Man I wish I had bought stock in smug and snark today. Just my returns on twitter would have made me rich.
Everyone is so upset with Robert Gibbs for his attack on the "professional left."
Robert Gibbs was right, of course. Not to say what he was thinking out loud, but he is absolutely right that there is a professional left in America that can't stand the Obama administration.
Better that we go back to our fantasies of the perfect world in which we would live if only we could elect our pure, noble liberal champion. Can't hardly wait for Obama to fail so that we can be even more depressed!
My father, who worked on the McGovern campaign, told me about how there were Democrats who couldn't stand McGovern and would prefer that he lose than their comfortable sinecures be disturbed.
You see, if McGovern lost, they would maintain their positions in opposition.
But if he won, all of sudden all the plum jobs in liberal think tanks and organizations would start going to McGovern people. Oh no!
The same dynamic is going on today.
Remember all the stories from the campaign about how local Democratic leaders were grumbling because Obama didn't come and kiss their ring? About how Obama couldn't possible buck the old hoary traditions of paying canvassers in Philly? About how worried the old preachers and "activists" were that Obama was not willing to play the old patronage games?
Well, don't think our friends in the liberal media and the liberal think tanks were immune to that. Why did Paul Krugman bitterly denounce Obama during the campaign and ruefully declare that he could never win? No job for Paul Krugman in an Obama administration. Not after he went all in on Clinton.
Great economist, great thinker. But a little bit of an Obama problem.
Then there's the David Sirota, Jane Hamsher, and Glenn Greenwald amen chorus. It's not that Greenwald isn't right from time to time about Obama's wobbliness on war and torture. But can you ever remember him praising Obama?
Ditto Hamsher--I understand she may still be bitter over Obama endorsing The Evil One Joe Lieberman. But nary a kind word for Obama ever. Here she is today, ole reliable:
"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" emailed Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake.com. " Well, the Obama in the White House is not the Obama who organized, campaigned, raised money and ran for office, so I guess its' a wash."
No claim that she campaigned for Obama, because, of course, she didn't.
I love Rachel Maddow as much as the next person, but Maddow had a picture on Twitter of the Obama bus driving over gays before the inauguration! (Over Rick Warren.) Come on Rachel!
I hate contributing to this moronic fraticide, but I feel the same way as Gibbs. Too much of the criticism of the administration comes from a tired group of hacks who have never made the contributions to moving this country in a progressive direction that President Obama and his team have.
Meanwhile, the progressive Democrats in Congress can stop getting the vapors. They know that Gibbs wasn't talking about them. Ditto journalists with a left bent who are rubbing their hands together at this manufactured controversy.
In a perverse way, Gibbs's comment perfectly proves his point. Where are the progressives who are stepping up to defend the White House? Keith Olbermann is going to do a "Special Comment" on this foolishness? Really?
I've been waiting all day to read a progressive voice of reason.
Sure, you can be a passionate progressive and decry the flaws of the health care bill, or blanch at the expansion of the Afghanistan War, or worry over the use of drones and torture. Sure. But please do it in context.
Much has been made of the President's remarks demanding that the left hold him accountable. I was at the Staff Ball in Washington following the inauguration. The President also said that he couldn't do it without our help. Who is helping sell progressive ideas to America instead of whining and caterwauling about how the President isn't doing more?
It's time to take a hard look at our so called progressive voices and figure out who is helping our cause and who is simply throwing brickbats at an administration that is doing 90% of what we would like to see happen.
The biggest mistake Gibbs may have made was in calling them professional.
Unlike most of the people commenting on this issue, Bart Motes was an Obama volunteer in the New Hampshire primary and later a field organizer in Miami Gardens, Florida.