Daily Kos: If you're trying to convince us NOT TO VOTE FOR YOU in 2010 or 2012, Mission Accomplished:
"Turns out calling me 'F$#^ing retarded' or 'On Drugs' doesn't make me FIRED UP, it makes me think you think I'm an asshole, and that doesn't exactly win my vote, now does it?
Advice for Democrats who want to win WITHOUT 'The Left of the Left' this election season.
Step 1. Get Republicans to phonebank for you, Get Out The Vote for you, go door to door for you, and send donations to you. Get Republican teabaggers to do all that crap for you, because you can only insult Progressives and 'The Professional Left' so many times until we figure out that The Democratic Party wants our money and support, but after that, we can piss off.
Step 2. Once you've realized that Republicans WILL NEVER DO SUPPORT YOU, LET ALONE VOTE FOR YOU NO MATTER HOW LOUD YOU SING 'KUMBAYA' AND TRY TO APPEASE THEM, you'll have already lost seats in both chambers of congress. Lots of seats."
Robert L. Borosage: Gibbs on the Left: Dog Bites the Man
4. The left hasn't been a rebel; it's been too good a soldier. Amazing that the White House would be upset at carping from the beltway left which has embarrassed itself by its willingness to absorb insult and salute. Women rallied to support a health care bill that weakened choice. Progressives supported the bill despite the president's unwillingness to fight for a public option, the taxes on good (read union) health care plans, and the grotesque deal with drug companies to sustain the ban on Medicare getting bulk price discounts. Environmentalists went so far as to embrace off-shore drilling in the failed effort to get the energy bill. Black leaders like Al Sharpton argued against any targeted economic programs, even as the African American community was suffering depression levels of misery in the economic collapse. The anti-war movement gave the president a pass on Afghanistan. Gays have been remarkably patient at delay in repealing the indefensible don't ask, don't tell policy. Progressives pushed financial reform hard, even after the Treasury Department helped defeat amendments to break up the big banks and more.
Daily Kos: Why the discontent
A year ago at Netroots Nation, President Bill Clinton promised that if health care reform passed, Democrats would see a 10-point bump in the polls the following day. It didn't happen.
Here's why --
In the past, the only contact most people would have with the legislative process was the final product -- big headlines proclaiming that a historic bill had just passed and signed into law by the president. But in this media-saturated world of today, that doesn't happen anymore.
Rather, we got an intimate look at the sausage-making process. We saw what the various pieces of legislation could've been. We saw that the good stuff (like the public option or drug reimportation or job spending or comprehensive immigration support) had a great deal of public support. We saw those provisions stripped away (or ignored), one by one, as various industry lobbyists had their say. We saw people like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus humored by the Democratic leadership and the White House. We saw Democrats "negotiate" with Republicans who openly scoffed at the idea of compromise, and openly bragged about their delaying tactics. We saw Ben Nelson throw his periodic hissy fits, while (openly!) extracting taxpayer-funded bribes in order to get his support. We saw how "bipartisanship" seemed a more important ideal to Democrats and the White House than "passing the best legislation possible." And we saw our party play the role of "deer in headlights" as the teabaggers took over the debate, on issue after issue.
So when the various pieces of legislation have passed, whether its the health care or financial reform laws or whatever, the sense hasn't been jubilation, but relief.And relief isn't a positive emotion. It's a negative one.
Rep. Ellison: 'Gibbs Crossed The Line':
Ellison said that Gibbs's resignation would be an appropriate response. 'I think that'd be fair, yeah. That'd be fair, because this isn't the first time. And, again, people of all political shades worked very hard to help the president become the president. Why would he want to go out and deliberately insult the president's base? And why would he confuse legitimate critique with some sort of lack of loyalty. Isn't this what the far right does? Punishes people who are not ideologically aligned with President Bush?'"
Yelling At The 'Professional Left' Is One Of The White House's Few Joys:
"In that spirit, let me end by saying I don't pretend to have all the answers to the challenges we face, and I look forward to periodic conversations with all of you in the months and years to come. I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up. And I, in turn, will always try and show you the respect and candor one owes his friends and allies."
Gibbs’ Walk-Back: Clueless about “in America” | Emptywheel:
"No matter how many mean names Gibbs calls hippies, the real issue is that he, the voice of the Obama Administration, appears totally clueless about why America isn’t clapping louder about the Administration’s economic “successes.”"
Daily Kos: Inartful:
"If the White House thinks their problems are reserved among a handful of progressive critics, then I'm afraid, because it tells me they're really out of touch with the undercurrent of discontent faced by Democrats this year.
The unemployment rate is brutal, while high-profile cave-ins to nefarious interests, like the Cornhusker Kickback during the health care debate did more to drive the Democrats' numbers down than any blog post or MSNBC segment ever did.
It may be easier to blame the dirty fucking hippies and kick them in the face, but that sure won't address the root cause of Democratic malaise, and it sure as heck won't better motivate base Democrats into helping close this November's intensity gap."
FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: As Liberals Lose Hope, the White House is Losing Its Cool:
"I don't know whether Gibbs was going 'off-message' out of frustration, or whether the White House has become so jaded that they actually think this was a good strategy. Either way, it speaks to the need for some fresh blood and some fresh ideas in the White House. The famously unflappable Obama is losing his cool."
Robert Gibbs Clarifies "Professional Left" Criticism, Calls Initial Comments Inartful:
"'There are two big problems with Gibbs outburst - policy and politics,' added Robert Borosage, head of Campaign for America's Future. 'In policy, the left got it right. The president is hurting because his reforms were not bold enough... On politics, the enthusiasm gap comes less from forced compromises than from political malpractice. The destructive health care waltz with Baucus and the supposed moderate Republicans... the White House's infatuation with taxing union health care benefits; the White House's unwillingness from day one to pound on the failed conservative policies that drove us off the cliff... Part of that malpractice, arguably, was on the left as well - as significant energy was devoted to the sausage making of the Congress, and too little resources and energy went towards independent mobilization. There was and is no reason for the ersatz Tea Party right to capture the populist voice.'"
AMERICAblog News: WH spokesman: I was just out of control and winging it when I criticized the Democratic party base:
The White House spokesman would now have us believe that he wasn't in full control of his faculties when he did an interview with the Hill in which he blasted the Democratic base, and suggested we all needed to take a drug test. Really? He couldn't control himself? Then what is he doing remaining in the job as White House press secretary?"