quote of the day

who was Robert Gibbs talking about?

If I read this right, the recent remarks by @PressSec Robert Gibbs were directed at the embittered rump who never let go of their dreams of President Hillary Clinton and at those who thought they could see Dennis Kucinich in the White House.

But Kucinich was instrumental in putting Obama on the road to victory by throwing his support to him instead to Hillary or keeping his campaign alive for ego’s sake. So those Kucinich supporters who claim their man is all principle and no pragmatism need to think that through. Or maybe the ire is because Obama owes his success to a compromise: which is it? The act or the man?

And the PUMAs who see the White House as Hillary’s entitlement for the rough ride she endured in the 90s may want to consider how lucky we are not to have Caribou Barbie a heartbeat away from the noo-kyoo-lar button. I don’t know how a McCain/Clinton matchup would have come out but I’m glad we didn’t have to find out.

Neither Clinton nor Kucinich are bad people, poor politicians, or bad Democrats. Far from it: they have both sacrificed personal ambition — no easy thing for the narcissistic personality required of successful politicians — for the greater good, for an end to the destructive policies of the first 8 years of this century that would likely have been followed or made worse by McThuselah and his sidekick.

And then there’s the pundit class whose very existence depends on attacking both sides, undermining any success, and generally doing whatever it takes to get on teevee, write OpEds and self-serving books. These people make their living stirring it up: political uproar is not incidental to their work — it is their work. These modern-day apparatchiks, like yesterday’s pols but unlike today’s, are friendlier to each other in their off-hours than when we can see them but just like today’s pols have nothing in common with the people who allow them a living.

The people who knocked on doors and collected signatures and manned phone banks and drove voters to the polls and who know that hard problems many years in the making are not solved with the stroke of a pen were not the target of Gibbs’s remarks: it’s the nattering nabobs of negativism, to coin a phrase, the naysayers who think clapping harder and wishing gets it done. Reagan/Bush pére/Clinton/Bush fils all contributed to this mess and if you’re giving up after 18 months after all these achievements, you’re letting yourself and everyone else down. If you don’t realize, after all this, that compromise and horse-trading, accepting that progress is a journey, not a place, you’re never going to be happy.