Tuesday, August 10, 2010

White House anger at 'professional left’

TheHill.com wants everybody to know that the White House unloads anger over criticism from 'professional left’.
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.

First of all, nobody said anything about Canadian healthcare or eliminating the Pentagon. Those are dishonest answers because they seek to avoid answering the question by creating a "straw man."

But, the public is supposed to be grateful, according to Gibbs, that the President was willing to compromise with the Republicans in order to get so much legislation passed.
Gibbs’s tough comments reflect frustration and some bafflement from the White House, which believes it has done a lot for the left.

In just over 18 months in office, Obama has passed healthcare reform, financial regulatory reform and fair-pay legislation for women, among other bills near and dear to liberals.

Obama is also overseeing the end of the Iraq war, with the U.S. on schedule to end its combat operations by the end of this month.

He’s also added diversity to the Supreme Court by nominating two female justices, including the court’s first Hispanic. Yet some liberal groups have criticized his nominees for not being liberal enough.

“There’s 101 things we’ve done,” said Gibbs, who then mentioned both Iraq and healthcare.

Gibbs said the professional left is not representative of the progressives who organized, campaigned, raised money and ultimately voted for Obama.

Progressives, Gibbs said, are the liberals outside of Washington “in America,” and they are grateful for what Obama has accomplished in a shattered economy with uniform Republican opposition and a short amount of time.

Obama reached out to the left — including through a private lunch with Maddow and other liberal commentators — earlier this summer.

In late July, Obama made a surprise video appearance, with an assist from Maddow, at the NetRoots Nation convention in Las Vegas, where the professional left had gathered to grouse about its disappointment in the president.

“I hope you take a moment to consider all we’ve accomplished so far,” Obama said, telling the impatient audience, “We’re not done.”

The lack of appreciation or recognition for what Obama has accomplished has left Gibbs and others in furious disbelief.

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.”

As far as "doing a lot for 'the Left'" is concerned, that's not true, either. They didn't fight for the Employee Free Choice Act, they loaded the debt commission with deficit hawks, they failed to live up to their campaign promise to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Worst of all, the "health insurance reform" they are gloating over does nothing to lower costs and explicitly denies the public a government-run plan to opt for.

Obama's performance at Copenhagen was disgraceful.

His "ending of the war in Iraq" is a lie. He's trying, but he can't "end the war." Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and the Defense Budget overall are offensive--not to the Left--but to anyone of conscience.

Gibbs is a corporate shill, and so is the Hill for defending him.

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