Gibbs Retrenches: Stands By "Professional Left" Remarks

Sam Stein:

Speaking publicly for the first time since he disparaged the "professional left," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he stands by his comments [. . .] Taking the podium after a day off to tend to a sore throat, Gibbs said he has not reached out to any Democrats to discuss his remarks, in which he chastised liberals for wanting to "eliminate the Pentagon" and pursue Canadian-style health care reform. Nor, he added, has he talked to the president about the matter.

Does he stand by the comments? "Yes," he replied.

All righty then. Hell of a Press Secretary the White House has there.

Speaking for me only

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    Idiotic (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:49:50 PM EST
    I added the last 'ic' to avoid name calling.

    I'm beginning to think he and the WH have no concept of a 'spectrum', and how many millions of people fall to the left of Obama yet still manage to think we need a defense department. Canadian style health care? Sign me up, I'll admit to that. See Robert? Spectrum.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:53:35 PM EST
    I'm not for eliminating the Pentagon, either (down-sizing, yes, but not eliminating).  But I'd like some Canadian-style health care, too.    ;-)

    Gibbs Performances/Self Immolation (none / 0) (#63)
    by norris morris on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 06:40:49 PM EST
    Heck of a job Gibbs sounds more inexperienced and angry every time he responds to questions from the working Press.

    If this is who Obama and Co. believe to be their Press Chief, once again their inexperience and simplistic views regarding criticism continue to be an embarrassment.

    And as a lifetime liberal I am trying to figure out where these "professional liberals" are, and in spite of the WHouse's obvious contempt for us liberals [and others] we will continue to seek answers and question policies.

    Gibbs is not up for this.  Attacking liberals and whining is not going to deliver votes, yet Gibbs and other Obamabots have stated they neither need or want liberal votes as they have betrayed their Leader- The One  by daring to question WHouse strategy or a lack thereof.

    What a way to lose an election!


    Professional Left (none / 0) (#64)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 06:47:24 PM EST
    I think was the phrase...  as some have pointed out here, there is a substantial difference between the left, liberals, and progressives..

    Besides professional left has a more ominous tone to it, and thus is much better rhetorically than professional liberals, or professional progressives.


    I agree, BTD (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:51:26 PM EST
    What a Press Secretary!  I can only conclude that Obama must agree with Gibbs' comments, or he would have given Gibbs the old "heave-ho."  BTW, if critics of the President are the "professional left,"  where are the paychecks?

    You don't get yours? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:53:00 PM EST
    Oops. Never mind. You didn't hear that from me.

    Wait, wait! What? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:55:22 PM EST
    Ruffian, no fair!  If you got yours, I want mine!  

    Nope, all I got was what I got (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:47:03 PM EST
    from my workplace, too, when I asked about the missing money.  Thanks to my Obama fan gov:

    I'm on furlough!

    That's it; let's all follow the fine economic inspiration of this administration that asks us to tighten our belts and cut back a bit and etc.:

    Next time we get yet another of those fundraising appeals from Dems:

    We're on furlough! until further notice -- until you folks tighten your d*mn belts on your $1500 suits and cut back a bit on your d*mn budgets for pay and benefits and perks while America hurts.


    How about Michelle's "vacation" in Spain (none / 0) (#37)
    by prittfumes on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:12:54 PM EST
    to "comfort her grieving friend". Just curious, whaddya think about that?

    Oh, I had not read that reason (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:25:02 PM EST
    as I'm just so outatheloop on the gossip stuff.

    All that I have seen is probably all that most Americans have seen, reassuring us that the woman still has the buff bod to show off in those gorgeous, no doubt designer, resort outfits at, so I hear, a very expensive resort in Spain?

    So all I thought is probably what most Americans thought:  Good shoulders.  Bad timing.  Bad PR.

    Oh, and I also saw her with the daughter there.  I thought:  Cute kid.  But my kids are cute, too.  And out of work. . . .


    The carping about Mrs. Obama's (none / 0) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:52:42 PM EST
    vacation, while in greatest part from the right, may have played into the Gibbs (reporting) interview.

    The Professional Left ?????????? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by norris morris on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:40:37 PM EST
    Ooooooooooh!  Who are they?  Where is the Professional Left lurking in our country? What organization do they all belong to? Where do they convene and organize?

    The moronic and uneducated remarks emanating from the WH are more than sad. There is no basis in sophisticated political reasoning that could make a real Pro Press Sec'y utter this jargon. Gibbs is a defensive and amateurish fool. If this is Obama's pick......LOL.


    Announces Resignation (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by squeaky on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:52:43 PM EST
    in order to spend more time with his sore throat..  

    Okay, you owe me (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:40:07 PM EST
    a spew screen for my computer.  And a fresh Coke.

    Put It On My Bill... (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:04:11 PM EST
    LOL! (none / 0) (#8)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:56:57 PM EST
    Good one!

    Yeah, the preferred bone to throw to the left! (none / 0) (#30)
    by lambertstrether on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:01:31 PM EST
    The totally meaningless resignation of Ari Gibbs, as opposed to the extremely meaningless nomination of Elizabeth Warren.*

    Just more kabuki from The Big O.

    NOTE * No knock on Warren, but the Fed is sure to gut the agency, and Rahm is sure to surround Warren with staffers who will undercut her. Now, if Warren chooses to resign on principle and run as a Green, say, I'd be all for it, but that hardly seems likely.


    You would think (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by lilburro on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:55:14 PM EST
    Gibbs and co. would understand the difference between an individual going to the polls and an individual excited for an election.  People in 2008 were going to go to the polls.  But somehow the Obama campaign got them to give a crapload of money, call a ton of people, register voters, canvass, and then go to the polls.  Now it's 2010 and half of those people probably aren't going to know or care that they could go to the polls.  So their reliance on the extremely motivated voter is all the greater.  I am going to do my best to make sure my local Rep wins esp. because he's facing a total creep but I am hard pressed to see why the hell I should waste time donating to races outside of my area.

    I have (5.00 / 8) (#10)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:04:11 PM EST
    long since told the DNC, DCCC, DSCC, etc, that they aren't getting any money from me (because I can't control who they support), but I have, and will continue to, support individual candidates who are on the same page as I am.

    well (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by lilburro on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:07:56 PM EST
    they won the primaries in part by appealing to the "Professional Left" and seeming like the more liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton.  So now they're just going to sh*t on that strategy?  Ok...

    Make sure you use their postage paid envelope! (none / 0) (#29)
    by lambertstrether on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:57:56 PM EST
    They probably don't care about your message inside, but they do care about losing their money, so...

    Gee, I wonder why this is happening (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:03:16 PM EST
    The poll confirmed national surveys showing Republicans have a big advantage in enthusiasm about the election, with 75 percent of registered Republicans in Ohio certain they will vote and only 52 percent of Democrats certain about voting.

    There is no momentum and no energy at all in the Democratic base," Clark said. link

    Go Gibbs. You are definitely fixing the problem with you comments. :-)

    These guy remind me (none / 0) (#57)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 02:18:51 AM EST
    Of all those rock stars who got fame, fortune, and adulation overnight......and couldn't handle it. Self immolation often follows: drugs, alcohol, and suicide.

    How this Obama crew flipped over so fast and hard is just astounding.


    Who are these people? (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:13:50 PM EST
    The only reasonably recognizable members of the administration are the Secretaries of Defense and State.  Everyoe else seems to have fallen down the rabbit hole.

    Yes, and when they (none / 0) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 05:13:36 PM EST
    are introduced to the public it seems to be at a time of crisis without time to have established themselves in the American mind. For example, Secretary Napolitano at the time of the underwear bomber (everything went according to plan); Secretary Salazar at the time of the BP blowout (after a long false start, was going to put his boot on the neck of BP, only to be quickly rebuked by President Obama, and, has since disappeared--if only permanently) and, later, Secretary Chu, a Nobel Laureate you know; Carol Brower, EPA director who gave the all clear;, NOAA Director Lubchenko, who says almost all the oil in the Gulf spill is gone; Admiral Thad Allen, in charge of everything oil, we think.  And, last, but not least, Secretary Vilsack, who fired Mrs. Sherrod rather than take down Breitbart.

    Nah, they're not bunnies. . . . . (none / 0) (#53)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 05:30:25 PM EST
    They're brownies.  Because they're all doing such a heckuva job!  Just ask Gibbs.

    Oh....good one! (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 05:57:27 PM EST
    How about (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:20:48 PM EST
    cut off food stamps to white house aides?

    Well, finally some audacity, I guess; (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:22:39 PM EST
    way to pick those battles!  

    I guess the only direction we can go from here is, "nanny-nanny-boo-boo;" I am so looking forward to that, let me tell you.  

    Very professional and so in keeping with his boss's desire to be seen as the next Lincoln/FDR/MLK, Jr./Jesus, because of course, those people were just so over the great unwashed and whining masses who didn't want to settle for the occasional pat on the head.   I mean, "Quit Yer Belly-Achin'" is a great mantra and a theme that has such inspirational marketing potential - AND - it's perfect teamed up with "Hey!  It's Better Than Nothing!" and of course, "What Are You Lookin' At - Sarah Palin's Over There!"

    Maybe this is where it all starts to fall apart in a visible way - the first car to derail in what may be a spectacular train wreck by November.

    The audacity (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:32:47 PM EST
    of.....not "hope," apparently.  The audacity of "but the Republicans are so much worse," I guess, and we're all supposed to get in line.  And if we don't, we're the problem.  Methinks that Obama is not wanting to be the next "Lincoln/FDR/MLK, Jr./Jesus" (well, maybe Jesus) so much as the next Ronald Reagan, only with a "D" after his name.  I'm getting depressed.  Heck, I've been depressed about the direction of this administration for quite some time now.

    Wow, I am blown away (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:34:30 PM EST
    If I take all the watered down backroom deals while giving a finger to Liberals, and being a retard, and Obama's problems with his base are due to Leftwing bloggers, and now this, I am left to assume that this White House is interested in waging a war with whoever they perceive to be the "Professional Left".

    Where do I send my resume? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lambertstrether on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:56:44 PM EST
    If there's a "professional" left, can I get a job with them? (Actually, there is, and I neither can nor would).

    But you don't wanna lose... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:02:40 PM EST
    your amatuer status right before the Left Olympics...as someone who would fully support converting the Pentagon and CIA Headquarters into community centers, I think I got a good shot at the gold...unless I falter too much in the fiscal responsibility and individual liberty events:)

    No cuts (none / 0) (#61)
    by mwb on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 07:21:35 AM EST
    Hey no cutting.

    The line forms behind me, buddy.


    Obama's cunning plan... (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by lambertstrether on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:02:30 PM EST
    ... to rehabilitate the Rs and destroy the Ds continues!


    What is the 'Professional Left' (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by TomStewart on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:49:47 PM EST
    and where do I get my check?

    When the little boy from the DNC (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by Maryb2004 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:04:10 PM EST
    called me last night to ask me, as a committed Democrat, to contribute support, I told him he must have the wrong number.  I wasn't a committed Democrat, I was a liberal.

    Ok he probably wasn't a little boy, but he sounded like one on the phone.

    I'll have to remember (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:48:48 PM EST
    that one, Mary, if the DNC and the rest bother to call me again. I have made my displeasure, and my absolute unwillingness to contribute, so plain in past phone calls from them, more than one solicitor hung up on me.  

    Mr. G is Right... (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:12:46 PM EST
    We "professional leftists" do indeed need drug testing because apparently the colorful liquid inducing hallucinogenic of "hope and change" has worn off and the ugly mediocrity of modern Democratic leadership stares us in the face with the not-so-friendly smugness of a hookah-smoking caterpillar.


    The Dems have worked hard to save Wall Street, which is the real economy and thus the real America. Listen you over-aged hippies this just ain't your Grandpa's America no more! Cowboy up!

    I agree, drug testing for everyone.


    I mean, how much worse could it get? Right?

    On second thought, do you think Corexit can grow magic Gulf mushroom shrimp that disperse the reality of war and greed?

    I HOPE I have enough to buy some. Anybody got spare CHANGE?

    Mr. G Is Right, John Cory

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by squeaky on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:21:18 PM EST
    The drug testing remark was really meant as a way to determine who is not on the stuff they are putting in the water these days.

    Those people, will require government issued non-removable drug patches, with weekly doses transmitted by DEA satellite.


    Pass me a hit... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 05:06:26 PM EST
    of that ignorance bliss...we should get at least a free alternate reality outta the deal.

    Nice linkage edger...my kinda guy that Cory.  "We are all mushrooms now...". Classic.


    Sometimes it seems (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:46:45 PM EST
    as if these WH boys have converted the East Room into an ersatz dorm room were they sit around in a circle patting themselves on the back, pitying themselves as  Roger Dangerfields that get no respect, and mockingly hug amateur cardboard cutouts of the professional left.   The inelegance of it all, of course, comes from the center of the circle.   Gibbs claims that he has not talked to the president, but maybe the president, as the apparent dorm RA, should talk to Gibbs and the rest of the boys.

    BTD: It's called "doubling down" (2.00 / 1) (#19)
    by scribe on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:28:40 PM EST
    not "retrenches".

    A little better accuracy, please?

    He apologized yesterday (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:33:55 PM EST
    Calling Dr. Freud, calling Dr. Freud . . . (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:49:26 PM EST
    as this now is a pattern:  Mouth off, p*ss us off, take it back, then say it once more but with even more feeling.  This is far from the first time.

    It's beyond political ploys now.  It's sick.  There must be a name for it.  Calling Dr. Freud. . . .


    O.K that's it! (none / 0) (#59)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 02:49:04 AM EST
        I'm taking names now. "It's sick," and "he's sick"  and I've saying that since the beginning of the primaries.

    I wrote a long polemic a couple of years ago over at Salon on just this topic. After having a conversation with a group of psychiatrists, my fears were pretty much confirmed. I won't go into it now, but if I can find my column I'll post a link to it.

    Really interesting stuff, and after reading what I wrote, an incredible number of people expressed  an "ah-ha" moment. Just made perfect sense.

    O.k, just one teaser; a point one of the docs made: "What level of arrogance, hubris, and self delusion drives a 30-something, young man, with a resume as thin as a sheet of vellum paper, to write not one, but two auto-biographies?"  


    His apology was about as sincere (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by scribe on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:54:54 PM EST
    as BP Tony Whatshisname's, i.e., not at all.

    "retrench" means to cut back (none / 0) (#40)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:39:31 PM EST
    you seem to mean that he has become more entrenched

    taking your word for it (none / 0) (#55)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 06:55:55 PM EST
    my Webster's 11th Collegiate does not have that definition

    could be i need a new dictionary


    Like Stanford got Michael Jackson, (none / 0) (#11)
    by coast on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:05:39 PM EST
    Gibbs needs someone....anyone to come to his rescue.  Is Biden scheduled to speak anytime soon...like now?

    Steven Slater? (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:56:33 PM EST
    If the customers (aka the people) are too demanding for Gibby or others in the admin, all they gotta do is grab a couple cold ones out the White House fridge and hit the chute...that I can respect, the whining not so much.

    You mean his (none / 0) (#13)
    by nycstray on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:09:42 PM EST
    "inartful" comments?

    Okay . . . .

    Do any of you think this is a ploy to get (none / 0) (#14)
    by Buckeye on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:12:15 PM EST
    support from independents?  I know it may sound crazy, but it is hard for me to believe otherwise smart people can be this dumb.  Are they thinking that if the (apparently) amateur left attacks the "professional left," it will offset the attacks from the right that they are hard core socialist progressives to help them with independents in an election year?  Do they think the professional left is going to vote for them no matter what, but independents will think "well, if the professional left and this administration are feuding, they must be pretty moderate."

    Maybe (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:25:40 PM EST
    But I think it's more that Gibbs is "shooting from the hip" because that's what he and his boss think, rather than an actual strategy to procure independent votes.  I don't think Gibbs is that smart- I think that he is annoyed at any criticism from "the left."  And I think that Obama is, too.  It seems to come from some sense of entitlement or something.  They're "entitled" to our votes, and our money, and we should just STFU because "consider the alternative."  (Sigh)

    Come on, (none / 0) (#58)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 02:30:16 AM EST
    the bunch here at TL is beyond needing redundant comments like those you just made.

    Common sense alone dictates that depressed, unenthusiastic, and deceived voters will simply not go to the polls in the overwhelming numbers the Party enjoyed in `08.

    And, I don't exactly detect a groundswell of Dems vowing to put Palin or Gingrich into the W.H. either. But, as badly as B.O.'s numbers have fallen he surely doesn't need any more reluctant supporters.


    Entitlement & Political Suicide (none / 0) (#65)
    by norris morris on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 06:55:53 PM EST
    Gosh I did't know I belonged to the "professional left".  I am waiting for my membership card and emails from all the political left wing bloggers to tell me what to do and say.

    This is one of the uncoolest exhibits from  Gibbs who is totally out of his element.

    The WHouse seems less and less able to control any clear message except pointed contempt for "lefties" who of course as Gibbs says are really "professional liberals".

    Each week brings us liberals and bloggers continued contempt from the WHouse, and reminds us we are unimportant to Obama.  


    And obviously (none / 0) (#56)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 09:12:28 PM EST
    not sufficiently grateful to The One.

    He doesn't care (none / 0) (#62)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 12:28:51 PM EST
    Obama doesn't care if he wins a second term, he said as much when he ran. Like his billionaire cronies, the country and the Democratic Party can go down in flames while he escapes to his comfy cocoon of well-paid speeches, highly-compensated board memberships, and many, many more navel-polishing autobiographies.

    Now, the other Dems--I'm willing to bet they do care, and that some of them are making their own escape plans. I would not be in the least surprised by a primary challenge; my money is on Alan Grayson, the latest progressive heart-throb.

    All of this is starting to remind me eerily of that scene--one of many great ones--in "Catch-22," when Yossarian, standing before a board of army investigators, has an epiphany, in the form of a dawning realization that nowhere in the world, not in any place he's been fighting, or any place he's lived or traveled, are there any people who loathed and detested him as the people now interrogating him, that is, the U.S. Army. It's a great moment, because it's ultimately freeing--he now realizes that his only goal must be to get out of there alive. And it's how, I think, a lot of Dems must be feeling about Obama and his merry band of DINOs.