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As Wall Street Support Shifts from Left to Right, Liberal Pundits Respond to Gibbs' Attack

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Robert Gibbs in studio interview by studio08denver

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs became the spokesperson for Obama Administration contempt toward the left on Tuesday. The display of contempt came in the midst of a nearly 70 percent shift in Wall Street executive donations from Democratic candidates to Republican candidates ahead of the November mid-term elections.

On Tuesday, The Hill published an interview with Gibbs, who said what Obama has done and is doing would never be "good enough" for the "professional left." Gibbs attacked the left for comparing Obama to George W. Bush, suggested, "these people ought to be drug tested" and said they "wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president." He also said they would only "be satisfied when [America has] Canadian healthcare and [America has] eliminated the Pentagon."

Gibbs' remark revealed a lot about what members of the Obama Administration think of the role of debate and citizen participation in government. And, the implicit apology Gibbs made in the aftermath of his "inartful" comments revealed even more about an administration that believes progressives should take marching orders from this administration or else.

"So we should all, me included, stop fighting each other and arguing about our differences on certain policies," he said, and work together "because we've come too far to turn back now," Gibbs said after mentioning he watches a lot of cable television, as if to excuse his remark.

While circumstantial, the best evidence for why Gibbs would feel like uttering the aforementioned remarks is the shift of money from Wall Street to Republicans ahead of the election. Obama was the candidate of Wall Street in the 2008 Election garnering nearly $8 million in campaign contributions from securities and investment industries (nearly double what Republican presidential candidate John McCain garnered). The Democrats earned 57 percent of campaign contributions from securities and investment industries.

The situation compels the Obama Administration especially White House press secretary Gibbs to whip the left and the sections that are most listened to by voters into line not only because money from business interests needs to swing back the other way but because disappointed and disillusioned voters will likely stay home, not donate to Democratic Party campaigns, not make phone calls, and refuse to go door-to-door canvassing prior to Election Day if they do not fall in line.

"Professional Left" Attacked by Gibbs Responds

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton revealed later on Tuesday that what Gibbs really meant when he said "professional left"--a concocted term that you'd think you'd hear Glenn Beck utter that has scarcely been spoken prior to Gibbs' remarks--was directed at liberal pundits. So, how did the attacked liberal pundits respond?

Ed Schultz, host of The Ed Schultz Show on MSNBC, stated

Gibbs thinks progressive are just a bunch of whiners because they expect a democratic president to act like a democrat. Is that it? Bottom line, the White House, I don't think they know who their friends and allies are at this point. Gibbs tried to walk back his comments today saying that he spoke in artfully and blaming his tirade on watching too much cable? Hold it right there. When was the last time you saw him on cable? Day in and day out they ought to be on cable in the sound chamber of America winning the cultural war and pushing the progressive agenda.

They don't do that. That's what I have a problem with. And the other thing is about them being like the Bush administration. I did say on this program last week that their sell job on this cleaned up oil issue in the gulf rivals that of the Bush administration. It does, because the scientific community is saying one thing and the pr community is saying something else, and I think the White House is buying into it

The following day Ed Schultz had Rep. Alan Grayson on the show to talk about how he thinks Gibbs should be fired. Schultz said this just before Grayson came on

Really? You mean there's no other progressive candidate out there anywhere? Barack Obama just -- it's just -- I mean, he's the only one that could hold progressive values and win an election? So the base is just stuck? We just have to do whatever the White House wants to do and we really can't make any demands without being criticized?

The Democrats, well, you better hope Gibbs is right. He took all the air right out of the news cycle on a day that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats over in the House saved 300,000 jobs.

Do you think that's a good story?

I can't believe how tone deaf the White House is to the very people who busted their fanny to get these folks in office. I'm also sick and tired of all these shots coming at cable news.

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)

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In your title you use "liberal pundits." What do t... by Margaret Bassett on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:53:03 AM
I would define "liberal pundits" as those on telev... by Kevin Gosztola on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:00:48 PM
KEVIN What shows are these,that have a clear bias ... by GUY P. FRASER on Sunday, Aug 15, 2010 at 5:59:11 PM
Let's all collectively protest the CIA drug smuggl... by Steven G. Erickson on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 10:43:16 AM
There must be some way we can get our country back... by Evelyn Pringle on Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 8:44:08 AM
Kevin - thanks for this redux of the attack on the... by Babette Hogan on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 10:55:20 AM
By cutting food stamps.Oh well, I' just one of tho... by Miriam Callaghan on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 11:01:37 AM
The Federal Reserve is a private bank. The worse c... by Steven G. Erickson on Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 12:09:23 AM
It was nice to watch the Republican Party dissembl... by zephyr on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 11:31:34 AM
The laundry list of things that candidate Obama is... by Kevin Gosztola on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:05:58 PM
Hey, lets face it Gibbs got a lot of things right.... by Pavlov's Dog on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 12:53:53 PM
To me the greatest offense was apparently equating... by Maxwell on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 2:00:18 PM
Let me translate: "Pentagon" = military/security/c... by Pavlov's Dog on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 2:40:03 PM
A country as rich as ours can't simply lay down it... by Maxwell on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 3:43:19 PM
The rich in our country won't simply lay down thei... by Pavlov's Dog on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 4:13:26 PM
The country is not only flat broke but is an ocean... by Arthur M. Howard-(Scotoni) on Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 2:40:20 AM
Keith, you're my hero again!... by Maxwell on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 2:01:20 PM
Somewhere in the Bible it says-"Be kind to your as... by Vinny Colletti on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 3:24:50 PM
"You can keep umm 20%."Sounds good to me. While we... by Maxwell on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 3:53:20 PM
Actually, I truly believe that at least 20% of the... by Pavlov's Dog on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 6:06:21 PM
Thank you. I would add a couple of other sources ... by ear on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 4:35:31 PM
Unfortunately, and I am not sure where to go back ... by Kevin Gosztola on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:16:43 PM
Would Wall Street be better off with the Republica... by Maxwell on Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 8:31:57 AM
Is that they know how to game America's political ... by Kevin Gosztola on Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 8:36:10 AM
I find the word Pundit comes from "Pandit." referr... by Margaret Bassett on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:54:50 PM
Marge, if they're more than about ten years old.... by GLloyd Rowsey on Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 8:45:16 AM
POTUS was advised to promise anything - just to be... by Jon Ross on Thursday, Aug 12, 2010 at 11:17:15 PM
As Jon says, everything said by Gibbs is preapprov... by Evelyn Pringle on Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 9:21:34 AM
Gibbs was indeed inartful in his use of the term "... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, Aug 13, 2010 at 10:38:31 AM