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)