In a recent interview with The Hill, the White House press secretary lashed out at what he labeled "the professional left." Gibbs was talking about liberals, especially those on cable TV, who complain that President Obama has caved to centrists and conservatives on too many issues.
Gibbs is peeved at those who gripe that the administration hasn't fought hard enough for initiatives that are important to the Democratic Party's base; that, in effect, Obama has sold out those who thought he stood for real change.
"I hear these people saying he's like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested. I mean, it's crazy," Gibbs told the interviewer. "They will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we've eliminated the Pentagon. That's not reality."
A number of liberals shot back at Gibbs. Rep. Alan Grayson, the outspoken Florida Democrat, called Gibbs, "Bozo the Spokesman," and called on the administration to fire him.
The sentiment among other liberal critics was that, yeah, Obama had some accomplishments, but too often he settled for too little. The Democratic base that worked so hard to get Obama elected had expected great things from this president, and he has let them down.
Pardon me if I join Gibbs in his bewilderment over the ingratitude of the left. While Obama's performance has been less than perfect, he certainly has delivered in a big way — notably on health care reform, new fair-pay legislation for women, financial regulations for Wall Street, student loan reform and a recovery act that kept the nation from sliding into a depression.
And where would we be if John McCain, instead of Obama, had been given the opportunity to pick two new Supreme Court justices?
Obama has managed to accomplish all this in a year and a half, despite relentless obstructionism from the Republicans. The GOP clearly decided early on that the path to political success lay in opposing Obama at every turn (a strategy that may well pay off in November).
Thus, the attacks on Obama from the left seem not only ungrateful but also a little naive: "We know you passed the first comprehensive health care reform package in 70 years, but what have you done for us lately?"
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