I love a mystery.
“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.”
It's a question that's important for Gibbs' resume, if nothing else. He's done an adequate job so far. But a pilot who has a perfect safety record until he flies a jumbo jet into a mountain in a fit of pique will not be remembered as a good pilot.
Perhaps Gibbs has some elaborate cunning plan that will unfold over the next few news cycles. But he seems to be ignoring some fairly significant points:
First, you dance with the one what brung you, even if the one what brung you is a goddam dirty hippie.
Second, to the extent Gibbs believes he is shoring up support from moderates and the Right by executing a sort of Sister Souljah moment, he fails to grasp that (a) the Right scorns weakness and never responds helpfully to concessions, and (b) hardly anyone genuinely gave a shit about what Sister Soulah thought, but nobody — least of all moderates — gives a shit about what the "Professional Left" thinks.
Third, to the extent you're going to get all indignant about being compared to Bush, you might want to evaluate whether you have, in fact, abandoned or reneged upon most of the ways you said you would do things differently than Bush.
The best case scenario is that Gibbs is amusing and emboldening the Right, offending the Left, and mystifying and concerning the middle, who will think "why is the White House getting all spittle-flecked about criticism from people I haven't heard of and don't care about?" The worst case scenario is that too many voters perceive, correctly, that the White House is saying that it is completely crazy to expect Barack Obama to abide by the principles he articulated as grounds to choose him. All politicians think that. But most are smart enough not to send their Mouth of Sauron out to say it.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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