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On the ‘professional left’

August 10, 2010

A little snark-fest by Obama’s press secretary seems to be making the rounds today. And I suppose I should pay it the attention due to the press secretary mouthing off at the ‘professional left.’

The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”

Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”

A bit of irony there, as I had the chance to vote for Kucinich in the primary back in ’08 and didn’t, instead voting for Obama over Clinton — the more meaningful vote at the time. For a moment I will consider taking my Obama magnet off the car. Whatever happens in November, my vote isn’t going to have much to do with it. Money could, but then I am poor. I could drop off the mailing list, but that’s more spite than anything substantial.

Gibbs didn’t name names as to which left-wing pundits he’d like to bitchslap. But it was interesting that Rachel Maddow’s name came up. Is it unfair to point out failure?

Just last week, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow described Obama political adviser David Axelrod as a “human pretzel” for his explanation of the administration’s position on gay marriage. Axelrod had explained that Obama opposes same-sex marriage but favors equal benefits for partners in gay relationships.

Mind you, this is the same lady who has spent time listing the Obama administration’s many accomplishments, chronicled the efforts of the right wing to diminish them and undermine his approval in the public sphere.

So, it seems the administration has already moved to offer some half-assed apologies and made some less than subtle comments to diminish the left itself. As if they weren’t already doing that with their policies. I doubt anything much will happen to the press secretary, and really, who cares? I guess they wish they could get us to march in lockstep like the right does with its base.

I guess it was summed up adequately on the Daily Kos, in that we got to see what could have been before the lobbyists and the conservatives like Lieberman and Nelson had their way with everything. Most of all, it was sad to watch how little the administration did to defend what could have been. I get the sense that Obama values the legislative process, having been a legislator not that long ago, and recalling how they were run roughshod by his predecessor. Perhaps he is cautious to the point of error.

If they wanted to alienate the left, though, just to make sure they lose and lose big in November, they’re doing a bang-up job of it.

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