"Robert Gibbs should be yanked as White House press secretary," says Maureen Dowd in The New York Times. Not, however, because he was wrong to lash out at President Obama's critics on the "professional Left." Whereas the "crazies" on the Right "often end up helping the Republican leadership," radical liberals "are constantly sniping at Obama, expressing their feelings of betrayal." Even though Obama "has shepherded the biggest expansion of social programs since the Great Society and spearheaded the biggest spending program with the stimulus," the professional Left continues to complain. Nonetheless, these "deep schisms within the Democratic Party" need to be mended — and to accomplish that, Obama needs the right press secretary. Gibbs, with his unmasked "disdain for the press," simply isn't that person. An excerpt:
We’ve known that the left was mad at Obama, but now we know Obama is mad at the left. Obama and Gibbs are upset that the lefties won’t recognize the necessity of compromise. The left is snapping back: What necessity? You won 365 electoral votes. You have both houses of Congress. And bipartisanship is an illusion...
Obama got elected because of the clarity of his campaign and his speeches. But, surprisingly, he’s in some ways an incoherent president. He’s with the banks, he’s against the banks. He’s leaving Afghanistan, he’s staying in Afghanistan. He strains at being a populist, but his head is in the clouds.
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.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- This judge is the reason we're still fighting over net neutrality
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
Subscribe to the Week