Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Intra-Party Squabbling

So Robert Gibbs is frustrated at the left wing base of Obama supporters because they are never satisfied. And so the left is now mad at Robert Gibbs for being frustrated.  And when Gibbs tried to placate the left, that only seems to have made matters worse.   I would urge both sides to kiss and make up.  At a time when the Republicans, despite their excellent opportunity to take advantage of popular discontent to score some election victories this fall, seem to be falling prey to squabbling among themselves, the Democrats ought to be acting like the responsible adults who are in power.  Unfortunately, Democrats can never seem to stop fighting among themselves, whether they are in or out of power.

From his perspective,it is understandable that Robert Gibbs is frustrated.  It's bad enough that he has to contend with critics on the right claiming the administration is pursuing a socialist agenda.  I'm sure he would appreciate more understanding from critics on the left.  Gibbs sees first-hand that no matter what Obama does, he can't win.  If he tried harder to satisfy his right wing critics, he would face even more criticism from the left.  And vice versa of course.

But let's also acknowledge that the Obama base is understandably frustrated by the compromises that were made to pass legislation they fought hard for.  The base feels taken for granted.  The administration could perhaps do more to let the base know they are appreciated: the fall elections depend on keeping the base supportive, as well as attracting the support of moderates and independents.  The way to do that is to convey the message that the people in charge know what they are doing, and they have a large base of support.  So it seems a waste of energy even to talk about why Robert Gibbs is mad at liberals, and vice versa.  OK, I'll stop talking about it now.

(AP photo from Politico)


  1. Where was the base during the Massachusetts special Senatorial election that cost the Democrats their 60th vote and forced many of the compromises they are complaining about? AWOL!

  2. I like Obama (the man). I don't agree with some of his politics and like other parts. Because I like him I empathize when I see some of the criticism from both sides. He has found out how much harder it is to lead than to campaign. (I enjoyed the edited video clip from the HuffPost of Senator Obama grilling President Obama about the war!)

    I think Gibbs was spot on for firing back at Grayson and others who keep popping off. The President has done more for the left than any President in the 50 years: there is a new road being built to national healthcare; there is some solid regulation reform, he gave a trillion dollars to the left to do projects they have wanted for decades; he put two female judges on the supreme court who will likely vote liberally for the next 25 years; he propped up unions with the auto takeover and now teachers unions with the recent 30 billion influx of cash.

    I understand progressives want card check, a public option, leaving the wars, more on don't ask don't tell, etc ... but the votes just are not there. Only 20-25% of all Americans identify themselves as liberals. As a campaigner, Obama over came that as he excited independants and those left of center (as well as some right of center). However, as the progressive agenda becomes clearer to likely voters we are seeing the backlash that will be played out in November.

  3. Gibbs is a buffoon and it is his boss who courted the Lefty bloggers and other extremists and now that they can't deliver (which they knew going in) getting upset for being called on their deception shows a new low for the President and Gibbs.

    America is not a Liberal nation and anybody who believed Obama's lines deserves what they get.

    It is the fault of the administration for using those people to get elected.

    Reap what you sow and harvest time is almost here...

  4. I am not sure the President recruited the professional left. He didn't have to. Where else were they going to go after John Edwards imploded. He courted all the unsatisfied. It was Pelosi and Reid who have over played the hand given them. Gibbs is a loyal soldier working his butt off. He drives me crazy although I do find time to give him respect.

    If I could change two things about current politics it would be gerrymandering and the ideologues it puts in office. How the heck do we keep getting leaders in Congress (both parties) who could ner, ever, win a general national election.

    My personal edit of a Neil Young song from the 1972 album Harvest:

    "I've seen the politics
    and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every junkie's
    like a settin' sun."

  5. Obama courted the "professional Left" constantly... he had to in order to get elected. They weren't going to vote for McCain but they might not have voted at all.

    Billy Clinton did the same thing and when he turned on them by dropped gay in the military, supporting NAFTA, and dropping Hillarycare they left him in the mid-terms and his party got creamed.

    That's the funny thing about the Left... they always vote for "their man" then they always get betrayed by him.

    Oh, the irony.