Dear Mr. Gibbs:
Okay. I get it.
You’re pissed and you chose an interview with “The Hill” to unload on us. You guys have been on the grind since January of 09. You’ve chalked up some solid wins. And yet, you feel like your side is hammering you, no matter what gets done. I get that, I really do.
However, I think you may be a little unclear on on the nature and purpose of our complaining and I think an analogy may be in order.
Let’s imagine for a moment…for a moment, The President as a high school student. (And yes, I know that this sounds horribly condescending but trust me, there’s no disrespect intended and I am going somewhere with this.) Good guy, smart as a whip but his grades don’t seem to matching his potential. If anything, he’s coasting by on C work when with some effort, he could be getting A’s.
Now we on the left, we’re the friends who want nothing but the best for him. We want him to get his grades up so he we can all go to the same college next year. Instead of him getting stuck working at his Dad’s hardware store which is dusty and old and smells like sawdust and despair. Now the Right on the other hand, they’re the bullies who hate the guy because he’s a bit of a smart ass who doesn’t take their shit so they’re always trying to beat him up and steal his lunch money. Or even worse, given the Right’s pure white hate, doing the Linda Blair/”Born Innocent” thing of violating him with a plunger.
Bottom line. You were bitching at the people who want him to do well and not the people coming at him with the damn plunger!
And as far as what you’ve accomplished, let’s take a moment to review.
IRAQ: Yes. You’re getting out of there on time. However, you’re only abiding by the Status of Forces agreement that Bush negotiated. So, let’s keep it real. You’re not speeding it along but you’re not slowing it down. B.
THE ECONOMY: The Stimulus kept us from dipping into a depression, no question about that. But it was too small and too filled with un-stimulative tax cuts (To get GOP votes that never came.) so we’re ending up with, at best, a tepid recovery. Not to mention your waffling on nominating Elizabeth Warren for the Consumer Protection Agency. C
HEALTH CARE: Yes, you passed a historic bill. But you waffled on the Public Opinion so badly that your supporters felt like you were pulling a bait and switch. More over, you let the tea parties dominate the narrative for a hunk of last year. C+ but I may revise if you can get the bill strengthened in the next Congress.
AFGHANISTAN: No end in sight. Incomplete.
CLIMATE CHANGE: We had the worst oil spill in…well, ever! You let BP handle the clean-up and dump millions of gallons of dispersants in the gulf of Mexico. And you failed to leverage what should have been the starkest example ever for getting off fossil fuels into a climate bill. (And yes, I know the GOP has been blocking everything, including this bill on reflex. Trust me, I am taking that in consideration in the grading.) C-.
ROLLING BACK THE BUSH/CHENEY ABUSES: Yeah, this is where your GPA takes a big hit.
Not going after Bush and Cheney with the weak tea excuse of wanting to “look forward rather than backward”. And worse, codifying some of the worst policies. And do not get me started on his recent attempts to expand internet surveillance. AND the targeting of civilians for assassination. D-, boarding on F.
Now given the fact that the right has been at your throat like rabid wolverines since day one, they aren’t necessarily disgraceful. (Except for the last one. And to be blunt about it, it’s close to a deal breaker for me for 2012.) But you guys have been like we should be happy about these grades and take you to Chuck E’ Cheese for a pizza party.
You’re not happy about the complaining? Get a clue. This is how shit gets done!
Presidential elections are every four years. Midterms are every two. Until we start having elections every six months guaranteeing fast turnover, we’re stuck with doing what we’re doing which is screaming like hell when you guys screw up! What you call complaining, we call participation in the process. Yes, I’m the first to admit that sometimes we go over the top. (And yes, I will spot you Ed Schultz.) But our hearts are in the right place.
Understand this, Mr. Gibbs. We want Obama to be awesome. No, scratch that. We need him to be awesome. We need him to lead on the Economy, climate change, security. And when you guys fall short with the whimpered excuse that at least you’re better than the GOP, that grinds us. It’s like me missing an anniversary with a girlfriend and then saying “Hey, at least I’m a better boyfriend than Ted Bundy”.
Seriously, we’re on your side. It’s the right you want to smack down. Rahm Emanuel has no problems calling progressives “Fucking retarded” but not a word about Glenn Beck who nightly makes people wonder if he’s suffering from actual brain damage.
Just remember this, Mr. Gibbs. We’re the one’s who bought you to the dance. Keep this up and we’ll make you walk home in 2012.