Robert Gibbs on the "professional left": "Those people ought to be drug tested"

The White House goes after critics on its left flank:

"I hear these people saying he's like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested," Gibbs said. "I mean, it's crazy."

The press secretary dismissed the "professional left" in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, "They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we've eliminated the Pentagon. That's not reality."

Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: "They wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president."

Whether Gibbs is trying to smack the disgruntled left back into line, or make a triangulation play for disaffected independents and centrist-Democrats, this attack on nameless carpers strikes me as, among other things, a good deal less than accurate. Yes, there is a contingent still licking their wounds for not getting single-payer health care, but the ongoing lefty criticism of Obama has less to do with not shutting down the Pentagon, and more to do with not shutting down Guantanamo Bay, a much more modest goal that also happened to be something Obama promised every night on the campaign trail. The Krugmanites want a second stimulus, not a socialistic elf-president (who, in case you haven't noticed, has tried running for president several times without making much of a dent).

And though the existence of progressive-left criticism of Obama has been one of the few heartening things about political discourse these past 19 miserable months, I wish more lefties were making the George W. Bush comparison on things like bailouts and spending binges and military surges and WoT detentions and entitlement expansion and Old Europe-tweaking and drug raids and obscenity prosecutions and general bullshittery. Maybe I've just been reading the wrong websites, but I haven't seen much lefty invocations of a Bush Third Term.

Good news for the president, though: The academics are wise enough to know how dreamy he is:

Larry Berman, an expert on the presidency and a political science professor at the University of California-Davis, said he has been surprised that liberals aren't more cognizant of the pragmatism Obama has had to employ to pass landmark reforms.

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

"And from Gibbs's perspective, and the White House perspective, they ought to be able to catch a break from people who, in their view, should be grateful and appreciative."

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  • ||

    Robert Gibbs to the left

    "Just get back in the car and stop crying. Obama is under a lot of stress and he only slapped you around because you were lippy".

  • Brett L||

    Robert Gibbs continues to heroically usurp Scott McClellan's reputation as worst WH Press Secretary in the modern era.

  • ||

    Is the administration really thin-skinned enough to take a pointless slap at former disgruntled supporters? And are they really stupid enough to not realize this will probably only anger these people more and possibly create more of them, because of the ham-handedness of this move?

    I realize that the Obama team is so used to having people kiss their ass and roll over for them that they somehow thought this type of reaction would be effective, but it screams of pathetic high-handed touchiness.

    Also, Gibbs is a total fuck for saying "Those people ought to be drug tested". Fuck you, scumbag.

  • Brett L||

    "All right, everyone stand in a circle. Ready! Fire! Aim!"

  • Spartacus||

    "pathetic high-handed touchiness" pretty much sums up the whole administration's response to criticism of any sort.

  • Waggoneer||

    Who else are then going to vote for?

  • cynical||

    It's not like you have to vote. Really, if your preferred candidate is still is a worthless POS, then you may as well sit at home and watch things go to hell in comfort.

  • Ralph Nader||

    Hey guys, I'm still alive.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...he has been surprised that liberals aren't more cognizant of the pragmatism Obama has had to employ to pass landmark reforms.

    The pragmatism that having a super-majority ownership of Congress forces on you. Get Professor Larry a cup to pee in, stat.

  • ||

    This is what always blows my mind. If he can't get shit done now, when exactly will he?

  • ||

    I would pay $5 to see someone sneak Glenn Greenwald into a Gibbs press conference.

  • ||

    I'd pay more than that. I know that politicians and their handlers work unbelievably hard at making sure the politician never gets on camera with someone who can and will shred them to bits, but you'd think it would happen a little more often than it does. A little bit of Frank Zappa or Dee Snyder action on some of these cretins would be a real pleasure.

  • Almanian||

    I'd definitely pay to see Dee Snider or Ted Nugent take on these goons in a debate. Ted and Dee are both freaks, but very intelligent and articulate freaks. Love 'em both.

    It'd be worth at least $20 to me to watch that...maybe more :)

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Strasburg is a right-hander, Gibbs. You fucking douche-pump.

  • ||

    You have to cut Washingtonians a little slack. They haven't seen professional pitching since Walter Johnson toed the slab.

  • ||

    "They wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president."'

    Gibbs is right about that. Nothing will ever satisify the Left. There programs will always fail and be unpopular after their enacted. But they are incapable of any self reflection. And most of their personal identity comes from living in a fantasy world of oppression. So it doesn't matter how much they get, it will never be enough.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...most of their personal identity comes from living in a fantasy world of oppression...

    Actually, they, like the rest of us, are living in an increasingly oppressive society. What they fail to recognize is that it's the policies they advocate (in addition to the ones the other team advocates) that is causing this.

  • MNG||

    Yeah, if only we could return to those fine less oppressive times before liberalism reared its ugly head. Jim Crow, 25% + unemployment, 30-50% poverty rates, virtually no individual rights recognized by federal courts...

    Woo-hoo!

  • Jason||

    You mean the Progressive Era?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    MNG always plays the Jim Crow card.

    Hey, MNG... Jim Crow is dead. He won't ever be coming back. Live with it.

    As for the rest of your spiel... great work you progressives are doing on keeping the unemployment levels down, and how about that bang-up job you're doing on civil rights. Give yourself a laurel and hearty handshake.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    a laurel and hearty handshake

    Outstanding.

  • ||

    The sheriff is near?

  • ||

    MNG is also apparently unaware of which party supported Jim Crow and thwarted any attempt at the federal level to address the obvious unconstitutionality of those laws. That's OK, though; it only adds to the lulz.

  • MNG||

    Tulpa is apparently unaware that political party and ideological stances were not historically always as they are now.

  • ||

    That kind of skewers your whole argument, no? All the stuff you mentioned was occurring when liberals were 69ing Southern segregationists.

  • MNG||

    WTF are you talking about? The liberals who were getting killed by southern conservative Democrats while organizing down there for civil rights (remember the label of "radical" was used interchangeably down there back then for such organizers).

    If you go back and look at the Dixiecrats platform it reads like a Tea Party manifesto with racism*

    http://members.cox.net/polincorr1/platform.htm

    *I do not buy the idea that the current Tea Party is a racist movement

  • Jason||

    I haven't heard any Tea Partiers talking about "social and economic justice:.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    They mean the same thing to him. When William Jennings Bryan got to be called a liberal, it was the beginning of the end for that particular word (and the philosophy it represented).

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yes, that's exactly what I advocate. How shrewd of you to suss that out, MNG. Stick your strawman in your garden, he'll keep away the crows.

    How many nationally elected Democrats oppose the War on Drugs, again? How did the Democrats vote on increasing penalties on crack cocaine in the 1980's?

    I won't even get into abitrary regulation, as I believe you have even spoken out about the stupidities that occur when you have 10,000 regulations on the books. And unless you have your head up your ass, you've heard of the horror stories of basically innocent businessmen who get targeted by some shitbag DA for trivialities.

  • hmm||

    You are exercising your non sequituriness aren't you?

  • The Art0P.O.G.||

    Weak sauce, MNG (for reasons TLG and BP pointed out...I don't even really have to say anything elese).

  • The Art0P.O.G.||

    else*

  • MNG||

    I don't think so at all. In more conservative times things were much more oppressive for many more folks.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Yes, but your evaluation is very, very glib.

  • MNG||

    Art
    According to the righties in the debate below liberals have dominated every major institution in the US for decades.

    And in those decades we've seen the defeat of Jim Crow, drastic reductions in poverty, and expanded lifestyle freedoms.

    One can't have one's cake and eat it too...

  • cynical||

    And major increases in the prison population, and reduced lifestyle freedoms in other aspects. And to the extent we have more freedom of expression, I'd say that's despite the best efforts of progressives (groups like the ACLU excluded, of course).

  • hmm||

    You know who was conservative and oppressive?

  • Almanian||

    ...what hmm said...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Yeah, if only we could return to those fine less oppressive times before liberalism reared its ugly head. Jim Crow, 25% + unemployment, 30-50% poverty rates, virtually no individual rights recognized by federal courts...

    Aren't you the intellectually dishonest one.

    What does Jim Crow laws have to do with liberalism, or lack thereof? Jim Crow laws were creatures of government, i.e. Omnipotent State.

    As for so-called "poverty", by whose definition? What does "liberalism" have to do with the decrease of overall poverty?

    And individual rights are something each of us already has, MNG, no need for the feds to "recognize" them. Unless you're talking about positive (i.e. faux) rights...

  • NitPicker||

    There Their programs will always fail and be unpopular after their they're enacted.

    Jesus, it's not that hard.

  • ||

    I think John does it on porpoise.

  • Brett L||

    No bake sales for bombers? Wanting Canadian healthcare is somehow an insult now? The goalposts must be mounted on rocket sleds.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    I agree with Gibbs.

    The far left should know they're going to get everything they want eventually. Chill out a little... Maybe find some teabagger conservatives and call them racists, y'know?

    The Pentagon isn't going away ever, but the goddamned navy is now a "global force for good." Isn't that a good start?

  • ||

    Leftist own every civic institution in the country and all the branches of government. But their entire identity is bound up in fighting the establishment. They are not going to let the fact that they are the establishment get in the way of that. So, Obama could have declared a dictatorship of the proletariat and they would still be whining. They have to.

  • MNG||

    They own every civic institution except the most influential and powerful, namely the business sector.

    And the military and religious institutions, but hey, when you're slinging hyperbole precision sometimes gets left out!

  • ||

    the most influential and powerful, namely the business sector.

    And here I was thinking that title belonged to the unions. Namely the pube-sec unions.

  • MNG||

    It's hilarious to think unions are as powerful or influential as business. Hilarious.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    The public sector ones are, you dolt. Some of their members exercise coercive power on behalf of the state. The rest can make the state unable to function if they so choose.

  • ||

    Well, I'm fake laughing, but the tears are real.

  • ||

    It's hilarious to think that the business sector supports and donates to Republicans in anything near the percentages that unions support Democrats.

    And even in states that allow direct corporate expenditures, like California, unions contribute more money to state politics.

  • ||

    So long as you're willing to admit that government mandated health insurance and cap-and-trade are policies favored by business. Businesses favor regulation to help themselves and hamstring rivals. That is also why "business" is almost never a monolith on political issues; there's usually business on both sides.

    Sure, the Obama Administration is pro-big business in various ways, by supporting all these policies that business favors and Republicans oppose.

  • MNG||

    Many quite big businesses in the relevant industries vigorously oppose those policies, do you dispute that?

  • #||

    yes, but the point is big businesses are not "right" owned. They support whatever is in their best interest and sometimes that measn being left alone and sometimes that mean using coersive government power. And on any given issue, some businessess will be on both sides - its not a monolithic group. Lefies need to get over their self delusional notion that somehow they are fighting "the man" that is big business. Just as often as not, big business is on your side.

  • MNG||

    That businesses often try to distort government action initiated by liberals to achieve goals contrtary to liberal goals is hardly proof they are liberal.

  • #||

    but it also means they are not "conservatiev either"... big bussiness is generaly ideologically neutral. And this is a discussion over institutions being controlled by left or right. Business is neither and both.

  • MNG||

    The goal of big business is profit maximization. To the extent this is lionized by the right and dubious to the left they are to the right.

  • cynical||

    So, if a politician's goal is to get laid a lot, that makes him more left-wing, regardless of his stated position or votes?

    The left-wing elite might find making profit "dubious", but they sure as shit don't shy away from doing it.

  • ||

    They literally have to ride on both sides of the fence to hedge their bets.
    Most of them are rooting Republican, but they have to pay off the Dems in case they (the Dems) win.

  • Jason||

    You missed this post and this post.

    If you had read them (and the articles they link to), you'd know that unions give more money than the oil industry, the NEA is the 7th largest contributor, the AFT spent more money than any business PAC in this election cycle, and that teachers unions alone contribute 20% of all political donations in California over the last decade.

  • Ron L||

    MNG|8.10.10 @ 11:04AM|#
    "It's hilarious to think unions are as powerful or influential as business. Hilarious."

    Wow, MNG! I really want to use this intelligent, insightful, and convincing argument. But I promise I'll credit you.

  • ||

    Liberals own

    The entertainment industry,
    The entire education industry and academic establishment
    They run nearly every non profit and charity in the country
    They predominate the entire government bureaucracy
    They own Congress and the Whitehouse
    They own all the unions
    They own the entire news media sans Fox News
    They own nearly every if not every cultural institution from art museums to symphonies. Go to a symphony or an Opera sometime and try to escape leftist preaching. Good luck

    That covers a whole lot. It is funny that you deny this and prove my point. You can't accept that your kind owns everything and that you are as much of a part of the establishment as the man in the gray flannel suit was in the 1950s. But since your identity as a liberal is so tied up in being an outsider, you can never admit to reality no matter how obvious.

  • MNG||

    Every institution you name kowtows to the business sector.

  • ||

    And the big business sector is very liberal both socially and economically. Government regulation and actions allow them to game the system at the expense of their smaller competitors.

    And beyond that, much of academia and the entertainment industry are outright marxists. It is hard to see how they "kowtow" to the business sector. By doing what? Giving millions of dollars to Democrats and using their institutions as tools of state propaganda?

  • MNG||

    "And the big business sector is very liberal both socially and economically."

    That is crazy, just crazy.

    "It is hard to see how they "kowtow" to the business sector."

    Er, by going hat in hand to business all the time?

  • ||

    "And the big business sector is very liberal both socially and economically."

    That is crazy, just crazy."

    What does "big business" do that is socially conservative? I want specific examples not assertions you pull out of your ass. In your defense, you live in such a bubble that I doubt you have ever considered the issue. But think about it, what actual conservative things does big business do? And consider that they do lots of liberal things like promote bullshit diversity training, and giving huge dollars to liberal institutions and non profits.

  • MNG||

    They contribute to socially conservative candidates (though I imagine the economic conservativism of the candidate appeals more to them). Like the Target news story lately.

  • ||

    They contribute to both sides. And they do it as a hedge against either side winning. Try again.

  • MNG||

    They do that, but they support conservative goals.

    They actually have done studies where the elites of various institutions are surveyed. They find the elites of business, military and religion tend to the right, those of education and the media to the left.

    One good book on this, by some prominent conservative scholars, is American Elites (google it).

  • #||

    with the exception of the oil industry (that democrats are inherantly hostile towards their very existance) find me a major industry that has given more to republicans then dems in the past two or three cycles?

  • Jason||

    Regulation is good for big business. Just ask Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's.

    I suggest David Cay Johnston's Free Lunch.

  • ||

    I tend to agree.
    Ford foundation. (if it is not liberal, the word is meaningless)
    Is Goldman Sachs conservative? Liberal? I would say it doesn't follow the precepts of the free market, as it should have been allowed to go belly up - but Goldman looked after itself and it was the government, under both Bush and Obama that thought the most important policy was affirmative action for the stupid and/or venal (AKA bankers)

    Maybe people are talking past each other - but I wouldn't say any of the big financial institutions are "free market" - and the ones who support this travesty against 'profit and LOSS' the most? Well, both Bush and Obama.

    I think would could make a case that Obama isn't a 'true' liberal, as long as one is intellectual honest and acknowledge that Bush was not ...well, maybe he was big government conservative, which seems to mean lots and lots and lots of government spending (at the time, Bush made the greatest expansion in social welfare since the great society with the enactment of the medicare drug benefits). But he was not free market, small government, or for a 'more humble foreign policy.'

  • Mr Noose Guy||

    BUUUUUSSSSIINNNNEEESSSS NNNNNEEEEUUUURRRRGGGGGHHHHHH GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH

  • ||

    No, they don't.

  • hmm||

    unions or education kowtow to business?

    I could see arguing education institutions seek grants from businesses, but they do so from the government at what I would think is a decent rate as well. Not to mention you can't swing a stick without hitting a flaming liberal communist on every college campus I have been on. (I know there are a few isolated exceptions)

  • MNG||

    Ever seen a board of rectors or visitors for a college hmmm?

  • hmm||

    Yup. I sat on a strategic policy board for a college and helped deal with a fairly large budget cut. This lead to being part of a roadshow team pitching cooperative programs with one of the schools centers. So yes schools do court business, but I wouldn't say they kowtow to them.

    At the same time I watched two other colleges court the federal government in one form or another for huge grants.

  • MNG||

    Well, I think the federal government is largely a tool of big business so i'm not sure what that buys you.

    And a fair amount of kowtowing is involved in courting my friend...

  • hmm||

    A mutually beneficial agreement involves kowtowing? They ask for things the school asks for things, they offer things and the school offers things. It all seemed pretty even across the board. Each had something they thought the other might want. I guess you might see competition between schools trying to court business interests as kowtowing, I see it as trying to maximize your gain and minimize your costs. Which always involves some degree of give and take.

  • Zeb||

    This is where people on the left come so close to getting it. Government is absolutely a tool of big business. So why do you think that giving more power to government is a good way to rectify this situation. Government being the tool and ally of big business is among the things that libertarians are most firmly opposed to.

  • Robert||

    See, I think to someone like MNG, the business sector is by definition hir opposition. The fact that they make money makes it such. They can't be controlled by the "left" because then they would no longer be in business. Anyone from the "left" who enters the business sector ceases to be a leftist thereby.

  • Dr. Robert||

    Time to go back on the meds, John.

  • Spoonman.||

    I think John's right here. I don't see why he needs to go "back on the meds", almost every institution in this country, including big business, is run by people who favor big government.

  • ||

    ""I think John's right here. I don't see why he needs to go "back on the meds", almost every institution in this country, including big business, is run by people who favor big government.""

    Execpt John said liberal. Conservatives favor big government too.

  • Mike M.||

    The far left should know they're going to get everything they want eventually.

    Until they drive the country all the way into the bankruptcy shitter, and then thy're going to have nothing.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    No. Then, they'll have equality. Equality is good (for thee, not for me).

  • Jeff P||

    It should be pointed out that the US hasn't won a war since the pentagon was completed.

  • ||

    Umm.. the first and second gulf wars?

  • Mike M.||

    Geez, no kidding, talk about selective amnesia. The '91 Gulf War in particular was the kind of overwhelming rout you usually only see in video game wars.

    Oh yeah, and there was also the Kosovo War as well.

  • J_L_B||

    If you think Grenada prevailed in 1983 or Iraq in 1991, I have a [Insert Favorite Item Here] to sell you.

  • ||

    Granada wasn't a war. The Iraq war from 1991 is still continuing. Remember there was a cease fire but Bush argued that Iraq was in violation of UN res 1441 so the war resumed.

    The argument about not winning wars is based in the fact that we haven't properly ended one since WWII. We've made a habit out of not ending wars so we can resume them when we desire or at least make them think so.

  • #||

    if you are using that standard we havent actually declared war since WWII either, so technically we have never started one.

  • Zeb||

    Didn't we declare war on Panama?

  • ||

    Vacuous statement. The US hasn't even been in a war since the Pentagon was completed, just a bunch of police actions and uses of military force.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Intellectual honesty has always been rare among the progressive, collectivist left. When it finds its voice, it must be slapped down.

  • MNG||

    Leftist critics of Obama? But don't they know he's the most liberal President EVER?

  • ||

    Sounds like you are agreeing with John's comment at 10:53.

  • MNG||

    No, I think the idea that Obama is ultra-liberal is goofy.

  • ||

    He just socialized the banks, the healthcare industry, the auto industry, spent more than any President in history and is even more Wilsonian than Bush. Nothing liberal about that.

  • MNG||

    "is even more Wilsonian than Bush"

    Wars initiated by Bush: 2
    Wars initiated by Obama: 0

  • ||

    Wars continued and expanded by Obama for Wisonian reasons 2.

    Obama hasn't started a war yet, but he hasn't yet had to. He inherited two Wilsonian wars from Bush and continued and escalated them. And he very well may bomb in Iran in the name of enforcing UN sanctions.

    Obama is a Wilsonian through and through.

  • MNG||

    He's got committments to draw down both wars (I'd love to hear your arguments that he is "expanding" the Iraq war). He's started none.

  • ||

    And the check is in the mail sweety. He is not going to draw down Iraq much. He is leaving 50,000 troops there. And the war is basically over. Any President would have drawn down the US presence.

    And he claims to be reducing the US forces in Afghanistan, at some point in the future, but he has expanded the drone war in Afghanistan and launched his own surge there.

    He is just like Bush. Had Bush won a third term our policies in both places would be just what they are today. And Bush was the most Wilsonian President since Wilson.

  • ||

    ""And the check is in the mail sweety. He is not going to draw down Iraq much. He is leaving 50,000 troops there""

    Why do I have the feeling that if Bush was still in office your view would be that he is winding it down as per the agreement with Iraq.

    Reducing the troops down to 50,000 is a drawdown from the 2007 level. I agree that it's still a lot of troops.

    We really only need enough to put down any flashpoints that the Iraqis can't handle. How you do that depends on how much man and firepower you think you will need, and necessary reaction time. You might need to station 5,000 troops in 20 locations if you want to respond in force and very rapidly.

  • ||

    I agree with you. As I said above, any President would have drawn down some presence in Iraq. The war is over. But that is no way means that Obama is less Wilsonian than Bush.

  • ||

    ""But that is no way means that Obama is less Wilsonian than Bush.""

    Oh I agree. If he is, it's hard to tell.

    I think there's a reason you didn't see Bush on the campaign trail. Bush is Obama. ;-)

  • Jason||

    He corporatized the auto industry.

  • ||

    His base sure as shit believed that he was ultra left.

    You're probably right that radio talking heads and Faux news aren't doing the Right any favors by painting him as an ultra-leftist. But that's because they don't have the stones to admit that he's GWB 2.0. It would destroy their fragile grip on reality, and alienate their viewers/listeners.

  • hmm||

    I think the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus still exist.

  • Ron L||

    MNG|8.10.10 @ 11:06AM|#
    "No, I think the idea that Obama is ultra-liberal is goofy."

    Right. He still has to look a little bit left to see Fidel. But it won't cause a neck strain.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Leftist critics of Obama? But don't they know he's the most liberal President EVER?

    He also resorts to expediency and double-talk. That should enrage the guys back at the KM monastery...

  • ¢||

    And are they really stupid enough to not realize this will probably only anger these people more and possibly create more of them, because of the ham-handedness of this move?

    They're smart enough to know that all but a few of their lefty critics are dissembling, and most of the ones who aren't, once they've wasted a "Fuck you, scumbag!" or two on Gibbs personally, will become even more docile.
    Obama and his guys are expert manipulators of their supporters. Where they fuck up is in presuming that almost every opponent is a latent supporter. It's the only way they're actually Marxist.

  • ||

    Larry Berman should be burned at the stake; we can put him and Gibbs on a double bill.

  • Mike M.||

    The administration is now going into full meltdown mode, and here's why.

    If those lines diverge much farther apart than they are now, Obama will be past the tipping point from which he won't be able to recover, barring a miraculous economic turnaround in the near future.

  • Ron L||

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

    Obama hasn't needed much help in undermining his approval.

  • ||

    Now it's as if they are actually trying to not be re-elected. Dumb ass move on their part. I'd be happy about it, but I know it just means we'll end up with some equally horrific Republican.

  • #||

    "I'd be happy about it, but I know it just means we'll end up with some equally horrific Republican."

    Don't underestimate the awesomeness that is gridlock.

  • #||

    "I'd be happy about it, but I know it just means we'll end up with some equally horrific Republican."

    Don't underestimate the awesomeness that is gridlock.

  • ||

    Sad that that is the best we can hope for.

  • #||

    at this point i just want a pasuse to the ass raping... its been rough for the past few years.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "Maybe I've just been reading the wrong websites, but I haven't seen much lefty invocations of a Bush Third Term."

    Guess you haven't been reading Glenn Greenwald very much. Or Andrew Sullivan. Or Brad DeLong. Or Paul Krugman.

    Or maybe this one: http://avanneman.blogspot.com/.....r-not.html

    Or maybe this one: http://avanneman.blogspot.com/.....tance.html

  • hmm||

    This is the "Clinton head fake to the center." move. He isn't going to move on his positions, that's pretty clear. And it is highly probable there is a game plan in place and moving ahead to push his original agenda. He doesn't seem like the person to shift ideology for the sake of getting something rather than nothing. He seems like an all or nothing individual.

    This is just a political head fake. Each word in the statements and the sentiment was most likely polled to yield just what he said.

  • Mr. President||

    Time flies -- doesn't seem a minute
    Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
    All change -- don't you know that when you
    Play at this level there's no ordinary venue

  • ||

    Stop making me think of Ms Howley.

  • Koba Too||

    "One Night In Bangkok" ... great song.

  • Steve Chaos||

    Glenn Greenwald's response is worth reading

  • ||

    123 comments? I wonder how many are him...

  • ||

    "So, to recap: (1) The Professional Left are totally irrelevant losers who speak for absolutely nobody, and certainly nobody in Real America who matters; but (2) they're ruining everything for the White House!!!"

    What Greenwald doesn't realize is that Gibbs is right about number one and number 2 is just political doublespeak. Obama is dying with independents. And the only way to begin to get those independents back is to kick around people like Greenwald.

  • ||

    (1) The Professional Left are totally irrelevant losers who speak for absolutely nobody, and certainly nobody in Real America who matters; but (2) they're ruining everything for the White House!!!

    Sorta like libertarians who are of no consequence but must be constantly blamed for everything that goes wrong.

    The administration should take a page from Reagan aqnd the religious right, pay a little lip service and then ignore. It's not like these folks are gonna be campaigning for Palin in 2012.

  • ||

    Yeah but Reagan was doing things that were popular. So people were willing to overlook his rather undeserved reputation as some kind of social conservative. Obama doesn't have that luxury. He doesn't have any popular programs to run on. All he has is image. And that makes it harder for him to give lip service to the Left.

  • Steve Chaos||

    On that note, given the large numbers of his critics who will, when the time comes, vote for him again (however grudgingly), you have to wonder if they are on drugs. NTTAWWT.

  • ||

    Greenwald will vote for him. So will Sullivan. You will be hard pressed to find a liberal who doesn't vote for him in 2012. There may be one or two. But they will be rare.

  • ||

    If the LP gets on the ballot in DC, maybe Weigal will vote for them this time like he said he would.

  • ||

    Weigel will vote for or at least claim to vote for whatever candidate the person writing his paycheck supports. If the Heritage Foundation hired him, he would be out fund raising for Palin.

  • Warty||

    The "worse than Bush" montage at the bottom is fantastic.

  • ||

    From Greenwald:
    "And: if you criticize the President, it's only because you're such a rabid extremist that you harbor a secret desire to eliminate the Pentagon"

    Hey it could be worse. You guys on the left call anyone who criticizes Obama from the right as a slack-jawed racist harboring a secret desire to "send them all back to Africa".

  • ||

    +1. Or call anyone who supports the war in Afghanistan a war mongering neocon. It is pretty fucking rich to hear Greenwald whine about being unfairly attacked.

  • RyanXXX||

    Um, NAL, when has Greenwald ever said anything like that? He very rarely criticizes the Right these days?

    And John, isn't supporting war the definition of warmongering?

  • ||

    "And John, isn't supporting war the definition of warmongering?"

    Only if your definition is retarded. War mongering means having war for fun not for necessity.

    And Greenwald is a horrible polemicist. He has said horrific and unfair things about his opponents. You can use google just as well as I can. Go look it up.

  • RyanXXX||

    Considering most of these "opponents" are establishment propagandists who spend their time calling anyone who opposes American support for Israel an anti-semite, I can't really fault him.

    The horrific things are often true. For example, he recently had a tiff with the editor of the NYT for calling water-boarding "torture" when done by China or Iran, and "enhanced interrogation" when done by the U.S.A.

    Or some neocon who said "If Greenwald thinks Iraq was a bad idea he should ask the Kurds!" And Greenwald responded "If this guy thinks the Nazi invasion of Poland was a bad idea he should ask the Sudeten Germans!"

    Until you actually refute the things he says, John, you're blowing smoke.

  • ||

    You just sited a place where Greenwald compared the invasion of Iraq to the Nazi invasion of Poland. He Godwined himself.

    Thanks for doing the work for me.

  • RyanXXX||

    HAHAHAHAHA! Which is EXACTLY what that neocon piece of shit said.

    Never mind that Greenwald explicitly stated he wasn't comparing the WARS THEMSELVES, but the justifications used by their supporters. His point was that any war is going to have a small minority that benefit, but that is no argument

  • Hank||

    Bring back W, but with alcohol and cocaine this time!!!! If President New Coke is Bush 2.0, how is he going to get re-elected running against himself? On the pragmatic Pelosi legislation magnanimously bestowed on the ingrates?

  • Robert Gibbs||

    Fuck those whiney bitches. What are they gonna do, vote for Ralph Nader?

  • Warty||

  • ||

    Cut him some slack. He just now figured out the downsides of prohibition outweigh the downsides of legalization. All that Yanqui War on Drugs Sanity money mystically clouded his mind until he left office and the spell wore off.

  • ||

    I have yet to hear any Bush fans, say Obama is like my guy. Dispite the evidence at hand.

  • ||

    I will say it. I supported Bush's war on terror policies and I support Obamas. If you notice, the Republicans are not claiming Obama is some kind of Muslim loving surrender monkey. That is because they can't. He hasn't changed Bush's policies enough to justify such a claim with a straight face.

  • ||

    Maybe I mis-spoke. You have, so credit is due. But I've heard no one else.

    ""If you notice, the Republicans are not claiming Obama is some kind of Muslim loving surrender monkey.""

    Not in those exact words, and maybe only in the campaign. But considering some spout the idea that he will allow Shria's law to take over is sort of surrender monkeyish.

  • #||

    there are still bush fans?

  • Paul||

    Larry Berman, an expert on the presidency and a political science professor at the University of California-Davis, said he has been surprised that liberals aren't more cognizant of the pragmatism Obama has had to employ to pass landmark reforms.

    When he breaks his promises, it means he's being presidential.

  • ||

    Just wait 'til that GM IPO; we'll be rich!

    Fuck you, naysayers!

  • Larry Berman||

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

    "And from Gibbs's perspective, and the White House perspective, they ought to be able to catch a break from people who, in their view, should be grateful and appreciative."

    Back off man, I'm an expert on the presidency.

  • Dividist||

    "I wish more lefties were making the George W. Bush comparison... - MW

    Hey - I'm doing my my part.

    Although - strictly speaking - I guess I am not a lefty now.

    But I was in 2006, and hope to be again in 2012.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Yeah, if only we could return to those fine less oppressive times before liberalism reared its ugly head. Jim Crow, 25% + unemployment, 30-50% poverty rates, virtually no individual rights recognized by federal courts...

    Aren't you the intellectually dishonest one.

    What does Jim Crow laws have to do with liberalism, or lack thereof? Jim Crow laws were creatures of government, i.e. Omnipotent State.

    As for so-called "poverty", by whose definition? What does "liberalism" have to do with the decrease of overall poverty?

    And individual rights are something each of us already has, MNG, no need for the feds to "recognize" them. Unless you're talking about positive (i.e. faux) rights...

  • RyanXXX||

    "And though the existence of progressive-left criticism of Obama has been one of the few heartening things about political discourse these past 19 miserable months, I wish more lefties were making the George W. Bush comparison on things like bailouts and spending binges and military surges and WoT detentions and entitlement expansion and Old Europe-tweaking and drug raids and obscenity prosecutions and general bullshittery. Maybe I've just been reading the wrong websites, but I haven't seen much lefty invocations of a Bush Third Term."

    +1776

  • han||

    You can supply the answers yourself

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