This is kind of fun...
First - Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tees off into the left rough:
"I hear these people saying he's like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested," Gibbs said. "I mean, it's crazy."
Glenn Greenwald takes it personally, almost as if Gibbs is aiming directly at him:
Ok - Gibbs really is aiming at Greenwald.
"Robert Gibbs -- in one of the most petulant, self-pitying outbursts seen from a top political official in recent memory, half derived from a paranoid Richard Nixon rant and the other half from a Sean Hannity/Sarah Palin caricature of The Far Left -- is here to tell you that the real reason you're dissatisfied with the President is because you're a fringe, ideological, Leftist extremist ingrate who needs drug counseling...
The Democrats have been concerned about a lack of enthusiasm on the part of their base headed into the midterm elections. These sorts of rabid, caricatured, Fox-News-copying attacks on the Left will undoubtedly help generate more enthusiasm -- more loud clapping -- for the Democrats. I know I'm eager to go canvass and clap for Democrats after reading Gibbs' noble, inspiring vision. If it were Gibbs' goal to be as petulant and self-pitying as possible, what could he have done differently?...
I hope there are enough drug testing facilities to accommodate Talking Points Memo reporters, Charlie Savage, the lawyers from EFF, Bob Herbert, Anthony Romero, Russ Feingold, and The New York Times Editorial Board. I don't know anyone who asserts that Obama is the same as Bush -- I don't believe that and never asserted that -- but if anyone needs to be "drug tested," it would be those denying that many of Bush's most controversial policies and actions have been embraced in full by Barack Obama."
Finally, the voice of Reason - Matt Welch weighs in:
Hey Matt - I'm doing my part.
"And though the existence of progressive-left criticism of Obama has been one of the few heartening things about political discourse these past 19 miserable months, I wish more lefties were making the George W. Bush comparison on things like bailouts and spending binges and military surges and WoT detentions and entitlement expansion and Old Europe-tweaking and drug raids and obscenity prosecutions and general bullshittery."
Although - strictly speaking - I guess I am not a lefty now.
But I was in 2006, and hope to be again in 2012. Does that count?
Mister Gibbs sheepishly "walked back" his earlier statement, describing it as "inartful".
My question is not why his liberal base is frustrated, that is pretty obvious. My question is what exactly was Gibbs trying to do? The initial rant was not "off the cuff". Lets get real. Gibbs is a Press Secretary. He serves up exactly nothing that is not first chewed, digested and excreted by Axelrod and Rahm. Then I read this in his artful walk back from the interview:
Now I get it. They want to run against GWB again in 2010 because – you know – it worked last time. I mean - Bush was not running then... Bush is not running now... What's the difference?
“In November, America will get to choose between going back to the failed policies that got us into this mess, or moving forward with the policies that are leading us out.”
But they really can’t run against Bush if the best and brightest in their base keep saying that Obama is acting just like Bush.
This was all about getting them to stop making that comparison. At least until after the election.
cross-posted at Donklephant
Divided and Balanced.™
Now that is fair.
Now that is fair.