"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."
Obviously the left, both soft left and hard left, have gone nuts over this comment. He came out almost immediately and apologised, and there are various Democrats calling for Gibbsy to resign. He might just have to, although I imagine he will survive.
I am not a fan of Robert Gibbs by any stretch. He is a nasty little man who makes a lot of money by not answering questions. He stands there every week and smirks at any legitimate criticism of the administration, slagging off anyone who refuses to go along with the party line. So I am quite pleased that he has unleashed a firestorm from his own ranks. His much nastier criticism of the right has been ignored by the mainstream media, but the second he makes a snipe at the left, his remarks are slammed as 'hurtful' and 'inflammatory'.
However, on this one I have to agree with Gibbs - his main point is entirely spot on. Those people who say that Obama is like Bush are crazy! Obama and Bush are chalk and cheese. Yes, there are one or two small things that Obama has kept in place, but on everything else he is entirely different from Bush. I am continually amazed at the unhappiness of the hard left when there is the most left-wing President in history sat in the White House.
I encountered a great deal of this at my University in the last year. My American Foreign Policy class was filled with extreme socialists and communists, as well as the usual hippy "Hey, it's the system man" student types. I was continually amazed at those who took the attitude that Obama is really still quite right wing, and that he is only left-wing by American standards (said with that condescending sneer that European socialists use when talking about the USA).
It is an argument I tried to engage with, but ultimately failed, as it is one that is not based in facts or logic. It is an argument put forward by those who would be unhappy with anyone but Leon Trotsky in charge of America, or for those who are so anti-American that the President will always be the enemy, left wing or not.
As a result, I have to agree with Gibbs - such people cannot be debated or reasoned with. However from a right wing perspective, it is fun to watch them snipe at each other as the Obama Administration begins to circle the drain!