Left Jab

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dana Milbank, political columnist for The Washington Post, talks about Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' comments about the "professional left."


Dana Milbank

Comments [41]

Sandra from Astoria

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?

Aug. 12 2010 03:03 PM
Bahir from Jersey City


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.

Aug. 12 2010 12:05 PM
Yvonne from Park Slope

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, 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.

Aug. 12 2010 11:52 AM
Edward from NJ

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:58 AM
Charles from Carmel, NY

Re Mr. Gibbs:
An escalation in Afghanistan
A continued denial of habeus corpus
A continuation of rendition
More signing statements
An economic team of Robert Rubin’s students
A sellout of healthcare single-payer to the insurance industry
A 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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:47 AM
Omutende from Bed Stuy via Nigeria

"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."

Aug. 12 2010 10:47 AM
Edward from NJ

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".

Aug. 12 2010 10:46 AM
office from office

Becky, you are sooooo hot!!!!

Aug. 12 2010 10:46 AM
dboy from nyc


A big one...




Obama is really giving Bush a run for his Orwellian newspeak money!!!

Aug. 12 2010 10:44 AM
The Truth from Becky

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 opinion is that it is pure evil to avoid these subjects.

Aug. 12 2010 10:41 AM
BrettG from LIC/Astoria

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."

Aug. 12 2010 10:39 AM
dboy from nyc

• 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'.


Aug. 12 2010 10:37 AM
The Truth from Becky

Thanks John! I think.

Aug. 12 2010 10:36 AM
Edward from NJ

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?

Aug. 12 2010 10:29 AM
john from office

I have 4 cats, great pets.

Aug. 12 2010 10:27 AM
john from office

Becky your looking more and more attractive!!

Aug. 12 2010 10:25 AM

john from Office
you need a kitten!

Aug. 12 2010 10:24 AM
dl from BK

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?

Aug. 12 2010 10:24 AM
Marcos from the Bronx

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



or just fire your whole economic team and bring in Paul Krugman.

Aug. 12 2010 10:22 AM
Jackson from BROOKLYN

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:21 AM
David A. from Brooklyn

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:21 AM

Obama's overall approval rating is 47%,
so that's a lot of support amoung the people

Aug. 12 2010 10:20 AM
MSH from UES

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?

Aug. 12 2010 10:20 AM
john from Office

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:20 AM

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:19 AM

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:19 AM
Omutende from Bed Stuy via Nigeria

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 Becky
Pure evil Brian for you to continue to beat this subject "Presidential Approval Rating" nonsense into the ground!"

Aug. 12 2010 10:19 AM
tash from brooklyn

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:18 AM
Brian from NYC

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:17 AM
The Truth from Becky

Again the President has my full support, I think he is progressing nicely.

Leslie buy a clue!

Aug. 12 2010 10:16 AM
RLewis from the bowery

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:15 AM
Nick from UWS

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.

Offended.........Jesus Christ....

Aug. 12 2010 10:15 AM
The Truth from Becky

Pure evil Brian for you to continue to beat this subject "Presidential Approval Rating" nonsense into the ground!

Aug. 12 2010 10:14 AM
john from Office

. 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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:13 AM

yet another example.......

oh lord

the dems blunder after blunder

take a shot at your base.....duh

Aug. 12 2010 10:12 AM
Nico from North Crown Heights

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

Aug. 12 2010 10:12 AM
Patricia Comtpon from Somers, NY

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:12 AM
Kirstin from Park Slope

The Obsolescence of Barack Obama
The 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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:08 AM

it does seem odd how some people on the left and the right can't find a silver lining with this guy

Aug. 12 2010 10:06 AM
David A. from Brooklyn

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:05 AM

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.

Aug. 12 2010 10:00 AM

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