Dana Milbank, political columnist for The Washington Post, talks about Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' comments about the "professional left."
We defend this president against the teabagger-birther crazies only to get insulted by the very person we're defending???
Well, next time the right starts frothing against the pres, all you'll hear from this professional leftie is silence.
Can't we lefties start a Coffee Party to force the centrist Dems to move back to the left the way the Tea Party has forced the Repubs farther right?
Kucinich backs down from Dem primary challenge to Obama
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs may have criticized attacks from what he called the "professional left," but presumed member-in-good-standing Dennis Kucinich said today he won't challenge President Obama in the 2012 Democratic primaries.
Given where the Republican party has been the last two decades, there is no chance of my voting Republican BUT I am one of the disenchanted Democrats to whom Robert Gibbs referred and I have been sending emails on a regular basis to whitehouse.gov, David Plouffe, my senators, etc. outlining the long laundry list of issues from charter schools to "cap and trade" where I strongly feel that President Obama has taken a wrong stance.
No, I did not have the fantasy that Obama was Dennis Kucinich; I realized fully that I was voting for a centrist but the path to bipartisanship is not to give away your leverage before you even get to the table nor does it require some of the stances this administration has taken. For instance, I feel that there is no excuse for a 15 year old child who had been forcibly conscripted, captured and, instead of being recognized as a victim, tortured and further victimized ending up in a military court when it should be a civilian court?
His attempts at bi-partisanship, IN THE WAY HE HAS BEEN DOING IT, has not achieved bipartisanship!
Yes, I agree with the comment that there are other urgent topics that need our attention but it is not an either/or situation. I think this show does an excellent job of presenting all topics. In the meanwhile, if I think this topic is important as there is a sore festering among us on the left that needs to be lanced so that we do not self-destruct.
Charles, I'll give you these three:
-A continued denial of habeus corpus-A continuation of rendition-More signing statements
The rest were pretty much what Obama ran on.
He was always for escalation in Afghanistan. His economic team consists largely of people who advised him during the campaign. He never promised single payer, and he never said he would cut the military budget.
Re Mr. Gibbs:I DID NOT VOTE FORAn escalation in AfghanistanA continued denial of habeus corpusA continuation of renditionMore signing statementsAn economic team of Robert Rubin’s studentsA sellout of healthcare single-payer to the insurance industryA continued bloated military budget while the country’s civil and physical infrastructure rots
This is not change. This is the same old stuff, no matter that a few bills got passed.
Where can the left go, asks the Democratic Party? It can follow Ralph Nader out the door.Temper tantrum? No, disgust, and sending a signal that we need real leadership for change,not the same old stuff.Also, most importantly, that the Imperial Presidency with its abrogations of Constitutional rights and signing statements, must be curbed before we have a president who chooses to be Caesar. I WILL NOT VOTE IN NOVEMBER.
"It is in the nature of charisma that it rises out of thin air, out of need and distress, and then dissipates when the magic fails. The country has had its fill with a scapegoating that knows no end from a president who had vowed to break with recriminations and partisanship. The magic of 2008 can't be recreated, and good riddance to it. Slowly, the nation has recovered its poise.
There is a widespread sense of unstated embarrassment that a political majority, if only for a moment, fell for the promise of an untested redeemer—a belief alien to the temperament of this so practical and sober a nation."
David A. from Brooklyn wrote, "The bizarre thing about Gibb's comment was the straw man claim that the left equates Obama with Bush. Which left is he looking at?"
This is hardly a straw man claim. It's a real vein of rhetoric in the progressive blogosphere. For examples, please see comments on this page from "dboy from nyc" and "dl from BK".
Becky, you are sooooo hot!!!!
A big one...
• 75% OF THE BP OIL SPILL IS "GONE".
IF THIS DOESN'T SOUND LIKE THE IDEAL PROPAGANDA SOUND BYTE TO COUNTER AN UNCOMFORTABLE GOVERNMENT PR DISASTER, I DON'T KNOW WHAT DOES.
Obama is really giving Bush a run for his Orwellian newspeak money!!!
OMU from Nigeria:
A. Not a republican, also not a fool.B. I hide behind nothing, clearly you are brand new to this board.C. If you want me to repeat it again I shall.
I think it is a waste of good air time to keep harping on presidential approval, yea or ney, there will never be a time when we all agree sooo move on, their are people starving to death and dying out of work and women and children in toxic houselholds...tons of other subjects to talk about...my opinion is that it is pure evil to avoid these subjects.
I agree with the comment Brian read on air just before the segment outro: BHO has to worry about the amateurs who provided input, energy, $$$ & votes to get him elected.
POTUS' inside the Beltway advisers are permanently stuck in a DLC/Clinton time warp that has led them to compromise before fighting, to negotiate before there's a complete bill to negotiate about, etc.
Such "imaginary centrism" has crippled the economy, continued Bush policies, etc.
In short, BHO has continued the secrecy, etc. of the Reagan/GHWB/GWB administrations & he pays no attention to those who voted for him, worked for him & would have supported him in making real reform in Health Care/Banking Reform, etc.
He organized an army to get elected, then did an Iraqi Viceroy [Paul ?] move & fired them to "govern."
• Compromised healthcare reform - boon to insurance industry.
• As little or less "transparency" as the Bush administration.
• More vehement pursuit of leakers than the Bush administration.
• More drone deaths of innocents than the Bush administration.
• Soft policies toward banking industry.
• Timothy Geithner - say no more.
• Denial of the problem of corporate $ in government.
• Etc., etc...
Government does as government will.
Same ol' same ol'.
WHERE'S MY REFORM!!!???
Thanks John! I think.
The vast middle of the American electorate is relatively disengaged from the day-to-day political minutia that many on the left and right obsess over. When those moderate, swing voters hear both liberals and conservatives saying what a terrible job Obama is doing, what conclusion should they come away with?
I have 4 cats, great pets.
Becky your looking more and more attractive!!
john from Office you need a kitten!
If seeking to assassinate citizens with no due process, prosecuting whistleblowers more than any previous administration, continuing to invoke executive privilege as much as Bush admin, increasing troops by 30K in Afghanistan, implementing Bob Dole's health care plan, applauding the firing of teachers in RI is governing from the center, who needs a right wing?
We progressives should not have to apologize for what we stand for! Yes abolish the pentagon and single payer.
We know Obama never stood for those things, but we and I worked our butts off to get him elected because he made promises on our side. All of his actions have been moderate and ejected the progressive elements. What does it mean on policy level throw us a bone and give us one out of three:
1)Meaningful progressive stimulus
2)Employee Free Choice Act for unions
3)Health Reform WITH PUBLIC OPTION
or just fire your whole economic team and bring in Paul Krugman.
To your caller David...AMEN! David, you articulated what I believe EVERYONE who support(ed) President Obama is feeling at the moment. I'm frustrated with this administration, from education, to the environment. Obama needs to take on the Republicans the way they took on the country. They're gangsters with guns, and the Obama administration is fighting with their fist in kid gloves. He's accomplishing quite a bit, but not spinning his accomplishments well.
The bizarre thing about Gibb's comment was the straw man claim that the left equates Obama with Bush. Which left is he looking at? The Progressive Labor Party? Most of the professional (and amateur) left has grudgingly accepted the compromises on health care and finance reform while being specifically unhappy with things like the failure to give more leadership and initiative to climate change legislation, modification of the Special Administrative Measures that distort the legal system, and addressing the foreclosure crisis. What? We supported him in 2008 so we can't criticize anything? Gibbs needs a vacation.
Obama's overall approval rating is 47%, so that's a lot of support amoung the people
I'm a progressive, but that doesn't mean I want president who refuses to work with republicans. How can we get past partisan politics with a leader who only listens to his base?
I am a conservative republican. Obama has my vote now and in 2012. Why, because he is not a bomb thrower, nor a black president, but a president who happens to be Black.
Obama is doing a fine job.
Everyone has their own pet issue, and if that pet issue isn't addressed immediately, heads explode.
Obama is doing fine so far, and thank god he won---I shudder at the thought of a McCain-Palin Administration.
I am totally disappointed with how conservative Obama has been as president, but I'm not surprised as he is doing exactly what he said he would do during his campaign. The problem is that a lot of people believed he would be more than he was saying.
The comment below must be written by an undercover Republican because it so exemplifies the arrogance and hypocrisy of the Far left.
1. I have the "truth" 2. Anyone who airs opposing opinions is "evil" (or a "racist" or a "bigot")3. Let the liberal elites decides what's good for us - who cares about what the people want...
"The Truth from BeckyPure evil Brian for you to continue to beat this subject "Presidential Approval Rating" nonsense into the ground!"
I think everyone just needs to calm down a bit. Making decisions based on sound bites is really leading us no where.
Will anyone even remember this tomorrow? Seems to me that as a nation, we seem to know not much about a lot, and have a political memory span matching that of a goldfish.
Gibbs is mad at the wrong people. He should be mad at the republicans and the blue-dog democrats who stymie his efforts at every turn rather than the progressives who support him.
Progressives are free thinkers, we'll critisize even our own. Republicans will not do that.
Again the President has my full support, I think he is progressing nicely.
Leslie buy a clue!
Gibbs was right. In-artful, but right.
Governing is compromising, and no one is ever happy with that, but that's why all this cable, radio entertainmentization of politics is bad.
But the Pro' Left is doing what they are supposed to do. Politics is a struggle, and in the end, we, hopefully, have the correct results.
And it's smart to have the far left fighting with the center left, so that anything right is devoid of media oxygen.
Keep it up, Mr. Gibbs.
Who the hell cares if anyone is "offended" or not? What does being offended have to do with anything?
What are we, all 9 years old? We have discussions about people being "offended"? I'm in the liberal left and I don't get offended by the words of politicians.
When this country starts growing up and stops thinking about who is offended or not, and when offended people grow up and stop using their poor little feelings to strong arm and manipulate other people, we'll start making progress as an adult nation.
Pure evil Brian for you to continue to beat this subject "Presidential Approval Rating" nonsense into the ground!
. Brian, look in the mirror. You are the professional left.
It is the blame the USA first crowd, never looking at the good in this country. It is the New York times, it is the upper west side, it is liberals, it is the ACLU.
yet another example.......
the dems blunder after blunder
take a shot at your base.....duh
You said it, smidely.
Finally, some anger from the Obama administration -- not at the right, not at Republicans, but at its base. Gibbs is a train-wreck.
-a head-in-the-clouds hippie who wants Canadian-style health care
Gibbs was right! President Obama is leading from the center, something no other president has done in some time. I am "the professional left" and while I wish the President could accomplish more sweeping change I realize that it's NOT THAT SIMPLE!! I am satisfied with forward steps.
The Obsolescence of Barack ObamaThe magic of 2008 can't be recreated, and good riddance to it.
The vaunted Obama economic stimulus, at $862 billion, has failed. The "progressives" want to double down, and were they to have their way, would have pushed for a bigger stimulus still. But the American people are in open rebellion against an economic strategy of public debt, higher taxes and unending deficits. We're not all Keynesians, it turns out. The panic that propelled Mr. Obama to the presidency has waned. There is deep concern, to be sure. But the Obama strategy has lost the consent of the governed.
it does seem odd how some people on the left and the right can't find a silver lining with this guy
What Obama needs to worry about is not the "professional leftists" but the millions of amateur "leftists" like myself who poured out our time, emptied our wallets and then voted for the Democratic cause in 2008.
yeh...those healthy food and safe tapwater crackpots
the consumer "rights" freaks
those "living wage" loons
the "doubt bigotry" cabal
those privacy and transparency communists.
and those....hack, hack...peace TERRORISTS!
you know, the regular rotation of guests on this show.
Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm
your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the
right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the
Comment Guidelines before
By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's
It's your neighborhood, your city, your country, your world, and now your website. Brian Lehrer delves into the issues and links them to real life.