I know. It almost never pays to read one of MoDo’s columns seriously. But enough good lefties are pointing to this one approvingly, I thought I’d do them the favor of pointing out how typically stupid it is.
Let’s start with this lovely four-sentence passage:
Not because of his outburst against the “professional left.” He was right about that. In an interview with The Hill last week, Gibbs once more proved Michael Kinsley’s maxim that a gaffe is just truth slipping out.
He said the president’s lefty critics “ought to be drug-tested,” would only “be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon,” and “wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”
MoDo says Gibbs “was right” in his intemperate rant early this week. Then she goes on to repeat two attacks Gibbs used–that we should be drug-tested and we want to eliminate the Pentagon–that he made up out of thin air. Even CBS’ Chip Reid–not usually one to point out blatant lies–called Gibbs on the fact that no one, in fact, has ever actually called to eliminate the Pentagon.
Q Well, who wants to eliminate the Pentagon?
MR. GIBBS: I think that was — wasn’t that a proposal during the presidential campaign? Didn’t Dennis Kucinich — or maybe it was adding the Department of Peace.
Q The Department of Peace –
Q There’s a big difference between adding a Department of Peace and eliminating the Pentagon.
(Though I will say I am among those who believes Canadian health care would be an improvement.)
Shorter MoDo: I think Gibbs is at his best when he just makes shit up about people I don’t like.
Much of the rest of MoDo’s column illogically complains that Democrats aren’t as effective as Republicans at using their activists, but then accepts the DC narrative that Dems shouldn’t embrace their activists because we’re “radicals:”
Rand Paul and Sharron Angle aside, Republicans often find a way to exploit their extremes for political advantage, while Democratic extremes typically do damage to a Democratic president.One of the most disgusting things about Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyl, and now the former maverick John McCain, is that they are happy to be co-opted by the radicals in their party to form one movement against President Obama.
On the Republican side, the crazies often end up helping the Republican leadership. On the Democratic side, the radicals are constantly sniping at Obama, expressing their feelings of betrayal.
Therein lies MoDo’s blindness: the problem here is not with liberal activists espousing real solutions. The problem is the fact that Democrats are so disdainful of their activists they prefer demonizing them rather than embracing their moderate solutions that are, themselves, pragmatic compromises. MoDo’s column, then, is actually part of the problem, not something to link approvingly.
Besides, why would any self-respecting liberal link approvingly to what is basically more self-indulgent bitching from the press?
MoDo’s “clever” point is ultimately that Gibbs should be fired not because he made shit up in his attack on the party’s base, but because he is mean to journalists.
He needs to communicate more clearly. And, in that department, Gibbs isn’t helpful. He’s often unresponsive and sometimes hostile to the press. His adversarial barking has only heightened tensions with a press that was once lampooned for fawning over his boss.
Call me crazy, but I think any press spokesperson who gets caught blatantly making shit up about any topic should be fired because he should, after that point, lose all credibility.
But not with this press corps. Not with MoDo, who finds Robert Gibbs most right when he just makes shit up. And then complains that Robert Gibbs doesn’t take “journalists” like her–the ones who applaud him for making shit up–seriously.