s no goddamn news going on so stupid shit like this becomes front page headlines. What we need is a bright shiny new war to focus on so we aren’t distracted by these trivial stories.
Or maybe football season starting would do the trick.
Nobody stopped him from shooting himself in the foot.
When the message from the right is that Obama is some sort of cross between Lenin, Stalin and Chairman Mao having the left criticize him ain’t necessarily a bad thing.
A Democratic President always needs cover from the Left. Remember even FDR was only able to do as much as he did because things were so bad there was legitimate concern about actual socialist or even communist revolution.
Our political system is controlled by the pearl clutching “centrists” the Ben Nelsons and Joe Liebermans. They always need to think they are compromising to the Center, whatever that may be. That was the big mistake on Health care reform, the liberals never should have praised the Medicare Buy-in option, they should have been pushing for Single Payer and then let the Centrists stumble onto Medicare Buy-in as a compromise alternative. Once Medicare Buy-in became the accepted liberal position Nelson and Lieberman et al had to move to the right of it, not because they had any idea what they were actually talking about, they don’t understand or care about policy, they just need to be in the middle.
J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford
Like Gibbs, I’m getting kind of sick of the Jane Hamsters and Glenn Greenwalds and whiny-ass titty-babies like LT. You know what? Take your fucking ball and go the fuck home already. Christ! Fuck! I’m so sick of the purer-than-thou assfucks on the far left complaining because they didn’t get everything they wanted. Grow the fuck up already, will ya?
@stuckinred: I’ll go along with that, and NOT half-heartedly.
If we have to lay blame…it should be on him for starting this mess. But how much ‘damage’ does this actually do? Pittance, I would say, and not enough to start a thread over it…I thought this would die down faster than it has.
Why do progressives feel so goddamned special that they need to be coddled? They aren’t the only ones who got Obama elected. So now you’re offended he hurt your feelings?? Get bent! Seriously.
Obama has done more for this country in 2 years than Bush and Clinton combined. You didn’t get what you wanted in the healthcare bill….awwww. You know why? Because of BLUE DOGS, not Obama.
You are upset he’s still in Afghanistan. Um, were you around during the election? You are upset he’s against gay marriage. Again, were you around during the election??
For God sakes, you are proving the RIGHT WING right everyday. He must be the messiah, because obviously HE was perfect, right? So, Obama will do EVERYTHING he promised. Right? lol
They just proved Gibbs was right.
No it wasn’t. Jane Hamsher is proving him right.
Actually if Warren is nominated, the new outrage will be that Obama didn’t immediately give her a recess appointment. No one will point out that other nominees had to sit and wait for a while before getting that recess appointment PLUS no one will call out the fact that the left never rose a stink about those other people except their very own Dawn J.
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
No, why don’t you grow up and realize that people on the same side can disagree about things.
Wtf? I don’t get on TV. I’m just a regular person, who agrees with Cole often, Greenwalld often, Jane often, Maddow often. And I’m actually a bigger fan of Marcy at FDL than jane. I find the hardon-hate of Hamsher disturbing, as it always becomes about personality rather than substance, and it often seems to come from people who have a very limited idea of what activism is.
Stuck in the Funhouse
@Mark S.: The Cincy Reds just got swept by the (cards), so I am primed for destruction.
I just don’t know why you hold anonymous, pseudonymous and utterly random blog commenters and Jane Hamsher (a self promoting hack) to the extremely high standard of professionalism that you don’t bother to hold Gibbs to. I’m indifferent to Gibbs–I don’t watch TV and I’m not interested in the Press Secretary or the people who cover him. But its a fact that its his job to make the president and the president’s policies look good to the president’s voters. He fucked that up royally. There’s no one to blame for that but Gibbs. He is under the impression that he’s a celebrity, or that he gets interviewed because people care about his experiences. He should have refused to be interviewed, or remembered that the interview is just another moment when he is performing his function of making the President look good. He failed at that. That failure is on no one but him.
I’m not outraged by the outrage. I’m outraged by the slack thinking on the part of Gibbs and his White House defenders. Perhaps, at the very moment that our President and Party are fighting for the midterms, Gibbs might have given a thought to the implications of his speech before giving it, or done a better job of walking it back? Who is taking whose bait? I’m not under the impression that the Democrats have *any friends at all* on TV. But Gibbs is. He was trying to suck up to his interviewer instead of manipulate his interview to produce the best impression for President Obama. Or, if he thought that it was a good idea to piss all over unnamed “leftists” he must have thought that President Obama wouldn’t need those voters and was trying to appeal to moderates and conservatives. Isn’t that basically it?
The Democrats can have one strategy, or the other, but they can’t have both. If you want people to vote for you don’t make fun of them or their cousins or their friends or leave the slightest impression that they aren’t the finest people in the world. Its just common sense.
@Daddy-O: Roger that.
@LT: He works for an elected official who is not on the ballot in November. Just a technicality, but there it is.
As far as earning votes goes, HCR, finance reform, enforcing regulations, stimulus … the list goes on. Are those accomplishments perfect? No, but I, personally, doubt that wider reaching bills could have passed in the present political environment. Further, enforcing regulations that are on the books is huge.
I’m often a fan of Balloon Juice but have to say your attacks on the left are vacuous and do not address substance.
A) It matters what a White House says. When a White House insults its base supporters by echoing the language of their enemies, it makes a difference in the political world. “See how much those liberals suck? Even the Obama White House is throwing (more) stones at them. We centrist Democrats better keep running to the Right.”
B) You are encouraging that libs be further shunned in policy circles, as has Gibbs. If they had taken our advice, instead of flipping us off and trying to please the latest ConservaDem or GOPper top play Lucy with the football, they’d be in better shape for midterm elections!
How is that slimmed down stimulus working for Dems?
C) Our differences are based on substantive policy. We think Democrats should fucking do something about unemployment, John Cole and Robert Gibbs think it’s okay as long as they’re *seen* to be doing something.
People are fucking out of work. More people would have jobs today if they had listened to liberals during stimulus. Now, the White House says, again, “Fuck liberals, why listen to them?”
Well, we’re going to tell them why it matters: better policy and better politics matter and running to the Right is a FAILED tactic. John Cole and Robert Gibbs would prefer liberals STFU and dig out their checkbooks, to help elect more Democrats — who will crap all over us some more.
Really, as long as Dems keep running away from liberal ideas and passing half-assed Republican ones, we’re screwed.
Oh, fuck you, too.
Canadian health care is EXACTLY what I wanted, not the crap ‘change’ we got. If that’s whiny assed and baby pouting, tough.
And I can wait for his next term to abolish the Pentagon. See? I can be reasonable!
If I could get Gibbs into a room with a 4×4, I would beat the hell out of him for starting all this crap.
I dunno, John. I suppose someone will go ‘Obama did it because we pressured him!’ but is that really a predictable and long-running process? Yes, there’ll be whining when Republicans block her nomination. It’s because they see a pattern. What fascinates me is that they’ve made up this pattern in their own heads, and keep adding to it. McLaren is up to us being in four permanent wars now. We’re not actually leaving Iraq because promises are meaningless and the promises are meaningless because we’re not actually leaving Iraq. That’s the part I’d complain about. There’s just this amazing blinder effect on the Poutressive Left, an ability to twist any fact into a premade narrative, then use those twisted facts to justify the narrative.
This is the Senate’s fault.
Also, too: you know those violent confrontations between an armed cop and a blithering grandma, where people say, ‘Well, they were both in the wrong.’ Maybe they were; but only one of them was *working* at the time.
Davis X. Machina
Gibbs’ boss is not on the November ballot. The Democratic self-proclaimed ‘base’ is going to perform the political equivalent of going home and yelling at the kids at home, and kicking the cat, because they can’t yell at, or kick, the boss at work.
@LT: It’s personal because I’ve watched her play people with her bullshit for 6 years.
Why do ‘centrists’ feel so goddamn special that they get to veto and dismiss anyone they regard as overly idealistic?
FDR told activists in his own party, “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”
Sensible centrists tell the activists in their own party, “Shut the fuck up and be happy he’s not Bush.”
nobody’s asking to be coddled. we would appreciate it if the spokesperson for the putative leader of the party wouldn’t actively antagonize us, however.
and, it’s really odd how to see people furiously defend their right to be taken for granted.
I’m not. Gibbs is a total idiot for opening this can of whatever you want to call it.
Actually, with you I kind of agree. I kind of agree with his statement, but I think it’s a terrible idea for Gibbs to be saying it. His job is as a mouthpiece. He’s supposed to make his boss look good, not fire up controversies that don’t really help in any way.
Agreed. And yes, the whining from Jane was predictable and stupid.
Honestly, who gives a fuck what Robert Gibbs said?
But Gibbs is the “professional” here. Honestly, he has to have more discipline.
The trick is to get Glen Beck and Fox News to criticize the White House from the left. A giant whirlwind will form as the various administration members rush to appease them.
I keep saying this. The MSM and the right is not your friend. Just like some on the left tell Obama. Yet they have no problem joining in on the bashing from the right or the MSM. These guys only listen to the left when they have negative things to say about Obama. When was the last time these guys covered one of your marches? Any member of the professional left denying this is either playing the game for profit or a complete idiot.
I can’t get enough of the constant self-serving conflation of the “Democratic base” with the “professional left.”
Davis X. Machina
Because the focus, vision, and above all discipline of a real Democratic party is the only thing that can save the country, we can’t let side issues like winning elections, having majorities, or above all, governing, distract us.
Because, at the end of the day, isn’t that what’s it’s all about — us?
@August J. Pollak:
Unpossible! I was told progressives would love him if he fought and failed!
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
What makes talking to the people who have been freaking out over Gibb’s remark so like talking to wingers is that it’s really all about their feelings, not about what harm it might have cost. I long ago gave up caring what people said about me. If it doesn’t physically hurt someone or affect my paycheck, I could care less.
Really? We have a stupid ass flight attendant lose his shit and he’s a FUCKING HERO.
@August J. Pollak:
Yes, because progressives are dickwits. They keep falling into that trap, of being unhappy when things they dislike happen.
@J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:
This reveals something about you. You actually think you know me, and can put me in a Hamsher-colored box. You think that because it serves, or emanates from the instinct in you to bash people like GG and Hamsher.
That went over your head, so no worries on a reply.
@BTD: I have not seen a single person disagree with that sentiment (that Gibbs was stupid to make that comment).
A.) He was not attacking the base, as he has quite frequently stated he was attacking idiots like Ed Schultz. Members of the professional left. He was not attacking liberal bloggers- I don’t feel like he was attacking me. He was merely pointing out that some people on cable will never be happy, no matter what happens. He is right.
B.) Echoing the language of their enemies? Are you for real? I’ve spent the last 2 years pointing out that the very jackasses Gibbs was talking about have been doing no good for the cause because they are attacking Obama with, get this- the same damned language the Republicans are using. “Obama’s weak. He’s out of touch. He’s surrounded by Wall Street guys. He’s just like Bush on terror, et cetera ad nauseum”
@Jen7: Obama could have done many things to twist the arms of the Blue Dogs, but he chose to let Harry and Nancy handle it.
I do not approve. Obama should have been on Air Force One every week, running all over the country, making speeches FOR the public option, like his predecessor did–many, many times, for eight long years, Bush was the spokesmodel for the GOP and his radical right policies we watched him implement.
Obama, not so much. I do not approve. He sat there and REFUSED to lead us. And I was very, very surprised, although you can’t swing a virtual dead cat in here or on any other blog without hitting someone who WASN’T surprised.
@John Cole: A 4×4? You’re going to put him in a room and run him over with a truck?
Spot on about the role of the press secretary. And pretty much everything else you said.
This from Hamsher who suggested Sanders should be primaried. This from Hamsher who went on FoxNews to team up with Grover Norquist to defeat HCR. How hypocritical!
@Erik T: You have now.
Sorry, but that’s you all by yourself quivering. I’m not only showing up and voting, I’m voting for the Dem nominee. And I won’ have to dragged over acid or anything, I’ll just go do it.
Gibbs is still a dick for acting like everyone should just automaically vote for the guy he works for.
@Nick: But, Nick, when did he EVER fight for the public option?
I missed that sound bite.
Stuck in the Funhouse
That’s just it, we don’t just disagree on things, people like you are but huge black holes of dissatisfaction that need to be fed something , whatever, to keep from going off the deep end every time you don’t get what you want. Well, I’m just sick of wetnursing adults stuck of disappointment from not getting enough attention despite small numbers.
Your crew runs the netroots, except maybe somewhat here, and I guess that may be part of the inflated sense of entitlement. The rest of it seems like a co dependency problem from personal problems not related to politics. But that is a guess, of course.
I got 5 on it.
Seriously though, time for a deep breath from everyone involved. Everyone has a right to criticism, and just like John I’ve got my own issues with Obama, but the shrillest among us seem to not remember that we are only two years into this administration, and the goals we are trying to achieve are a long game about reversing 30+ years of ditch-diving. People are tired of half-measures, but these are not entirely Obama’s fault. I want far-left stuff too, but we are ultimately fighting a corporate oligarchy deeply entrenched in the power structure of the world. It takes time, probably lots of it. And it will be exhausting and frustrating. We are like water eroding away the cliffs of privilege and power.
@John Cole: The press secretary attacked liberals who want to ‘eliminate the Pentagon.’
That’s the same as bloggers saying ‘Obama is weak.’
@Omnes Omnibus: Oh, well, you know what I mean. Votes aren’t automatic.
John: maybe you should institute a color coded system like Homeland Security had. You could post it on the top of your homepage and give us liberals a quick way to judge whether we’ve stepped over any lines.
Green: John Cole is Serene. Liberals are quietly accepting whatever shit comes their way.
Yellow: John Cole is Aggravated. Liberals are grumbling about quality of shit forced to eat.
Orange: John Cole is Ticked. Liberals won’t hush up and let me get back to pruning my tomatoes.
Red: John Cole is Goddamned Mad. Liberals are risking losing my support. Or maybe I’ll just hold my breath until I turn blue. Stop it you mouthy Liberals!!!
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
‘Obama could have done many things to twist the arms of the Blue Dogs, but he chose to let Harry and Nancy handle it.’
Because that’s their JOB!
Sorry, new here, don’t know how to quote.
@Mark S.: WIN
The complaint that Gibbs alluded to was, in fact, mythical. It was not a leftist making it. The other imaginary complaint, that the left “wants to get rid of the pentagon” or “won’t be satisfied without canadian health care” is a caricature of what the ongoing arguments about military and health spending have looked like. It applies to basically no one who matters or can be named.
The complaint that people are making *about Gibbs’ comment* is that for a variety of reasons having to do with our right wing media and lax White House messaging voters are incredibly badly informed about what Obama et al have actually managed to do, and why it is incredibly heroic that they’ve managed to do it against firm Republican opposition. This is a purely technical problem for Obama and all dems who support him (among whom I count myself and many other people who have posted). If the White House can’t bust through the filter, as Bush called it, they have a couple of things they can try to do: they can try to do an end run around it by sending out Obama and other spokespersons to use shadow puppets to explain things to the voters. Or they can exhort their voters to believe in them and to continue to support them. What they really can’t do is lob stupid, random, attacks at potential voters. Just as I don’t want Obama to call the tea partiers stupid, racist, hacks *if he wants their votes* I don’t expect any of his spokesmen to say anything approaching that even about the most unreconstructed imaginary Nader voter.
Vituperation, harsh language, calling out the opposition are *tools* that Obama and the dems may or may not choose to use against the Republicans but its just stupid to use them against the left especially with stupid statements that blur the lines between mere criticism of the President’s policies and outright craziness. Again, Gibbs’s actual accusation was lobbed against a non liberal/non leftist and appearsto have been largely hysterical grudge talk against people making Gibbs feel like he isn’t doing his job successfully. Well, he’s not. If a near majority of the country doesn’t know that TARP was not Obama’s fault the messaging machine is totally broken. Perhaps Gibbs et al could work on that instead of whining that the unnamed and unknown left isn’t doing their work for them?
I’ve been enjoying the past 2 months a lot. Very little TV. No Keith or Crazy Eddie. A glimpse of Rachel every once in a while. No Air America. No schrieking, except from a very limited number of bloggy friends…much nicer way to live.
All this is sort of like what happens when you wind up a 2 year old into a frenzy. The winding up part is sort of amusing. It’s what happens when they crash that’s not so fun, especially if the kid is yours.
I’ll be voting in November, as usual.
That’s great, and I agree he’s done a lot given the political climate and the bag of shit that is the Senate, but which makes more sense as you head into the midterms with a base that is unarguably demoralized:
1) defending your accomplishments to lefties who have supported you in the past but are increasingly frustrated by pointing to the tangible results of what you’ve done, the difficulties of accomplishing even that, and the real danger of their choice to stay home and help to elect batshit crazy right-wingers, or
2) telling all those lefties to go DIAF?
Then ask yourself why the president’s chief spokesman would choose to go number 2 on liberals?
Your approach was tried in 1994. The Democratic leaders of Congress were furious. Because of the backlash, Clinton didn’t even get HCR to a vote.
Based on this, Obama tried basically the opposite. Unlike Clinton, he did get HCR not only to a vote but he got the damn thing passed.
OK, I don’t mean the “fuck you.” Sorry about that. Just tired of the “punch the hippies” bullshit from all quarters, even so-called allies. Democrats have been pissing all over liberals most of my adult life, to bolster their credibility among The Villager types. So maybe I just mean “Fuck Democrats.”
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
Point it out to me, I’ll rec it. I wrote a diary about organizing to create citizen originated legislation. 9 hits, half of them me, the rest people telling how impossible it was. Never anything useful, always an outrage, GOS, how I wish you’d live up to your potential.
How dare you express such poutrage of the administration! Get a drug test!
I’m sure Gibbs would rather have a job-rich recovery, improving housing market, and a 65% approval rating to be touting, but those are the cards he helped to deal to himself.
You must not be paying attention. O’Reilly said to Jay Leno that he couldn’t understand why Obama doesn’t just sign an executive order on DADT. THEN O’Reilly asked on his show why won’t Obama speak out on gay marriage. THAT is the right attacking Obama from the left. What does the left say? ‘er, duh, O’Reilly is to the left of Obama on gay marriage/dadt’. Riiiigggggghhhht. Remember Michael Steele and his Afghanistan comment? THAT is also attacking Obama from the left. The right wing, FOX, the GOP (all the same I know) have been doing this since day one while some on the left just goes right along with it. Ever heard of Arianna Huffington with her ‘It’s beyond left and right’ nonsense?
Um no, these people were never base supporters. That is where you make your mistake. Jane, Greenwald and other firebaggers were never supporters. They never helped with a single bill. Remember Jane trying to get the health care bill to fail? Teaming up with Grover Norquist? Jane and those like her are not his base.
The only reason she and others get any press at all is because the media has a story to push. “Obama losing support of the left!” or some bullshit like that. It’s to push some meme. Anything to get people to clutch their pearls head over to CNN and continuously watch the story develop.
So kindly, fuck off and don’t tell us that Obama is throwing stones at his base. I admit Gibbs made a mistake purely from the point that he made the story and made it about him, the administration and supposedly left supporters. Obama doesn’t need this kind of drama and Gibbs should have kept his big mouth shut.
@FlipYrWhig: If Obama was a man who fights for his principles, he would have found a way.
How many Blue Dog votes do you think Obama could have won if he’d THREATENED and, if forced to, CARRIED OUT the threat to campaign for said Blue Dog’s more progressive PRIMARY OPPONENT? Especially House members?
That’s just about all it would or should take. If it worked…good. If it didn’t, Obama and the rest of us are no worse off than before, because a Blue Dog is the original DINO, anyway.
Perhaps you could show me where I’m wrong, but I sincerely doubt it.
Stuck in the Funhouse
I’ll take the near 90 percent of liberal dems who support and approve of Obama. The 10 or 11 percent can go straight to hell for what I care at this point, their choice, or start acting like supporters instead of full time idjit rock throwers.
@Daddy-O: How fucking hard is it to count the votes and determine that there were not the votes for the public option, and that the closest they got to it was snuggling up to Olympia Snowe in ways that the Pro Left howled and screamed about? What is this “fighting” fetish when fighting and losing is MUCH WORSE POLITICALLY? Do you really think it would make like the most disappointed and critical liberals happy? I don’t. Their raison d’etre is being disappointed and angst-ridden. I don’t see why anyone should be terribly concerned with trying to placate the implacable. It’s impossible.
@mb: That actually made me laugh out loud. Anyone with the graphic skills to make shit happen?
I’m sorry Daddy-O, but this sounds a little too much like the Green Lantern Theory to me.
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
You and Shackleford crack me up. You know me so well.
How did he echo the language of their enemies? All he said was that people on the left were nuts in comparing Obama to Bush. Name one right-winger who has accused Obama of this? Hell, they all claim he is a socialist, not Bush #2.
By the way, be careful what you call Obama’s base. The dailykos/Jane Hamsher crowd is loud but just a tiny, tiny minority of his base. As per the poll yesterday, some 85-90% of all Dems are happy with Obama.
I wouldn’t dream of visiting dailykos as I have nothing in common with that crowd. But I’m very much part of Obama’s base. I will vote for the Dems in November just as I will vote for Obama in 2012.
@Daddy-O: HAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Oh god. Oh god! “He would have found a way”.
I’m breathless, rolling on the floor.
I wouldn’t describe what Gibbs did as “lying and smearing,” certainly not in the habitual way Republicans do all the time. What Dems do is exaggerate, use hyperbole, talk out of both sides of their mouth and, especially, try to have it both ways, that is, have their cake and eat it too.
There is at least a germ of truth in saying that liberals won’t be satisified until we have a health care system as good as the Canadians. Michael Moore basically agreed with this last night on Olbermann. So that’s not really a “lie” per se. It’s an hyperbolic exaggeration. Made with the intent of projecting both a transformative liberal policy initiative (HCR) and having done no such thing (it’s not Canadian, for God’s sake).
It’s much closer to an outright whopper to say that libs want to eliminate the Pentagon. And it’s at least a borderline smear to imply thereby that liberals don’t care about national security. What Gibbs did here was to adopt right-wing frames, which, of course, are basically just lies and smears. On the other hand, many liberals (like me) do favor drawing down our far-flung military adventures and favor reducing military expenditures as a % of GDP over time. The American hawk/dove dichotomy has been going on for a LONG time – even predating Dems v. Reps.
In my view, Gibbs’ comments on health care were within the bounds of civil discourse whereas his comment about destroying the Pentagon was more like a typical Republican smear. For which he is being justifiably criticized, in my view. However, how we do or don’t continue to fix health care and whether we’re ever going to reduce our imperial adventures (oops, did I just exaggerate?) are legitimate public policy issues (and neither involve death panels or eliminating the 14th amendment, which pass for Republican ideas.
2) telling all those lefties to go DIAF?
Then ask yourself why the president’s chief spokesman would choose to go number 2 on liberals?
Seriously? This is what you’re getting from that comment? I’m left. I may even be more left than you, yet I am not insulted, nor do I see this as the very insulting, violent image of go die in a fire. Perhaps you should wonder why you do.
Yes, he’s an asshole dick for saying that you will do what you yourself say you will do. I will also vote and I will never, ever forgive him for being right about that.
@Frank: I have to say, this isn’t 1994, and passing health care wasn’t an ‘if’, but a ‘how good of a health care bill can we get?’ So, apples, oranges, etc.
I think saying “It didn’t work in 1994” is pretty bottom-of-the-barrel excuse-making. So what? If it didn’t work today, too, it’s still worth trying, more than sitting back and letting Congress water it down to its present and distinctly UNSATISFACTORY result.
Atrios has been right since the beginning of Obama’s administration–bad laws make bad politics. And giving the GOP everything they wanted and still not getting a single vote is the REAL opposite of what Clinton did in 1994. If the public sees HCR as either a step down, or not enough of an improvement, they will judge the Democrats accordingly.
OK – let’s go there. How likely do you think it is that a Democrat to the left of Ben Nelson would win a general election in Nebraska? It won’t happen.
Now that you lost Ben Nelson’s seat, how more likely do you think it is to get the damn thing passed?
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
Honestly, there really is something to learn about this. You honestly think this about me. With nothing like actual evidence for it. Evidence does not matter for you. You have your own special poutrage.
If I now write it down, could it affect the steel ball that is your brain? I consider myself much more in the Balloon Juice crowd than Hamshers. I really truly and honestly do. I don’t give FDL money, I dont’ give GG money – but I do read them and often appreciate them. But I’m much more of a Balloon Juice person. Maybe it’s the dogs.
Does that give you a sad?
Zero. They’re Blue Dog Democrats because they’re at the leftmost point their districts will bear. They hold a lot of cards because they can always say, “Do your worst, because it’s either me or a crazy Republican ranting about black helicopters and Hezbollah posing as Mexican immigrants.” Liberals have no leverage over conservative Democrats who represent other conservative Democrats.
Stuck in the Funhouse
And further, what Gibbs said that made it a gaffe, is because it was the truth, and you can’t do that in politics, especially at his level. Because what happens is non stop months of poutrage for the idjit rock throwers and their apologists, which are evident on this thread. That then keep it going even though.
And Cole, I know you want this to go away and it might have been better if Gibbs hadn’t said anything, but he did, and feeding these bottomless pits of destruction that call themselves “progressives” when they are anything but, will only lead to more concessions the next time. Gibbs spoke the truth, and you know it/. Just because it gives LT and aimee a chance to turn this back around on the WH and Obama is a loser, dude, it just is.
@FlipYrWhig: I saw a President make speech after unintelligible speech, day after day, flying to all corners of the country, to push his agenda. A dastardly and failed and disastrous agenda.
But he got it.
I don’t see that from THIS President.
This is what they said back in 1994 as well. Heck, if anything, it would have been easier in 1994 as the Republicans were not as unified and as nuts then as they were in 2009.
Wow, this tedious bullshit is still somehow a story? No wonder people are so spellbound about the latest Mel Gibson nuttiness. At least it’s more interesting than this.
Oh, did Hamsher get to push her pot petition while pissing on the president?
I can’t figure it, Dr. Phil; maybe you should tell me. Since very rarely does anybody here use “DIAF” to actually mean that they would like to see that person literally die in a literal fire, I figured the hyperbole was understood.
Yeah, I think your point is well made. The people screeching now are mostly the people who’ve been screeching since day one. And everything Obama has done since then has been either twisted until it’s somehow a failure (How long is it going to take to explain to people that the public option is not synonymous with HCR?) or brushed off as meaningless and unimportant. These people, and particularly their media representatives, are the ones Gibbs is insulting. And they were never the administration’s friends to begin with. Indeed, pretty close to mortal enemies.
There are probably a few mostly reasonable people who just so strongly identify with terms like ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ that they think this must have been directed at them. It’s not.
I still think it was a dumb thing to say.
@FlipYrWhig: They DO have leverage. Obama chose not to use it.
What leverage? The same leverage I’ve already mentioned: The power of the Great Seal of the President of the United States on a podium, at a church picnic in the 17th District of Pennsylvania, or the 3rd of Georgia, or…you get the idea. On CNN and FOX News every other night.
You’re wrong when you think the number is ZERO, because you and I will never know what the number would have been. It’s too late now, and I don’t see it changing any time soon.
If he HAD fought, we’d know the number. He didn’t, and there’s no excuse for it that I can ever think of except guys like you already KNEW what the outcome would have been, so don’t even try…
Sounds like a Democrat to me!
Stuck in the Funhouse
You misinterpreted what I said, it was not poutrage but a square kick in the nuts. I have no sad for your whining, only more flames. This is tough business politics, and there is not time for poutrage, or clutching pearls, or whimpering over the past. There is only the next battle with the wingnuts, and those that waste our precious time with this bullshit of hurt feelings need to get out of the way or get run over.
Did KO give a special comment for Feingold’s statements on filibuster reform and the lame duck session?
No, not really, he didn’t. His biggest speaking campaign was over winning support for
destroyingprivatizing Social Security, and he didn’t get that.
As an aside, has anybody figured out how to maintain a blockquote over multiple paragraphs?
Absolutely. Are you kidding? Gibbs said we want to “eliminate the Pentagon” and pursue Canadian-style health care reform. Pretty cut and dried misrepresentations of the sort I expect from Palin.
I don’t buy the “same as Bush” baloney. But look at the advisers: Rubin — Wall Street — Democrats dominate. The others, like Cynthia Romer who has had enough, are cut out of the process. Hell, even Volcker is iced out! Volcker! Reality’s a bitch but the truth is that Wall Street holds sway among his top advisers. (How’s that HAMP program coming? Pretty bad! Hey, HAMP doesn’t help Wall Street!)
I don’t think Gibbs was addressing only a few individuals, or even just the talking heads. I think he, and other Dems such as we see on this page, are demanding fealty such as the authoritarian zombies of the right provided to Bush.
@aimai: Fair enough. I am not going to argue that Gibbs was not stupid for making the remark. Whether gaffe or policy, it was a mistake.
It is also a mistake for people to lose sight of what has been accomplished, what is being accomplished, and what is yet to be accomplished. Moreover, it is a mistake to forget that all of that is in danger if Republicans ever win anything. Gibbs made that mistake (he is a professional and should know better), but people who concentrate on that to the exclusion of all else are making the same error. Returning to the issue here on this blog is probably another error. Hell, my comment is prolonging the discussion. Now I feel like one of the Knights Who Say Ni saying “it.”
Yeah, well you and I aren’t the only ones in the world. And hes an asshole dick for saying it, period. They should be courting votes by earning them.
If I’m Dr. Phil, you’re the clueless wonder that shows up before him. Does the fact that some of Gibbs’ hyperbole is what sets you off take any of the piss out of you as you indulge in even more hyperbole? Probably not, since you react to even a minor challenge of your view with derision. Good job being an example.
Sigh. CNN and FOX do not want to give the president time to make his case, which is presumably why you seem to have not seen him flying around the country giving speech after speech about Health Care Reform. I did have to search to find the footage sometimes.
And once again, you have not actually named any leverage he can ‘twist arms’ with. Prestige is not leverage. The blue dogs are practically defined by not being eager to seem like they’re siding with the Democrats as a whole.
No One Could Have Predicted that this blog post would prompt exactly this series of comments. No siree Bob.
Maybe you should rename that tag “Refuge for a snarling mass of vitriolic vicious Pavlovian dogs,” Mr. John.
Thanks Dr. Phil. Since you’re obviously here to pick a fight with someone, can you go do that with someone who cares please?
@Frank: I concede your point, about the Senate, of course. Hell, I don’t even consider them Blue Dogs; they’re just Senators, looking out for themselves, before even their constituents.
I’ll have to think about that. But will Obama fly to Maine to stump for Snowe’s or Collins’ DEMOCRATIC opponent? Maybe, probably ONCE. But he could have turned up the heat in their states by making frequent appearances right in their back yards, and simply LISTING THE FACTS about how the public option is even cheaper and more deficit-friendly than the mess we now have.
We don’t need left-wing talking points to convince a voter of the benefits of progressive policies. And progressive policies are what 2/3rds of all Americans want, in the end. I maintain, despite your predictions that it would have been in vain, that if Obama had fought harder, we’d have either a public option or a better plan than we have today. And refusing to fight was completely Obama’s choice to make.
delete the spaces between the paragraphs
Yeah, because I’m picking a fight. Projection should be your new handle.
The last two years have put me in the same spot. I’ve spent 30+ years on the left and I’m still dumbfounded by how quickly the professional victims started coming out the woodwork.
A rough rider 4×4! You can try to stop em!
It’s partly Gibbs’ job to make sure that people don’t lose sight of what has been accomplished, but he decided this was smarter.
@fasteddie9318: I stand by my description, general as it was, of that era.
Hell, Bush sent EVERYONE IN HIS CABINET on similar trips–Condi, Powell, Rummy, even Treasury Secretary John Snow made more POLITICAL trips, week after week, than trips pertaining to his goddamned job, in an effort to shore up public support for the Iraq Invasion.
Don’t you remember? Jeez, I sure do; it rubbed me the exact wrong way to hear rightwingnuts bitching about Obama’s ‘expensive’ trips, because you never heard that about Bush. He invented spending taxpayer money to promote partisan policies, and it was the LEAST of his many crimes.
licensed to kill time
Put two underscores in the empty line between each paragraph.
he did this in Montana. I believe he did it twice.
Hugin & Munin
Uloborus: Actually, he is on CNN almost every day.
@licensed to kill time:
Naw. Won’t last months; give it a week tops.
When Steele recently unleashed his inner loon calling Afghanistan Obama’s war of choice suggesting the “war monger” should withdraw, the Professional Right (Kristol et al) en masse called for Steele’s resignation. Remember comments here that Steele couldn’t survive that one, it wouldn’t die down, that he’d be gone within a week. Yeah, right. This outrage will die within a week too. But not forgotten.
Generally I like the guy, but Gibb’s remarks were pretty stupid. Especially coming so soon after jumping on cue to something essentially manufactured by a loon commander of the Professional Right. See the Sherrod debacle.
Great messaging and tactics, guys. Shorter administration: Professional Left who contributed millions of dollars and hours getting us in office—fuck you!; Professional Right who will never support us ever wishing we DIAF before our terms are up, we’ll go ass up in an instant. It’s 11D chess. Pragmatism in this dimension.
Yes he was. This is what you guys do however – take a statement and try to shit stir as much as possible.
Here is what Gibbs said about the rest of the left.
Demanding fealty? interesting comment considering that the left is always demanding that he publicly call out the Dems in congress who don’t fall in line. They also demand that he threaten to withhold DNC funds or threaten them with a primary challenger. He hasn’t done any of those things so this demanding fealty shit is just that.
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
This is all you fucking do, tough guy. You really are a self-parody. A self-styled “General” on the Internets who, at the slightest provocation, is the lamest drama queen out of a whole host of them.
@August J. Pollak: Speaking of feelings, and who gets to be right…
I always predict that the chief rival of my favorite baseball team will WIN THE WORLD SERIES every year. Why? Because it’s the last thing I want, but if I get to be RIGHT, it’s worth it.
And as each year passes, the joke just gets funnier.
@fasteddie9318: And now if the media can do do it, they will make this the new “Dean scream,” and focus on one moment, one remark, until it becomes something big in the eyes of the public. I agree that Gibbs screwed up. Now, the question is, what next? Do we beat this horse to death? Demand Gibbs’ scalp? Or move on? I say move on.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
> Why do progressives feel so goddamned special that they need to be coddled?
Balloonbaggers are the rotten eggs that demand coddling. I say turn up the heat.
John Cole, the Republican Who Was Wrong About Everything, is now continuing that grand tradition but as a new, improved prickly center-rightist prick. Go talk to your dogs, man. They’ll understand you.
licensed to kill time
You’re welcome. Also, if you put two underscores directly above your blockquote OR butt the blockquote directly under the reply link code, it won’t turn bold.
That’s where his frustration lies. His job is to get out the good work of this administration and the progressive left bitches that’s it’s not enough. So, he vents. BIG FUCKING DEAL. Are we really going to get butt hurt over it?
You buy the line that this was directed at 1-2 people on cable TV. I don’t. I think that’s BS spin.
You know why? Here’s why: this is just the latest in a pattern of the Obama White House stiff-arming progressives and running away from GOOD progressive policy.
> Rahm and his “fucking retarded” line for Dems who dare criticize Rahm’s beloved conservative Democrats (where most Dem Party dollars flow, BTW).
> See: Christina Romer, Paul Volcker, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman being iced out of economic policy in favor of the Wall Street gang. The banksters have been coddled and their victims tossed under the bus.
> See health care debate and Obama Admin efforts to give us a weak bill, outright opposition to a public option.
> Obama Admin efforts to woo Republican votes on pretty much everything – at the expense of good legislation. Ignoring us when we say “they won’t support the bill anyway.”
There’s a lot more there.
(And, I personally put a lot of time and money into the Obama candidacy. Still like the guy but didn’t marry him.)
Stuck in the Funhouse
@Jay B.: Blah blah blah, same ole same ole from our resident pyromouth.
You know, I have made a repeated point of indicating how much I hate these continuous lectures from the only “left” adult that sees the light, but I really do have a very serious question for you John. You, of course, might not think it important, since you’re omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, but I, a rube, do.
What would you have us do? Sometimes, according to you, we’re supposed to keep holding our elected representatives feet to the fire, expecting them to make good on their campaign promises, but then, we’re told: let’s not overdue it.
We’re told to be ecstatic over the strides this administration has made, even though, as in the case of HCR, we might have a bill that nobody likes. You, always aware, seem unaware that, even though we have a HCR bill, if it turns out the majority of people–if it turns out that you–for whatever reason, don’t like it– don’t feel, when enacted, that it benefits them–then it’s not a great or even good thing, and Democrats aren’t going to be remembered for passing a bill, they’re going to be remembered for passing a bad bill. No one is going to remember what supposed opposition they faced at the time. They’re going to remember that the Democrats, and Obama, crafted and passed a bad bill.
But we’re supposed to focus on the fact that they passed A bill, under almost insuperable odds–a Democratic President, and majorities in both houses. Bush got the AUMF passed with no such advantage.
Then we have this statement by Gibbs, which you admit was dumb and not politically savvy, and we should be mad, but not angry, and let’s not go into a month-long poutrage.
So what’s you metric? How much is good, and how much is too much. What issues should be our universal concentrations? I really need a handbook for exactly how I’m supposed to react to every political thing, because you’ve obviously got it down, and I don’t
That would be illegal. For bigamy at the very least.
@PTirebiter: But it’s been this way since the ’60s outside the core CR & VR movements, no? Charismatic leaders and notable small movements leading the storylines, even though there were many more doing all kinds of meaningful work, far, far more than are ever, ever given credit for.
i wish rick klein would go out on the street and ask 100 people if they know who the fuck jane hamsher is. i’m sure 99 or more of them wouldn’t know or give a fuck.
what is it with bloggers and their belief that regular voters give two shits about what they have to say?
oh noes, gibbs hurt liberal bloggers’ fee-fees. the same guys who’ve been ragging on obama’s ass since day one. obama’s sure gonna pay for that, see he’s gonna lose all this support from…a bunch of fuckbags who never supported him in the first place.
seriously, jane hamsher? buffoons.
Stuck in the Funhouse
biting my tongue here. But I think it’s cool when you go into lecture mode it’s just “dms” without the other letters.
Yeah, I didn’t quite get this part. I’m a liberal outside of Washington, and I don’t know that I’m “grateful” for what he’s accomplished. I’m not displeased, but there are definitely some areas for improvement. Maybe it’s the use of the word “grateful” that bugs me about this. If I hire somebody to do a job and they do it, I’m not “grateful” that they did it. I help elect a politician and he does some of the things I helped elect him to do, that doesn’t make me “grateful” like he’s done me some kind of favor by doing his job.
Moving on would be great, but Gibbs, and nobody else, and he really ought to know better, has given the media license to run with endless ZOMG TEH LEFT IS TEARRING ITSELF APART! LIBRULS HATEZZZ OBAMA!!!! stories for as long as it plays and as long as they can get nitwits like Hamsher on the teevee to puff their chests out and pretend to be important (which they’ll be happy to do indefinitely). Moving on may not be an option.
Here is another big “F-U” to the Dem base from Rahmbo:
Obama’s Climate Complacency: Blame Rahm?
So, let me guess. We are supposed to react to this continued retreat from our shared values and their campaign promises… by applauding?
Yeah, I know about 60 votes. So, overcome it. Use that grassroots network instead of the inside Washington play.
What Krugman said:
Here’s the problem with your vision, though. You’re imagining:
1. President makes case for Liberal Policy X to the people.
2. People get inspired, pressure their Senators to back Liberal Policy X.
3. Senators fear their people, vote for Liberal Policy X, which is what the President wants.
You’re very concerned with the transition from 1 to 2. But the transition from 2 to 3 is what has completely broken down. How many aggravated phone calls and letters would it take to get Snowe or Collins to do what Maine liberals want instead of what Mitch McConnell wants?
This is the paradox. Politicians don’t fear liberal outrage. In fact, the louder liberal outrage gets, the more they seem to tune it out or wear it like a badge of honor. How can you make them fear it? Maybe by losing some elections. But when Republicans are in charge they actively make the country and world much, much worse. And that’s what has Democrats cautious and boxed-in.
I’m not agreeing with those smacking Gibbs for his statement. And I am one of those grateful people because the stimulus kept me in my apartment, kept food on the table, helped a friend and her husband provide insurance for their 2 year old daughter and a roof over their heads (they both lost their jobs). Its also building affordable housing in my city. And I won’t ever forget the education credit I got courtesy of Obama. There are millions of people whose lives were positively affected by Obama’s policies.
@El Cid: You’ll have to forgive my ignorance, or maybe it’s the heat but Core CR & VR movements?
Can I just say that you are the Shiznit?!
I’m not saying he hasn’t done positive things. It’s just that “grateful” in this context sounds like how you feel when the king deigns to do something that benefits you. He’s not a king; I helped elect him, and if he does a few of the things I helped to elect him to do, then that’s really meeting expectations isn’t it? I’m nitpicking I guess.
Actually, Big Ed interviewed the guy from the Hill on his TV show last night and the guy explained exactly how the whole intv went down. 1) He wasn’t at a press briefing. This guy went into Gibbs office & they were talking about Auburn football, etc. and it evolved into the stmts.
2) By Professional Liberal, he was referring to Cable hosts and anyone else in DC in media was my understanding.
3)The guy made it clear that Gibbs WAS NOT referring to regular progressives who volunteered, contributed, etc.
4) THERE SHOULD BE VIDEO ON THE MSNBC ED SHOW WEBSITE THAT SO THERE IS PROOF!!!! The original writeup was on THE HILL website.
How does “that grassroots network” induce a token Republican and/or some of the recalcitrant Democrats to vote Yes on something they’re inclined to vote No for? This is the maddening thing. Is there a magic number of angry phone calls that suddenly flip Scott Brown’s vote?
Congress didn’t debate going to war in Iraq as long as this comment section has debated the remark Gibbs made.
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
Like John doesn’t?
And for the record, if you think I’m dmslev, or dmselv, or dmsslv, or whatever, I’m not.
Agree, John. I find it amusing that so many commenters in the blogosphere think they are the “professional left”. Not only do they fantasize that they are changing the world, they also fantasize that they are being paid for it. As far as the Democratic base, I have a large network of friends in all professions who would most likely be considered the Democratic base from left to center and not one of them is paying any attention to this or to the blogosphere for that matter. And if the Democratic base were truly limited to those who spend two days ranting about a couple of negative remarks from the President’s Press Secretary, who was, after all, defending his boss, the Party is doomed.
@Allison W.: Aw, thanks. Alas, I’m energetic here today because I’m supposed to be working on writing something else…
So they’re “Obama’s policies” when they become legislation, but it’s the “Senate’s fault” when better policies die on the vine. Is that about right? No wonder you don’t brook any criticism of Obama.
@Jay B.: Oh for fuck’s sake.
That’s what OFA has been doing all along, but they are ridiculed by a certain part of the left for their continued support of the president’s agenda. Are you part of the real grassroots network (OFA) or are you part of the set that just complains about how Obama’s holding the mop.
I remember, not even six months into his admin and I started to see diaries, posts and blogs of people claiming that they will not lift a finger to help the president on anything because the stimulus wasn’t big enough. As time went on it was always a new excuse for why they won’t put their money where their mouth is and do some real work.
ha. you know of 60 votes and choose to ignore it while demanding the grand prize.
Keith Ellison and Alan Grayson have called for Gibbs to resign.
Not a bad idea, he’s awful even not looking at his latest travesty.
I’m gonna flag this statement as too stupid for a response.
You’re fomenting the very poutrage you affect to deplore by writing thread upon thread about how it poutages you.
Give it a rest.
LOL!!!!!! Oh yeah. Okay!! He’ll get right on that.
if i hire somebody and he gets some shit done in spite of crazy people trying to stop him on a minute-by-minute basis, yeah i’m gonna be pretty grateful about it. like if i hire some guy to paint my abortion clinic and right-wing nutjobs are chuckin rocks at him the whole time and taking potshots at him, i’m a be grateful as hell even tho i’m paying his ass for a job.
this is one of the biggest problems in liberalism. nobody wants to give anyone their due unless the job is fuckin’ spectacular. no wonder us liberals raise such wacky kids.
It doesn’t matter cat48. it just doesn’t matter. those offended have already taken this to a whole new level. It’s their pity party now.
Trying to take out Blue Dogs is a brilliant progressive strategy, honed to a science. Why accept and work with a guy from a marginal district who votes with you 70% of the time when you can put up a more progressively perfect guy who will lose to the guy who despises you and votes against you 100% of the time?
Sheer political master geniuses, I tells ya. Some of it is about stoopidity, but there’s also a nihilist element at play that finds itself in cahoots with the far right in the goal to “bring the whole thing down”.
Frankly, Jane needs to be curb stomped just for being who and what she is.
Are you new to politics? Politicians waver and change positions under pressure. The right wing has certainly proved this true.
You’re bashing other people on this page who suggest Obama get in the fight, as Bush/Rove did. Hell, I would say as TDR did with the “bully pulpit.” Maybe if Obama would get out there and advocate for the principles more often, the politics would change.
Politics is not some external process we observe. We are in it, we affect it, especially if “we” are President. Dems, true to form, are playing more defense than offense.
This is a lot of negative depressing talk, so I will say:
> It is freaking great to see President Obama out there saying the choice in November is between going back to Bush’s failed polciies or going ahead with change.
> There has been a lot that President Obama has done and said that I have been very gratified and happy to see. I wish him much more success in this area and hope he can shed some of his lousier advisers to “make it so.”
@Michael: Obama and Biden served in the Senate with these guys. Is it not possible, I would even say likely, that they had a clue as to how to handle the prima donna Senators?
Conservatives and liberals have one thing in common.
Conservatives hate liberals. So do liberals.
There is plenty of poutage to go around these days, from Gibbs to Hamsher to Cole. It’s great to try to middle ground like Gibbs and Cole, but it is also important to strive to be better, to not always be the party of compromise but to make things happen. Sure, Obama has made things happen but with more compromise than most of us would like.
Here’s the deal. The GOP supports its punditry and blogosphere. It is proud of them. Democrats seemingly despise its own, despite the left being a much less polarizing and vicious lot in the press and on the web than the left. Weiner, Grayson are called out as lunatics while they are milder in their approach than 98% of the GOP. But they get slammed. We get slammed…by our own as much as by the right.
Time for pouting is over. We must accept it that we will always be perceived as meek and ineffectual because that’s how our leaders act. If we step out of line, we are shamed into reacting. Then we are called pouters and insulted by people like Cole and Gibbs and we are forced to keep a stiff upper lip and take it like good liberals should.
is there anything obama has done, or could possibly do (other than quit), that she would describe otherwise?
this, a thousand times.
Stuck in the Funhouse
Thank you. I’ve been wondering about that for awhile, now I know.
here’s the thing about Gibbs’ comment: he attacked positions that are shared by many on the left, and he attacked the way many lefties respond to the way Obama’s …umm… achievements are turning out. it doesn’t take much of a stretch to see how those attacks apply to Joe Q Lefty.
the “professional” qualifier can only do so much, when the basic criticism could apply to huge swaths of people, professional or not, on the left.
the bottom line is that Gibbs obviously thinks people who want more progressivism are to be mocked, that their complaints are easily dismissed, and that they’ll fall in line and vote like good little soldiers no matter what.
The mainstream media has been rooting for a GOP takeover for months and for the left to go crazy over a off hand remark by Gibbs is frigging nuts and plays right into their hands
How’s that? When someone here is critical of Obama, like say, for proposing too small a stimulus bill, plenty of supporters point to a Senate and ask us to consider “where the votes would come from”. Same with a public option, etc. etc. Congress is the roadblock. Obama, we were told so many times during the health care debate, was powerless to change their minds or their votes — you can read the argument in the posts throughout this thread.
How, conversely, are they not also responsible for the legislation they passed?
I’m half-joking, but it’s not entirely a joke. Obama gets the credit when something passes (indeed, we should be “grateful” to him) and you blame other people when something doesn’t pass.
“Far too many professional soccer players take dives in order to draw a card. ”
If you were a college, high school, or weekend league player, would you think that statement was directed at you? I doubt it.
@Andy Olsen: Yes, politicians do “waver and change positions under pressure.” But we’re talking about changing positions from right to left. When was the last time that happened due to grassroots pressure? I’d love to see it, but I don’t think it works.
Translating populist-liberal pressure into populist-liberal votes is the key challenge people on the left side of the spectrum have to solve. It’s true, the right is much better at it, and I’m not quite sure why. Sometimes I think it has to do with the media and its zeal to showcase conservative causes du jour in order to prove the absence of liberal bias; sometimes I think it has more to do with our liberal-guilt-y sense that we had better take half a loaf than end up with nothing.
The “bully pulpit” isn’t magical. Obama gives tons and tons of speeches, advocating for all kinds of policies and beliefs. Does it convert into changed votes? I don’t think so. But I don’t blame lack of effort. I blame the number of Democrats in Congress who represent constituencies where Obama has been unpopular for two solid years, who have almost nothing to gain from supporting his agenda or from supporting the liberal positions most of us who post here would favor.
But, you’re right, in general I’m not in favor of staging fights that lose, even if the loss is noble, because I believe that political losses compound, and each successive loss makes it more likely that the next fight will also be a loss.
Well, we’re not forced. We can do what we want.
But we are continually told not to rock the boat, by people like Cole
What, like waving a magic wand and making the objections go away?
I think it more likely that they’re realistically assessing the chances of what they know will fly. I’m finding their policies and nominations to be shaving that 60 number close to the bone, and accomplished some big things.
@Michael: I think we are violently agreeing here. Leaving the Congressional leadership to manage their members was, I think, the correct decision.
nobody in soccer, at any level, is advocating for more diving, or that diving should be made more effective, or whatever. lefties at all levels really are advocating, actively, furiously, for what Gibbs mocked.
Um, no. Gibbs obviously thinks that there are people who (literally) profit by always being critical and never being satisfied. It seemed pretty evident to me that he if he meant bloggers and new-media at all, it was the biggest: the HuffPo crew, the Kos crew, the FDL crew, MoveOn, etc.
Are people still arguing about whether Obama is a liberal or just another middle-of-the-road corporatist?
Wasn’t that decided 10 minutes after he sold out the citizenry with his vote for telecomm immunity?
@cleek: Yet the professional/amateur difference remains.
@Omnes Omnibus: My analogy on another blog was someone who filmed their cat and put it on YouTube feeling insulted by a potshot at “Hollywood.”
You know you can bounce your ass up outta here, right?
Eliminating the Pentagon?
you win the internet.
Obviously, he means “listen to meeeeeee.”
As does every other jackass with a ‘progressive’ blog, radio show or newspaper column.
can you show me a transcript of his original remarks ? not his later, um, clarifications. because i don’t see where you’re getting that, from the chopped-up interview bits that i’ve been able to find.
i’m pretty sure we all understand that mockery often involves the use of caricature.
@FlipYrWhig: Way to go full metal firebagger, mate. Got any other winger memes to push?
@Tonal Crow: You have, I think, the wrong end of the stick here.
LOL, you mean he let the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House do their jobs?
Next you’ll tell us he expect Congress to write bills that he can sign into law.
Here’s material from the original piece:
So I take “professional” literally: the examples — although it’s not clear who brought them up — skew towards cable news hosts and lobbying/pressure groups. True, the reporter points to “liberals” and “liberal naysayers” as well, but IMHO Gibbs is actually distinguishing between the “professional left” and liberals. That’s what I meant by bringing up “profit”: the gripe is that the loudest voices in the media aren’t worth paying too much attention to because they aren’t representative of the people, including the liberal people.
@Omnes Omnibus: The stick has been bent into a circle. And the irony quotient is, consequently, super-high.
Wait, what? Is this sarcasm on top of sarcasm or something? The three things Gibbs said would satisfy the “professional left” are “Canadian healthcare,” “eliminat[ing] the Pentagon,” and “Dennis Kucinich was president.” cleek said that the target of Gibbs’s remarks was liberals generally because liberals really do advocate for those things.
@AxelFoley: Maybe you should have read the whole comment. I’d hate to leave this place.
@FlipYrWhig: You’ll have to ask Cleek, but I don’t think he meant to imply that liberals are advocating furiously to close the Pentagon, only that they’re advocating furiously for policies that Gibbs *caricatured* as closing the Pentagon, etc.
Stuck in the Funhouse
@Jymn: You are aware we live in a democracy, right? Democracy actually is the art of compromise. It is not a bug, but a feature. And our particular founding folks, rightly recognizing we are actually 2 countries of widely disparate peoples with widely disparate worldviews, created an extraordinary degree of moderating elements to give the minority a fair amount of say in what gets done. The price we pay is gridlock and slow change. That is not Obama’s fault, or anyone’s really, except that the goopers are very much stretching their minority right into outright obstruction. But even so, Obama has managed to work around that to get some significant changes put in place. But not everything because those are the rules everyone must live by in this country. All the wailing and knashing of teeth will not change that fact.
The healthcare care and public option were popular in Maine. In the end both Senators couldn’t be persuaded to vote for either, although Olympia Snowe wanted a trigger, which liberals rejected…the end result is they both voted no, the bill is unpopular, they aren’t.
Liberals don’t know how to play ball, Obama does, and it pisses them off that he does.
@Tonal Crow: Well, that’s the problem: the distance between the caricature and the actuality is sufficiently far that I _don’t_ think it’s easy to say that Gibbs was caricaturing liberals in general, rather than liberals who are in the business–“professionally”–of never being satisfied.
Suggest a trip down memory lane, right after the election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s seat (cruel irony) and the health care bill was considered dead. The Progressive Change Committee (note to self: send them a donation) and others clamored for a public option! Crazy!
Well, then one Senator after another signed on until they were nearing a majority and the whole thing got a new breath of fresh air.
Methinks you doth parse too much. The views he ascribed, (if inaccurately and in a bearing false witness kind of way) are shared by a lot of people, not just the cable talkers. That’s where people not on cable (me) get offended, when they see their views being misrepresented, trivialized, opposed.
* I want change from Bushian policies on surveillance, war, intelligence, police state etc. I am — and a lot of others including ACLU and Feingold are – very concerned we’ve seen little to no change in these important regards and a lot of people share those concerns.
So… if we raise such serious concerns that means we need drug testing? [To be clear: In no way would I say Obama is same as Bush – dumb statement!]
* I think the military budget is horrendously swollen – we spend more than all others combined. Gibbs trivializes that serious and very valid concern.
Yadda, yadda. Would be nice if this point were simply acknowledged before people insult others and then demand we move on.
@FlipYrWhig: Gibbs’s comment was silly — and helps the GOP by promoting their memes, which is one of John’s primary criticisms of Hamsher, et al. That said, the sooner we let this brouhaha drop, the better.
Right, and there’s the rub. You have an electorate that likes your position, and yet, still, the Senators who represent them won’t go for it. Obama can’t stop them from doing that, even with The People behind him. How is he going to twist their arms? How are _we_ going to twist their arms? I don’t think anyone has actually ever described something convincing.
I’m not a parent, but I’ve heard all kinds of frustrating stories about children who just decide to say “No” to things, and you can’t really fix it until they or you just wear out. That’s where we are with Republican Senators, even the few approachable ones.
If you’re new to political life on the left and with the Dem Party you may have a different reaction to all this than people with more, or even just different, experience.
To me the Gibbs statement is part of a decades-long tradition in the Democratic Party where the “Professional” class of the party – the hierarchy and those close to the power – tell the liberals, progressives and the base to go suck eggs. Being a liberal in the Dem Party is kind of like being in an abusive relationship.
Their rallying cry, told to my face by a former Dem minority leader, is “where else you gonna go?” (the “tough shit” being implied). They do not hesitate to publicly run down their base, hell, it helps them earn their stripes in “The Village.”
They delight in selling us out on policy and bask in their own “toughness” — in siding with the powered interests and screwing allies.
So, suggest you factor that context in to your thinking. And I’ll try to consider that Gibbs is not doing that.
Stuck in the Funhouse
What’s that. That what the left wing wants is more than the majority in this country will support? Well, that happens to be true, the same as it’s true about the right wing. Separating themselves, unlike the GOP has from their extreme elements, is a good thing for the administration to do, politically. But you all take it personal when it is not meant to be, and get hostile when the WH may well agree with you in large degree, but doesn’t announce it because the left wing is such a small part of the country, even smaller than the right wing. So you alienate the WH, instead of being adult about the nature of politics, and quietly, and methodically, and in a focused way approach the them with your ideas. Screaming can work sometimes, but not very often.. As we are seeing.
And then it didn’t pass, because the same last few holdouts there had originally been continued to hold out. Not the ideal example.
It depends on if you read the story as “We’re doing all we can and get no thanks from the dirty hippies” or as “We’re doing all we can and get hammered by a bunch of cynical outrage merchants who don’t even speak for the people.” I hear more of the latter than the former.
Stuck in the Funhouse
@Andy Olsen: About 90 percent of self described liberal democrats disagree with this. The remaining 10 percent has that same amount of representative power in this country, which is also electoral power from one man one vote.
But most have gathered on blogs for a tempest in a teapot voting/yelling block.
@Andy Olsen: Or, to follow up on my own point, I imagine the article in question originating as a conversation like this:
Reporter: Do you think you guys have a problem with the left?
Gibbs: No, why would you say that?
Reporter: Well, Ed Schultz said this, and the Progressive Change people said that, and it’s pretty harsh.
Gibbs: That’s not the left, it’s a bunch of self-important loudmouths who will never be satisfied with anything we do.
Cool 80s toy FTW!
And for those who don’t know what cain is talking about:
I fuckin’ LOVED Rough Riders and Stompers back in the day, LOL!
@Stuck in the Funhouse: I doubt that mocking “the professional left” (which probably reads “liberals” to much of the electorate) for positions that most don’t hold (esp. abolishing the Pentagon) will do much to solidify swing-voter support for Obama, as you seem to imply.
As for the rest, I *do* quietly and methodically approach the WH with my ideas. I don’t recall “screaming” or doing anything to “alienate the WH,” but perhaps you can point out where I did.
All true, but that doesn’t mean that Obama really wants Warren. Geithner doesn’t like Warren, and Obama heeds Geithner’s advice.
Remember, it didn’t take much coaching from Geithner to get Obama’s hands-on involvement to quash derivatives trading regulation, a hands-on approach that thanks to the coaching of that other stooge (Emanuel) was decidedly absent for the public option.
One might reasonably conclude that when Obama wants something he can get it, but he’s either unwilling to spend a dime of political capital doing any heavy lifting for a fight he might lose, or worse, he’s deliberately doing the bidding of his benefactors.
So a Warren block, yet again unsuccessfully managed by an inexplicably helpless near-supermajority of Democrats who couldn’t get it done even with 60, does legitimately call motives to question in my view.
It’s not merely 11 dimensional chess to insult liberals. He does that with astonishing regularity with methods nowhere near as protracted. This administration proves over and over it has nothing to hide when it comes to insulting its base in the most straightforward, unambiguous, and public manner.
But indeed a Warren Senate block may be a smokescreen to provide cover for doing the bidding of the financial industry that clearly owns both parties lock, stock, and barrel. I just don’t think it’s irrational to consider that possibility, based on track record.
We’ll never know.
I long ago accepted my DFH status and stopped worrying about whether anyone listens to me or cares about my opinion other than where I spend the 8% of my income that is discretionary.
So, while I am left, and of the professional class, I just didn’t feel like Gibbs was talking to me. He would never ever talk to me or send comments my direction. So, no poutrage here.
Only apathy. Oh well. Before you know it we’ll have a far right Republican congress. Sure, I could pound on doors, call people, make donations, table … but deer crap on a pogo stick … I’m a DFH!! How exactly do I expect to make a difference?
@Allison W.: He didn’t leak any documents so it won’t happen but it’d be a better world if he did.
Stuck in the Funhouse
I was talking in general of course and not necessarily on this blog, although there has been plenty of it. I don’t recall you being one of the worst about this sort of thing, but you do seem offended at Gibbs remark, which I doubt was anything more than a reflexive blow up from listening to the non stop complaining from the left wing for two years now, about just about everything that didn’t quite suit their fancy. And in some cases actually inventing things to bitch about, or exaggerating small things into big ones.
And I have heard off hand remarks here over the years about getting rid of the Pentagon, or the military, or shrinking it to the size it can be drowned in the bath tub. Sounded like Gibbs was being a bit dramatic to make a point though.
And I too, think the military is bloated and maybe why Obama announced a 30 percent reduction in contractor funding over the next 3 years, so they are doing something. And I would guess more of that sort of thing will occur once we wind up combat operations in Iraq and Afghan.
Oh, for fuck’s sake…
Ellison still has a chip on his shoulder from the primaries. Maybe his ass should be worried about the situation with the mosque at the WTC site. Yeah, it’s not his state, but I’d think it’d be something personal to him.
And Grayson, just STFU.
Once again, describing yourself to a T, big boy. You really don’t know about projection, do you?
All this macho blather from the chickenshit who fled from the Democratic Party because some (as you keep trying to taunt, 11 percent or so) Democrats disagreed with you. Politics is tough, indeed.
Stuck in the Funhouse
@Jay B.:LOL JayB, Always the man of substance. I caucus with the dems, kind of like Bernie Sanders, but I’m not a real soshulist, as I doubt he is either.
@AxelFoley: Yes! Alan Grayson is an epic jackass! The guy behaves like a deranged right winger, but from the left. I hated it when the right wing did it. I’m just depressed when one of our own does it.
The goal would be to give them a threat of electoral peril if they don’t vote for what the people want, but even while opposing the public option and the healtcare care, Snowe and Collins remained very popular with independents and Democrats who supported it (while ironically becoming unpopular with Republicans, especially because they were willing to negotiate).
The people of Maine were willing to forgive their Senators for opposing what they want. Why would they feel the need to buck their party if that was the case?
But you just provided a much more Occam’s Razor-upholding explanation about why it might not come to pass regardless of how Obama Really Feels — there are a huge number of conservative Democrats in the Senate. I don’t know why people would rather imagine that Obama and
Cardinal Richelieu Cardinal Wolsey Grima WormtongueGeith-Rahm-a are in league to spite them than accept that there are many center-right Democrats who rather enjoy making things difficult. That’s not “inexplicable.” It’s easily explicable.
@trippin: and this, my friend, is why he won’t fight for you.
Why fight and waste political capital and something that isn’t a sure thing when the people you’re fighting for think you’re not being genuine.
You guys say you want him to fight, even if he loses, but now you’re saying if he loses, it’s because he never wanted to win anyway.
Just admit it, you’re not going to give him credit if he fights for something and fails? So why should he?
Exactly. There’s no way to make the “bully pulpit” work if the people inspired by the pulpit-pounding don’t turn against their representatives… and even if they did, they would have to make the Maine Senators more scared of them than of Mitch McConnell’s simple malevolent theory that Republicans have nothing to lose by being ten pounds of dicks in a five pound bag.
@Stuck in the Funhouse: In other words, you can’t point to any unjustified criticism I’ve levelled against the WH, ‘cuz there ain’t any. Oh, but I’ve shown irritation at Gibbs’s promotion of GOP memes, which now, it seems, amounts to unjustified criticism. Meh. Also, it’s a spokeperson’s job to avoid “reflexive blow up[s]”, particularly public ones.
First, I will bet John $5.00 that Obama will NOT nominate Warren for the new agency. The big money boys hate her.
Second, concerning the public option, HRC was passed in the Senate using reconciliation procedures. The magic 60 vote requirement went away and it would have passed with 51 votes.
The public option was never voted on in the Senate. Why? From what I read, it was because Obama, after he campaigned for the public option, had already made deals with our corporate masters whereby he promised to not to enact it.
Thus, the public option, the most popular part of HRC, died. It had nothing to do with the GOP, because the Dems could have passed it with 51 votes. Nelson and Lieberman could have voted no, and it still would have passed. Yet, leadership wouldn’t even allow a vote. So yeah, I blame Obama.
So we have HRC that does NOT fix our screwed-up healthcare system. We got a stimulis plan that didn’t stimulate enough. And we just got finance reform that doesn’t fix our finance system.
And instead of a president publicly pushing for a better stimulis plan, HRC or financial reform, we get one who touts the weak legislation we got as the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Because these fixes don’t actually fix what is broken, all Obama has done is show the American people that, when these other programs fail like the stimulis did, the Democrats’ programs do not work. That’s what’s got me pissed off. Obama’s half-measures will help the GOP get back in power.
Stuck in the Funhouse
List a few of your criticisms and I will respond to whether unjustified, imo. I first thought Gibbs should have kept his mouth shut, but now am glad he said what he said, and hope that Obama and Gibbs and the 90 percent of liberals pin the few gripers tails to the wall every day all day. That’s what I hope now. I could care less whether what he said hurt someones feelings, I hope it did in fact, and that seems to be the case. People can support and vote or not vote for anyone they want.
The truth will set you free, or at least make it unnecessary to kiss anyone’s ass because they expect you to.
you lost credibility at ‘From what I read…”
The public option never had 50 votes, this was well fucking documented.
For fuck-sakes! Is this a real issue? What exactly did Gibbs do? He talked shit about people none of you know and will, probably, never meet. Just because you comment on a political blog doesn’t make you part of the “professional left”. Slow your roll. Calm down.
I am inspired to verse:
A Limerick for the Lackey Left
Said Gibbs “The left is on drugs.”
Rahm agrees: “Just pull out the rug!”
“They’ve nowhere to go…
They’re retarded you know…
In the end they’ll just come back to ‘O’”
I’d like to see who the 51 votes are that would have voted for the public option only for Obama to pull out the rug at the last minute. This source, which I found via the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, claims 51 votes, but gets to that figure by claiming “4 are extremely likely based on their previous support for the public option and Senate leadership,” a group that includes Warner, Webb, Baucus, and Rockefeller; and some of the “statements” from others are very lukewarm, like Tester saying it depends on how it’s designed.
@Dividist: You took the time to write a poem? About this? Move out of your parents house. Now.
@Nick: I was going to say something snippy to TimmyB about “from what I read” too, then I edited it out. But I’m glad someone went there. ;)
@Stuck in the Funhouse: It is as I feared. At least one anti-firebagger has become so butthurt that firebaggers are promoting GOP memes that she’s now cheering Gibbs for promoting GOP memes. Way to go.
BTW, it’s properly “I *couldn’t* care less.”
Stuck in the Funhouse
First of all, Gibbs wasn’t using a GOP meme, it was the truth.
And second, it is hilarious when the butthurt try and blame their problems on those who are tired of their whining. You must not comprehend too well. I DO NOT CARE WHAT FIREBAGGERS THINK SAY OR DO. I LIKE OBAMA AND THE JOB HE IS DOING AS PRESIDENT. That is not butthurt but complete and thorough dismissal or false persona morons spouting off on the internet.
@Stuck in the Funhouse: Oh, it’s not a GOP meme to claim that liberals (and yes, that’s exactly how the general public will read “professional left”) want to shut the Pentagon? Really? Who redefined the language while I was at lunch? Should I ask for a translation kit at Orthanc?
Stuck in the Funhouse
Why does the “professional left” care what the public “reads”? The professional left wasn’t elected for anything. I know I don’t care about the professional left, but that is because I’ve been listening to their bullshit on this blog for 2 years now.
This one is from June 2009;
Also from June 2009;
The first time Obama began wavering on the public option was two months AFTER that, when his call to get a bill passed before August recess fell on deaf ears.
He fought for it, none of you were paying attention, it was only after the battle was lost, you all decided to fight for it.
Some of us were making waves when the AMA came out against it, while others were whining over the fact that he refused to release torture photos.
@Tonal Crow: I still don’t think “professional left” means “liberals” and have explained why. I think concluding that Gibbs must mean “liberals” is a fun pretext for venting another round of frustration about how Obama punches hippies. But I think it’s pretty clear that Gibbs’s specific gripe here was about pundits, news personalities, and the petition groups like PCCC. It could very well be the case that the Obama inner circle _does_ think that liberals should quit their bellyaching, and we all hear the same stories about WH insiders maligning those who attack them from the left, but this particular article doesn’t really say that.
Stuck in the Funhouse
@FlipYrWhig: I would add a few high profile bloggers that get themselves on teevee, and their minions who sometimes visit us here.
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
Ah, but I disagree with you there, Stuck. I don’t think anyone who posts here is actually part of the professional left. Except when Glenn Greenwald shows up and calls us all Obama cultists. I think the professional left is Olbermann, Maddow, Schultz, HuffPo, Kos, FDL, MoveOn, and PCCC — not the readers/viewers/posters but the content creators. I’d throw in Greenwald and Sirota too, but they’re not in the topmost tier.
ETA: Our responses crossed in the aether; I think we’re saying almost the same thing, but I wouldn’t count the “minions.”
Stuck in the Funhouse
I don’t think Gibbs was talking about them either, but they think he was, so six half dozen or another.
Snowe isn’t up for re-election until 2012, Collins until 2014.
Hmmph, as for Gibbs – that was a stupid thing to say and that and a large percentage of this commentariate seem to ignore the rightward drift to cascade of this country and that pushing the dialogue left requires pushing the dialogue.
If you’re real satisfied with the state of the nation and how we got here then you’ll want to shut the noise of the ‘left’ out. That is the general consensus of this thread – STFU. I’ve spent nearly half a century watching an already somewhat right country head harder and harder in that direction and I’d think opposition to that would be applauded, not so much I guess.
“You can’t pass that,” is always the case if the powers that be aren’t challenged, if they’re just allowed to drift along on their own way. So, what is it so many of you are advocating?
Are you looking for one graphic, or separate color graphics, or both?
(Here’s an old one I did, although I’m don’t thrilled about the upload fuzzing up the image. )
Of course the whole thing was stupid from beginning to end, but when you have Nate and Matt Yglesias saying these remarks were idiotic you have nowhere to hide anymore.
the people Gibbs was criticizing aren’t pushing the dialogue…they don’t feel they have to. That’s why he said what he did.
Assholes. You don’t get it, do you? The professional left, that you all hate so dearly, are the ones keeping you from the freakazoid and retarded right. You are the fucktards of the middle. Those who give the right a pass while expecting the progressive left to shut the fuck up. Well, General Stuck. You’ll get what you hope for.
Sure, kick us. Hate us. Cry in your goddamned microbeer when the right takes over and has you under surveillance 24/7, tells you where you can go and when. It’ll be GW on steroids. But, at least you’ll be the goddamned rational center. Fuck y’all.
I'm only right when drinking
There is no dialogue in political thought. It’s all extemporaneous speeches on why the speaker is right.
I'm only right when drinking
Bring it on. Your histrionics surely won’t put up much of a fight if it ever comes to that.
I feel you, John Cole. This is how I feel about the Women’s Studies crowd.
I AGREE WITH YOU! This is what a feminist looks like! Seriously! Now would you stop making such TERRIBLE arguments? It’s like they’re so obsessed with the goal they throw everything they have at it, and get butthurt whenever anyone contradicts them.
John Cole wrote:
Let me help you:
Your problem is that you are in America and see through American eyes. You need to stop seeing through American eyes, by contemplating the following:
America is politically to the Insane Right.
The Left in America would be considered the Sane Center in the rest of the Democratic world.
Everyone who is against the American Left belongs to the Insane Right (even if they identify themselves as Democrats or Liberals or Progressives).
Therefore, when the American Left gets upset at someone, it’s because that someone is Insane and trying to make America worse.
Get it? With these new eyes, you will see the American Left clearly.
Stuck in the Funhouse
Probly not. Kate Beckinsale will never appear in my bed no matter who rules the world. Sad , but true.
Not only aren’t progressives the “only ones who got Obama elected”, when you consider the center-right positioning of the national electorate (which, of course, varies by state), one can say that Obama pulled it off IN SPITE OF backing from liberal luminaries. What makes his election even MORE remarkable is his “THE most liberal Senator” (according to some) voting record in the Senate, short as it was.
Progressives got Obama NOMINATED. Independents and the so-called swing voters got him ELECTED, over nominal opposition from the Bush party. No doubt he knows that, and since he likes the job and would like to hold it through 2016, hard core progressives had better run someone else to carry their agenda forward. (Kucinich will still be ready to give it a go, just as Ron Paul will on the other end of the spectrum). Barack’s campaign in 2012 really will have to be, “See, I wasn’t THAT far-left this past 4 years.”
I mean, isn’t this really very plain to see and simple to figure out once we take our tinted glasses off and look at things as they are?
from where i’m standing, the ‘professional left’ is acting no differently than the retarded right. shit, hamsher and her ilk have been no different than the right in their insane, constant criticism of obama since the day he took office. she teamed up with norquist FFS.
no, the ‘professional left’ isn’t what’s saving us all from the right in this country by spending more of their time attacking the president than the right wing. in fact, i’d say that helps the right more than anything else.
@eric k: This has been a common complaint from those on our side, that Obama doesn’t negotiate well because he compromises too early. I think there is at least some truth to the idea that he does that. But I don’t think this would be the pancaea that some think it would; there’s no rule that says that only one or two compromises can be forced on a bill. Republicans, being the cult they are, only ever needed one Democratic vote to block pretty much anything, because they always vote as a bloc and the wrath of the horde is severe when they don’t (Scott Brown got excoriated by teabaggers for voting for Wall St. reform). Nelson and Snowe were for HCR at one point, then they changed their minds demanding additional changes. Maybe by going for the public option first the WH was trying to go for what they thought they could realistically get at best and were trying not to set too many people up for more disappointment?
I agree with John that some of my fellow liberals really piss me off sometimes, but at least I can have a rational and HONEST discussion or debate with them. They just need a lesson in teamwork, loyalty and patience. We know what is preventing change, same thing as ever (the filibuster, and the united gop/divided dems dynamic). We all need each other, let’s work together to win this fall and put the teabaggers in their place.