Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Robert Gibbs was right to criticize the 'professional left'

I'm with Gibbs.

At times I've found White House press secretary Robert Gibbs to be unnecessarily irascible, and maybe his lashing out at the constant grumbling of the "professional left" wasn't the best tactic. You want the base worked up -- but for you, not about you.

Nonetheless, his basic point was spot on: The complainers from the left are, in some combination, myopic, forgetful and deranged.

Gibbs is far from the only White House official with these frustrations, but he's the first to share them on the record and, therefore, the first to walk them back. He issued a statement longer than the original offending words acknowledging that he may have spoken "inartfully" -- which is Washington-speak for honestly -- and confessing to watching "too much cable."

That last part may be true. As to the rest of it -- Gibbs was right the first time.

"I hear these people saying he's like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested," Gibbs told The Hill's Sam Youngman, in an interview published Tuesday. "I mean, it's crazy."

This "professional left," he added, "will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we've eliminated the Pentagon. That's not reality."

Indeed, for all the derision from the left about the Bush administration not being "reality-based," many lefty bloggers and talking heads have failed to be reality-based in assessing the Obama administration.

Health-care reform, in this glass-half-empty world, is a disappointment because it lacks a public option. The president's failure to close Guantanamo or end the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is a betrayal. If only President Obama was willing to bang heads, name names, stand tough, he would have been able to get -- fill in the blank -- a bigger stimulus, tougher financial reform, new legislation to help unions organize.

Excuse me, but can these people not count to 60? Have they somehow failed to notice that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have not exactly been playing nice? That while the left laments Obama's minor deviations from party orthodoxy, the right has been portraying him, with some success, as an out-of-control socialist?

Apparently not. Responding to Gibbs, Jane Hamsher, of the blog Firedoglake, derided Obama's record of "corporatist capitulation" and noted, "Spiro Agnew -- sorry, Robert Gibbs -- says ‘the professional left is not representative of the progressives who organized, campaigned, raised money and ultimately voted for Obama.' Well, the Obama in the White House is not representative of the Obama who organized, campaigned, raised money and ran for office, so I guess it's a wash."

Spiro Agnew? Gibbs is going to have to work on his alliterative skills to come up with anything as memorable as nattering nabobs of negativism. Carping cavilers of cyberspace?

That the left would fall out of love with Obama was entirely predictable. "After eight years without the White House, and two years in which a Democratic majority in Congress found itself stymied in delivering on its promises, the leftward precincts of his party are not inclined toward either compromise or patience," I wrote just after the election.

What surprises me, though -- and, no doubt, what set off Gibbs -- is the venom of the liberal critics, even in the face of the sustained attack on Obama from the right and a legislative record longer and more impressive than I would have guessed back then.

In the old days of press-bashing, it was sound advice not to argue with people who buy ink by the barrel. The Gibbs backlash shows how foolhardy it is to argue with people who don't even have to buy ink.

By Ruth Marcus  | August 10, 2010; 6:20 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sen. Stevens, the tubes salute you
Next: What anti-Obamacare lawsuits are really about

Comments

oh Ruth, please.....It wasn't the left wing pundits that caused the administration to collectively Sh....t their pants and fire Shirley Sherrod. That was stark terror of Glenn Beck and Fox News. This Administration has never cared particularly about what the Democratic base thinks and it's not about to start now. Robert Gibbs felt safe smash mouthing Democratic pundits to let off some aggression but would never, ever have the balls to do it to Fox News. What a coward.

Posted by: markswisshelm | August 10, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama ran in the center and fooled a lot of people when he took a hard left. How can Obama get the economy back on track when he can't even reign in the exessive spending of Queen Obama. SPAIN, NOT THE GULF.

Posted by: farmsnorton | August 10, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

People like Ruth Marcus, Robert Gibbs and, apparently, "don't look back" President Obama himself who believe this Administration deserves great praise for what it has accomplished simply fail to appreciate how much damage was done by the previous Administration requiring urgent correction. What reversals there have been is, like the Israeli tiny loosening of the Gaza blockade, practically meaningless next to what is called for.

Posted by: Adam_Smith | August 10, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus should take over Gibb's job. She is such a shrill and consistent mouthpiece of Democratic talking points.

Obamabot to the rescue!

Keep up the good job Brownie! (nose)

Posted by: adamnescot1 | August 10, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The worrisome thing about Gibbs's petulant outburst is what it tells us about what the president is saying behind closed doors.

Posted by: gilinsky | August 10, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, as someone who has always thought the extreme Left was a bunch of nutcases, it's nice to see a few Dems still retain enough common sense to start becoming exasperated with these nutcases.

Posted by: RedderThanEver | August 10, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has always thought that the extreme Left is nothing but a bunch of nutcases, it's somewhat amusing (and a little reassuring) to see that at least a few Dems are themselves becoming a little exasperated with the nutcases on the extreme Left.

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

Robert Gibbs was right to criticize the far left. As a moderate Independent who leans to the Democratic Party, I am increasingly dismayed by the far left wingnuts, who through their impatience and arrogance, criticize w/o merit. In their own way, they're as nutty as the far right. Change takes time!

Posted by: avidreader7 | August 10, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Ruth,
I believe you are completely out of touch with the country. 12 weeks ago I buried my 110 year old grandmother in hillbilly country, 3 weeks ago I was working a family farm in Nebraska and now I am back in LA working in finance. Everyone I've met knows that something is seriously wrong with the country and they know it is the government cowtowing to mulitinationals through the WTO, letting Monsanto control wheat through its patents, the wild pig spending on wars in the Middle East. People are fed up. Most don't want to support either of the major parties. Except for the folks who are preparing for a race war or the apocaplypse, everyone is searching for someone who actually put the people's interest before the corporations. There is nearly unamimous consent outside of DC and Wall Street that this is the most corrupt epoch in American history. Robert Gibbs is completely out of touch. You all need to wake up.

Posted by: BartStratton | August 10, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

This white house bunch is like kids playing with matches. They started a fire, fanned the flames, and now they see the big mistake and don't know how to put the fire out.

Posted by: tnvret | August 10, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Ruth...I never thought I would disagree with you but the time has come. Obama himself told us even recently how he welcomed our critique, that we should hold his feet to the fire, to hold him accountable.

Well that is exactly what we are doing. We are NOT the lockstep, republican party! We actually care about policy, not party.

That is, I guess the problem isn't it. We have sixty votes and we can't get anything done becaue we all march to the tune of our own drummer. It is the biggest point of pride and our worst advantage.

But Obama, he could have done better. Past presidents have done better using the bully pulpit. That is what we are complaining about. He could have started by not giving up the farm before negotiations, etc. No, its true he doesn't have the votes. But it was up to him to get them. He chose not to be confrontational and the everyone figured out they could say no to him and there would be no consequences.

Hmmm....hopefully Iran won't figure this out.

Posted by: sandnsmith | August 11, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

This from mealy-mouthed Marcus who, like so many "professional insiders," is discommoded that folks on the outside might believe more in policies and principles, and the long struggle it takes to achieve them, than in the usual parties and pundits and phony political horse-race "wisdom" served up for convenient consumption. And so we have the pretense, here and from Gibbs, adopted ready-made from the right wing, which plays the same game, that it's just a "media elite" that's dissatisfied: all the good Real Americans are, of course, for us. Pathetic in its transparency.

Posted by: washpost29 | August 11, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Who is Gibbs fooling. Liberals and the left are one and the same. If the liberals vote the way the left wants them too, then there's no difference. All of the Democrats converted to the left the minute Obama was sworn in. Obama is a far left radical.Therefore Gibbs is a far left radical also. There are no more liberals, moderates, Blue Dog Democrats. They are all far left because it's what Obama wants and what Obama expects them to be and that's what they will be to please Obama.

Posted by: houstonian | August 11, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I hope Obama gets so frustrated with us liberals that he decides not to run again. He's a disaster.

As for Gibbs, he should be fired....what a thin-skinned crybaby.

Posted by: solsticebelle | August 11, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

great timing, Ms. Marcus. I'd rebut but will save myself the trouble by referring you to Olbermann's righteous rant. You're a bona fide member of the UNprofessional left AKA the Village.

Posted by: daphne5 | August 11, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

ps. you're not with Gibbs, who had the political smarts if not the wisdom to walk back his remarks. Another instance of great timing on your part.

Posted by: daphne5 | August 11, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Ruth, I think you're wrong on this.

The "professional left" represent Obama's base. Asking the President to think and act big is not unreasonable. Our country has moved very far to the right of where we were during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s.

The wealthiest in this country do not contribute as they should, they take more from this country real terms of infrastructure use, energy use, and environment use than they give back.

The middle class in this country took housing depreciation on the nose. The middle class has been attacked and it is sinking.

Republicanism offers an end to all public services and especially public education. Egalitarianism is an affront to Libertarian ideology and Republicans are comfortable with the idea of an American Aristocracy.

I'll include myself as part of the professional Left. I want an America with a President that thinks large enough to confront this ideology. I want an President that thinks large enough to balance the previous president that suggested tax cuts back when the deficit was around four Trillion dollars.

Posted by: Super_Grover | August 11, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Emanuel and Gibbs are both immature fools. Neither of them should have ever been quoted, for the record or otherwise, disparaging any segment of their principal's base supporerst. What they should've done is try to gently persuade all their principal's followers that he has done the best he could under the circumstances. That's called maturity; that's called gravitas. Whining is called childish.

Posted by: jns-alex99 | August 11, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

That should have been "supporters," not "supporerst." Sorry.

Posted by: jns-alex99 | August 11, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

Well, first of all the Democrats did have 60 Senate votes once upon a time but they lost it because they can't govern their way out of a paper bag. They couldn't get 60 votes for anything decent because Obama never stood for anything, never used his position to talk to Americans about why anything in particular was important, and never imposed any consequences on the Senators being petulantly obstructionist in the face of good policy. And that includes Democrats. Shoot, Ben Nelson got a $500,000 payoff for his re-election in a year he isn't running for re-election, after he had finished poisoning the bill with a deal so odious he later had to ask for it to be removed from the bill (but not from the public's mind). Some spine from the White House might have been nice there.

Gibbs didn't really walk back his remarks, he just said they were said inartfully. Anyways, this is the kind of firing at your own troops you'd expect from the sort of political tacticians who began health care negotiations by starting with the opening position that a public option (at bare minimum) wasn't necessary and kept making the bill worse to appeal to the mythical Republic votes, when it was obvious to any fool that no Republican votes would ever be forthcoming. Then it turns into a mandated subsidy of the hated and parasitic health insurance industry, which liberals will be asked to defend going forward, and they wonder why people are pissed, and they respond by lashing out at the "professional left". The crux of their argument seems to be "We passed an amorphous bill that fails to address the fundamental problem of for-profit private insurance entirely, why aren't you properly grateful?"

The majority of the US, when polled on the matter, wants a national health care system to cover everyone (like Canada's, which is about 2/3 as expensive and covers everyone). So apparently the professional left is a pretty big entity...

Posted by: kall | August 11, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Obama is President of the United States, not the left only. Loved this opinion. Thanks, Ruth & Robert Gibbs.

Posted by: yvette7825 | August 11, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Robert Fibbs got it right. You lefties are crazy. This is not a communist or socialist country and the majority of citizens do not want it to become either one of those. We are smart enough to know the agenda of the liberals is the wrong tack for the country to be on.
Don't forget Holder called you guys "Fu#$ing Returds". That was a good one!
Why would you campaign on destroying free markets, putting millions out of work or shoving nanny state health care down the throats of the American people against their will? Oh yeah, you would lose!
Obama and the Dems lied.
Obama said this the other day..

"When you get in your car, when you go forward, what do you do? You put it in 'D,' when you want to go back, what do you? You put it in 'R.' "
-Boss 0bama

If the car has been pointed toward the cliff, what do you do? I'd put it in "R".

Posted by: susangate1 | August 11, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Obama is President of the United States, not the left only. Huffington Post, Thom Hartmann, NYT & Olbermann are just as bad as Fox News and the other right wing nuts.
Well said Robert & Ruth.

Posted by: yvette7825 | August 11, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Obama is President of the United States, not the left only. Huffington Post, Thom Hartmann, NYT & Olbermann are just as bad as Fox News and the other right wing nuts.
Well said Robert & Ruth.

Posted by: yvette7825 | August 11, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't care so much whether Obama and the Democrats in the House and Senate move further left as I care that they find the guts to at least push through the things they themselves want. They get intimidated by a lot of Republican leadership noise, fail to coordinate reconcilliation, and don't accomplish half as much as they could, given that a majority of U.S. voters gave them the Presidency, the House, and the Senate.

Posted by: TomCantlon | August 11, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

I believe Glenn Beck supported Shirley Sherrod.

Posted by: Muckrakers | August 11, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

"What surprises me, though -- and, no doubt, what set off Gibbs -- is the venom of the liberal critics, even in the face of the sustained attack on Obama from the right and a legislative record longer and more impressive than I would have guessed back then."

I think that sentence hits the nail on the head! I assumed that the right would savage pretty much anything and everything that Obama did, or tries to do. But, I just didn't expect that same response from the left.

The left claims to understand the political reality of compromising to accomplish a goal -- to get most of the pie when you can't get it all (a true rarity in politics present and past). Yet, they seem to be savaging Obama precisely because he has not been sufficiently ideologically rigid.

These days, a common critique of Obama's accomplishments from the left is that they "don't go far enough." For some on the left, the curious expectation seemed to exist that Obama would nationalize the banks, put much (if not all) of the Bush administration in jail for war crimes, have gotten through a $1+ trillion stimulus (even though it was like pulling teeth just to get the more modest bill -- the same can be said of liberal calls for single-payer healthcare, etc.), and on and on. [Re: "war crimes" part -- if DOJ had found violations that would hold up in a court of law, I think they would've moved forward. The scales were always tipped away from prosecuting someone for offering a legal opinion, regardless of the objectionableness of that opinion.]

To this observer, it sounds like the left expects no compromise and deems ANY compromise to be an egregious assault on progressive principles.

I think the irony here is that the left, who has grown fond of lampooning the right for its ideological rigidity, has developed a myopic perspective that does not allow it to see its own increasing ideological rigidity.

Posted by: associate20 | August 11, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Maybe not eliminate the Pentagon, just rein it in a little, so that it's not *quite* so battle-ready. And what's so bad about Canadian health care anyway?

Posted by: donnolo | August 11, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

I can't applaud Robert Gibbs for his intelligence. Going into an election season, you do not want to do anything to alienate your base. However, he and Marcus make good points. Contrast the left v. the right in America. The right has coalesced around a very simple[-minded] set of concepts about governance. The left, on the other hand is not coalesced around anything: we're all over the place, we want everything and we want it now. We don't have the sense of what's optimal, we tend to think only in extremes. If we lose the house, senate, and the presidency (in 2012), it will be because we don't know how to simplify our causes and messages and effectively govern.

Posted by: markdolph | August 11, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Just another play... to the center? Hmm hum hmmm,hmm... (R2D2 style). "Luke"! "Remember the Force".

Posted by: deepthroat21 | August 11, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

It would be hard to imagine a less consequential issue, or one of less concern to the American public, than whether the sound of Oboobma's voice still stirs moonbats to orgiastic frenzy.

Non-elite America is over Oboobma. Totally.

Posted by: thebump | August 11, 2010 4:55 AM | Report abuse

The Left is crippled by two fatal ideological mistakes, namely that equality and justice are the same thing, and secondly that if a group has been treated badly, then its members must be very fine people.
In fact, justice requires an appreciable degree of inequality and secondly, victim groups are generally characterized by poor behavior.

Posted by: LeePefley1 | August 11, 2010 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Oh Ruthie. In case you forgot, there's a little thing in this country called freedom of speech. You want us to sit down and shut up? You go first.

Posted by: kmblue | August 11, 2010 5:14 AM | Report abuse

This "professional left," he added, "will be satisfied "----when we have Canadian health care and we've eliminated the Pentagon-----"

Whadda ya know. He DOES know what's good for us but does not want it...

True, Canada is doing terrible, poverty abound, squatters in Stanley Park, Masses of beggars in Butchard garden...wait..no there are none.looks they are not doing too bad with those basic principles..

Did he forget it wasnt the average American that resisted single-payer canadian-style healthcare insurance,ón the contrary, but the deaf DC political elite that killed it on forehand??? The average American could be more leftish then anyone realizes.

The left, in general, at least has some sense of "society as a whole with equal rights", call it "idealism" left. The right has already embraced the idea of a society divided along "few rich-many poor to exploit" -lines.

Posted by: diakrite | August 11, 2010 5:25 AM | Report abuse

The left wing is no different than the right wing when it comes to reality and wanting things that are acceptable and good for the majority of Americans. They are as petulant and out of touch as the other wing. They also are as thin-skinned, for deep down they know how wrong they are. They get angry when people point it out.

Posted by: baldinho | August 11, 2010 5:31 AM | Report abuse

You folks have quite the double standard. When the Republican's were in the White House and the majority in Congress, no one talked about the liberal minority "not playing nice" with the various Republican proposals because the liberals has just enough members to block conservative legislation. That's the real reason why we had budget deficits during the Bush years, not because of the tax cuts. Everyone can 'support' tax cuts, but it is much harder to support spending cuts....the real change that the Federal government needs to do for long term survival of this country. The professional left has no sense of reality in any event. Unfortunately, they are still pushing America to national suicide...which this administration is all too willing to accommodate whenever possible.

Posted by: honorswar26 | August 11, 2010 5:42 AM | Report abuse

They're as big of flaming idiots as the far right a lot of the time.

The fact is, extremists are the people everyone should beware of.

Posted by: Nymous | August 11, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse


WaPo: Is this tempest in a teapot your idea of insightful commentary?

Posted by: flamingliberal | August 11, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

As someone who has worked full time steadily for the past 20 years and who has no access to health care, yes, I would be happy to have Canadian style health care. And I think macho overseas ventures are a total waste of resources that cheat US citizens. Sorry if in your view that makes me "loony left." Unlike most of you, I have lived outside of this country and I know that Canadians, Europeans, and Australians generally have higher living standards and better quality of life than the average working class American, macho posturing notwithstanding.Or are Canadians, Europeans, and Australians "loonies" as well in the opinion of this columnist and her cheering section?

Posted by: skylark1 | August 11, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

The left is upset with Mr. Obama not for what he did, but for what he failed to do. Consider the following:

1) The Financial Crisis: Mr. Obama surrounded himself with a team of economic experts who would make Mr. Bush proud. They continued the Bush corporatist policies set by Mr. Paulson. Instead of seeking fresh approaches that could have included the removal of existing management from companies accepting bailouts, we now have a booming Wall Street that is totally separate from Main Street. And now Mr. Obama is even leaving Elizabeth Warren hanging in the wind.

2) Health care: Mr. Obama never even proposed a "Medicare for All" system of health care. Instead, single payer proponents were disregarded from the very first day of the debate. Obama had already relegated us to a terribly costly and inefficient system. He didn't even try to push for some type of universal system. (When Mr. Gibbs derisively mentioned "Canadian health care" I was reminded that it provides for all Canadians at a third less cost than we pay. And Canadians live on average three years longer.)

3) Constitutional Issues: Senator / Candidate Obama talked about how warrantless wiretaps, some Patriot Act searches, extraordinary renditions and Gitmo tribunals were clearly un-American and unconstitutional. Yet he has challenged none of these as president. His Department of Justice has continually supported positions taken by the Bush administration. Worse, in some cases he has gone beyond Mr. Bush. Consider his support for the assassination of American citizens and his support for the Drone Wars. He hasn't even replaced the federal attorneys that were placed under a political cloud under Bush. And his latest SCOTUS appointment, Justice Kagan, according to most SCOTUS scholars will move the court to the right.

4) Local politics: Mr. Obama has been very reluctant to criticize his GOP critics. But he has had no such qualms with Democrats. Look at how he has used his weight to interfere in local primary elections.

Mr. Bush was very cognizant of his base. He frequently championed causes simply to show his support. Win or lose his base knew he was with them. The left has not received any such assurance from Mr. Obama. He has not supported positions important to the base, even those that he supported while Senator and Candidate.

And now, it looks like the latest lack of support involves Net Neutrality.

Mr. Gibbs told the truth. It's a truth already realized by his base.

Posted by: red_dog | August 11, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Oops, Ruth. Bad call!

Posted by: texassideoats | August 11, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

The Democrat Left will not be happy until Americans wake up every morning to government instruction for the day, control of every minute detail of our lives, and complete removal of independent thought. They are control freaks. And they are dangerous to our Republic.

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 11, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

The Democrat Left will not be happy until Americans wake up every morning to government instruction for the day, control of every minute detail of our lives, and complete removal of independent thought. They are control freaks. And they are dangerous to our Republic.

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 11, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Let me say that I view all this with uneasy humor. Both Parties are energized and funded by the Right/Left Wingnuts. They pander to them during the Presidential elections. Here is where the rub is, the Wingnuts don't represent the vast majority of Americans. Obama pandered and promised all the things that the Nuts wanted to hear. The problem is that now no one knows who this guy is...He spent all his capital on Obamacare, now there is nothing left in the tank. So right before the mid-term elections he runs to the middle to try to protect the Democratic Congress...too late. However, both sides are trying to figure out "who is this guy". Obama is in Office right now and his re-election does not require the Left Wing Nuts. They will have to wait until 2016. Thye know it so they lash out...Gibbs knows it, so Obama runs to the middle.

Posted by: rhino2 | August 11, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Ruth, you're the one who can't count. The Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate. They couldn't pass a government-run option, legislation that would ban secret ballots, and other liberal agenda items. Moreover, you also seem to be myopic, forgetful and deranged. The reason the Democrats lost their 60 seat majority is that the people of Massachusetts were trying to stop the health care bill--and not because it didn't have a government-run option

Posted by: 02smith1 | August 11, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

What surprises me, though -- and, no doubt, what set off Gibbs -- is the venom of the liberal critics,

-------------------------

That surprises you?

Read the Lib posts on your blog, or any blog for that matter.

Ranting, hateful loons.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | August 11, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, its always a good idea to bite the hand that feed's you. Lets see how well Gibbs mouth pays off in November.

Posted by: dfdougherty | August 11, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

This whole flap is just Gibbs venting and will not move a single vote into the Republican column. It merely illustrates the difference between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives want to follow their anointed leader in lockstep, defending everything he does and vilifying, if not jailing, anyone who dares criticize. Liberals hold their leaders accountable to their professed ideals and will always call for them to fight harder, especially in a time like now when the GOP is on the ropes, its attempt to rebrand itself as a grassroots movement having failed. Still, those on the left recognize that Obama is still our best hope and that letting the Republicans regain power would be an absolute disaster for the U.S. However much pundits try to manufacture enthusiasm for the likes of Sarah Palin and Mitch McConnell, the GOP will continue its slide from minority party to fringe party.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | August 11, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Clearly Obama is so much better than Bush in so many ways that I would easily use up my allocated characters if I were to list a small fraction of them.

Where Obama really disappoints me is in his failure to change the narrative of our politics. He and the dems in congress and the senate have utterly failed to effectively challenge all of the lies and misinformation generated by the GOP destruction machine on a daily basis. If it appeared that they were trying I would give them credit. But time and again I see dems in front of mics let the lies go by without a meaningful, passionate challenge while the repubs stick to their talking points and convince the public of any nonsense they can think of.

Obama seems to want to wait until campaign season to be bothered to fight back. That's a recipe for failure.

Posted by: rramos01 | August 11, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Words fail me.

Posted by: hakafos44 | August 11, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Gee, you mean that we have to take into account that some people are mean to Obama?

Lord knows that liberals were so much nicer to Bush. The hypocrisy is laughable.

Posted by: bobmoses | August 11, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Can you count to 60? Until Obama has a filibuster proof Congress, he can't get through what he wants. It doesn't matter how much we howl. He is faced with an opposition that would rather bring down the country than to allow Obama any success. The Republicans are stopping change from happening and, at the same time, successfully blaming Obama for not changing anything. We need attacks on the Republicans, not on Obama. Glen Beck and company should have to hide their faces in public for their shameful acts. Let's attack the right people!!!!

Posted by: guyachs | August 11, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs had it right. It is really embarrassing to see people like that Firedog Lake person saying anything to get attention and appear "independent" and "brave." They sure don't speak for me.

"They're all the same" is a tired version of the progressive circular firing squad -- take out your own, and then you will be in the far more comfortable position of being in the political minority bemoaning the tyranny of the Republican conservatives.

I sometimes think that for the leftwing talkers (as opposed to real-life progressives and volunteers), the Bush years were the good old days. So fun, so easy to take potshots, much higher ratings and book sales. Well, they may get their wish and get that back -- good for them but not so good for the rest of us.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | August 11, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Yes Ruth, the left needs to take a big step back to reality and Gibbs is right in saying they can't count to 60. There is the constant stream of what he should have done from the left and that the democrats have majorities in both houses. The House has delivered time and again. The Senate on the other hand has some people whose party affiliations are questionable. Has Ben Nelson voted with democrats on anything major? What did it take to get Mary Landrieu there on healthcare. Kent Conrad on the stimulus had Obama horsetrading with his own party and the list goes on. The irony is Conrad was worried about the deficit. With their position on their tax cuts, the GOP has shown they don't care about deficits and the debt. The democrats know they are not the republicans who are told what to think, say and vote.

The Republicans are playing politics and have done so for almost 2 years while Americans struggle. You mignt think people would remember that the people largely responsible for getting us to this place. have done nothing to move us away from this place, and will not do anything until it helps their electoral chances!

Posted by: concerned13 | August 11, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Don't Ask, Don't Give!

Posted by: dem4life1 | August 11, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

The administration has been weak and ineffectual, triangulating its way to irrelevance. Nice speeches though.

Posted by: branfo4 | August 11, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love this. "Deranged?" Can't count to 60? Oh, that's right, we starry-eyed, ex-hippie naifs on the Left Just Don't Know How Washington Works.

I was a Hill staffer in the 90s, on both the Senate and House sides (worked a little with your hubby, Ruth). I know how to count, and I know how complex and difficult it is to get legislation passed. So spare me the snark.

Progressives, as John Nichols noted in his column for NPR.org, are committed to principles of economic and social justice. Why should we not adhere to those principles, even recognizing the long odds in a political environment dominated by the Right since 1980?

Candidate Obama made direct appeals to us - including a public option, much as they tried to deny that last fall - and we turned out in force, with money, time, and effort. Our reward is a flaccid president all-too-willing to dance to the tune of the same entrenched interests who have driven national priorities for decades. On top of that, his Chief of Staff calls us "retards."

No, we won't be satisfied until we realize our goals. Heck, the Right won't be satisfied until they destroy government and turn the country over to a few corporations and a handful of religious zealots. I prefer our utopian dreams to their Orwellian.

We know this is a long fight, and all we really asked of President Obama was that he fight. There's a major distinction between responsible compromise and crumbling, and he has shown us the latter.

Posted by: scaypgrayce | August 11, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I think President Obama is doing a fine job. He works hard every day against incredible odds. Change does take time. Younger people may not realize this yet. The older folks who do not realize this are not based in reality. We see important legislation such as health care and financial reform that will be debated and improved upon for years to come. We are lucky that President Obama got the ball rolling on these issues. I do not see the republicans now or in the future offering any solutions, just complaints. Stand by your president!! There is no shame in being proud of your president. America needs to once again revere our democratic system not denegrade it at every turn.

Posted by: dorisbrady | August 11, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs was correct about the left. Those folks will stay home, and then when their inaction elects a GW Bush clone next time (or worse with the Tea Party), they will scream as that president packs the supreme court with the likes of Roberts, Alito and Thomas.

Let's face it. None of us get everything we want from any president. The GOP has taught us that you can stop things by just shouting "NO!", not having any plan for improvement, but you don't deal with the nation's deep-seated problems that way.

The left can get on the negative bandwagon, and if they do, the Tea Party-influenced GOP will fill the vacuum.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | August 11, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with you. I no longer watch any "news" shows. They're either nuts or are just trying to manipulate us the same way FOX has manipulated folks who lean towards the right and turned them into crazy right-wingers. President Obama is just exactly what I thought he was when I voted for him. Intelligent, pragmatic and left of center.

Posted by: ruthwinters | August 11, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Ruth: I suppose this "piling on" is the price of keeping your job at the neocon Post. I hope they pay you well.
Just so you know, as Gibbs apparently does not: the "professional left" is not angry with Obama because there is no public option; I am angry because he didn't even try. These are critical times for our country; we need a leader, not a professional "compromiser" at the helm.

Posted by: kstack | August 11, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

One could sooner have a meaningful, fact-based conversation with Zoidberg than one could with the fringe elements of either political party.

All of the fringe partisans are nuts.

Sad really. Reasoned thought is dead.

Posted by: BattleOffSamar | August 11, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"many lefty bloggers and talking heads have failed to be reality-based in assessing the Obama administration."

I say "baloney". I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with a president's base pressing him to keep to their, and his, agenda as promised. Imagine how much better off the nation would be today, if the Republican base had kept George W. Bush within the traditional boundaries of the GOP's talking points. There'd be no nation building effort in Iraq and Afghanistan and the national debt would not have exploded.

Posted by: CardFan | August 11, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

In the 50's they used to say: "with the democrats you get war, with the republicans you get depression".

That was also true in the 60's and 70's though Carter could be debated. In the 80's Reagan only started a couple small wars and instituted permanent-deficit-spending. He figured out that; if you borrow and spend another 3-5% of GDP, you will get about that much growth. Without the borrowing, GDP growth would have been negative for the 80's. Bush I started a war and tanked the economy. Clinton - all growth but he had the internet boom on his side. Bush II - two major wars and a depression.

So I think the balance of facts today would support the statement that; with democrats you get neither war nor depression but with republicans you will get both - in spades.

The rest of the discussion is BS.

Posted by: BattleOffSamar | August 11, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Ruth, the problem is that Obama used radical leftwing hyperbole when he spent years critizing everything Bush43 did. Yet during that period Obama voted FOR every spending bill passed by Congress. And most of his criticism was purely political rather than practicable.

Take Gitmo ... it was and remains the best facility in the world for its intended purpose. Obama was influenced to dislike Gitmo strictly based on the left's hypebolic campaign to close it - based on unproved allegations and the anger it supposedly generated in the Muslim world (the stupidest reason ever concocted).

The president must have been like a child when he was faced with all the facts, and couldn't just follow his campaign promises. Apparently being president takes
a bit more than acting upon one's silly promises which were made without taking the facts into account.

Too bad Obama has limited leadership ability.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | August 11, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Ruth, but Gibbs lost all credibility when his rant included those "Bush-like" straw-man arguments ("only satisfied with Canadian health-care", "close down the Pentagon?!"). While I wish Pres. Obama would push a bit harder for a more progressive agenda, I understand the constraints he's working under. However, the progressives in the party provide a valuable service, helping remind the president of his party's values, lest he let himself be continually pulled rightward by the never-ending right-wing media assault.

Posted by: bienefes | August 11, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

guyachs ... glenn beck shameful? please give some examples to support your hyperbole... we'd like to know which of glenn's OPINIONS you believe are not supported by those pesky things referred to as "Facts". I bet you can't provide any examples!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | August 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

If it were not for the left Obama would not be in office. I have six kids ages 26 to 37 they are all left due to their age and exposure to the internet and world. We are not professional anything, we are humans with a love for life and common decency. How dare you say we cannot improve our home country by treating everyone to health care and stopping war as if this was a ridiculous idea.

Posted by: honeybee1 | August 11, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

If it were not for the left Obama would not be in office. I have six kids ages 26 to 37 they are all left due to their age and exposure to the internet and world. We are not professional anything, we are humans with a love for life and common decency. How dare you say we cannot improve our home country by treating everyone to health care and stopping war as if this was a ridiculous idea.

Posted by: honeybee1 | August 11, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

People forget that Obama is not omnipotent. You can't do anything without 60 votes in the Senate. Lieberman was never going to sign off on the public option. Sorry, that's a fact.

The angry leftists posting on this thread are only confirming Ruth Marcus' point.

Your anger is irrational, and misplaced.

It seems some of you would like to destroy all corporations. Sorry, that's not going to happen, and if Obama tried it, he would be bounced out of office like a super ball.

Obama is getting as much done as is humanly possible with the Senate that he has, and with right wing hate radio that is dominating so much of America's thinking.

If people on the left were smart, they would understand that change takes time, and that the more we support him, the better chance of success we'll have. He needs US to help him. But people like Arriana Huffington are having too much fun bashing him, and feeling self-righteous.

What a shame.

Grow up, quit whining, and get out there and support the best chance we have for real change in this country: Barack Obama.

Posted by: PhyloSeFiser | August 11, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

BattleOffSamar .. surely one would have thought that you'd present reasoned thought in your own posts, but, alas you fail miserably ... you simply regurgitate falsehoods.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | August 11, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Princess Ruth just wants to blame those damn dirty hippies - a-gain.
After eight years of watching Bush get everything he wanted and more, and subsequently watching Obama *not even try*, judging him a betrayer is accurate.

Posted by: jhughart | August 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Farmsnorten wrote:
Obama ran in the center and fooled a lot of people when he took a hard left. How can Obama get the economy back on track when he can't even reign in the exessive spending of Queen Obama. SPAIN, NOT THE GULF.
_____________________________________

You see Ms. Marcus? If idiots like Farmersnorten something or other think Obama went left even as he drifted right by getting us deeper involved in Afghanistan, cutting back on the health health care plan rather than at least aiming at a Canadian system, failing to close Guantanamo and letting don't ask don't tell drift--if farmersnorten somehing in his comment above thinks Obama has turned to the left anyway, why does he keep trying to please the right-wing nuts (e.g. like farmersnorten something)! He should fight for justice even if he's hampered by the right, because farmersnorten something ain't gonna like him no matter what Obama does.

Posted by: douard1 | August 11, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Great article...
Instead of Bashing President Obama..!!

It is time that the so called Professional Left Cable Show FAT Butts and start supporting, marketing, selling and implementing their ideas.

They have a lot of good stuff but are lazy like the RIGHT.

Except the RIGHT sits on its Butts
spewing Hate, Racism, Bigotry, fear and adding fuel to the fire with RW Media.

How about he Left start a Left Wing Media and use logic and facts and if you want to President Obama to get a few things past.

YOU HAVE TO HELP HIM..

ISA

Posted by: vettessman | August 11, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the major points of this column. And yes, at the same time, I do think Robert Gibbs' comments were not helpful. But the constant drum of criticism is demoralizing.

One of my major complaints about the critiques from the left is the idea of "broken promises." Last time I checked, the President was elected for a 4-year term, not an 18-month one. How can campaign promises be broken because they haven't been achieved immediately?

I wish we would spend more time highlighting achievements as well as pointing out areas where we still need to make progress -- on energy, on immigration, on improving health care reform, on the economy -- but without the vitriol and the suggestion that nothing is any different than it was under Bush. Come on, that is just ridiculous.

Democrats need to keep control of the House and Senate, or we might get to see what "no change" really means.

Posted by: pat3walters | August 11, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs really gave it to the far left loons and rightfully so.
Hey loonies how that executive order to close Guantanamo in one year working out for ya.Ha,ha ha.Can we say no clue !!

Posted by: votingrevolution | August 11, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I am from Texas, and let me just point out something to you liberals. Attacking the left misses the point that these Limbaugh rednecks down here openly hate all of us: they would much rather see Texas spit off and go it's own way. They don't want to negotiate-they are no longer concerned about playing nice. They see that due to the breeding patterns of our (white) population combined with immigration they are heading toward true minority status and they are not going to take it. Perry is about to be re-elected largely due to his constant threats of succession. Arizona is openly embracing an Anti-Washington stance. Former white supremacist are now some of the openly leading politicians in the South.

The attacks on the post Civil War amendments are no coincidence; the Old South is rising right under your noses and you criticize each other? You really think they ran out and bought up all the guns and ammo that our factories could produce after Obama's election for nothing?

Keep pandering to the Southern conservatives; attack the California and New York liberals. But just consider, how many times in recent history has California, N.Y. or MA threatened to leave the union if they didn't get their way?

Posted by: timtiminhouston | August 11, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Ruth,

You and Robert are both spending too much time watching cable news and reading blogs, as is the rest of America. We have dumbed-down the dialog to a very low common denominator. You and Robert need to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.

Posted by: sbaker1 | August 11, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The complainers from the left are, in some combination, myopic, forgetful and deranged?

As if Cheney/Bush legacy Huckabees and their white, inbred teabagger cousins of Fred Phelps aren't.

Posted by: areyousaying | August 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

What we have learned in the past 10 years is that when one party controls both Congress and the Presidency, the country loses. But with splt government (Reagan and a Dem Congress; Clinton and a Repub Congress) the economy booms and the country prospers as it forces legislation to the middle.

Obama knows his best chance of winning a second term is for the Repubs to take back Congress, as that was the forumula that worked for Clinton. And actually, that was the forumula that was best for the country.

Unemployment with the Republicans in control of Congress fell to under 5%. Once the Dems took control after the 2006 election, it has risen to 10%. As an Independent, I will vote Republican across the board this November and then re-evaluate where the country is in 2012. Only a fool would vote along party lines election after election as that ensures your party will take your vote for granted.

Split government is good for America. Seperation of powers is good for Americans.

Posted by: jayh63 | August 11, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

This booger eater,Gibbs is the 3rd best tool the Republicans have. Only the Obama and the idiot Biden have manage to do more damage to the Socialist Obozo agenda. Keep up the good work, Dummy!

Posted by: carlbatey | August 11, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

He was wrong to criticize the so called "Professional Left." I belong to this group and I listen and read what others from this group write. I do not think anyone is calling for closing the Pentagon, but when the US is spending more than 600 Billion Dollars on its defense budget and the second highest country is spending about 1/6 of that amount, there is something wrong. It would be great for the country of the United States to have one day a health care system that would be accessible to all of its citizens and this is not happening now.

Mr. Obama is no G. Bush; it will be hard to see another Bush unless another neoconservative comes to the White House. But, in my opinion, the biggest mistake President Obama did so far is that he tried to act like Mr. Nice guy. But the Republicans are mean people, they took his gesture as a sign of weakness, and the loyalties of the Republicans are very different from the rest of the population. It is not too late to restore harmony again between Mr. Obama and the "Genuine Left" (better than "Professional Left"), but Mr. Gibbs made a serious error of judgment when he started talking about drug testing, he very much sounded like a hypocrite Republican.

Posted by: farid-f | August 11, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Who is Robert Gibbs? Last I heard he was the press secretary who spoke for the President and the White House.

Why care about his personal opinion?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | August 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I don't normally post responses in here but today am fed up. Mrs. Marcus is representative of the thinking process of democrats that has so disenchanted alot of americans- liberals and independents alike! Why is it so difficult to find a coherent and smart liberal voice nowadays?

First, marcus, like Gibbs is taking out their frustrations on the left as if the left is the only unhappy segment of the american public. The intensity gap between democrats and republicans couldn't matter much if democrats were doing better with independents. So what will they call them, professional independents? Refusing to acknowledge the voices of the people who have put you in your positions and turning around to insult them when they withdraw their support out of frustrations is a fatuous strategy.

Secondly, Obama has achieved little or alot of watered down bills because of lack of leadership not because of a lack of votes! Bush got disastrous tax cuts and wars out of a minority because like him or not, he shrewdly worked the public and put democrats on the defensive. Ironically, it is the same lack of leadership back then to counter his disastrous policies that's haunting democrats now. So there's no reason why liberals shouldn't be frustrated when Obama campaigns for a public option platform and wins convincingly only to abandon the idea despite the majority of the country supporting it because a few senators are more interested in donations from insurance companies than the american public's best interests. He should have gone head to head with those senators tooth and nail and if he lost, we can say at least he tried! Just an example of many.

The truth is alot of present day democrats show liberal/populist convictions when facing elections but abandon those ideas soon after elections. This is what breeds the cynicism that Obama pledged to end. Instead, he seems more interested in perpetuating it under the pretext of "we need 60 votes" than ending it. He's either lucky he eliminated Hillary Clinton from 2012 or he foresaw his mischief and wanted to eliminate a credible challenger who is not afraid of taking it to the republicans.

Posted by: keminokana | August 11, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

If you can't see that this is a poorly-disguised attempt to motivate liberal voters, you're pretty naive.

Posted by: FormerRepublicant | August 11, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus is a perfect shill for the new "Washington Post", neo-con world view.

Posted by: the1joncook | August 11, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The left is guilty of the same absolutist, no compromise tactics the right uses. Look. The democrats never really had 60 votes in the first place. Senators Nelson of Nebraska and Bayh of Indiana are examples of what I am talking about. On the right, Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine are examples of why in a similar situation for the GOP that they might not have 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

Obama did not win 60% of the American electorate, he won 54%, which tends to match just about the number of votes they can count on from the Senate on any major piece of legislation. Indeed, the makeup of the Senate reflects the divisions in our society. I don't particularly like it when Ben Nelson votes with the republicans but, remember, he is not a typical democrat. He is from Nebraska and tends to reflect the sentiments of Nebraskans.

The GOP, if it does take back the House and Senate, is like to have the very same problems because they will be saddled with a group of northeast republicans like Mike Caslte who will often side with democrats.

Neither the right nor the left seem to get this reality that America is as diverse in its politics as it is in its racial and cultural admixture. Bot left and right wings in American politics will be forever unhappy because neither will be able to muster enough votes to ever force upon the public all of the ideologically rigid policies they want.

Posted by: jaxas70 | August 11, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Ruth calls 'em like she sees 'em. My favorite kind of opinion.

Gibbs WAS right. The hard left and the hard right are 100% "my way or the highway" people.

Newsflash: In reality, these types will ALWAYS be disappointed. They forget that the country doesn't revolve around them, but HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.

Why cant you count on not getting everything you want? Chances are, you wont... Or are you simply children with a perpetual foot-stamping disorder?

Take what you can get. If YOUR president gets you 1/2 of what he promised I'd say that's a fair shake, and a realistic expectation.

Maybe you prefer being in the minority. Its easier to complain without the consequences of legislative victory.

Posted by: trident420 | August 11, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"Gibbs" is short for "gibberish."

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

Since when is it private citizens' job to make life easy for the administration? Or accept unnecessary compromises as a starting point for discussion?

Without a firm push from the left, the Obama team will happily drift further and further to the right, who are quite happy to bash the White House for anything and everything.

Posted by: 20009matt | August 11, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Will the far left ever be happy? Even with Canadian health care and a no military there still are businesses, endangered species, the use of animals for food, global warming, and somebody somewhere without something that somebody else has.
No, the far left is from a protest generation, drawing great satisfaction from being part of a "noble" cause and attacking institutions, organizations, and government without regard to what comes next.

Posted by: flyover22 | August 11, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I hate to agree with Marcus, but when it comes to politically tone deaf, absolutist drivel, nothing beats the blogging political left. Never a workable idea offered, just juvenile whining (what do you mean Congress has to vote on legislative matters? Obama should just executive order it!)and self righteousness. Hamisher on firelog is a prime example.

Posted by: LABC | August 11, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The one and only way Democrats have a chance of retaining at least some control of Congress is to stop blaming ourselves for policy failures. Think people! It's not that difficult. Do you think Obama did NOT want a public option? Do you think he does NOT favor the end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"? Stop vilifying the leader you must know by now is solidly on your side. And start, for crying out loud, bashing the real villains who are forcing compromises that at the very least have resulted in a smidgeon of progress. And that villain is a Republican opposition intent on promoting a political agenda over our beloved nation's needs, including those devastated by joblessness. Think people! Of removing the real obstacles that are blocking a more progressive agenda. It isn't Obama or his lack of apparent zeal. It is you, and your failure to attack, with the same enthusiasm you seek from our President, his obstructive enemies.

Posted by: kcrocka | August 11, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs spoke of the "Professional Left", yet a lot of those who posted comments on here, are taking offense, as if he were talking about them. He was not. He was talking about the "professional left" such as Firedoglake, and not all you amateur left wing whiners, who can not wait to take offense at any imaginary slight.

If you do not care for how President Obama is running things, then you can go back to voting for Nader, or Kucinich. They really delivered for you, over the past several decades, didn't they?!


Perhaps Firedoglake can join up with Grover Norquist again; for a new petition drive, to have Mr. Gibbs fired.

Mr. Gibbs called it "The Professional Left". I do not have to be so polite; so I call it what it is: The Lunatic Left.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Good points. A quick reading of the comments certainly makes Ruth's points. The only rational ones appear to be from independents or moderates. The comment that I like best is the one that mentions "foot stomping children." Perhaps there are simply too many lefties and righties that were only children and just aren't used to compromise or sharing? I guess you all just "want it all, and want it all right now!!" Somehow you maniacs can't get it through your heads that without the middle neither side wins. The dems and repubs are doing their best to turn everyone off. Is that really good for our country?

Posted by: Fergie303 | August 11, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Lets See, who was it that Said, "If You Can't take the Heat, stay out of the Kitchen". None other of course, than one of our most effective and crusading Democatic Presidents -Harry S. Truman. All we on the Left are asking Obama to do is decide just who the heck his friends are! The Progressives are more than fed-up with his attitude of "Lets Go Along to Get Along". Bah,that posture has done nothing but put him and our country behind the Eight Ball, with the Right Wing having almost run the table even BEFORE the Mid-term elections.
I suggest Obama and his advisors start by reading about Truman's fight with an equally rampaging GOP and the measures he took to counter their nutso rhetoric during Harry's tenure as Big Kahuuna. Growing a set of cojones wouldn't hurt Barack one bit either.

Posted by: oregonbirddog | August 11, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The left didn't betray Obama - It was Obama who betrayed and abandoned the left from the getgo. Not only did he abandon the left, he abandoned the center. The center that wanted real health reform, wanted a return to civil liberties, accountability, tranparency, an end to useless wastes of young lives and countless dollars in useless wars.

Someone needs to get their facts straight. Obama had 60 votes in the Senate, but Obama made secret deals with Pharma, Insurance and big business instead of the middle class. He made a hard right turn at every opportunity sealing and cementing the Bush near dictatorial policies against civil liberties and pro-corporate control.

It's one thing to abandon the center and the left in favor of right wingers, but don't add insult to injury by wrongly casting blame on them for your mistakes when the chickens come home to roost.

Ruth and WH need to add a little cheese to that cheap whine.

Posted by: ophelia3 | August 11, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

People, people, people -- get your political invective right. "Wingnuts" is a reference to right-wingers. Extreme left-wingers are "moonbats".

Please make a note of it.

Meanwhile, Gibbs and Marcus are entirely correct -- the screeching fools who would rather have no loaf than half a loaf are their own worst enemies, and enemies of the rest of us. Life in the real world means compromise, which means getting some of what you want and some of what you don't want. That's more than getting none of what you want, and takes you a good way towards starting to persuade people to get the rest of what you were trying for, if you can show that the first dose was a good thing.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 11, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs (and the New Democrats)remind me of an old friend who invited me on a picnic. When I got there they pulled out a loaf of day- old bread and a jar of peanut butter and when I complained that it wasn't much of a picnic they said"Nothing is ever good enough for you". So the New Democrats health care plan does nothing to control costs, the financial reform does nothing to stop synthetic derivatives and Medicare still can't get a discount on bulk drug puchases,we still have a 36% cap on interest rates and the big banks get money from the Fed at.05 and lend it back to us taxpayers at 3.00. The nerve of us ingrates to complain,right Mr. Gibbs?

Posted by: clary916 | August 11, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Ruth,
but as someone who volunteered for Obama in the election campaign, I am quite happy with his performance thus far. Yes, I would have liked single payer health care, but I have been around long enough to be gratified by any steps in the right direction, and I have noted the GOP intransigence on any initiative floated by the Democrats.
I call your attention to the recent Gallup poll giving Obama an approval rating of over 80% from self-identified liberals.
It's true that he hasn't been able to deliver yet on all his campaign promises, but I continue to be impressed by his measured and strategic efforts in the proper direction. He is exactly what we need right now--enough of an idealist to have laudable goals and enough of a pragmatist to get things done in the face of Republican obstructionism.

Posted by: Lamentations | August 11, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Ruth Marcus is married to the current Obama-appointed Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. That should be pointed out whenever she writes on Democratic politics. She is an insider, a biased source.

Obama's senseless extension of the Afghan War, which has caused many needless civilian deaths, makes him a moral pariah. Last I looked inside my conscience I don't vote for immoral leaders. As Glenn Greenwald said so well of this administration:

"[T]hey've done so little about crisis-level unemployment, foreclosures and widespread economic misery. Or because of the White House's apparently endless devotion to Wall Street. Or because the President has escalated a miserable, pointless and unwinnable war that is entering its ninth year. Or because he has claimed the power to imprison people for life with no charges and to assassinate American citizens without due process, intensified the secrecy weapons and immunity instruments abused by his predecessor, and found all new ways of denying habeas corpus. Or because he granted full-scale legal immunity to those who committed serious crimes in the last administration. Or because he's failed to fulfill -- or affirmatively broken -- promises ranging from transparency to gay rights."

Posted by: cossack2 | August 11, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Fred Hiatt should be horsewhipped for printing this trash and giving Marcus a paycheck to write this idiocy.

It was Obama's ideas and promises that motivated the electorate to vote for him in 2008. Since then, we have seen time after time that when Democratic politicians back away from those same ideas, the party's voters don't turn out, and some rightwing nutcase gets elected.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | August 11, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Republicans take their base seriously even on totally nutty ideas like secession. Democrats regard their base as an annoyance. As a union member I've long noticed that the Democratic leadership wants labor's money and labor's votes, but not labor's issues. I remember when there was a far left as nutty as the current far right, talking about offing the pigs and other such foolishness. Now the far left are the people who want us to be more like Canada. I appreciate the Obama has done a lot in the face of relentless hostility, but I still feel he could have pressed harder.

By the way, we WILL have a single-payer health care system eventually. The American health care system is heading to toward collapse. Obama's bill, a mish-mash that is largely a giveaway to the insurance companies, may delay that collapse, but it will happen. The only question is how much suffering will result before it does.

Posted by: sjpatejak | August 11, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, you don't see it, do you? Obama is spineless. His advisors and his Cabinet appointees are even worse. Obama should never have appointed Geithner and Summers to their positions. They are both wolves in the henhouse. Rahm Emmanuel is an incompetent lout. All Obama's "accomplishments" are disappointing, toothless stacks of paper. Instead of real solutions, all we got were hopelessly confusing and complicated bills subject to so many loopholes and interpetations that they are not worth the paper they are written on.

While I do not want the Republicans to win in 2010 or 2012, the Democratic party leadership needs a complete change and it appears that the only way this will be accomplished is for them to lose big time in the next two elections, making way for people with principles and pride.

Posted by: Chagasman | August 11, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I resent all the criticism of Obarry by the left. That's my job.

Posted by: groovercg | August 11, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Reality Check:

What President Obama Has To Deal With.


The Elephant In The Room;

That No One Appears To Notice;

The Howard Dean 50 States Strategy.

The Far Left have raved about it; and yet they can not stop complaining about what it actually delivered.

The Dean 50 State Strategy did not suddenly find strong liberal districts or states, that were not already being won by Democrats.

It eked out very narrow victories in districts and states that had been electing Republicans. The were tradiionally right of center seats. In order for Democrats to win; the voters of those locations had to be disenchanted with the performances of their Republicans reps. That did not mean that the voters had suddenly stopped being right of center in their political views. Accordingly; the only Democrats who could stand a chance of winning, were Conservative Democrats.

That is why their is a Jim Webb, because a more liberal Democrat would never get elected from his state. That is the reality of the results of Howard's fifty state strategy. That is why he courted right of center candidates to run against Republicans in red states and districts.

It payed off; and Democrats took over both houses of Congress. It did not deliver an expanded Liberal Majority. That was never going to happen. Howard Dean knew that. Apparently a lot of the Hard Left were not smart enough to grasp that, from the outset, or they would not be expecting Howard's new Blue Dogs, to suddenly morph into Liberal Lap Dogs.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 11, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Health-care reform, in this glass-half-empty world, is a disappointment because it lacks a public option". No, it's a disappointment because it won't adequately reform health care. It's a disappointment because it doesn't seriously confront any of the major, systemic reasons that make our system so dysfunctional (i.e. fee for service and for-profit insurance companies). It's the same thing with the stimulus bill. Sure the bill was passed, but the amount of the stimulus has proven to be inadequate... like progressives and economists said it would.

Posted by: tonyharris | August 11, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Marcus, you twit.

Here we are, in massive overwhelming debt for Two foreign civil wars of Republican adventure ... with Too Big To Fail banks that won't lend capital to the job-creating small business of America and to the consumers that create demand ...

And you want to whine about it?

NOW GET BACK TO TRUST BUSTING THE TOO BIG TO FAIL FIRMS and Bring our Troops Home NOW!

And tell Gibbs he's fired.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 11, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

So the White House thinks the Democratic left are myopic, forgetful and deranged. They don't support foreign wars. They don't support Obamacare because it was a sellout. They are disgusted with the oil catastrophe and coverup. Homeland Security is being turned into a police state.

Liberal Democrats feel betrayed by the White House. Independents feel betrayed by the White House. The American public feels betrayed by the White House.

Posted by: alance | August 11, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Robert Gibbs has been crusading against progressives & progressive values at least since the 2004 Dem primary.

Posted by: Jihm | August 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

let see:

All his financial advisers are Robert Rubin proteges or former Goldman Sachs employees, lawyers or lobbyists.

The too big to fail Banks are even bigger.

Health care reform did nothing to reform health care because it has done nothing to contain costs or the way medicine is practiced. When Marcia Angel MD , former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine goes on the public record saying that passing the current health care bill was worst than passing nothing, you have to wonder what was really accomplished.

We are celebrating our 10 year in Afghanistan with no end in sight while the enemy in in Pakistan living under the protection of the Pakistan military

Obama does not need congressional approval to close Guantanamo

but according to the muddled middle the Great Equivocator is doing just fine

Posted by: mlang461 | August 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I consider myself a moderate to progressive - not all the way to the left - who voted for Obama.

I’ve heard him described as an intellectual who fell into politics. He appears to me that he isn’t a real “people person.” He appeared to be exactly the opposite when he was campaigning.

I thought that it was extremely important that health care be addressed when he first entered office because forty four to forty five thousand people were dying every year because of lack of health care or inadequate health care. Obama said that passing health care reform was extremely important when he campaigned but, once in office, didn’t show enough urgency to help get the reform passed in a timely fashion. It took too long and was too convoluted.

His terrible handling of the Gulf of Mexico clean up and his nonchalant attitude towards the local residents begging for help so that they could start the clean up from the beginning of the spill truly shocked me.

Obama remains a mystery to me. I’m not sure if he has the courage of his convictions or what his convictions really are. Only time will tell.


Posted by: BarbWald | August 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The thing we all have to realize is that the hardcore lefty malcontents will never be satisfied. And to boot, they are NOT nice people.

Sure it was all fun and games when the badmouthed Bush, but there was no guarantee they wouldn't turn on Obama either. It's just in their nature that when they don't get their way fast enough they just complain louder, more frequently, and with more vitriol.

Indeed, Obama has it even harder considering that in their eyes he's a failed savior. Their devil, called George W. Bush by everyone except Hugo Chavez, was never going to change and couldn't leave fast enough. Obama however, was their "everything right" to Bush's "everything wrong".

He would clean up the environment, give us government run health care, boost union membership, cut greenhouse gasses, soak those rich Republican, white folks with higher "fair" taxes (never mind that most of the super rich contributed to the Dems), shut down corporate America, grant amnesty to illegals, kick the Jews out of Palestine, shut down Gitmo, withdrawal from Iraq, withdrawal from Afghanistan, drawing down our nukes to zero, ending don't ask don't tell, gay marriage across the country, overnight conversion to "green energy" with millions of "green" jobs, you name it.

Trouble is that he promised all of these things together and individually to various bases that now expect their issue to be his top priority.

He can't. In fact, nobody can.

It's been said that the American presidency isn't so much as changing course at anyone time as it is making minor adjustments to a slow rolling, long train. That's probably pretty reliable in fact.

No, unless conservative Republicans are able to take either or both Congressional houses (and thus provide an ample foil for Obama's failures), left wing invective will more and more be directed toward its own Chosen One.

I'm not a huge fan of the guy, but his own team needs to cut him some slack here.

Posted by: traderdad37 | August 11, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

If it were not for the left Obama would not be in office.
_______________________________________

The problem in a nutshell. The left claims Obama won because of them and therefore all policies start and end on the left. The moderates and independents say, nonsense, Obama won because of me and therefore all policies should be square in the middle. The conservative, blue-dog Demos say, you are both wrong, he won because we turned states like NC and VA into Democrat wins and therefore our rather conservative brand of Democrat should prevail. The right consists of exactly two somewhat moderate Republican Senators and zero (count them ZERO) moderate Republican representatives. Now I am a liberal, proud as hell, but even I understand that I can't get anything passed with one third of the vote. I need moderate and conservative Democrats to even constitute a majority let alone get legislation passed. The President and Congress are excoriated by the right-wing propoganda agency that masquerades as a news network and the mainstream "liberal" news is too budy worried about their ratings and their precious objectivity to report the truth. They report on political conflict that isn't fact-based, treat every argument between left and right as even -- despite science and fact clearly indicating one side has a preponderance of evidence and fact on its side. Now add the petulant left wing idiots who scream about what they were promised not being delivered (totally disregarding the numbers as Marcus ably points out) and the President is left in just a little bit of a pickle. So here's the deal and take this as constructive criticism from someone who has voted Democrat all his life. Sometimes you settle for half a loaf. The idea that the left would want to mirror the right and get NOTHING accomplished because your principles are compromised is ludicrous. Grow up and realize that to govern means to compromise. Compromise always leaves someone (usualyy everyone) somewhat disappointed. Guess what, that's life you morons. Gibbs is an obnoxious guy who I probably woulnd't want to sit down and shoot the breeze with --- but he is dead on correct in his analysis. So my fellow leftist, socialists, in the immortal words of Walt Kelly, "we have seen the enemy and it is us"

Posted by: army164 | August 11, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Today's Greenwald column on the shocking Omar Khadr prosecution is just another example of how some Obama supporters turn a blind eye towards injustice committed by this so-called progressive administration. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/11/khadr/index.html

I believe Marcus is a lawyer. Her view of constitutional law must be that the U.S. can do anything to anybody in the name of fighting terror. This is what the ACLU's Jennifer Turner said, in part, about the circus at Guantanamo:

"It boggles the mind that the military judge could find that Khadr was not coerced and gave these statements to interrogators voluntarily. Khadr, then 15 years old, was taken to Bagram near death, after being shot twice in the back, blinded by shrapnel, and buried in rubble from a bomb blast. He was interrogated within hours, while sedated and handcuffed to a stretcher. He was threatened with gang rape and death if he didn't cooperate with interrogators. He was hooded and chained with his arms suspended in a cage-like cell, and his primary interrogator was later court-martialed for detainee abuse leading to the death of a detainee. During his subsequent eight-year (so far) detention at Guantánamo, Khadr was subjected to the "frequent flyer" sleep deprivation program and he says he was used as a human mop after he was forced to urinate on himself."

Does Attorney Marcus think this is just, and something that voters (like me) envisioned happening when we voted for Obama?

Posted by: cossack2 | August 11, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"Excuse me, but can these people not count to 60?" Yes, we can (intended). The bleat that Mr. Gibbs is feeding us is that the Administration is doing all it can with what it has. Nope.

Where were they during the long slog toward health insurance reorganization? They didn't get real reform because they never asked! Single payer morphed into universal coverage into a committee-built mess because they never entered the discussion, providing leadership. They didn't force the issue by asking that the people (remember us??) call Congress and DEMAND SPECIFIC CHANGE. They just sat and waited and got a watered down overpriced boon to insurers onto the books. Nope.

On the Stimulus: they asked for what they wanted. Don't they know that you never get what you want...you bargain! So start high. Nope.

A second stimulus which most reputable economists say is needed...nope. Not a peep. Is it because the Market is humming and Summers, Geithner and the rest are market guys? Dunno.

Closing Gitmo. Nope.

Getting our ducks in a row on Afghanistan? Why so long and where are we going? (I know what he said during the campaign...he was going to pursue it...but why?) Nope.

Drugs and immigration. Why is there no enlightened thinking? Why is it that the states are doing something about decriminalizing and taxing marijuana and the Feds still having no clear direction? Immigration: employer raids are happening but nobody knows about it.

Taking anyone in the Bush maladminstration to criminal task for what they did...from outright lying to Congress, failure to answer subpoenas, war crimes, no bid contracts to Republican toadies, Don Siegelman's fraudulent conviction, for starters (Leura Canary is STILL drawing a paycheck). (and what about fixing the conviction itself???)

I LIKE the "professional left". I like what I hear from Ed and Keith and Rachel and most of Jane and Kos and Arianna. I know Gibbs is listening to the TV machine but ...what are they processing?

Posted by: BobfromLI | August 11, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Hallelujah. So true. I am proud of President Obama. He's got to deal with the party of NO in addition to these leftie nuts who what everything yesterday.

Posted by: sherardg | August 11, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, terrific piece. I agree with you 100%. You expressed your points very well.

Posted by: andrew41 | August 11, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Ruth. Gibbs was right and so are you.

And who gives a flying flip what Jane "I love me some Grover Norquist" Hamsher has to say? Outrage is her business. If she couldn't gin up outrage about something, FDL would have to fold up shop.

Posted by: js_edit | August 11, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I have come to the conclusion that the ultra-left is as bad as the ultra-right but for different reasons. At least they are well-intentioned. Most of the time.

Posted by: jrw1 | August 11, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

It's true that there are people on the very extreme left who could be described as inflexible. unrealistic, and ideological. But these are not the people Marcus/Gibbs is talking about. Very few liberals are saying "Obama is like Bush", "The pentagon ought to be eliminated", and so on. Marcus loses more credibility when she identifies only a single one of these crazy leftists. And when it comes to many liberals' strongest disappointments, she forgets about Obama's worst carry-over from Bush: his continued destruction of civil liberties (e.g., illegal survellance). Perhaps this is because the Washington Post never really covers this part of the problem.

Speaking of the media, which is presumably part of the "professional left" (Marcus never defines them, but I assume she means Olberman, Maddow, and a few others), these people are not the real problem. The real problem is the MSM who consistently spin content and opinion in the conservative direction. Take the "can't count to 60" smear. The reason this is so misunderstood is that the media never clearly explained it and often obscured it. When votes fell short of 60 (as in healthcare), it was almost always described as "Democrats fail to pass bill" rather than the much more realistic "Republicans block bill". If people think Obama is like Bush, then one huge reason is the media's obsessive tendency to draw false equivalencies between the two parties. If 90% of the democrats support health care reform and 10% of republicans support reform, then the media will spin it as "Both sides support health care reform". With such misleading coverage, it's no wonder people may be confused.

Rather than blaming these phantom liberal extremists, Marcus and Gibbs should look in the mirror.

Posted by: dougd1 | August 11, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I must say Ruth you are right and so is Gibbs. I find it disconcerting and disingenuous of the leftpros to desert this President without helping him to do what they wanted. No body stood up when the repnicks lied time after time about who he was, what he did to


right the ship.
Not one ad offset the bs the neocons put out was answered with a robust rebuttal.
Not one leftist stood in the gap when he was forced to change the public option by Demo inertia Ben Nelson. Landreiu. No body who disagreed with Pres from the party was taken to woodshed by the leftpros.

Posted by: ruebenscott | August 11, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I must say Ruth you are right and so is Gibbs. I find it disconcerting and disingenuous of the leftpros to desert this President without helping him to do what they wanted. No body stood up when the repnicks lied time after time about who he was, what he did to


right the ship.
Not one ad offset the bs the neocons put out was answered with a robust rebuttal.
Not one leftist stood in the gap when he was forced to change the public option by Demo inertia Ben Nelson. Landreiu. No body who disagreed with Pres from the party was taken to woodshed by the leftpros.

Posted by: ruebenscott | August 11, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

This is to protest the following racist comment by a right-winger named "Thebump".
--------------------
"It would be hard to imagine a less consequential issue, or one of less concern to the American public, than whether the sound of OBOOBMA's voice still stirs moonbats to orgiastic frenzy.

Non-elite America is over Oboobma. Totally."

Posted by: thebump | August 11, 2010 4:55 AM | Report abuse
----------------------

The Post claims to monitor these postings but apparently not. You see a lot of this racist crap on these forums, and it's always from right-wingers.

Posted by: dougd1 | August 11, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why anyone would be surprised by this. The extreme left wing nut jobs are no different than the right wing nut jobs. Both are responsible for taking down their respective parties. They don't care that the majority of Americans are not interested in their extreme policies. They assume their way is the only correct way and too bad for everyone else.

Posted by: shewholives | August 11, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Nice observation mark.
I really don't think these people get it.
I didn't vote for Mr. O, BUT............
He railed about change, but it's not happening.
$800B for stimuli, but we're gonna let a lousy $85M stop the closing of Guantanamo?
Obama, please.
I know I'm just being negative, but given the all wall street make up of this administration, why do I get the feeling that Health Care Reform is just TARP for insurance co's and and for profit providers.
Financial Reform is the script for Bailout II, 'Cause you can never be too multi a billionaire!!!!!!!!!
We the people have every right to be angry.
We were promised change, but got more of the same. Except now we are just handing the cash directly to the bankers, instead of routing it through their oil and security subsidiaries.
Oh yeah, that's right, that hasn't changed either.

Posted by: cowlesmw | August 11, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

This is to protest the following racist comment by a right-winger named "Thebump".
--------------------
"It would be hard to imagine a less consequential issue, or one of less concern to the American public, than whether the sound of OBOOBMA's voice still stirs moonbats to orgiastic frenzy.

Non-elite America is over Oboobma. Totally."

Posted by: thebump | August 11, 2010 4:55 AM | Report abuse
----------------------

The Post claims to monitor these postings but apparently not. You see a lot of this racist crap on these forums, and it's always from right-wingers.

Posted by: dougd1 | August 11, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------
I don't see how that is racist, stupid, but not racist.

Posted by: shewholives | August 11, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Please, I am so tired of hearing that John Boehner is the reason Obama hasn't accomplished anything yet. Did the Democrats not realize that that another political party would be participating in the governing process? Reminds me of Bush's lame excuse that the Iraq War was flailing because of the presence of Al-Queada.

And why was Bush, a bumbling incompetent, able to de-regulate the entire financial system and initiate two wars while Obama can barely push through a bill preventing credit card companies from engaging in egregious trade practices. I've travelled extensively recently, and America doesn't belong among the other industrialized nations. Based on infrastructure, wealth disparity, democratic ideals, education, health care, crime rates and about any other measure of progress we are already behind and deteriorating rapidly. I can't wait to see this plutocracy reap its just reward.

Posted by: mjaplin | August 11, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

As a member of the far left I do recognize the achievements of the Obama administration while I silently seethe that he is not progressive enough. After the conservative disaster that was George Bush (and the other one, Ronald Reagan) weren't we Liberals due for a TRUE LIBERAL? But I will give Obama his due.

The problem is that on some of the issues people are hurting. Every day the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is in effect more gays are thrown out of the military. Just two weeks ago we had a terrific man fluent in Arabic, thrown out of the military because he admitted he was gay on television. Then there is the two wars. They are not going anywhere, but every week a billion or more dollars goes to keep them going and when we do withdraw, as we will, that will be a couple of hundred billion dollars down the drain FOR NOTHING, money that could have been spent on schools and roads and infrastructure. As for Gitmo, maybe it is hard to close it, BUT OBAMA SHOULD GET ON TV AND GIVE a speech reiterating that THIS COUNTRY WILL NEVER TORTURE AGAIN and Gitmo will be closed eventually, sooner rahter than later. Like I said, the longer these mistakes linger, the more people are hurt.

As for RedderthanEver, why don't you learn how to keep that trap of yours closed? Every time you open it you indicate what an unintelligent piece you really are.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | August 11, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

This column produced predictable comments. The "professional left" justifies the column, the liberals justify their critics, the elitists justify their critics, everything is still Bush's fault, everybody's happy. Now if we could just select some music and make this a sing-song - perhaps 'send in the clowns'?

Posted by: fcrucian | August 11, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Governing from the extremes, whether left or right, can never work in a country like the USA. We saw what radical right rule did to our country under Raygun and Dumya. Never again, and most certainly, never from the radical left, which is just as bad as the Cheney radical right.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | August 11, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Look, Ruth.

Just end your two foreign civil wars of Republican adventure and bring ALL of our troops and mercenaries home and we'll call it even.

Until then, stop repeating Fox News talking points.

P.S.: Gibbs should go to Iraq and serve two tours of duty there without body armor.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"deranged"? Ruth, you must be talking about David Sirota.

Posted by: jbowen431 | August 11, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't Agnew who came up with "nattering nabobs of negativism." It was Nixon speechwriter William Safire. Agnew just read them from his prompt sheets.

Safire even wrote a little handbook for the ignorant right on how to appreciate the oh-so-barbed rhetoric that Safire was putting in Agnew's mouth.

The GOP has always been much better than the Democrats at circling the wagons, sticking to the talking points, cynically disregarding facts, never criticizing their own, etc. The Left, with more idealism and a higher standard of truth and justice, but less practial horse sense, routinely shoots itself in the foot by criticizing its own elected officials for the compromises they make when they have to actually govern. So the base gets dispirited and gives up in despair, instead of consolidating the gains of the last election.

One can only hope, this time round, that the extreme shrillness of the extreme-right GOP base, with which, so far, the party leadership is falling in line, will overreach and split the pack of lying cynics and hypocrites right down the middle.

And that the poor schmoes who have been duped by these cynical demogogues would wake up and smell the coffee and realize how they have been played for fools and made to vote against their own self-interest, but that seems way too much to hope for.

Posted by: herzliebster | August 11, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

First off, let's put the childish left-right partisan name calling aside. Gibbs insulted grassroots progressives who have witnessed dozens upon dozens of promises which were made my Obama during his campaign broken. They are angry at the constant time tables for troops coming home being pushed back--now he is leaving a force of 50,000 troops in Iraq, supposedly with the expressed intent of bringing them home at the end of 2011? Gotta wait and see on that one. They are angry in regards to gay rights. They are angry in regards to his extension of the Patriot Act. They are angry that he is a lap dog for Wall St. interests and has packed his administration full of bankster lobbyists...against promises to do otherwize. "Grassroots" progressives are angry that all the Health Care bill will do is enrich the insurance companies at the expense of working families. They are angry at the bailouts. I can go on and on. Gibbs just put the final nail in Obama's coffin by basically saying "get lost" to one of his last key demographics. Women, minorities, and young people under 30 is all he has left...for now.

Posted by: breaker581 | August 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm a liberal and proud of it. At this point, it's important for liberals to remember that conservatives define themselves in terms of who and what they hate and who and what they control. Liberals can slip into that if we forget that the liberal identity derives from what we create and how we cooperate to make improvements.
In other words, let's not act like a bunch of R________ns.

Posted by: amstphd | August 11, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Just another shocking example of political cluelessness from Marcus. Hey, has it ever occured to you that the Dems will need the progressives in November, to avoid total desaster in Congress? Do you really think it's a good idea for the damn spokesperson of the WH to annoy half of his own party now, adding insult ot injury? D'oh.

Marcus should have a job in the WH. Really. She's such a perfect match for that posse of unprofessional moderate conservatives!

Posted by: Gray62 | August 11, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

We on the left,will remind Gibb boss of his comments.When 2011 rolls around.If Obama wants my vote he have to clean out his cabinet.HE GOT A LOT OF "JUNK" IN HIS TRUCK.I LIKE HILLIARY IN 2011

Posted by: apez54 | August 11, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Ruth: Candor is fine, but has to be expressed in the proper context. Gibbs' public lashing of the "intellectual left" was immature and petulant. I certainly don't agree with hardheaded ideological extremism on either side of the political spectrum, but how about some deft, persuasive and non-hyperbolic discussion of disagreements, particularly when it involves members of your own party?

Gibb's remarks are symtomaticlof the lack of "big tent" thinking that continually paralyses the Democratic Party and scuttles their ability to convince the American public that they have coherent, useful goals. Nor do they have any backbone when it comes to skewering Republican nonsense and obstructionism in Congress. And as one poster pointed out, they appear to be scared to death of Glenn Beck and company over at Fox News.

As Will Rogers said way back in the 1920s, "I don't belong to an organized political party - I'm a Democrat".

Posted by: MillPond2 | August 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Just another example of how Democrats/liberals don't understand the value of cohesion and teamwork. This group is so accustomed to demonstrating and protesting against something, they really don't care if it harms their cause. All the venting and histiroics make them feel good, while the Republicans sit on the sideling and watch the opposition self destruct. Most of the complaints about what Obama has done, or not done, seems to be predicated on his election was a mandate to mover rapidly and massively to the left. It was not, shift 3% of the vote in 2008 and we would be bashing President McCain and VP Palin.

In the end, much ado about nothing because the left has nowhere to go but the Democratic Party and the Obama Administraion. Sitting out the election automatically increases the odds the minority opposition will make even greater gains; talking down the President and his agenda only reinforces the belief among moderates he can't get anything done.

Grow up and put your energy behind helping your side win; like it or not, winning and controlling Congress will get more of what you want done than protesting against a President who has not been as idealogical pure as you might wish. And, consider the option if you continue to pursue this self destructive path.

Posted by: bobfbell | August 11, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Just another example of how Democrats/liberals don't understand the value of cohesion and teamwork. This group is so accustomed to demonstrating and protesting against something, they really don't care if it harms their cause. All the venting and histiroics make them feel good, while the Republicans sit on the sideling and watch the opposition self destruct. Most of the complaints about what Obama has done, or not done, seems to be predicated on his election was a mandate to mover rapidly and massively to the left. It was not, shift 3% of the vote in 2008 and we would be bashing President McCain and VP Palin.

In the end, much ado about nothing because the left has nowhere to go but the Democratic Party and the Obama Administraion. Sitting out the election automatically increases the odds the minority opposition will make even greater gains; talking down the President and his agenda only reinforces the belief among moderates he can't get anything done.

Grow up and put your energy behind helping your side win; like it or not, winning and controlling Congress will get more of what you want done than protesting against a President who has not been as idealogical pure as you might wish. And, consider the option if you continue to pursue this self destructive path.

Posted by: bobfbell | August 11, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

That You ad Gibbs think we should be thankful for a few crumbs thrown our way is just insulting.

Yes the Obama administration is more liberal (small l) than the Bush administration, but it's FAR from being Liberal (big L) administration.

The actual left has plenty of reasons to be pissed at Obama and congress. They have let name calling from the right drive them to pass very centrist legislation, almost none of it very left.

They administration has also kept in place much of the opaqueness of the Bush administration, keeping documents and decisions very private.

It's not an actual surprise, Obama reneged on his campaign promise to hold telcoms responsible for warrant-less wire tapping even before he was elected.

Posted by: shadow27 | August 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"Excuse me, but can these people not count to 60? Have they somehow failed to notice that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have not exactly been playing nice?"

Funny how Ms. Marcus forgets that Republicans were able to pass the first tax cuts in the recorded history of civilized man during time of war with less of a majority.

Or, maybe it's just that Ms. Marcus can't count. Democrats had 60. They also had a super majority in the House, plus the White House, plus support of 60% to 75% of Americans and two thirds of physicians for a public option --- and STILL couldn't get it done.

You agree with Gibbs? Fine. You're both off your rockers.

In my view, the performance of the stocks of the health insurers and banks tell the entire story better than I ever could. This "reform" was a windfall win for both industries.

What some would have us do is fall into the complacency that something meaningful actually was done, while the robber barons continue to squeeze us for our last nickel. It fits that scenario quite nicely, you know: let's dupe those whining "leftists" (you know, like those 60% - 75% public option supporters) into thinking they actually got something done, and meanwhile we can quietly go about raking in the cash, business as usual.

Granted, these bills have some good points. The question is, on balance, is there anything left to celebrate once the puts and takes are netted out?

Some of us happen to believe that if banks are still too big fail, we are in dire financial peril, regardless of how much credit card issuer behavior is improved.

Some of us believe that despite the success of eliminating pre-existing conditions, that without a low overhead public option to establish a performance baseline in the marketplace the 35 million new conscripted, taxpayer-subsidized rate payers will represent the largest transfer of public wealth into private coffers in the history of man, outpacing Cheney's enrichment of the oil industry by orders of magnitude.

Further, Ms. Marcus, it is not our imagination that this White House is more fearful of the right wing's wrath than their own base. Don't believe us, ask Shirley Sherrod and the folks at ACORN.

We are the ones who put Obama in office. We aren't on dope, we are not pajama wearing retards, and we are not going to tolerate being belittled to curry favor with a crowd of knuckle-draggers.

It's not the "professional left," but the corporate stooges who infest this administration that will in the end cost Obama his re-election should he continue to heed their advice.

It's time to clean house, and Gibbs should be first, followed by Geithner.

Posted by: trippin | August 11, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Hope you didn't hurt your back carrying all that water, Ruth.

Posted by: greylocks | August 11, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

It's just amazing to me how people will write such nasty and venomous comments, and then not be adult enough to use their own names.

Reading comments is a good way to ruin one's day.

Posted by: zmar2 | August 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

So Ms. Marcus, when one of our most forthright and crusading Presidents said,"If you can't stand the heat,get out of the kitchen" he was exempting future Democratic Presidents like Barack Obama? I don't. I think Harry Truman meant that anyone aspiring to the Presidency ought to be able to take critisism, even and maybe especially critisim from their friends. And certainly Barack Obama ought to know he owes his presidency to his friends on the Left who abandoned Hillary to vote for him during the primarys.
I think Obama ought to examin closely how Truman and other effective Democractic presidents like JFK (and yes Bill Clinton) handled critisim from a resurgent Right Wing. I think he will find in a close reading of history that effective Democratic Presidents in the past refused to cave-in to calls for them to abandon their Democratic principals (or supporters) and refused to implement reactionary programs of slash and burn simply to try and win favor from the corporate and Well-off elite, who typically finance the Right. The Right after all as Bill Clinton pointed out, are NEVER satisfied with compromise, they simply demand more and more control and fewer and fewer restrictions on their averice.

Posted by: oregonbirddog | August 11, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Grow up and put your energy behind helping your side win; like it or not, winning and controlling Congress will get more of what you want done than protesting against a President who has not been as idealogical pure as you might wish. And, consider the option if you continue to pursue this self destructive path."

Indeed, we have.

And what we discovered is this: nothing ever worth having comes without a cost.

Therefore we will suffer more Republican malfeasance if only to send a clear and unambiguous message to the Democrats that they will either work for us, or they'll not work at all.

We will put the fear of God into these corporate stooges who call themselves Democrats thereby sullying the name, because with every passing reward of their capitulation to big monied special interests, the distance between them and the Republicans becomes ever smaller anyhow. Their own self-absorbed greed lessens the downside risk.

We will regain control of this party despite Terry MacAuliffe's sale of its soul to the highest bidders. Because if we don't, we have no alternative any longer. It may already be too late. We cannot afford to delay, just as Obama told us when he begged us for our vote only to abandon us in our very hour of need.

We are double-damned tired of being taken for granted. We're sick of an administration more fearful of Glenn Beck than the people who put him in office.

Do not doubt for one second our resolve. We have had it with this faux kumbaya nonsense. We see the pattern emerging that these so-called "compromises" were actually what Obama wanted all along, at the encouragement of Emanuel, Geithner, Summers, and Salazar.

And now, Gibbs adds his name to the list of malefactors. So be it; the lines are drawn.

Paraphrasing my dear departed mother: "we brought you into this world, and if you don't straighten up, we sure the hell will take you out." You think teabaggers are a phenomenon? Let's just have the White House continue to insult we pajama-wearing retard drug addicts.

Posted by: trippin | August 11, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The left is trying to sell a political agenda that the country will not buy. I am a lifetime democrat but I will vote in the next election for a republican for the house seat, governor and senator, to send a message to the democrats to move to the center and reject the lift wing nuts.

Posted by: alleva | August 11, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama did delivery nothing so far. Any minuscule progress was won not because Obama but Democrats in congress, specially Nancy Pelosi. We don't forget how Obama and the White house lazies refused to get involved during the health care bill deliberations. Obama was begged by members of congress to get involve but he was busy dating his wife. Remember Senator Al Franken tirade against these idiots? He is a ungrateful cry baby

Posted by: rappahanock | August 11, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"The left is trying to sell a political agenda that the country will not buy. I am a lifetime democrat but I will vote in the next election for a republican for the house seat, governor and senator, to send a message to the democrats to move to the center and reject the lift wing nuts."

Funny how right wing nuts have this habit of starting out claiming they've been a Democrat all their lives, as if calling myself Tinkerbell would enable me to fly.

Seriously, what's the point of that? Do you think that confessing a lifelong misalignment of your ideology to your declared party gives you more credibility? Really??!

Posted by: trippin | August 11, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama did delivery nothing so far. Any minuscule progress was won not because Obama but Democrats in congress, specially Nancy Pelosi. We don't forget how Obama and the White House lazies refused to get involved during the health care bill deliberations. Obama was begged by members of congress to get involve but he was busy dating his wife. Remember Senator Al Franken tirade against these idiots? He is a ungrateful cry baby and I do no longer care if democrats keep the power because they are the same sh.iit like Republicans

Posted by: rappahanock | August 11, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs would never make a comment that Tea Party members or 'birthers' or the professional right (Rush or Sean or Tim) should be drug tested and that they're crazy. He wouldn't be that..well, unprofessional but it's okay to attack your base with November just around the corner. Great move, Gibbs and kudos to those in the inner circle who share his sentiments. When the donations are down and there's not so many willing to phone bank or canvas, remember yesterday.

ps Come to think of it, I don't recall you writing that any of the above members of the conservative right are 'deranged'.

Posted by: mimi424 | August 11, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Ruth you're blind and fat

Obama but Democrats in congress, specially Nancy Pelosi. We don't forget how Obama and the White House lazies refused to get involved during the health care bill deliberations. Obama was begged by members of congress to get involve but he was busy dating his wife. Remember Senator Al Franken tirade against these idiots? He is a ungrateful cry baby and I do no longer care if democrats keep the power because they are the same sh.iit like Republicans

Posted by: rappahanock | August 11, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Ruth you're ciega and gorda

Obama but Democrats in congress, specially Nancy Pelosi. We don't forget how Obama and the White House lazies refused to get involved during the health care bill deliberations. Obama was begged by members of congress to get involve but he was busy dating his wife. Remember Senator Al Franken tirade against these idiots? He is a ungrateful cry baby and I do no longer care if democrats keep the power because they are the same sh.iit like Republicans

Posted by: rappahanock | August 11, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I protested earlier that a commenter named "Thebump" made racist remarks in referring to Obama as "Oboomba".

Someone named "Shewholives" responded by saying:
"I don't see how that is racist, stupid, but not racist."

I'm a psychologist and a liberal so I might have a somewhat different perspective than Shewholives. Here's my view:

The label "Oboomba" serves to reinforce Obama's identity as a person of african descent (as black). It serves no purpose to the discussion other than to emphasize his "blackness", which is a physical trait completely irrelevant in this context.

Moreover, "Oboomba" is a "funny", degrading name, the type we used to see in comic books trying to make fun of those "stupid, primitive africans".

In other words, the commenter is trying to mock another person by exploiting demeaning associations with a physical characteristic (race). Most psychologists would consider this rather overt racism.

Posted by: dougd1 | August 11, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

It seems Robert Gibbs has no faith in the party which he's affiliated with. This is the second time Gibbs make crack shots at the Democratic Party

Gibbs comment on MTP was so out of pocket that Nancy Pelosi had to call him to her office!

AND IF GIBBS THINK HE IS INDESPENSIBLE...HE'S THE ONE THAT NEED THE DRUG TEST...BUSH WENT THROUGH FOUR PRESS SECRETARIES!

Gibbs and Emanuel has always came out criticizing the Liberals and not once has this President call them accountable for it....WE DIDN'T ELECT GIBBS OF EMANUEL AND IF THEY DON'T LIKE THE DEMOCRATIC BASE THEY SHOULD GONE ON OVER TO THE RIGHT

Rahm Emanuel wears $200.00 silk shirts and Gibbs think he only have to impress those that sit in the press box

PRESIDENT OBAMA

IT'S TIME TO SEND GIBBS, AXEROD, AND EMANUEL PACKING.....GARRETT CAN STAY! SHE KNOWS HOW TO KEEP HER MOUTH SHUT

GIBBS NEED TO GO ON A JENNY CRAIG DIET...OR IS HE THE ONE LIGHTING UP AT NIGHT?...PASS ME THE CHEETOS, ICE CREAM AND APPLE PIE, PLEASE!

Posted by: danders5000 | August 11, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

It seems Robert Gibbs has no faith in the party which he's affiliated with. This is the second time Gibbs make crack shots at the Democratic Party

Gibbs comment on MTP was so out of pocket that Nancy Pelosi had to call him to her office!

AND IF GIBBS THINK HE'S INDESPENSIBLE...THEN...PERHAPS HE'S THE ONE THAT NEEDS THE DRUG TEST...BUSH WENT THROUGH FOUR PRESS SECRETARIES!

Gibbs and Emanuel has always came out criticizing the Liberals and not once has this President call them accountable for it....WE DIDN'T ELECT GIBBS OF EMANUEL AND IF THEY DON'T LIKE THE DEMOCRATIC BASE THEY SHOULD GONE ON OVER TO THE RIGHT

Rahm Emanuel wears $200.00 silk shirts and Gibbs think he only have to impress those that sit in the press box

PRESIDENT OBAMA

IT'S TIME TO SEND GIBBS, AXEROD, AND EMANUEL PACKING.....GARRETT CAN STAY! SHE KNOWS HOW TO KEEP HER MOUTH SHUT

!

Posted by: danders5000 | August 11, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama but Democrats in congress, specially Nancy Pelosi. We don't forget how Obama and the White House lazies refused to get involved during the health care bill deliberations. Obama was begged by members of congress to get involve but he was busy dating his wife. Remember Senator Al Franken tirade against these idiots? He is a ungrateful cry baby and He rather be fighing t Glenn Beck and company . I know, he is affraid of them.

Posted by: rappahanock | August 11, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: breaker581 | August 11, 2010 4:17 PM
Gibbs insulted grassroots progressives who have witnessed dozens upon dozens of promises which were made my Obama during his campaign broken.
______________________________________

Guess you haven't figured out yet that in our system, Congress enacts legislation and the President can sign or veto but the President doesn't make law. Second might I suggest you go to http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/browse/
He's kept a whole bunch of promises friend. Again is half a loaf better then no loaf at all?

Posted by: army164 | August 11, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I thought Marcus was going to come right out and say that she agrees with Gibbs about the progressive left entirely being on drugs.

C'mon...we all know it's true. :P

Posted by: blert | August 11, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

This column's drivel is as moronic as the dullard Gibbs' yelp about the "professional left."
Am I "professional left"? Nobody's
paying me a dime. Gibbs, on the other
hand gets paid handsomely for his steady,
boring, middle-of-the-road drone.
Eliminate the Pentagon? What channel is Gibbs tuned to? What a jerk! Boring, we're used to. Dishonest, no thanks. This guy needs to go.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | August 11, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no reason why we don't have "Canadian health care" or "British, French, Italian, South African health care." As commander-in-chief, there is no reason not to rein in pentagon spending and immediately end don't ask don't tell. A 5% cut in military spending would easily finance a universal healthcare system. Obama could also require all federal hospitals to accept any and all patients. Sadly, Washington (and Pres. Obama) is absolutely beholden to corporate money. Hence, we have a long-lasting recession with high unemployment. Anyone who cannot see that capitalism has had its run is not only foolhardy but a contributor to the current malaise. When can we ask the American people to think? Or, even better, to read a book - and think. Just look at the newspapers and the internet "news." We are cow-towing to those beneath some lowest, common denominator. It appears that the empire is crumbling.

Posted by: bob2davis | August 11, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't even say he is Democrat. Now we know who he really is ... a blue dog dog.

Posted by: rappahanock | August 11, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus asks if the left can count to 60. Can she count to 51? That's the majority number, stupid.

Posted by: bibleburner | August 11, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I've been fully aware that the left was deranged for a long time. That it took a Democrat President for Gibbs and Marcus to notice tells us much about them.

Posted by: theduke89 | August 11, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder who is going to hit the streets for Obama in 2012? Will it be the chastened "progressive left" that is stirring up so much White House ire? I had no idea what a problem we were for our President. Here I thought it was the Republicans that were unanimously opposing his programs, despite his every attempt to compromise and water down every proposal he brings forward. If the President and his press flacks spent less time attacking the Democratic base and more time flaying the sick abuse of the filibuster by the Republican "do nothing" Senate, I think he would have a more coherent - and accurate - story to tell the public.

Posted by: johnsonc2 | August 11, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm not part of any "professional left".

I'm just part of the man on the street left, and Gibbs can suck on a sock.

I don't blame Obama for compromising. I do blame Obama for striking an attitude of compromise, and for beginning every fight with a surrender... from which he then surrenders even more ground.

I do blame Obama for being a corporate prostitute, just like George Bush in that specific regard (and NOT in many others.)

I do blame Obama for not standing for more than he has a realistic chance of winning.

I do blame Obama (and his enablers like Gibbs) for failing to SEEM like they stand for anything other than corporatism. I blame him for failing to even PRETEND to be a progressive.

I do blame Obama for failing to see the electoral and political potential in mobilizing the street.

I do blame Obama for failing to articulate a vision of progressive politics, progressive government regulation of corporations, that appeals BOTH to the left and to the independents whose votes often decide elections.

In pursuit of the center Obama will lose the left (and I mean the real left... ordinary working folks like me), while failing to persuade the center for whom the blandishments of Fox News race baiting will always seem more persuasive in hard times than calm rational centrist discourse.

Give the center something to care about, a vision on the left, or the Fox party will step into the void, deny you the center, and destroy the progressive hopes that we had.

Fed up with Obama? You bet I am. Or perhaps just indifferent. Every day Gibbs stands up there and tries to lower the temperature while Fox News raises the temperature, a little part of America dies and a little bit of hope dies too.

Where's the passion? The only time they find it is when Gibbs attacks the same people that Fox News attacks - the left. Me. My family. My friends. Who needs these corporate tools? It's disgusting.

Will I vote for Obama? Almost surely, and on that basis Gibbs thinks he can kick me and my family in the teeth all day long and it doesn't matter. But I'm a dedicated voter. I always vote. There are plenty of us who will say screw those Obama people and the horse they rode in on, and stay away, stay home, vote for some third party choice.

When Obama attacks those who support Single Payer or question the Empire he and his minions are really attacking their own justification for rule, and their own legitimacy. They are fools, and needless to say Ms. Marcus is part of their inside the beltway club.

Out here in America things look different. Good luck with that strategy Obama Gibbs Marcus et al.

Posted by: mike777r | August 11, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Truly deranged are those still believing the Obama administration is, or ever was, sincere about making good on it's campaign promise of change.

This is Marcus and Gibbs on drugs! ... Any questions?

Posted by: Lorberrys | August 11, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

You can tell how bad education is in this country by reading the posts. Schools have not taught history and civics for years. Those of you in DC see a different world than the rest of the US sees.

Obama's ratings have fallen drastically. Some posters say he has done a good job. Apparently, you get your news from the liars of this land. He and his administration of liberals, progressives and maxists have done nothing for us. In fact, we are almost slaves to our government and falling further toward ruin every day. Hopefully, many of those on the left will lose this Nov and Obama will be out in 2012 unless we can get him out of the WH before that time.

Poor Gibbs is not the sharpest tool in the bag, but he told the truth for once. Too bad Obama does not know how to do that.

Posted by: annnort | August 11, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

You can tell how bad education is in this country by reading the posts. Schools have not taught history and civics for years. Those of you in DC see a different world than the rest of the US sees.

Obama's ratings have fallen drastically. Some posters say he has done a good job. Apparently, you get your news from the liars of this land. He and his administration of liberals, progressives and maxists have done nothing for us. In fact, we are almost slaves to our government and falling further toward ruin every day. Hopefully, many of those on the left will lose this Nov and Obama will be out in 2012 unless we can get him out of the WH before that time.

Poor Gibbs is not the sharpest tool in the bag, but he told the truth for once. Too bad Obama does not know how to do that.

Posted by: annnort | August 11, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I think the left complains too much. They want everything exactly how they want it and if it isn't that way they are against it. They act as if the president didn't have any trouble with the Republicans blocking everything.

Posted by: amosdefnails | August 11, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

To reprise what I said on the column denigrating Gibbs and his statement, I agree wholeheartedly. There is something dreadfully wrong with both the right and the left in that neither is capable of thought, not of thinking critically, but of thinking at all.

All the "leftists" (they are not leftists; they are leftist posturers, and ill suited for the role), who believed Obama and exit Iraq and Afghanistan, who honestly believed this and were over the age of twelve years old, need immediate gray matter enhancement.

Ditto, those who thought he would be able to shut down Guantanamo. He could not, he did not, but he did make progress.

He was WEAK on HEALTHCARE throughout the campaign. Paul Krugman called him on this week after week, and in WaPo, so did I, alone among "leftists."

We got what was to be anticipated.
----------------------------------------
If "leftists" wanted a leftist in the White House, they should have supported Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Obama, like Bill Clinton, is a moderate, a neo-liberal, if you will, and old-style conservative.

But not this: No president would have exited Iraq and Afghanistan forthwith. Hate to use the M word, but all the millions who believed Obama were, you know, moronic in that regard

Posted by: farnaz_mansouri2 | August 11, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus,

You are stabbing Mr. Gibb in the back and act ostensibly as if you are somebody he should thank.

Mr. Gibbs is too intelligent to fall into your manipulative trap!

Keep going, and let your foxtail show, like the one who pretended to be a grandma so that the innocent will offer himself as a sacrifice himself for you, and then thank the "grandma" !

Posted by: Joallen8 | August 12, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Marcus,

You are stabbing Mr. Gibb in the back and act ostensibly as if you are somebody he should thank.

Mr. Gibbs is too intelligent to fall into your manipulative trap!

Keep going, and let your foxtail show, like the one who pretended to be a grandma so that the innocent will offer himself as a sacrifice himself for you, and then thank the "grandma" !

Posted by: Joallen8 | August 12, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs has every right to be upset. The leftist policies Obama has implemented to this point have destroyed his presidency and you freaks on the left demand more. Obama and every loser like Gibbs that are riding his coat tails have had their careers cut short because of you psychos. The guy had a 70% approval rating and could have gone down as a great president if he would have worked with congress and found common sense solutions to the countries problems at hand, namely the economy. Instead he pursued every liberal fantasy imagineable while the countries real problems festered all in an attempt to appease you losers. Now he's relegated to Jimmy Carter status and is rightfully pissed.

Posted by: peterg73 | August 12, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Ruth you could hardly be more a 'Village Idiot'. OK, so Sally Quinn continues to invite you to all her fluffer parties and you in turn do your best. You say you agree with Gibbs but the problems facing the Obama Administration aren't coming from the liberals. They are coming from the Republicans who openly are trying to get America to fail so they can get elected. And you are supporting these people!

The Progressives aren't like Republicans. If we think a Democratic President is doing the wrong thing we will say so unlike the treatment bush43 got. Bush ran roughshod over the Constitution and the Repubs only wanted to be spanked harder. And because of that you write a column prasing the right for being dishonest and berating liberals for being honest.

Is that what you call Journalism?

Posted by: kindness1 | August 12, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

As one whose 1st political experience was volunteering for Barry Goldwater, and whose last was going door to door in my rural community for Barack Obama, I hardly fit the mold of "Professional Left" (whatever THAT means). I only voted for Bill Clinton when he 1st ran because I had met Hillary some years earlier and was impressed (& didn't vote for him a second time). So I wanted to support Hillary in '08, but as that race heated up and her camp trended towards negativity on race, I went to Obama...in large part because of his SEEMING support for a single-payer health plan.

I know a fair number of independents and mod/lib Republicans who voted for Obama. Their loss, in conjunction with the 10-point "enthusiasm gap" among Democrats, augers ill for the President two years hence.

Posted by: Pokeyboy | August 12, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, you sound like a blathering idiot who doesn't understand her topic at all...

not enough characters to respond, read this http://www.americablog.com/2010/08/dear-ruth-marcus-how-was-george-bush-so.html#disqus_thread

it lays it out for you in words you can probably understand. All in all, this is a really ignorant article you've written... what's your job again?

Posted by: Soundboy_Jeff | August 12, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, you sound like a blathering idiot who doesn't understand her topic at all...

not enough characters to respond, read this http://www.americablog.com/2010/08/dear-ruth-marcus-how-was-george-bush-so.html#disqus_thread

it lays it out for you in words you can probably understand. All in all, this is a really ignorant article you've written... what's your job again?

Posted by: Soundboy_Jeff | August 12, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Ruth,
Thank you for the great artile on the comments from Gibbs. You so effectively echoded the same frustration I have with the "Professional Left" & I consider myself to be on the LEFT. While Bush was in power the media was relatively quiet (for the most part) Criticizing the numerous offenses conducted by his administration, even today the right stays in locked step behind their leaders while the Democrats jumps on Obama for every minute issue, statement & action. We are facing a midterm election that likely to give more control of the House and Senate to the GOP, but what, pray tell, does the Professional Right think they are going to achieve by helping them take control? Absolutely Nothing! Rather than getting behind Obama and supporting him, they are willing to let the extreme right take over just because Obama did not give them exactly what they wanted. I often wonder how good it must feel be to be a Republican, regardless of what your party does the right wing pundits will rarely tear your party to pieces. My wife and I recently watched the movie “Invictus” which (we believed) carries a great message which the Professional Right should emulate i.e.– Following Mandela’s election many of his supporters expected him to rid the government of the apartheid members / supporters however, Mandela keenly realized that he needed them to help him to unite and govern the country. I believe that the same is true for Obama in as much as he would like to make major changes, he also has to be pragmatic – lest he awake sleeping giants and suffer the fate of JFK and others who attempted to swing the pendulum too far to the LEFT (Albeit is seems it is okay to swing it far to the right).

Posted by: nohod53 | August 12, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Your claim that 60 votes were needed to pass the public option is false. As you may recall, in the end healthcare was passed using reconciliation procedures. The Democrats only needed 51 votes to put the public option, which was the most popular part of HCR, in place.

However, it never even came up for a vote. And the GOP had nothing to do with it. So, yeah, we lefties can count to 60, but we didn't need to count that high for the public option. The only reason it isn't part of HCR is that the Dems didn't want it to be in there. So, at least get your facts right.

Posted by: TimB1 | August 12, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, what I find so depressing about your commentary--and about seeing you on the NewsHour, where you're no Mark Shields (and no David Brooks)--is that over and over again you don't provide insight, just more of the same inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom. (Same with Dana Milbank, who's also piling on on this issue, and Broder, and, well, so many of you at the Post--a great paper back when I was a kid.) The notion for you people is that moderates are wise and pragmatic and everyone else is nutso, and nothing seems to be able to shake that complacency. You might want to take another look at King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"--not just where he says, "I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's greatest stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate," but, really, the whole thing. Had you and your ilk been around in the mid-60s, you'd have been tut-tutting about King's direct action and convincing yourself that you alone were reasonable (exactly like the religious "moderates" whose letter prompted King's response), because you occupied the middle ground between King and, say, George Wallace. And you'd have been spectacularly wrong.
I'm not even remotely on the "Professional Left," but you smug, smug, smug "moderate" commentators are just appalling--and in the long view, as King knew, it's the left that drives change (see: slavery, women's suffrage, Civil Rights, gay rights, etc.), the right that fights it (see: slavery, women's suffrage, Civil Rights, gay rights, etc.) and moderates who accept the change without going all loony-right when the change finally comes. But moderates have this fantasy that instead of benefiting from the left's hard work, a benefit they consistently recognize only in hindsight, if at all, they're the ones who "get things done" (see: Hillary on LBJ). That's not true; much of the time, they're just in the way.
As are you. Back off the left, professional and otherwise. As others have noted, they're just doing what Obama once claimed he wanted done.

Posted by: doctorsmith | August 13, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Ruth: You are a typical main stream media fluncky. You would never attack the far right wing for their inflamatory and treasonious rantings, but you use your harshest language on the liberals. I am not a professional politician and I do not have to accept Washington mediocroty. When the President or the Congress is wrong I have the right to speak out. Just because I do not hold a press card does not strip me of my right to speak out as a liberal and as a Democrat. You are the professional hypocrites in my book. You folded to President Bush on the Iraqi War and to the erosion of our Constitutional rights in the so called Patriot Act. You abdocated your right to criticize me an my colleagues on anything.

Posted by: willin46 | August 16, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company