Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Now, Gibbs

The Hill reported Tuesday:

“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”

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.”

The following day, Gibbs conceded his remarks had been "inartful," then defended them, congratulating the administration he serves for providing the greatest leadership ever seen on earth.

It's curious that Gibbs would have alleged the "professional left" would be "satisfied" only "when we have Canadian healthcare." As the video below indicates, President Obama is an opponent of "Canadian healthcare," notwithstanding the position of Illinois State Senator Barack Obama. ("I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program" is how he put it in 2003.)

While Gibbs characterizes individuals who find similarities between his boss and President Bush "crazy," it brings to mind Bush 43 Press Secretary Ari Fleischer at a press briefing warning "all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do." The difference lies in the target of their accusations. President Obama, through his press secretary and his chief-of-staff, attacks his most loyal supporters. President Bush had the good sense to threaten his political opponents.

And make no mistake about it. Rahm Emanuel still has his job. Robert Gibbs will keep his. And Barack Obama figures the more he runs down his political allies, the more likely he is to keep his.

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