Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs doesn’t know how to back off.
On Tuesday, after disparaging “the professional left,” he issued a statement saying that he had spoken “inartfully,” but he didn’t retract his comment or renounce the sentiment.
Then, at his press briefing on Wednesday, Gibbs said he stood by his offensive comments.
It’s time for Gibbs to take a hike.
George Bush and his minions cultivated their conservative base. Obama’s minions poison their liberal base.
Obama has regularly snubbed progressives, from health care to jobs, from Copenhagen to Afghanistan, from civil liberties to the Employee Free Choice Act.
It hasn’t been a winning strategy.
If Obama had been more progressive, unemployment wouldn’t be so high, foreclosures wouldn’t be at record levels, he wouldn’t be bogged down in Afghanistan, he and other Democrats would be in a much better position politically.
Obama should know that progressives are his best hope.
He wouldn’t be in the White House without enthusiastic progressive support.
The Democrats won’t keep their seats in November without enthusiastic progressive support.
And Obama won’t win in 2012 without enthusiastic progressive support.
But he doesn’t deserve it today.
And he won’t get it by having Gibbs and Rahm Emanuel piss all over us.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his article “Back at You, Robert Gibbs!.”
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter