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Ed Driscoll

Pass the Popcorn

August 10th, 2010 - 2:10 pm

This morning, Robert Gibbs had his own Bob Etheridge meltdown moment, though fortunately, he and his boss appear to be the only ones injured in the incident:

The White House is simmering with anger at criticism from liberals who say President Obama is more concerned with deal-making than ideological purity.

During an interview with The Hill in his West Wing office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberal naysayers, whom he said would never regard anything the president did as good enough.

“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.” [But still, they're off to a damn good start -- Ed]

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.”

I’m sure there’s more than a little cross-over between “The Professional Left” and the president’s “non-official campaign” staff.

And thus, the circular firing squad begins early this year. “Dem Congressman Keith Ellison Calls on Gibbs to Resign Over Comments Made Criticizing Liberals;” as the Weasel Zippers write, “Now this is what I call entertainment!”

(Huff Po)- Progressive Democrats fired back at Robert Gibbs on Tuesday, following the White House press secretary’s sharp critique of what he called a “professional left” that is perpetually unsatisfied by President Obama.

“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said in an interview with The Hill.

“They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality,” he added. “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), an active member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Gibbs went too far. “This is not the first time that Mr. Gibbs has made untoward and inflammatory comments and I certainly hope that people in the White House don’t share his view that the left is unimportant to the president,” he said. “I understand him having some loyalty to the president who employs him, but I think he’s walking over 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?”

It’s wrong to suggest that progressives want to eliminate the Pentagon, said Ellison, adding that he doesn’t know a single Democrat who has espoused that view. “I know of none. So I think that was an inflammatory remark that is emblematic of his careless use of language and is an example of why he may not be the best person for the job,” he said. “Gibbs crossed the line. His dismissal would be fair.”

Of course, Ellison’s dismissal would also be fair this November should the voters wish it. Ed Morrissey recently linked to the amusing video produced by his Republican opponent, Joel Demos. As Ed writes, Demos has an monstrous battle against the entrenched far left Minnesota Congressman — a task that’s slightly offset by the perfect video metaphor — which as Ed hints, could likely turn up in other, less uphill battles:

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