Aug 11 2010

White-house As always is the case in the days of the Internet, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has issued an apology for his rant against liberals almost before workers can discuss it at the famous water cooler. That is how fast things move today. Sensationalized statements, quick apologies and then lets move on. No more need to discuss it.

Not so fast.

As a person who literally who wrote, worked and contributed until it hurt for President Obama in his campaign, I was stunned by the Press Secretary's tirade on so many levels. This kind of language has not been even used against his most vehement right wing opposition. After all, a major weakness in this administration has been its repeated attempts, despite having 58 votes in the Senate, to appease Republicans. Why suddenly this tirade against so many people who believed deeply in the President who dared us to dream again and believe we could create change.?

The reason is that it is not sudden nor unique. When an outburst like this episode occurs, it has been my experience it is not an isolated voice in the wilderness. My very educated guess after all these years in politics is that Gibbs' sentiments are exactly what have been privately repeated among Obama staff within the White House: That the problem is not differences in policies, great disappointment with the President or desire to get more done while we had while margins in both Houses of Congress. Instead it is those damn liberals no one can please - no matter what you do, they still bitch. It is those people who cling to the fringe of the left who have caused the President all his problems.

First of all, lets be extremely clear. Public Option was not a fringe issue. The desire for human rights and freedom for the American LGBT community is clearly rooted in the Constitution of the United States. Wanting our young not to die in useless foreign wars doesn't  appear to me to be radical. Not wanting 14% of America's children to go to bed hungry at night seems like a reasonable expectation. And yes, waking up in the morning and knowing you have the dignity of a job is essential for the soul of America.

These issues are not fringe, not left and not unreasonable. President Obama promised us if we believed again he would take us there. Maybe it is time in the White House and in the Obama administration to seriously examine their behavior, let some people go and try and start anew.

Gibbs was not the only one thinking this way and that is exactly what is worrisome.