Now, here's a rant-ish "Message to Obama's Progressive Critics" from top Obama aide Steve Hildebrand today demanding the Dirty Fucking Hippies of "the left" STFU:
First thing's first: I absolutely agree with Hildebrand that you can't draw concrete conclusions about Obama based only on his personnel decisions - and I've written that repeatedly (and I've also said that most of Obama's policy declarations have been pretty progressive). However, Hildebrand implying that those personnel decisions really don't matter at all is straight up silly. It supposes that all the enormous egos that populate a White House are just mindless functionaries, and that even though those egos are heading major federal departments or are key advisers, they have no hand in making policy and/or their advice to a president makes absolutely no impact. Please - let's get real.
But far more important than that is Hildebrand firing up the whaaaaaaaambulance to whine and cry and moan about "the left." Really, what is with top Democrats explicitly attacking "the left wing of the Democratic Party" in Fox News-style talking points? Why is every substantive, non-partisan, non-ideological question of pragmatism from progressives almost automatically portrayed as some sort of super-Trotsky-ite, ideological and wholly inappropriate demand for Obama to be a president "just for those on the left?" Can anyone even ask a non-ideological question of Obama without being attacked as some sort of raving left-wing lunatic?
TPM adds that criticism of Obama from 'the left' has actually been quite mild, making Hildebrand's response seem somewhat disproportionate.
Really, one has to ask if Hildebrand is really trying to reassure "the left wing of our party," or whether he's trying to stir them up further out of some unknown political calculation or other. After all, many on "the left" have also made Hildebrand's point: They've noted that Obama should be allowed to let his actual policies do the talking, while simultaneously asking completely legit questions about what his choices portend about the future direction of his administration. If merely asking such questions is enough to incite an attack on "the left" from someone in Obama's inner circle, it seems reasonable to conclude that the motive here isn't to mend fences at all.
Read Steve Hildebrand's message on the Huffington Post.