President Joe Biden administered some tough love
to his party's liberal base
yesterday at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, advising progressives to
stop "whining" and "buck up" before the midterm elections. For
left-leaning writers still smarting from press secretary Robert Gibbs's
of the "professional left" at a press conference last month, the vice
president's admonitions fell on unreceptive ears.
- Near-Sighted The most
curious aspect of the Obama presidency is "the administration's
persistent impulse to insult the most loyal Democrats", writes Salon's Joan Walsh. Biden, like the rest of
the administration, seems to have forgotten that "inspiring voters works
better than scolding them."
- No Upside It's one thing to make
these remarks in the dog days of summers, but it is quite another to
make them just weeks before an election, observes John
Aravosis of AMERICAblog. "The thing is," writes Aravosis, "I can't
for the life of me understand what the White House thinks it gains by
continually poking the base - the people who actually vote in mid-term
elections - only five weeks before the election."
- Foot-in-Mouth Moment The comments speak to the danger of letting Biden go off-script,
muses Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor. "Joe, Joe, Joe,"
chuckles Grier, "your handlers have told you this over and over – it’s
think first, then speak. Not the other way around."
Salon's Glenn Greenwald believes the
comments matter, but not for the reasons you might think. Rather, Biden
and Gibbs's complaints reflect the White House's belief that its record
"merits gratitude rather than valid condemnation, and that anger over
the state of the country is nothing more than irresponsible whining."
Greenwald acknowledges Biden is working to sell the public on the administration's
accomplishments, but finds it "just mystifying that
they think they're going to accomplish anything other than feeling
better about themselves with these incessant, name-calling attacks on
those who are dissatisfied with their behavior -- their policies -- in
power. Talk about 'self-pitying and self-indulgent.'"
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