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Robert Gibbs concedes attack on left was "inartful"

Robert Gibbs, under fire for his attack on the "professional left," sends over a statement walking it back, conceding it was "inartful," and clarifying that the views he expressed frustration about are not widely held:

I watch too much cable, I admit. Day after day it gets frustrating. Yesterday I watched as someone called legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout -- but I know that's not a view held by many, nor were the views I was frustrated about.

So what I may have said inartfully, let me say this way -- since coming to office in January 2009, this White House and Congress have worked tirelessly to put our country back on the right path. Most importantly, to dig our way out of a huge recession and build an economy that makes America more competitive and our middle class more secure. Some are frustrated that the change we want hasn't come fast enough for many Americans. That we all understand.

But in 17 months, we have seen Wall Street reform, historic health care reform, fair pay for women, a recovery act that pulled us back from a depression and got our economy moving again, record investments in clean energy that are creating jobs, student loan reforms so families can afford college, a weapons system canceled that the Pentagon didn't want, reset our relationship with the world and negotiated a nuclear weapons treaty that gets us closer to a world without fear of these weapons, just to name a few. And at the end of this month, 90,000 troops will have left Iraq and our combat mission will come to an end.

Even so, we will continue to work each day on the promises and commitments that the President made traveling all over this country for two years and produce the change we know is possible.

In November, America will get to choose between going back to the failed policies that got us into this mess, or moving forward with the policies that are leading us out.

So we should all, me included, stop fighting each other and arguing about our differences on certain policies, and instead work together to make sure everyone knows what is at stake because we've come too far to turn back now.

Gibbs's general message seems to be that the left's criticism risks being counterproductive and could imperil the Dems' broader agenda. But at the same time, in that last graf Gibbs is clearly conceding that White House attacks on the left are equally counterproductive.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 11:37 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Next: Whatever Gibbs said, liberals still like Obama

Comments

"Robert Gibbs, under fire for his attack on the 'professional left,' sends over a statement walking it back"

Someone got a spanking.

"In November, America will get to choose between going back to the failed policies that got us into this mess, or moving forward with the policies that are leading us out."

Now, there's the read meat! However, given that, historically, the Democrats are likely to lose a fair amount of seats and perhaps even the majority in the house (maybe the senate, if a miracle occurs)--just because, given their majorities, and the economy, and the approval ratings of congress, most indicators suggest that 2010 will bring in a lot of freshmen--perhaps he shouldn't make the choice that stark.

Because that tends to buy into the argument that a more-than-modest Democratic loss at the polls is a repudiation of the overall Obama agenda, which it probably wouldn't be, really. If it happens.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 10, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I watch too much cable, I admit. Day after day it gets frustrating. Yesterday I watched as someone called legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout -- but I know that's not a view held by many, nor were the views I was frustrated about.

Ah, right. An excellent example of where the Left has been too vocal--darn them for calling "legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout".

What has Gibbs been smoking? He's right about one thing, though--he's been watching too much cable news. Maybe if they'd attempt to actually lead, rather than let cable news set the agenda, they might actually reclaim some of their mojo.

I say this as an Obama fan, a liberal, but someone who knows several folks who deal with the WH on policy issues: these guys are pure amateur hour when it comes to the politics of governing. Everything they do seems calculated to alienate their supporters, and give comfort to their bitterest enemies.

Posted by: ibc0 | August 10, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Oh, that's gonna fix everything. There was nothing "inartful" about what Gibbs said. It is quite obviously the deep-seated feeling of the Administration and the Democratic Party generally. The Left has no place in the Democratic Party any longer because Democrats are now openly and proudly Republican-lite. The Left is the enemy for Establishment Democrats just as it is for the GOP. The merger is complete. We now have a single corporate party with two franchises, the better to protect the interests of Big Money. America is a plutocracy; both parties are controlled by the oligarchs who run the nation. The partisan differences are only a matter of degree and exist largely to keep people occupied and distracted so we don't focus on what is really happening.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 10, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Inartful but not inaccurate. Oh by the way 76% of liberals still support Obama according to Gallup so the Ed Schultzes of the world really DONT represent the rest of us.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | August 10, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I think that line about aid to the states being a baiolout was said by a REPUBLICAN. Certainly it is their line--aid to the states is special interest aid to unionized public employees. I heard it either on CNBC or on MSNBC, which is the only cable news channel I watch, but I'm almost certain it was said by a GOPer in a clip.

Gibbs is right that intra-party sniping is not going to help get Dems to the polls, so why does he do it? What the Pres and his top advisers say carries more weight than what bloggers say, right? And people do recognize what Obama hgas done, but want him to do more, especially on the economy, where listening to the likes of Robert Rubin and Larry Summers and the Maine twins has given us a "recovery" that has helped the banks and the stock market but done precious little for ordinary people. We had and still have an insufficient degree of stimulus to counter the wage and salary and hours and job and benefits losses of the past few years. Demand is down because the bottom 95% has too little a share of the pie and so can't spend.

And then ther's his waffling on marriage equality and DADT.

If they can't energize their base, how do they expect to win the election?

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 10, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs isn't walking back anything, he's just spinning the very things that make anyhone with eyes and ears terribly disappointed in this administration. Health care reform that rewards Insurance compansies and Wall Street reform that rewards Wall Street for committing fraud. Meanwhile at Guantanomo a child's statement made after he was tortured is being used to convict him.

Gibbs has worn out whatever usefulness he had, but then he's not really the problem. The fact that Democrats abuse and lie to their base full time and with a relish they apply to nothing else will continue unchanged regardless of who's spinning at the podium.

Posted by: cvm1 | August 10, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Copy/Paste from my poorly timed comment in the previous thread:

"There's some validity to the White House's point: Sometimes the criticism is excessive and counterproductive." - GregS

This has been, and will continue to be, my beef with the left as well. Constructive criticism is fine...but a LOT of what we see coming from the left is unproductive, destructive, and flat out whiny "poutrage". That, combined with a complete lack of credit the WH gets for their very real accomplishments they've gotten, I'm not surprised to see their frustration.

But frustration is rarely artful or illistrates confidence.

The biggest thing people forget about the campaign, was that all that poetry was about the public coming together and working for change. This fact is totally lost in the left's complaints. Instead of trying to organize and build public support "from the ground up" they are all focused on the "top down" approach of just getting the President to take up their cause and do it for them.

That's the real shame of the left in all of this. The principals they claim Obama's lost, they've lost themselves. Instead of spending all their time and energy on the WH...they should be spending it on grassroots organization and changing the minds of voters directly.

---

It's good to see such a quick and extensive walkback. Gibbs looks really dumb today - but the indignant backlash from the "profressional left" is equally annoying today.

John Cole @ Ballon Juice said it best:

"Way to help the GOTV effort, Gibbs. A**hole."

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 10, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

BTW: Here's my take of why the White House has done this. As demonstrated by the response so far to Gibbs' remarks, hard-core Democrats will circle the wagons and gladly attack anyone outside the circle. IOW, they will vote for Democrats no matter what. The Left, however, has been increasingly disillusioned with Obama's commitment to progressive values. So Obama has been losing the Left. He has also. however, been losing Independents.

The Est Dems long ago concluded that Independents were going because Obama moved too far too fast. The Est Dems, as usual, accepted the GOP-Right frame and view of the issue. (I think the Est Dems were and are dead wrong. Obama lost Independents by failing to show leadership; Independents have lost trust that Obama can govern effectively.)

Erroneously assuming that Independents and the Left were at cross-purposes, the White House decided it to sacrifice the Left for Independents.Think Sister Souljah Redux.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 10, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"Yesterday I watched as someone called legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout."

Does anyone know who he was referring too? If it was one of the "professional left", then I think he is right to be frustrated.

@sgwhitefla - "76% of liberals still support Obama" That is correct. The disgruntled left is not even close to a majority, and I don't think it can be claimed that this small group is the reason that the President's approval numbers are down. So why do they draw such ire from the White House?

And as for "Obama=Bush," give me a break. No one is claiming that they are the same. What has been claimed -- by Talking Points Memo reporters, Charlie Savage, the lawyers from EFF, Bob Herbert, Anthony Romero, Russ Feingold, and The New York Times Editorial Board -- is that some of President Bush's policies have been embraced by the Obama Administration.* That is not the same as Obama=Bush.

*www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/10/gibbs/index.html

Posted by: beenjammin | August 10, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne is right-this was a half-ass, SIsta Soulijah moment. I'll accept your walkback Mr. Gibbs when you resign. Your mealy-mouth pronouncements (include Axelrod) in defense of this adminsitration have been excruiating to watch. And that lame 'Canadian Health Care' slam was example of your inability to respond to credible charges from the The Pro Left.

Posted by: bmcchgo | August 10, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg, Gibbs is reading your blog!

I think that my earlier post is a better take..."We understand that some of the more progressive factions are not totally satisfied with our accomplishments and frankly we wanted to pass better legislation, but you legislate with the congress you have, not the one you wish you had. I am sure that the progressives would be even more upset if we didn't pass finreg, HCR, or ledbetter."

Do you think the white house will hire me? ;-)

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"Yesterday I watched as someone called legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout."

Does anyone know who he was referring too? If it was one of the "professional left", then I think he is right to be frustrated.

====================================

Given the incompetence and tin-ear of the day-to-day political shop, the "professional left" he was referring to was probably Ben Nelson.

Posted by: ibc0 | August 10, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Inartful? Bullpucky. It was nasty and insulting. Just another mark on the "no" side of the ledger.

Posted by: msmollyg | August 10, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@bmcchgo : That's a bit harsh. I know that I want white house messaging to be more solidly progressive and I think moving it a bit in that direction would strengthen the message, but I bet that a hard core progressive messaging campaign will turn on about 30% of the electorate and turn off the 40% in the middle. Electoral politics makes people be mealy mouthed. And really, its not Gibbs or the white house's job to respond publicly to every criticism coming from the left. In fact, I think that it is counterproductive to criticize progressive initiatives and ideas or to slam their proponents, since those ideas generally have the same goals as administration policy (even if the strategy and intensity of the two groups is different).

The white house communication team's job is to shape the message so that there is more chance for the mainstream democratic agenda to be both popular and enacted. That is not going to totally satisfy pinko, socialist, marxist, bleeding heart liberals like me, but unfortunately not everyone is as correct on the issues and their solutions as we are...;-) Progressive activists' job is to push that mainstream democratic agenda to the left, not just to trash the administration when it falls short. That being said, Obama has a lot to do to make "national security" and surveillance subservient to the bill of rights and not the other way around. Unlike HCR or Finreg, its hard to see where the improvement over the bushies is, beyond outlawing torture and attempting to close gitmo.

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@BBQ "Constructive criticism is fine...but a LOT of what we see coming from the left is unproductive, destructive, and flat out whiny "poutrage".

Point taken. And a LOT of what we see from the "center" is rubber stamping from people who want to be on the side that's winning. And as I stated in a comment in a previous post, claiming there have been no negatives in the President's agenda is just as thougthtless as saying there have been no positives. So I would hope that we could come to an agreement that some criticism is warranted.

As your contention that "Instead of spending all their time and energy on the WH...they should be spending it on grassroots organization and changing the minds of voters directly," I would point you to the Sestak, Halter, and Romanoff campaigns as examples of the "the left" working with the grassroots and not simply targeting the WH with complaints.

Posted by: beenjammin | August 10, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Someone tell me how the money for government employees is not a bailout. Every penny given to California counts as a bailout because no one will take on the greedy public unions there.

Posted by: dubuqueman | August 10, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Truth hurts it seems.

But I think u all know my position on stuff.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 10, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

When I first saw an overview of these comment was I the only one thinking that the results tonight in Colorado could make Gibbs look silly?

http://www.progressiveblue.com/diary/5534/profiles-in-stupid-robert-gibbs

It's not that they would say much about the base (generally speaking) and the White House. But Gibbs little screed didn't say much about progressive criticism... or at least the kind I've heard/seconded.

Who really takes "Obama = Bush across the board" seriously?

I get that Gibbs has a very difficult job, but this was just beyond ill - advised... and it smacks of a pattern.

And how about dropping any "hey people who opposed the Iraq war from the start and oppose the escalation in Afghanistan... neener neener nah nah" garbage?

In Gibbs case especially, he's standing on a fault line. Afghanistan is this Administration's Achilles' Heel with the Democratic base (and it should be). This cannot be a secret.

The whole "war that is not smart and immoral" thing is a major sore spot, as Greg pointed out earlier.

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm done. There's no way I'm supporting this administration anymore after they've abandoned every progressive principle and sold out to the right.
And now this Gibbs comes out and calls progressives dirty hippies who are on drugs? Because we want health care for all?
Democratic politicians act this way because they don't fear their base. That is about to change.
I won't vote for any Democrat or give a cent until that Gibbs is fired.

Posted by: jhughart | August 10, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

This is exactly how wife beaters behave.

Posted by: ElizabethFerrari | August 10, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This is really funny.

First it clearly proves a contention that has been floating around on the right for a while now. that is that the left in America will never get enough. Looking at the morally vacant and economically ignorant arguments that the left relies upon when the demand tax increases I firmly believe this to be true.

Next, the comment concerning the teachers is absolutely true. It is a bailout. Instead of confronting this overpaid and underperforming group, the liberals and the Democrats are rewarding significant campaign contributions.


But by all means, continue to carry on destroying yourselves. It is helpful to the country and frankly fun to watch.

How many of you dyed in the wool lefties remember when Ms Sheehan's band of sistah's boo'd Rahm Emmanuel off the stage? Let's see way more of that. I will make changing directions in this country soooo much simpler!

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 10, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@beenjammin

"And a LOT of what we see from the "center" is rubber stamping from people who want to be on the side that's winning."

Oh, I think there are a multitude of dumb reasons that the "center" waffles on seemingly every single issue.

"claiming there have been no negatives in the President's agenda is just as thougthtless as saying there have been no positives. So I would hope that we could come to an agreement that some criticism is warranted."

Certainly! The public option was gettable. Gitmo still pisses me off. NASA should get more funding (space is my thing). An updated Glass-Stegall should have been in FinReg. DADT and DOMA will bother me, though I think they will be repealed in time.

I could surely go on. But there's also the problem of how people complain, as opposed to what they complain about. Some of the vitrol coming from the left is really absurd, even if they are passionate about what they see as failures of the administration. "Corporate Sell-Out" and "Same as Bush" and "Doesn't Care about Americans" is nearly standard fair from some on the left at this point.

Also...I've found that most people who seem to "ignore" the bad parts of this administration due so more because they feel a need to counter the non-stop assault from those who never give Obama any credit - not the other way around. So both sides fall into this mode where they can't give any ground, at all.

I'm generally a defender (I believe it'll be the right side of history in the long run)...but I certainly take my shots at Obama when I feel the need to.

"I would point you to the Sestak, Halter, and Romanoff campaigns as examples of the "the left" working with the grassroots and not simply targeting the WH with complaints."

Exactly! And look at the results. Sestak has a MUCH better chance at winning than Specter would have...so that's a possible Senate hold that would have likely been lost. And Halter's primary is seen as the MAIN reason we got harsher derivatives reform than anyone thought we'd get. I don't know much on Romanoff...but I've heard he has a better shot of holding the seat at well.

It actually reinforces my point. We should be seeing MORE of this - but we should also see it happening for legislative pushes (not just generating angry phone calls) and especially GOTV efforts.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 10, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Please! Most of the gas passed along our radio airwaves is from the right-wingers. But, there are a few (out of the very few) on the left who are just as bad.

Let's face it...there are far more "opinionators" blabbing out there than there are real journalists who deal in factual information. It's no wonder people are so ill informed.

Posted by: joy2 | August 10, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

A PROPOSAL

I think it would probably be in everyone's interest if we (progressives, Dems) could put this behind us... though I can see how someone could view it as an access point to a broader discussion that needs to take place.

Maybe everyone moves on, one condition -- Gibbs opened a door that he should have to help close.

The proposal: Gibbs goes on the record with a respected progressive voice, in depth on five major issues:

Afghanistan
Economic Recovery (jobs vs. the deficit, the investment deficit, good jobs at good wages -- including labor law reform)
Fin Reg
The Deficit Commission (Social Security)
Marriage Equality

30 minutes seems about right. How much time did he give to The Hill?

As far as the respected progressive voice goes... hi, Greg!

(Worth a try.)

Posted by: michael_conrad | August 10, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

All, whatever Gibbs said, a new poll finds that liberals overwhelmingly like Obama:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/whatever_gibbs_said_liberals_s.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 10, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: Next, the comment concerning the teachers is absolutely true. It is a bailout. Instead of confronting this overpaid and underperforming group, the liberals and the Democrats are rewarding significant campaign contributions.

Spoken like someone who has never stepped into a public school classroom as a teacher (or at least not in the last 30 years)...As Krugman says, Cadillac driving welfare teachers is the new repiglican meme. Watch for it coming to a blog near you!

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

dubuqueman: You don't know much about CA, do you? State employees have been required to take a 15% pay cut through furloughs over the past couple of years. Cities are laying off police and firefighters or negotiating givebacks with them. Tens of thousands of teachers were sent layoff notices, and many will be laid off. The most powerful public employee union is the prison guards' union, who grew fat by scaring the public into passing ever more draconian laws that required building ever more prisons and hiring ever more prison guards at exorbitant salaries. As for the rest, scientists are grossly underpaid, as are most other professionals.

CA is bigger place than iowa, you know. It is huge and complex with an economy that would be in the top ten world-wide if it were a separate country. It has a huge coastline (second only to Alaska), a border with Mexico, and depends for most of its water on complex storage and conveyance systems. And on top of that it is the number one agricultural producer in the country. It is difficult to run such a complex state. It's state workers are professional and highly educated and trained. Other than the overpaid prison guards they aren't greedy and are worth what they are paid.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

On the facts, Gibbs was and is absolutely right:

http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2010/08/why-gibbs-is-right-about-professional.html

He didn't back down; he merely reframed his argument with the central theme intact: unity. Given the professional lefties were bashing him on exactly this point, this is also a challenge to them. Can they put their money where their mouth is when it comes to unity? We'll see, but don't hold your breath.

Posted by: thepeoplesview | August 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

When it comes November, Democrats need to ask themselves one question. Do you really want to go backwards to deregulation, corporate loopholes, tax cuts for the rich, outsourcing, optional wars, fearmongering, etc., etc.? I sure don't!

Posted by: joy2 | August 10, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Inartful"? This pack of clowns doesn't want progressives to vote Democrat. When you have members of the Administration standing up to say things like that about their voters then they are just plain dumb. What is so hard to figure out about giving your key electorate a bone? Does it truly take a super-genius to figure out that when you fight against what a group of people rally behind and publicly insult them then they are not going to support you? I guess so because this Administration is doing everything they can to make sure their traditional base dislikes them. Hey, It's their choice but it gets so old listening to them whine about how they have to take responsibility for THEIR OWN actions. Boo-hoo, The progressives aren't clapping loud enough! Get over yourselves.

Posted by: junket | August 10, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

srw3, skippy has no clue that the administration has been taking on the teacher's union since day 1, much to their chagrin. As usual, skippy shouts memes and talking points, but is clueless to reality.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 10, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

jhughart

Waaa-Waaa...you're bawling because you wanted healthcare for all????

Get real! It's thanks to President Obama that we got as far as we did. It's a start and we need to prevent the Republicans taking us backwards with their agenda to REPEAL OBAMACARE.

If you want to vent on Democrats why don't you take your frustration out on the so-called BlueDog Dems like Ben Nelson. They are the bottlenecks when it comes to progressive legislation.

Posted by: joy2 | August 10, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

joy2

Like jhughart I won't be the one crying on election day this year, or in 2012. It's the likes of you that ensures the independent left won't be pulling the lever for Democrat. Repugs Repealing Obamacare? Keep heaping on the scorn and BLAME YOURSELF. In widening the divide in the Democratic base you made your own grave, and now you can lie in it too!

Posted by: junket | August 10, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

here's a funny whine o gram:
++++++++++++++++++++
@ss28: Next, the comment concerning the teachers is absolutely true. It is a bailout. Instead of confronting this overpaid and underperforming group, the liberals and the Democrats are rewarding significant campaign contributions.

Spoken like someone who has never stepped into a public school classroom as a teacher (or at least not in the last 30 years)...As Krugman says, Cadillac driving welfare teachers is the new repiglican meme. Watch for it coming to a blog near you!

++++++++++++++++++++++++

First, the name calling really proves your immaturity. I guess you must be a person with some "seasoning" as most folks try to give the appearance of some measure of intellectual development.

yes, Mr Krugman. What was it that Paul Ryan called him? Oh yeah, intellectually lazy. That shoe certainly fits.

The problem for the lefties is that the facts simply mitigate against them on this issue.

Teachers are over paid. gotta face it. Here's an example. Recently there were elections for school levies in Ohio. ten passed. 17 failed. The voters are now clearly aware of the issue at hand.

Here's a perfect example from the columbus Dispatch:
"A taxpayer-funded state pension system encourages career teachers and administrators to retire in their 50s, tap the fund and return to work."
snip
"A superintendent earning $100,000 when he retires at age 52 will receive about $64,000 in the first year he taps his pension. If he is rehired to his same job, as happens regularly, and he receives regular 3 percent raises and other benefits afforded most superintendents, he could retire at age 65 with a pension package totaling $1.6 million."

given the drastic situation faced by Ohio's citizens, this is unconscionable.

Of course the teachers' unions funded the Democrat party and this is just the payback. They got the best congress money could buy!

So spare me the childishness. If you've got facts, by all means present them. My guess is that you don't.

I provided facts and references. you provided school yard kid stuff.


Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 10, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

here's another one:
++++++++++++++++++++
srw3, skippy has no clue that the administration has been taking on the teacher's union since day 1, much to their chagrin. As usual, skippy shouts memes and talking points, but is clueless to reality.

+++++++++++++++++

If what you say about this admin is true, it should be quite simple for you to provide, you know, like, um, PROOF.

got any?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 10, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a professional, and I don't live in DC, but enough's enough. Thanks, Mr. Gibbs, for letting us know how the administration sees its base. I'm staying home in 2010 and 2012.

Posted by: xtopher | August 10, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

let me respond to this from Mimikatz:
====================
dubuqueman: You don't know much about CA, do you? State employees have been required to take a 15% pay cut through furloughs over the past couple of years. Cities are laying off police and firefighters or negotiating givebacks with them. Tens of thousands of teachers were sent layoff notices, and many will be laid off. The most powerful public employee union is the prison guards' union, who grew fat by scaring the public into passing ever more draconian laws that required building ever more prisons and hiring ever more prison guards at exorbitant salaries. As for the rest, scientists are grossly underpaid, as are most other professionals
=============================

This is from the City Journal:
"The unions’ political triumphs have molded a California in which government workers thrive at the expense of a struggling private sector. The state’s public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation. Its prison guards can easily earn six-figure salaries. State workers routinely retire at 55 with pensions higher than their base pay for most of their working life. Meanwhile, what was once the most prosperous state now suffers from an unemployment rate far steeper than the nation’s and a flood of firms and jobs escaping high taxes and stifling regulations. This toxic combination—high public-sector employee costs and sagging economic fortunes—has produced recurring budget crises in Sacramento and in virtually every municipality in the state."

The article starts by describing a video scene wherein a union official reminds a california legislator that the union contributed heavily to the election and will oust the legislator if they don't get what they want.

Further, what is the current unfunded pension liability that the state of California faces? Care to guess? Here's a hint: three digits, then a word that starts with a B. don't believe me? Read the LA Times. yeah, its a bastion of right wing scare tactics, right?

You guys gotta muster some facts. Bluster and rote repetition of the liberal talking points won't work this time around.

The taxpayers are angry.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 10, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Does Gibbs realize it was a CONSERVATIVE REPUG who called legislation to prevent teacher layoffs a bailout?!? He uses THAT as an excuse to attack LIBERALS?

As a liberal who has been completely disillusioned and disgusted with Obama for a long time, Gibbs' insults to the left don't surprise me.

It does kinda surprise me that he would insult Dennis Kucinich - whose vote in Congress the WH presumably needs - or Canadian healthcare, when the majority of US voters wanted a public option.

But Gibbs has now made it official that Obama doesn't want MY vote...so I will be very happy in not giving it to him.

Posted by: solsticebelle | August 10, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: First, the name calling really proves your immaturity.

Oh that's right, you are offended by repiglican. Its appropriate given how repiglicans want to extend the bush tax cuts for the wealthy (800 billion, unpaid for) while blocking aid to states (20 billion, all paid for), but I forgot about your tender sensibilities. I was actually referring republicans in congress not to you personally, but if the shoe fits...

"Mr Krugman. What was it that Paul Ryan called him? Oh yeah, intellectually lazy. That shoe certainly fits."

Congressman from Wisconsin whose plan:
- has no possible chance of being enacted, - is shunned by 99% of republicans including the repug leadership
- has numbers that don't add up
-doesn't eliminate the deficit or debt,
-cuts taxes on the wealthy
-raises taxes on the middle class
-destroys medicare safety net through inadequate vouchers
-destroys social security for those under 55

vs Nobel Prize Winning Economics Professor at one of the top universities in the US.

Who has more credibility on economic issues?

"A superintendent earning $100,000 when he retires at age 52"

1. Superintendents are not union employees.
2. Superintendents make up less than 1% of school district employees
3. Superintendents are the highest paid professionals in school systems.
4. Most superintendents are responsible for thousands or 10s of thousands of employees. Their compensation seems rather small compared to chief executives of other similar sized organizations. And don't even get me started about golden parachutes for corporate execs...

"Of course the teachers' unions funded the Democrat party and this is just the payback. They got the best congress money could buy!"

1. Of course, the only example you give is not a union employee.
2. Corporate and wealthy individual donations to political parties are larger than union contributions so it would seem that corporations get the best govt money can buy.

Nobody goes into teaching saying "this is the way to get rich."

Posted by: srw3 | August 10, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@sgwhite...as a fellow Floridian I mostly applaud your posts but I believe you took a gratuitous slap at somebody whose show you obviously don't enjoy.

"76% of liberals still support Obama according to Gallup so the Ed Schultzes of the world really DONT represent the rest of us."

As someone who catches Schultz's show about once a week...I can tell you he is a huge supporter of Obama. Because he voices disappointment at what is happening in our country doesn't make him a non-supporter of Obama. He is on the record and clearly and frequently makes his support for Obama well known.

Besides we are all viewing this as too black and white. Who do the other 24% support?

AGAIN OBAMABOTS...WE LOVE YOU...WE LOVE OBAMA...UNTIL WE START DEMANDING ANOTHER CANDIDATE TO PRIMARY HIM IN 2012 STOP POUNDING US. We are only expressing our opinions. Personally I agree with wbgonne about the corporatists and the REALLY narrow differences between parties. Not a slam at Obama...just a fact..not of HIS doing..not something that happened under GWBush...this has taken a long time to evolve.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 10, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs is right. On sunday shows you see the right punching the President. You would expect the guests from the left to defend him. Instead they pile on. Huffington Post has become the Drudge-lite against the White House. "He is a sellout, he is a warmonger, he is like Bush....Wall Street bailout out" This is a president who signed a law against pay discrimination. He is rebuilding the economy and re-educating our kids. His mistake is continuing the war in Afghanistan. A war he promised to fight since the Primaries!
You are liberal and want to stay home on election day? It's your choice.
Thank you Gibbs!!!

Posted by: tchanta | August 10, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@srw3

"Do you think the white house will hire me? ;-)"

You are one of my favorite posters and I read all of your stuff. I believe I'm already on the record as saying the W.H. should hire you. Your messaging consistently blows theirs away.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 10, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

hello, i am not skip sailing, i am skippy the bush kangaroo, many of you may know my blog, so please don't confuse us.

that being said, i don't think obama did himself any favors by making promises he doesn't appear to be even close to keeping (wars, gitmo) or by using the same econ advisers that got us into this mess in the first place.

but gosh, we've got a revised student loan program! kudos!

america: still torturing, still killing brown people in wars, but number one in fair student loans!

Posted by: skippybkroo | August 10, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It is a bailout for teachers. The federal government has no right to use taxpayer funds to float the treasuries of other states who are fiscally irresponsible.

Posted by: WildBill1 | August 10, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

When it comes November, Democrats need to ask themselves one question. Do you really want to go backwards to deregulation, corporate loopholes, tax cuts for the rich, outsourcing, optional wars, fearmongering, etc., etc.? I sure don't!

Posted by: joy2 | August 10, 2010 1:17 PM
____________
Exactly right! Instead, you should look forward to a liberal dictatorship where the federal government will tell you what to buy, what to think, what to eat, how to act, and when to die....

Posted by: WildBill1 | August 10, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

How about your attacks on the left, Steve? I mean, did Gibbs say anything that you haven't said? If you think attacks on the left are counterproductive, then why keep making them?

Posted by: stonedone | August 10, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

OK srw3, its your opinion so what?

Mr Krugman either didn't know what he was talking about (a distinct possibility) or he knew and lied anyway (another distinct possibility)/ but his attempted take down of Ryan was intellectually bankrupt from the get go. All Ryan did was prove Krugman's laziness.

Here's Krugman:
"But the budget office has done no such thing. At Mr. Ryan’s request, it produced an estimate of the budget effects of his proposed spending cuts — period. It didn’t address the revenue losses from his tax cuts."

Here's Ryan's response:
"I asked the CBO to analyze the long-term revenue impact of the "Roadmap," but officials declined to do so because revenue estimates are the jurisdiction of the Joint Tax Committee. The Joint Tax Committee does not produce revenue estimates beyond the 10-year window, and so I worked with Treasury Department tax officials in setting the tax reform rates to keep revenues consistent with their historical average."

It seems that lazy and disingenuous describes Krugman's effort here.


I've had little respect for the nobel for at least a decade now. Giving the "prize" to Mr Obama simply proved me right.

and its not that I'm offended, It is just that the use of the term illustrates immaturity. I have to think twice before responding to your tirades because arguing with a fool is a dangerous course.

The Ryan plan is IMHO a starting point. The left is always demanding plans, well here's one. It is gaining some attention on the right and we're discussing it thoroughly. Your attempt to smear it doesn't change its essence. It is a platform for a tough but necessary conversation. That must be troubling to you as evidenced by the time you spent on your response.

the article I copied mentioned both teachers and superintendants. But both are part of the problem of unfunded pension liabilities. Are you guaranteeing that none of the money Obama wishes to borrow and give to school districts will be spent on double dipping administrators?

Are you saying that the teacher's unions did not contribute to Obama? I didn't think so. Do try to improve your reading comprehension skills. Look at the snippet I provided very carefully. You'll see the word teacher. not even a nice try srw3

Your argument is very weak if this is the sole response to my facts that you can muster your agenda will not advance

Posted by: skipsailing28 | August 10, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

srw3

You shouldn't even acknowledge the rethugs here. They are just pissed off this thread has nothing to do with them.

Posted by: junket | August 10, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs told the truth! Most Americans Dems and Repubs act like they have A D H D!! They can't pay attention to nothing but 30 second sounds bites. Get your information from more than one source. Do your own research think about it and come to your own conclusions. No one said that everything was going to get done on demand but a lot has gotten started. No Bill is perfect when it is first signed!! That what amendments are for. So continue to fight for a public option now that you have something to add it to! Continue to fight education now that you have a bill to add to! Adding to a bill is a lot easier than getting the original one passed.

Posted by: c-love | August 10, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs told the truth! Most Americans Dems and Repubs act like they have A D H D!! They can't pay attention to nothing but 30 second sounds bites. Get your information from more than one source. Do your own research think about it and come to your own conclusions. No one said that everything was going to get done on demand but a lot has gotten started. No Bill is perfect when it is first signed!! That what amendments are for. So continue to fight for a public option now that you have something to add it to! Continue to fight education now that you have a bill to add to! Adding to a bill is a lot easier than getting the original one passed.

Posted by: c-love | August 10, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

This is exactly how wife beaters behave.

Posted by: ElizabethFerrari | August 10, 2010 12:43 PM |
_____________________________________


Seriously?!

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | August 10, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I say Mr. Gibbs said exactly what so many of us would say if given the chance, “With friends like these who needs enemies?”

I say there is one unfailing way for Democrats to lose this fall and that is to form a circular firing squad and start pulling the triggers. This Administration has done an unprecedented job of following up on the president's campaign promises. There is so much for all of us to take heart in. I am a Progressive Democrat and I have not supported the Obama Administration 100 percent but my disappointments are tempered by the alternative choice of Republicans who have nothing to offer us but regurgitating the Bush Administration failures.

I hate to bring him up but Ronald Reagan said something that is appropriate right about now, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

I am not going there with the former actor. We can, we should and, we will disagree. Hell, we’re Democrats! But let’s not forget who we are and what we are attempting to do for our country.

I say Mr. Gibbs let off some well deserved steam. He apologized so let him get back to his job. I think he is doing a fantastic job.

All of us who claim to be progressives need to learn a bit more about being practical and, pragmatic.

We have to remember that what we have is exceedingly more superior that what we had.

Posted by: RWinLA | August 10, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I say Mr. Gibbs said exactly what so many of us would say if given the chance, “With friends like these who needs enemies?”

I say there is one unfailing way for Democrats to lose this fall and that is to form a circular firing squad and start pulling the triggers. This Administration has done an unprecedented job of following up on the president's campaign promises. There is so much for all of us to take heart in. I am a Progressive Democrat and I have not supported the Obama Administration 100 percent but my disappointments are tempered by the alternative choice of Republicans who have nothing to offer us but regurgitating the Bush Administration failures.

I hate to bring him up but Ronald Reagan said something that is appropriate right about now, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

I am not going there with the former actor. We can, we should and, we will disagree. Hell, we are Democrats! But we should not forget who we are and what we are attempting to do for our country.

I say Mr. Gibbs let off some well deserved steam. He apologized so let him get back to his job. I think he is doing a fantastic job.

All of us who claim to be progressives need to learn a bit more about being practical and, pragmatic.

We have to remember that what we have is exceedingly more superior that what we had.

Posted by: RWinLA | August 10, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean Gibbs is the Inartful Dodger?

Posted by: tnvret | August 10, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: tristonjo | August 11, 2010 3:59 AM | Report abuse

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