Friday, August 13, 2010

In The Matter Of Robert L. Gibbs

Paul Krugman. Short, sweet, and to the point.

There he goes again. What gets me is how unprofessional the whole thing is.

Look, if you’re a public figure of any kind, you’re going to face a lot of criticism. Much of it will seem unfair to you; some of the unfair criticism will come from people you expected to take your side; you’ll be angry, you’ll feel that people are putting their egos or their personal aggrandizement above the cause.

Welcome to reality. It’s my reality — and I’m just a professor/columnist. Someone actually in the White House has to be prepared for much more of this kind of thing — and if you don’t have a thick enough skin to take it, find another form of employment.

I’m not saying to turn the other cheek and always say something polite as a general principle; by all means lash out at your critics, if you have something to gain by doing so. Rudeness at the proper moment can serve a purpose — as I hope I’ve demonstrated over the years. But if you vent for the sake of venting; if you alienate people you’re going to need; then you’re just being stupid.

And that, I’m afraid, is what’s going on here. Rachel Maddow isn’t going to go away, or turn all meek, because the White House Press Secretary implicitly denounced her. Even more to the point, liberal critics have an audience because they’re reflecting real concerns of real people. Those concerns need addressing, if necessary in the form of explanations of why their expectations can’t be met. Denouncing the people giving voice to those real concerns as the “professional left” is both unfair and, as I’ve said, stupid.

And both the president and, more important, the country deserve better.

Over 200 comments. I won't go quite as far as No. 5 because the wingnuts are the greatest danger to this country in our history and I'm not going to sit out any elections ever, but this is what could happen:

I can only speak for myself, I'm not going to vote for Obama or the Democratic party any more. They give a harsher lashing to the left than the right. The people on the left have a desire to improve things and the people on the right only want to win. If the president doesn't denounce these comments and get his act together very soon, he's lost a strong supporter. This is not an overreaction. He just doesn't get it and doesn't deserve reelection. I'd rather see Palin destroy the Republican party for good as president than watch Obama prop it up with his naiveté.

Obama's not going to lose those who know over Gibbs' comment, but he needs to not lose those who aren't as committed to truth, decency, and reality. He might not have turned out the way we wanted, but he's what we've got.

I've been insulted before. I'll get over this one too. Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. Repug rule can and will and must be prevented from doing so.

Voting for Democrats may have devolved into simply being the lesser of two evils, but that's the system we're stuck with.


One of the commenters has linked us to "The Basic Laws Of Human Stupidity".

Go read this. Fits the right to a T.

No comments: